Meditation can make a huge difference in how you feel (and even look) on your wedding day. Here's how to get started.

Photo by Eat Healthy Yoga

Many brides prep for their weddings by overhauling their diet, fitness, and skincare routines. While those three aspects will help you to look and feel like the best version of yourself on your wedding day, it's not an entirely holistic approach. If you're juggling work with wedding planning and feeling overwhelmed, then you know something is missing. Instead of pushing through, try adding meditation, which has both physical and mental benefits, to your routine. "Many people may think it's just another thing that will take time away from your checklist of things to do," says Evan Marshall, a meditation teacher at Caravan Wellness. "In reality, it gives you the time and clarity to step back and check in with yourself, and let you approach each task from a more grounded place."

Stress-relieving benefits can be seen right away, Marshall says, as it takes your body out of the fight-or-flight state. But you'll also see long-term changes, too. "I always say meditation is an inroad to making positive changes," Marshall says. "You may see yourself breaking bad habits and creating healthy lifestyle habits, fitness and nutrition wise. You start becoming aware of how you treat your body and what you put into it." That's why meditation can really help you to look and feel your best on your big day. Not only are you more mindful of how you're treating yourself, you're actually learning to be present, relaxed, and focused. Over time, you'll also likely find that you sleep better and have a stronger immune system-two things every bride-to-be certainly wants. If you're thinking about adding meditation to your pre-wedding wellness routine, read on.

Get started now.

It doesn't matter how long you meditate for, the important thing is to just start trying. To begin, you'll want to find a place that's quiet and isn't distracting to you-maybe in your room or outside somewhere. Once you've found your space, set a realistic goal for yourself. If three times a week for 45 minutes each session seems feasible, start there. If you can only plan for 20 minutes twice a week, that's okay, too.

Be still.

Although it's easier said than done. If you feel like you have trouble sitting still, Marshall can empathize. "When meditation was first introduced to me, it very uncomfortable," he says. "I always wanted to move and my thoughts were all over the place until a teacher said that before you start meditating you have to prepare by doing gentle movements. Walk slowly around the room or in a circle; then find the position that's most comfortable to you."

Start your way.

You don't have to jump straight into a meditative state. Get in tune with your body by taking deep breaths, then go into meditation. If your mind starts to wander, Marshall recommends pinpointing something to focus on, whether it's the way your clothes feel on your skin, the temperature in the room-anything that resonates with you. On that note, there isn't one way to meditate: "If you're a daydreamer, and sitting still with your eyes closed makes you want to fall asleep, you can meditate looking toward the floor to stay more present. If you're someone who always makes lists in your head, looking around the room and finding tasks that need to be done, meditating with your eyes closed can help you stay present. It all depends upon the individual," Marshall says.

Know it's not a production.

Meditating doesn't have to be a big, long and drawn-out event. In fact, you can do it almost anywhere, including standing in line at the grocery store or commuting to work on a busy subway. "All you have to do is follow your breath in and out of your body," Marshall says. "Really, breathing is such an incredible tool. If you're on the subway for two stops, just think, all I will do for these two stops is think about my breath. You can become empowered and adaptable to your external environment, which is always changing. Breath immediately changes the fluctuations of your mind."


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