Stress-relief seekers take note. There’s one time-tested form of relaxation that you only need one tiny essential to tackle: your mind. Not sure where or how to start? Mountain Trek’s program director Kirkland Shave shares these five tips for meditating, and even claims they have a serious beauty benefit. “One of the results of a meditation practice is the softening and releasing of our wrinkles and worry lines—it truly can create beauty from the inside out.”
1. Create the space in your life to step out of “doing.”
2. Concentrate on something that can hold your attention (a visual like a candle flame, auditory like the sound of ocean waves, or something physical like the sensation of your breath at the tip of your nostrils).
3. Notice how thoughts “bubble up” and interrupt your focus—don’t get frustrated, as it is the same for everyone’s mind. Just let the thoughts go and come back to your point of concentration.
4. Start with sessions of only five minutes, and slowly build to 20 or 30 minutes over time. As your powers of concentration increase, it will become easier.
5. Practice your focus of concentration in other aspects of your life, like noticing the texture and taste of your food while you are chewing, or even the quality of your thoughts when you are stuck in commuting traffic. This can eventually bring a state of presence or mindfulness into all aspects of your life, with the resulting benefits of increased feel-good hormones (oxcytocin and serotonin), and the lowering of the stress hormone, cortisol.