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Your Well-being

Daily meditation

New York Teacher

Do you want to lower your stress level, reduce anxiety and depression, increase your ability to concentrate and bring a sense of calm and purpose to your life? Research shows that these are the benefits a meditation practice can bring.

Many of us intend to meditate, but we have trouble turning that intention into a reality. Here’s a way to start:

Choose a time and place that works for you. It doesn’t matter if it’s first thing in the morning, midday or last thing at night, as long as you make it a priority.

Get comfortable. You can sit on a chair with your hands on your lap or sit cross-legged on a cushion. You can even lie down and feel supported by the floor.

Decide on a realistic amount of time. Start with as little as one to five minutes of deep breathing and counting. Over time, you can increase your meditation to 10, 15, 20 minutes or more if you want. Whatever works for you and fits into your schedule is best.

Types of meditation

There are many forms of meditation, including gentle yoga, which uses movement, dynamic breathing and meditation; guided meditation, which offers imagery and visualizations for overcoming anxiety or stress; mindfulness meditation, in which you are fully present in the moment while allowing your thoughts to pass without judgment; and loving-kindness (or metta) meditation, in which practitioners cultivate an attitude of love and kindness toward themselves and others. Find the type you enjoy.

Some apps to consider: Pause, Calm, Headspace, the Mindfulness App, Buddhify, Insight Timer, Smiling Mind and Meditation Timer.

Remember to be kind to yourself as you fold meditation into your daily life. While you may not always feel you’re doing it well, if you develop a regular practice, you will reap the rewards.

The UFT's Member Assistance Program has collections of self-care and well being articles to explore. Additional resources to check out include: MindUP; Mindful magazine; Healthline's metta meditation tips; and, Yoga with Adriene's 15-minute meditation (video). 

You can also reach out to the UFT Member Assistance Program at 212-701-9620 to speak with a licensed clinician or email