What is Meditation?
It is a beneficial practice of intentionally clearing your mind to create a deeper awareness of the body and soul. Meditation can be a strange place to be especially for someone just starting out, it brings forward emotions from throughout your life and allows them to pass. Many people use meditation as a tool for self reflection and discovery, as well as stress relief. Other relaxation techniques such as; deep breathing, visualization, and sequenced movement can be integrated into your meditation practice to allow you to experience different parts yourself.
Deep breathing and focused breathing allows the mind to settle on something specific to help it clear of daily worries and reduce stress levels. Your breath will also be stimulating the Vagus Nerves on either side of the body, sending electric impulses from your abdomen through to the brain stem inducing a calming effect. When deep breathing is combined with other techniques it becomes a very powerful and effective tool for stress reduction. This stimulation is being studied to for treating hard-to-treat depression that is unresponsive to medications.
It is also being looked at for treating headaches, anxiety, pain, multiple sclerosis, and Alzheimer’s.
These techniques have been commonly used when someone has a particular intention they want to accomplish. This can be anything from using a colour to focus on or a specific scenario you are trying to work out. Many situations in life require a visualization as it can be very beneficial.One of the most well-known and used types of visualization is ideokinesis, or imaginary movement visualization. Where you imagine what you are trying to achieve while practicing the movements or scene in your mind, this works to reduce anxiety and improve performance.
My intention this week was to focus on my posture, while sitting and working on content for my social media and my blog I catch myself falling into a weird curved spine feet up on chair position that ends up really kinking my back and hips. During my practice I use visualization by putting intention into engaging my core, straightening my back, keeping my shoulders pulled back and down. During my yoga practice bringing my self back to that moment making sure every movement is protecting and strengthening my spine and core. While I am sitting and writing I subconsciously end up going back to those moments, checking in on how I am feeling and I once again I engage with that intention.
Meditation as a stress reduction technique has gain significant following over the years in western society but in many other societies has been practiced for a millennia. Mindfulness Meditation has found its place in many hearts as it is such a powerful practice. During mindfulness meditation you would find a comfortable position either sitting or laying down, closing your eyes and bring yourself to that moment, focusing on breathing and sensations within your body it is easier to stay present. During this practice when thoughts come to the surface, do not ignore them but allowing yourself to feel that emotion and then letting it pass. By allowing thoughts to flow in and then to flow out without being distracted from breath, it acts like a workout for the brain. The practice of letting thoughts go becomes easier the more often you do it, when you apply this strategy to everyday life you can consciously assess find yourself able to release.
I challenge you to meditate! 10 days in a row for a 5 minutes a day and see if you feel the difference in yourself.