May is both National Mental Health Month and National Meditation Month, and it has me thinking a lot about how the two are related. As a meditation teacher based in New York City, I meet a lot of people who struggle with mental health in some capacity and who are looking for something to help them find peace and balance in their lives. In fact, many of my students first come to meditation because their stress and anxiety are getting in the way of their lives. And, while there are many tools available for achieving better mental health, my favorite is meditation.
Health and happiness are an inside-out job; you have to first create the foundations of wellness in your own head before they show up in your life. Because the bottom line is, it is impossible to live a rom-com of a life when you have a horror flick playing inside your mind. This is where the meditation comes in. Meditation is the fastest tool I know for creating a more peaceful mind. And peaceful does not necessarily mean quiet: The technique we use at Ziva, my studio in Manhattan, has nothing to do with “quieting the mind." (So if you have ever tried meditation and felt like a failure because you couldn't empty your head, then you may dig the style we teach.) If you can’t make it to a Ziva Intro Talk in New York or Los Angeles, you can learn to meditate online with zivaMIND. Here are a few tips for meditating if you’re struggling with anxiety, spinning thoughts, or a stressed-filled head space.