‘Close your eyes and take a deep breath’: How meditation can help you ease stress

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EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — Meditation is a free and easily accessible way to relax your mind and body, but also ease anxiety and stress.

Luciana Garcia is an emotional mastery coach and an ordained Buddhist priest who has been practicing meditation for more than a decade.

“Meditation at the foundation really teaches you how to be with yourself, which many of us don’t know how to do, because we always look for entertainment and things from outside of us,” said Garcia.

She helps her clients master embracing their emotions by meditating and practicing mindfulness — a concept that is the very foundation of every meditation.

“Mindfulness pretty much teaches you how can I be here with myself, connected to my breath, embracing how I feel in this moment, embracing the way my mind is moving,” she said, explaining further how even if our mind wanders with all the thoughts running through our head, we are not doing anything wrong.

Garcia said many have told her they believe they aren’t meditating right because they have trouble focusing, but she said “it’s not realistic to think that just because we stop in one second, the mind is going to stop too.”

She explained we need to let our mind run and focus it back on our breathing to become aware of our bodies.

For her, meditation is a tool that can be used anywhere and anytime, not just sitting with your legs crossed and having your eyes closed. She suggested you can even meditate sitting at a doctor’s appointment, with your eyes open and focusing on your breathing.

“There’s no wrong way to do it,” she said.

She often comes across stereotypes that surround meditation. As an ordained Buddhist priest, she recognizes different types of meditation, with many of them having nothing to do with any type of religion.

“Mindfulness is a practice of health and it’s not connected necessarily to any kind of religious belief,” she said.

She said some of her clients battle with anxiety and depression and are often referred to her by doctors to learn meditation as another tool to help them better their mental health.

“Instead of running away from [anxiety], you want to embrace it, and when you do, you realize that it’s the opposite of what you think it actually is,” said Garcia.

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