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One of my favorite things about meditation is how uncomplicated the practice is. When my life gets hectic or my mind feels overrun with racing thoughts, the simplicity of meditation can be a huge relief. There’s a scientific basis for this feeling: Meditation reduces activity in parts of the brain associated with mind-wandering and unhappiness, according to a 2011 study in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

When I teach meditation, I try to keep my instructions concise so as not to overcomplicate things. Now that I’ve said that, let’s overcomplicate things! Just kidding—sort of. There are some small tweaks you can make to the basic meditation technique that are totally optional but very helpful. They add a bit of complexity, but I think the benefits are worth it. For example, in the video below, I share a technique you can use at the start of a meditation session to settle more easily into a state of calm and mental stability. If you know how to count to 10, you’ve got everything you need.

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Free guided meditations: UCLA Mindful Awareness Research Center

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Article sources

Brewer, J. A., Worhunsky, P. D., Gray, J. R., & Tang, Y. Y. (2011). Meditation experience is associated with differences in default mode network activity and connectivity. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 108(50), 20254–20259.