How can Meditation Improve My Daily Life?
A wave of meditation is hitting the globe with fast-growing popularity. Let’s face it, meditation is hip, and there is a lot of hype about it.
So what’s all the yak? What’s causing people to gravitate towards this mindfulness thing?
Perhaps it’s due to the many health benefits, both mental and physical. What’s that you say? Well, there’s a lot you can benefit from meditation.
“We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think.”– Buddha
The appearance of meditation dates back to BC (Before Christ). Humans have been using this ancient knowledge since the beginning of time to give life the attention that it deserves.
The forms that have been developed today in comparison to the types that have been talked about in the past resemble similarities in awareness. How does a human think and training the mind to function a particular way rather than another?
Well, it all starts with taking the time to approach your thoughts and recognize the pattern of your mind. It can only go one of two ways.
Your mind either daydreams about a future moment, and sinks into memories of the past. How do you train the mind to stay here, now, in the current moment? Have you arrived at the task at hand?
It’s only human for the mind to wander, and it is essential to remain kind to yourself as it does.
Mindfulness is a practice that helps you control your mind and stay in the present moment. So that when you are washing the dishes you arrive at the moment. You feel the way the warm water washes over your skin, and the soupy bubbles slip through your hands.
Mindfulness practice requires you to recognize your senses and put them at utmost importance, forgetting your thoughts, focusing on the breath and the sensations of the task at hand. How does your shirt feel against your back? Your feet against the ground, the breath as it passes over your upper lip?
Ask yourself these sensational-type questions, and you’ll start your mindfulness practice and ability to focus. The key is to arrive at the task at hand and give whatever you are doing full attention as if all of it has a life and purpose that leads to your unfolding.
Mindfulness is something that you can integrate into your everyday life while performing any task at hand, while meditation is a time that you set aside during the day to sit in silence.
It is very similar to mindfulness, and there are so many different types of meditation out there. Our favorite example is the practice of merely focusing on the natural breath.
Close your eyes and set a timer for 5-10 minutes. Focus on the way the breath feels against your upper lip. And each time your mind wanders back to the breath.
But in case you want to try everything out, we encourage you to sign up for a meditation workshop at your local yoga studio!
Imeditatedc.org has free meditation workshops across the city. There are also a whole bunch of free meditations on Youtube!
There are also guided meditations for the release of stress and anxiety.
No matter how you meditate, remember to remain non-judgemental, give it a try, pretend you are an anthropologist with no expectations or bias. These practices have been around for thousands of years and continue to remain a part of the human tradition- that should be reason enough to give it a go.
The Benefits Of Meditation
If you are still feeling iffy about practicing mindfulness and meditation, we are going to go over a bit of scientific research.
Based on an article by the Nation Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, (better known as NIH) there is a lot of research out there that points to the fantastic impacts of mindfulness and meditation on the human mind and body.
Meditation and the Mind
In 2012 scientific researchers decided to analyze pictures of the brain from 50 adult meditators and compare those images to 50 adult non-meditators.
The results were pretty amazing and actually recognized more folds on the outer layer of the brain in the adults that did meditate for many years. The process that creates these extra folds is called gyrification, and it boosts the ability of the human brain to process information.
Meditation and the Body
In 2016 NIH funded a study on mindfulness and pain. Researchers found that meditation access certain areas of the brain that respond to pain. They conducted a survey of patients with back pain and found that participants in the mindfulness-based stress reduction study group had a more significant improvement in functionality and pain reduction than the control group.
Meditation was also found to lower blood pressure and help with anxiety, depression, and insomnia. If you’re suffering from any of these conditions, try out meditation in your daily life. It can be a great way to integrate health, awareness, and concentration.
Meditation Heals Your Body Naturally
Naturopathy is all about using the body’s innate healing powers to heal itself. As a Naturopathic Doctor, I think that it is vital to give our bodies the attention that they deserve.
While mindfulness and meditation are both essential, they are not a fix-all when it comes to healing your body.
It is essential to understand your genetic background and do some blood tests to figure out the root of your problems. Let’s tackle your energy levels, stress, anxiety, or any other issues that might be plaguing you.
Come into my office and schedule an appointment with me today.
We will come up with a solution together on how to best increase the vitality of your life- naturally.