When times are stressful our minds can go into overdrive, and so we wanted to look at how meditation can help us. If we are stressed, we might worry, try to find solutions and feel depressed. Clearing the mind with meditation can really help with our mental and physical health as we discuss below, so why not take some time in the day and spend it meditating.
At Nakin we dedicate our work to our award-winning natural face products, and we love the environment and all things natural. We focus on beauty, but our whole philosophy is about living a holistic natural lifestyle where possible. Meditation can be part of our daily lives or used during stressful situations. When times are challenging our minds go into overdrive and situations can take over. As well as meditating it’s a good idea to look at our problems and think what you can do about the situation, and this may help however small the actions might be. Talk things through with other people as they may offer excellent advice, or a different way of seeing things. As well as these steps meditation is proven to help, and we look at the benefits and how to do it below.
The Benefits of Meditating
We have researched the benefits of meditation and to gain the scientific facts and be sure that we are advising the correct details we gathered some information from AsapScience. Meditation first started in India thousands of years ago, so there is a lot that is known about its benefits for our physical, spiritual and emotional well-being as listed below:
- During meditation medical brain scans have shown increased activity in areas directly correlated with decreased anxiety and depression, along with increased tolerance to stress. When the mind is at rest and not focusing on the outside world it is able to help with self-awareness and make us more compassionate. When scientists compared the brains of Buddhist monks to new meditators, they found the region of the brain associated with empathy to be much more pronounced in the monks.
- Meditation can alter your brain waves as meditators have higher levels of Alpha waves which have been shown to reduce feelings of negative moods, sadness and anger.
- Meditating can physically change our brain shape after eight weeks of practice. After eight weeks of a meditation program the grey matter was denser in areas associated with learning, memory and processing emotions.
- Physically meditation can reduce blood pressure and increase the variability of our heart rate, to better transport oxygen and carbon dioxide throughout our body.
- Meditation can even help with illness; as a study found that when meditators and non-meditators were given the flu virus the meditators were able to produce more antibodies and had a greater immune function.
- Meditating also helps at a cellular level as our chromosomes have protein complexes called telomeres which help reduce damage to our DNA and cells. Meditating is thought to improve the length of telomeres which helps with all sorts of disease such as cardiovascular, diabetes, Alzheimer’s and cancer. Of course, meditation is not a substitute for other medical treatment or a healthy lifestyle, but it can be a complementary therapy.
How to Meditate
The way that you meditate can be a personal thing, and there are many apps available to help with this. But if you fancy trying something as a start, then we found a simple method adapted from the Gaiam website as below:
- Find a quiet space where you will not be disturbed and turn off all devices.
- Sit or lie down comfortably and close your eyes.
- Breathe naturally without controlling the breath.
- Focus your attention on the breath and on how the body moves with every inhalation and exhalation. Take notice of the movement in the body as you breathe. Observe how the chest, shoulders, rib cage and belly move as you breathe. If your mind roams, then return focus back to the breath.
- Continue the practice for two to three minutes to start with, and then for longer periods as you become more experienced in meditating. Once you get the hang of it then it’s easier to fit it into your daily routine, and it’s a great strategy to calm the mind whenever you need to.