As part of my guest blog series following the International Women’s Day post, I’m excited to add my friend Suze Yalof Schwartz, founder and CEO of the popular Los Angeles-based meditation studio and app Unplug Meditation.
I knew Suze from when we lived in NY and she was the Editor at Large for Glamour.com back in the day and hitting all the shows at New York fashion week. Suze worked in a high-pressured role as fashion editor, and “makeover guru” for Vogue, Elle, Marie Claire and Glamour Magazine with regular national television appearances on GMA, The Today Show, Oprah Winfrey Show, CNN and CBS Early Show as a style expert.
In November of 2012, the big idea came to Suze when she was taught a powerful three-minute breathing and guided visualization technique that transformed the stress she was under to calm. Blown away and wanting more, her teacher suggested meditation. Suze’s search for a place to easily learn meditation yielded disappointing results for a busy, working mother. The options were all time-consuming and expensive. Suze wondered, Where is the Drybar of meditation? Where you can walk in feeling icky and walk out feeling great? When Suze realized that meditation needed a makeover this was the beginning - Hello Unplug!
Unplug Meditation is the world's first drop-in, secular meditation studio with a wide variety of simple and eclectic classes led by the top experts and some of the best meditation teachers in the country. Clients range from ages 6 to 96, from CEOs of Fortune 500 companies to the everyday stressed-out. Unplug’s clean, modern design calms you the instant you walk through the door or follow on the app.
Like all of us, Suze is a busy person and she believes that meditation can be delivered without excess fluff or fuss and she's on a mission to inspire everyone to join her and unplug for just a few minutes a day. In this series I will share with you Suze’s Meditation tips and tricks on how we can do that.
To start here are 5 reasons why meditation makes you happier:
Meditation shrinks the amygdala, the part of the brain that controls anxiety and fear. Less anxiety and fear translates to less stress. Less stress means more joy.
Meditation can lower the amount of cortisol in the body, otherwise known as the stress hormone. Less cortisol, less stress, more capacity for joy.
Meditation can provide a level of relief from symptoms of anxiety and depression similar to that of antidepressant drugs. Peace and happiness, no prescription needed!
Experienced meditators are able to dial down their daydreaming. This matters because when our minds meander, they usually drift into worry or rumination, so less mind wandering is associated with more happiness. Being present, it turns out, is a ticket to being happy.
Meditation increases the activity in the left prefrontal cortex - the happy, calm zone of the brain.
To see more on the science of why meditation can make you happier, read Suze’s post on MindBodyGreen
Click on images to shop essentials for relaxation and meditation!
Download the Unplug app with a free 7-day trial and start your mediation practice today…it can change your life!