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Jonathan Fader, Ph.D.
Jonathan Fader Ph.D.

Why My New Year’s Resolution is to Meditate Every Day

It just may help you stick to your other resolutions as well.

It’s 1980 and I’m five years old. I walk into my parents’ bedroom and they are sitting cross legged, eyes closed, in total silence. I thought there was something seriously wrong with them. I wasn’t reassured by their explanation that they were practicing “meditation." It must mean they are in a cult, I thought. But they were my parents and I would protect their strange secret from the general public. It was a dark and peculiar family custom that the world should know nothing about.

Imagine my surprise when, 20 years later as a graduate student in clinical psychology, my professors were now preaching of the benefits of meditation as a clinical tool. I couldn’t wait to tell my parents, if only to hear a resounding chorus of, “We told you it wasn’t a cult, Jonathan!”

That was years ago, but mindfulness meditation is now reaching the levels of mainstream acceptance it deserves. It’s a favorite of powerful CEOs, and has even found its way into the training routine of the New York Knicks basketball team! Even my own practice is offering weekly guided meditations.

As I make my New Year’s resolutions, I’ve decided to practice what I preach. I’m going to attempt to be more consistent with my practice and meditate every day - and I encourage you too as well.


1. It helps you succeed in your other resolutions. Mindfulness meditation has been studied as a strategy for dealing with overeating and a host of other problems. Additionally, mindfulness meditation can reduce levels of stress and increase focus, which may help you stick to your resolution this year.

2. It supercharges your brain. In addition to boosting focus, mindfulness can also improve your working memory: the part of our brain that juggles temporary information and helps us communicate and solve life’s daily problems. That same study found that mindfulness improved student performance on tests. Cognitive flexibility, or our brain’s ability to quickly “shift gears,” also benefits from mindfulness meditation.

3. It helps you live a happier, healthier life. Stress isn’t just bad for your psyche, it’s bad for your physical well-being. But besides stress, mindfulness has also been shown to promote general psychological well-being and even lower your blood pressure. People who practiced mindfulness meditation also reported greater levels of satisfaction in their relationships.

So where do you get started? Mindfulness can be done individually, or in groups. There are plenty of mindfulness apps, like Headspace, that offer guided meditation lessons in as little as 10 minutes. But for others, seeking professional guidance from a licensed mental health professional who specializes in mindfulness might be the most helpful.

For more on positive psychology, follow Dr. Fader on Twitter or Facebook.

About the Author
Jonathan Fader, Ph.D.

Jonathan Fader, Ph.D., is a psychologist and an assistant professor of family medicine at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine.

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