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Zen

Okay, your best intentions for that gym membership and your new Spiralizer might have fallen by the wayside now that mid-January’s here, but there’s one really simple thing you can do for better health all around this year.

Find a quiet room, take five minutes, and calm your thoughts with some mindful meditation.

A recent survey by Avonmore Slimline Milk found that 60% of Irish women believe stress is the biggest barrier preventing them from being their best self. So here’s your chance to kill two birds with one stone by de-stressing AND doing something great for your mind and body.

It’ll help you sleep
Is there any worse feeling than lying in bed trying to silence one million different thoughts as they go through your head? Just five minutes of meditation before bed can calm the mind and clear unnecessary thoughts, leading to a sounder sleep for you.

You’ll be WAY more focused at work
Set yourself up for the day with a few minutes of meditation before you leave the house – you’ll notice a huge boost in your concentration levels. Why? Studies have shown that meditation increases stability in the ventral posteromedial cortex, the part of the brain which causes those pesky wandering thoughts.

Your stress levels will plummet
You don’t need to be sitting cross-legged on the floor saying ‘om’ to reap the stress-busting benefits of meditation, you know. Just five minutes of slow, steady breathing and mindfulness can help ease psychological issues like stress and anxiety.

It’s a legit health booster
Meditation has been shown to reduce pain and beat inflammation at a cellular level, with many complementary therapists recommending it for chronic pain management.

It really CAN alter your brain
Our brain is constantly growing and changing throughout our life, and regular meditation has been proven to stimulate the growth of new brain cells. This can have any number of positive effects. including reducing activity in our amygdala, the brain’s stress centre.

It can slow ageing
The ageing process is linked to a reduction in the brain’s grey matter, but regular meditation has been shown to slow this reduction – meaning you’re more likely to be sharp as a tack in your old age.

It’s 100% free
No fancy equipment, no pricey workout gear (unless you want it, of course) and no gym membership needed. Just you, a quiet room and five minutes of your day.

It’s the perfect complement to yoga
As any yoga teacher will tell you, calming the mind is just as important as working on the perfect Downward Dog. Most yoga classes finish up with five minutes of meditation, so use that time wisely and you’ll soon reap the benefits.

Avonmore Slimline Milk want to help bring out the best in you and are giving away a month’s FREE yoga membership everyday this January. To enter check out the Avonmore website.

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In the world we live in, it can be hard to find peace on a day to day basis.

The stress of work, school or college can wind the best of us up into an absolute frenzie.

Meditation has been around for centuries; but smartphones and tablets are only relatively new in our world.

However, these apps mix the old with the new for our benefit. And guess what? They're all free too.

Prepare to become a whole new, chilled out person after you try these meditation apps.

Relax Melodies

This app is perfect if you want to find your inner-zen. Relax Melodies features stunning natural scenes and has a variety of meditation options. You can also combine sounds to customise your experience.

 

Meditation Timer Pro

Meditation Timer Pro is very easy to use. Choose how long you want to meditate for and then set reminder noises for starting and ending your session so you will have complete peace for the exact length of time you wish.

 

Omvana

The app has a huge library of guided meditations from experts all around the world. App tools allow you to record your mood and receive guidance on which meditation is right for the moment.

 

Take A Break

Not everyone has time to sit for a full, deep meditation every day – sometimes you just want to take a break! That’s exactly what this app’s usability allows. From 5 minutes to a half hour, this app will suit your schedule.

 

Headspace

Beginners start with Headspace’s Take 10 program to learn meditation basics; 10 minutes a day for 10 days. Emma Watson has also raved about this app in the past. Hey, if it's good enough for Emma, it's good enough for us.

 

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The world can be a hectic place and it’s easy to lose sight of the simple ways we can let go of the stress and make our lives more Zen.

1. Forgive

Forgiveness is a golden life rule. You should forgive others if they’ve hurt you and especially forgive yourself for the mistakes you’ve made. Don’t be so hard on yourself!

2. Accept the things you can’t change

Try to accept the things that are holding you back from moving forward in life. If you really can’t change them, accept them and let them go.

3. Relate to others

It’s so easy to judge others, especially when we are feeling angry or hurt, but if you want to have more peace in life, you should learn to relate to others. Put yourself in their shoes and try not to judge.

4.  Refresh your life

It’s important to refresh your life with new goals, new dreams and new ideas once in a while. Just make sure you don’t set too many goals, as this can be overwhelming and you can’t stick to them all!

5.  Improve your relationships

We should never stop improving relationships with ourselves and other people. Make an effort to keep in touch with friends, tell your family how much they mean to you and respect college friends or colleagues. This will give you a great sense of peace.

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