How Meditation Changes Your Mind & Body
Meditation trains your mind to focus on the moment instead of worrying about what occurred in the past or what could happen in the future. All you need is five minutes a day. A Study published in April 2013 in Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience reported that the practice can reduce anxiety levels by up to 22%. Research has suggested that meditating can actually form new and permanent neutral connections in the brain. Anyone can do it, and the more consistent you are, the easier it will become. So take a timer, a notepad and a pen to a quite room with soft (but not dim) lighting. Sit up straight in a comfortable chair, remove your shoes and socks and get started.
YOUR BRAIN RELEASES HAPPY CHEMICALS
You get a boost of serotonin, dopamine and endorphins, all linked to a good mood
BLOOD PRESSURE DROPS
And the effect isn't just temporary: a Medical College of Wisconsin study showed that people who meditated twice a day for 20 minutes lowered their blood pressure by 5 mm Hg.
It appears to change activity in key pain-processing regions of the brain. In one study, meditator experienced a 40%reduction in pain intensity.
It can reduce stress-induced inflammation from inflammatory conditions such as arthritis and asthma.
DIGESTION RUNS MORE SMOOTHLY
Stress triggers the stomach-churning fight-or-flight instinct, shutting down digestion. When relaxed, the body reboots the parasympathetic nervous system, which gets digestion flowing.
The more you meditate, the more you get in touch with yourself. Breathing in, feel joyful. Breathing out, feel joyful.
Sit in a comfortable position and close your eyes. Let your breathing remain natural. Relax the root of your tongue and let it drop down. Release tension around the eyes by imagining them falling toward the back of the eye sockets, and allow the space between them to widen and soften. Let any sounds that comes up fade away. Feel the air on your skin and notice your breath under your nose. Pretend you are on a tropical beach. When you inhale, feel the warmth of the sun and the touch of the breeze. When you exhale, release tension from your body. Let your breathing ebb and flow like the waves of the ocean.
Observe whether your mind is quiet of whether thoughts begin to flow. Are these creative thoughts or judgmental ones? Are you accepting the world as it is or are you somehow not satisfied? Return to your breathing each time your mind wonders.
When meditating, be aware of your mindfulness, investigating, concentration, tranquility, energy and effort, and equanimity and balance. Which qualities are present? Which are missing? See if you can enhance them at your next sitting.
Don't be angry at yourself for feeling angry, or guilty for feeling guilty. Simply recognize and acknowledge your feelings, it is the first step towards changing them.
If you maintain mindfulness, nothing can upset you. You will not become angry or agitated. You will be able to stay patient, peaceful, and happy no matter what happens. This is because a negative state of mind cannot arise at the same time as a moment of mindfulness.
Live in Peace
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