What is meditation and what is it all about? It is a way of quieting the mind. It is not the same as Yoga or Tai Chi. This article will give you the basic knowledge on what is meditation and mindfulness.
What is meditation and mindfulness? It is the quieting and centering of the mind in order to create balance, improve one’s physical and mental health and alleviate one’s life of stress. Mindfulness has been recognized and acknowledged by the American Psychological Association as the first step towards maintaining optimal brain health. Mindfulness-based neurotherapy is a eight-week evidence based therapy that provides secular, mindful practice to help people with chronic anxiety, depression and tension from stress.
The first step on what is meditation and mindfulness is to accept the present moment with acceptance. In meditation, we learn to experience the present moment non-judgmentally and objectively. Mindfulness is a state of fullness wherein you are fully present with the present moment. Being present does not mean being unreal. It also does not mean being distracted or inattentive. When you practice mindfulness-based breathing, movement, relaxation and awareness meditation, your body will be more readily able to experience the body’s natural flexibility.
Secondly, meditation is a method of exploring the body and connecting the body, heart, and mind for improved health and well-being. By meditating, you are less likely to experience anxiety or depression which is associated with prolonged stress. Meditation has been proven to be highly effective in reducing the symptoms of those disorders. Meditation helps the body’s immune system to function at its optimum level. And, most importantly, meditation is great for brain health.
Meditation and mindfulness have many health benefits. Scientific research has shown that meditation can significantly reduce the risk of cardiac disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, some forms of cancer and Alzheimer’s disease. Meditation has also been proven to decrease the stress hormone cortisol and increase gamma amino butyric acid ( GABA), the neurotransmitter associated with anxiety. With meditation and mindfulness, the connections between the brain and body become stronger. Thus, when a person is experiencing a challenging time in life and is unable to handle tough situations, often times they are able to better manage the stress hormone cortisol without resorting to abuse drugs or alcohol which can worsen the condition.
If you need help learning to meditate, I highly recommend that you pay close attention to the following Dr. Lott recommendations: Pay Attention – First, pay attention to your breath and your body’s sensations. When you notice any tightness, discomfort, pain or any sensation that tells you that you are “out of balance”, it is time to withdraw and go back to noticing your breath and body sensations. It may be helpful to bring your own music or sound therapy to help you to relax during this practice. Breathe Out – Next, slowly inhale through your nose while thinking of something positive, such as being happy or a successful outcome that you want to see for yourself. This will help you to let go of any feelings of discomfort, tension or worry that you may be experiencing.
You may want to follow Dr. Lott’s recommendation of paying attention to your breath and body sensations at least 20 times per day as part of your daily meditation practice. As you continue in your mindful meditation practice, you will find that you are more aware of how your body feels and that you are more easily able to control your responses to what is going on around you. When you are more aware of your physical sensations, you can then learn to better manage your reactions to what is going on in your life. As you continue with your daily meditation practice, eventually you will find that you can control your reactions to the things that happen around you, no matter how difficult they may be.
Many people who have participated in a mindfulness-based therapy program have found that they have a deeper understanding of themselves and a greater sense of wellbeing overall. Of course, everyone’s experience is different and there may not be a solution that works for everyone. However, if you are struggling with depression, anxiety or other mental health issues, you may want to look into the possibility of meditation and mindfulness as part of a holistic residential treatment center treatment plan. This could provide you with the unique opportunity to address your issues from a spiritual perspective.