Published on August 6, 2020

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Photography by Aaron Bengochea

Close your eyes. Take a deep breath in. Hold it, and then slowly exhale. Repeat. If you’re someone who has taken up meditation in the past few months, you’re far from alone—downloads of the Headspace app have doubled since mid-March, and attendance on its live group meditations is up by 70 percent. We know that taking a little time each day to quiet our thoughts can have a major, positive effect on our stress levels, and now a new study confirms the benefits of meditation are even greater.

While baking bread and playing Animal Crossing might make us feel good in the moment, meditation is a popular quarantine habit scientifically proven to make us healthier. Research published in late June shows that those who engage in the mindfulness practice have a lowered risk of high cholesterol, high blood pressure, stroke, and coronary artery disease, the New York Times reported. Many of these conditions, lead researcher Dr. Chayakrit Krittanawong explains, are also related to stress levels.

But if it stresses you out to even think of finding 30 minutes in your day to simply sit and breathe, there’s some more good news: Headspace recently launched a bite-size version of its meditations on Snapchat, Headspace Mini, which features three- to four-minute sessions that are simple to follow along with, even if you’re “just not a meditation person.” All you have to do is pick the one that suits your mood, whether you’re in a funk, feel yourself spiraling under pressure, or just need a pick-me-up. One thing’s for certain: Closing your eyes and breathing might just be the easiest task on your quarantine to-do list.

Introducing Domino’s new podcast, Design Time, where we explore spaces with meaning. Each week, join editor-in-chief Jessica Romm Perez along with talented creatives and designers from our community to explore how to create a home that tells your story. Listen now and subscribe for new episodes every Thursday.

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