During times of stress it is important to look after ourselves and increase our self care.
One potent tool for transforming stress is meditation
Why should I Meditate?
The benefits of meditation are numerous! Studies scientifically show how everyone can benefit from meditation. Most importantly, this practice forms the cornerstone of a healthy lifestyle and wellness treatment plan. Why? Because it's free, you can do it at home, you can do it alone, and the continuity this affords, makes the benefits enormous. When I recommend meditation to someone it's for a variety of reasons. Often, they will need help with stress, anxiety, depression, and in these instances a grounding meditation is ideal.
Another type of meditation is Yoga Nidra. Yoga Nidra is a form of self hypnosis, known as the ‘yogic sleep’, placing you in a ‘going to sleep’ state induced by a guided meditation. Yoga Nidra is ideal for overall health and dealing with a variety of health issues, ranging from chronic pain, changing behaviours and patterns, such as anger management or addictions and habits such as giving up smoking. Likewise it is helpful in supporting a long term goal such as, fertility.
During Yoga Nidra, you are guided through a body scan, and when reaching a deep level of relaxation, will be asked to state your "Sankalpa" 3 times. Sankalpa is the Sanskrit word meaning 'intention'. Just like a creative visualization, you are planting a seed of intention in the subconscious.
The rules around setting your Sankalpa are, it must be positive, it must be said in the present tense (as if already achieved), and it needs to be a long term goal of at least 2-3 months to achieve.
For example, if someone is dealing with chronic back pain their sankalpa may be 'I am pain free'.
What Is Meditation?
Meditation is a practice we perform to help us quiet the activity of the mind, giving us greater calm and ease. It is called a practice, because the more we do it, the better we become and the easier it becomes. When performed regularly meditation has a profound effect on our nervous system, clearing our mind and helping us deal with every day stresses and challenges. It does this by balancing our parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous system, dampening down adrenal function and subsequent stress hormones.
Just to be clear, meditation is NOT about sitting on top of a mountain, undisturbed in full lotus pose, with empty mind and stillness. Perhaps it was possible once, in ancient times when a guru lived an isolated life in the Himalayan caves, a time before cell phones and busy lives, demanding kids and mouths to feed. In modern times this is a near impossible state for most of us to achieve, myself included, and I've been actively meditating for over seven years. Let go of the pressure, and instead anchor your thoughts to the breath or a guided meditation and begin to train the activity of the mind to slow down and begin to experience moments of stilling the mind.
Furthermore, you do not have to meditate for long periods of time to achieve all the wonderful benefits. Studies show that you only need to meditate for 10 minutes at a time, at least 4 days a week.
This makes meditation achievable for everyone.
How Do I Meditate?
My number one tip for meditation is by taking it easy on yourself. Don’t try to force anything. By making it simple you set yourself up for success.
Do it at a quiet time when you know you won't be disturbed or in the morning before life gets too busy and it ends up low on your list of priorities.
Make the most of tools that support can support you like music or guided meditation.
Remember, like everything it does take some practice and the more we do it the easier it becomes.
You do not need to silence the mind, thoughts are normal. Anchor the mind to the breath or guided meditations.
Meditation can also be anything that anchors the mind, and brings you to the moment, including gardening, exercise, yoga, or playing a musical instrument.
So find a space you won't be disturbed, get comfortable, relax and enjoy!
Follow the below link for resources and free guided meditations
If you would like to learn more or feel that meditation may be able to support or help you in some way please do not hesitate to contact our clinic on 9776 1600 to find out more.
Patterson Allied Health
Promoting Healthier and Happier Lives
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