By Anna Mandhar@AnnaMandhar
Meditation is a tool that enables us to go beyond the realms of anxiety, fear, doubt, and judgement as we enter a place of ‘inner peace’ and ‘expanded awareness’. It is in this place in which we are reminded that our essential nature is one of peace, creativity, bliss, wholeness, balance and love. With all the stress of living in today’s busy world of work and networking through the vast amount of technology, the working guy is psychologically overloaded with stress. Meditation can help with stress caused from balancing work, relationships, family and social commitments. It also awakens creativity, healing and transformation in all areas of our lives.
Benefits Of Meditation
Decreased blood pressure
Decreased heart rate
Decreased stress hormone
The Science Behind It
Meditation has scientifically been proven to reduce the stress response known as 'fight or flight' which arises from a primitive part of our brain and is caused by any threat to our safety or happiness. The physiological changes that can occur are:
Raised blood pressure and heart rate
Weakened immune system
Increased stress hormone
The regular onset of the fight/flight activation can cause immense physiological changes to our body and can cause weakened immunity. Meditation can potentially change this by allowing our body to shift into ‘restful awareness’ and when practiced on a long-term basis, can change our stress response permanently.
An article written by Makiko Kitamure implemented by Harvard Yoga Scientists, have found evidence to support this claim that meditation and yoga are methods in which we can ‘ward off stress and disease'. John Denninger, a psychiatrist at Harvard Medical School is leading a five-year study on how these ancient practices can actually affect genes and brain activity in chronically stressed individuals. This is the first study of its kind to use neuro-imaging and genomics technology to detect psychological change in detail rather than previous studies which have relied on using tools such as participant questionnaires as well as simpler measures of heart rate and blood pressure monitoring. Denninger’s research confirms that meditation affects the whole body and not just the brain; hence he states that although pharmaceuticals are essential, he sees meditation and yoga as useful additions.
Begin to Meditate
Anyone can meditate. A nice simple meditation mantra to use is 'So Hum' which is an ancient Sanskrit word meaning 'I am'. Set your alarm for 30 minutes if you can manage this. Sit on a comfortable chair or in lotus position on the floor. Gently close your eyes and then take a few deep breaths slowly begin saying the word ‘So’ silently to yourself as you inhale, as you exhale say ‘Hum’ quietly. Focus on your breath and keep repeating this mantra until you drift into a deep stillness within. If you find that you are distracted by thoughts, rest knowing that this is normal and gently drift back to the mantra ‘So Hum’. You can meditate for anywhere up to 30 minutes twice a day and doing so on a regular basis will guide you to 'inner peace' and 'expanded awareness' to enable you to find balance in your daily life.
Transform your Life with Meditation
Mediation helps us to experience wholeness, make more conscious choices and improve our emotional and physical well being. Being more mindful of our actions and becoming less reactive, will enable us to flourish in all our relationships and connections with others. Start 2014 on the right foot by introducing some meditation into your lives, unlock the door to creativity and watch how your life transforms!
'Everything in the universe is within you. Ask all from yourself.'
Sufi Poet Rumi
About Anna Mandhar
I am a Certified Seven Spiritual Laws of Yoga Teacher trained at the Chopra Center, I am a writer, I am a Reiki Practitioner, I am a Meditator – feel free to follow my new blog www.freetohealblog.com.