Meditation is defined as the mind and body connected through breathing. Meditation is not only relaxing but can also help you become more attuned with your body and the environment around you. It is a highly enjoyable activity and there are so many variances to how you can practice it.
As a holistic care option for stress relief, meditation is wonderful. The emotional effects of sitting quietly and going within are profound. The deep state of rest produced by meditation triggers the brain to release naturally occurring neurotransmitters such as dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin, and endorphins. Each of these brain chemicals has been linked to different aspects of emotional well-being. This means you’ll be happier and less stressed as a result of meditation!
Here are several ways you can include meditation into your daily life as well as benefit from its wonderful health effects.
Meditate on the Breath
This is a method that will come more naturally to you as you continue to practice and become more comfortable with it. Start with 2 minutes a day and gradually increase from there as you adjust meditation into your daily routine.
You will need to choose a peaceful environment to practice, such as space outdoors surrounded by plant-life or in a quiet room with a large window. Begin by focusing on your intentions for the day. Take a deep breath and inhale for 4 counts. Hold your breath for 2 seconds, then release for 4 counts in your exhale. Make sure to hold and extend your exhale.
You can also use visuals while breathing and this will help you to become calm. As you inhale, imagine your breath circulating along the back of your spine to your 3rd eye chakra. On the exhale, imagine a blue light filling up you solar plexus chakra, located just below the belly button. You can use various visual exercises while meditating. Over time you will be able to utilize favorite visual meditations as you observe what works best for you.
Meditate on the Chakras
While meditating on the chakras you will need to visualize the same color as the area of body you are concentrating on. Visualize your breath along with the chakra color. You will begin with the heart and move up and down the chakras.
Take 3 breaths in and out for each chakra. Inhale for 4 counts, hold breath for 2 counts, exhale for 2 counts while extending your breath. Start the cycle over again for each chakra.
Chakras are characterized by color and different areas of the body:
- Violet – top crown of your head
- Indigo – third eye
- Blue – throat
- Green – heart
- Yellow- pancreas solar plexus
- Orange – sexual power
- Red – root end of the spine- survival
Meditation doesn’t have to be sedentary. Many forms of meditation also include movement while breathing. Tibetan Rites is a great moving meditation that utilizes all aspects of the body to move and communicate together. Tai Chi has similar meditational benefits.
A simple way to practice is to find a space outside and walk at a slow or medium pace while focusing on your feet. Notice when your toe touches down on the ground, when your foot is flat on the ground and when your toe points back upward. Feel the roll of your foot and observe sensory details.
Meditation is one of the best holistic care tools that has been around for millennia. It helps to counter the brain’s negativity bias, releases stress, fosters positive intentions, and helps one enjoy the peace of present moment awareness. A large body of research has established that having a regular meditation practice produces tangible benefits for mental and physical health, including:
- Decreased blood pressure and hypertension
- Lowered cholesterol levels
- Reduced production of “stress hormones,” including cortisol and adrenaline
- More efficient oxygen use by the body
- Increased production of the anti-aging hormone DHEA
- Improved immune function
- Decreased anxiety, depression, and insomnia
As researchers have found, meditation can help you tap into your brain’s deepest potential to focus, learn, and adapt. While scientists used to believe that beyond a certain age, the brain couldn’t change or grow, we now know that brain has a quality known as plasticity, enabling it to grow new neurons and transform throughout our lives. Meditation is a powerful tool for awakening new neural connections and even transforming regions of the brain.
Improves Negative Thinking and Boosts Creativity
We each have an estimated 50,000 thoughts a day—unfortunately, many of these thoughts can be repetitive and negative as our brain naturally wants to find problems with things. The mind tends to get stuck in thought loops that make it hard to be creative or inspired.
Regular meditation will help with acceptance and is a powerful practice for going beyond habitual thought patterns and into a state of expanded awareness.
Continued Peace of Mind
Having a regular meditation practice will continue to benefit you and your well-being. A regular practice will lead to peace of mind, improved sleep and focus throughout the day. You won’t regret it if you just try it!
Relax Holistic can provide other great holistic care suggestions and practices to improving your life on a daily basis. Visit us today, we have three convenient locations in the Los Angeles area!