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What if I told you that taking one specific vitamin supplement every day could help with pain response, blood pressure, digestive health, anxiousness, stress response, sleep and even brain health? You would run to your local health food store and grab a bottle or two of this amazing supplement off the shelf, wouldn’t you? I know I would.

What if I told you that you wouldn’t even have to spend any money or even have to worry about swallowing a pill or choking down a weird tasting drink? OK. OK. This magic supplement doesn’t exist in the aisles of any store. Though I love vitamins and herbs and have found many of them to be helpful with countless issues, including some of the issues I have mentioned above, what I am actually talking about is supplementing your lifestyle with a daily meditation practice.

According to the National Institutes of Health, all those benefits I mentioned above have had promising results in meditation-based clinical studies. So, I want to suggest that you add another supplement into your daily regimen — meditation. We can call it Vitamin M.

Many folks think of meditation as a hard practice that requires you to completely clear your mind. I am happy to tell you that is not the case. Meditation is as simple as focusing your attention on something, usually the breath, and trying to keep it there. When you lose that focus — and trust me, you will — the important next step is realizing that you have lost your focus and refocusing. Now, the important thing to note here is not to realize that you will lose focus and to not make a big deal about it.

I’ll let you in on a little secret. No one is “good” at meditation — they have just done it a lot. Think of it as an exercise for the brain. The more you focus, lose focus and then refocus, the easier it will get. I would suggest getting a meditation app. There are many great teachers that provide all sorts of different guided practices. You can even meditate with me. Look me up on the Insight Timer app and you can try one of the quick and easy, free, guided meditations I have recorded.

It’s time that we stopped thinking of meditation like a chore and started thinking about it like a supplement to our lifestyle. More and more reasons keep piling up for why we need to add this important practice into our daily health regimen. Give it a try, but like any other vitamin or nutrient, it needs time to work. So, keep focusing and refocusing for a few minutes a day until you start to see all the benefits that meditation can offer you.

Travis Lemon is a certified herbalist and co-owner of Tulsi at The Market in Huntington. He has worked in the natural health and wellness industry for over 14 years. He can be contacted at travislemonmh@gmail.com.

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