“Breathe. Let go. And remind yourself that this very moment is the only one you know you have for sure.” – Oprah Winfrey
I meditate – do you? Meditation is often credited with helping people feel more focused and energetic, but are the benefits measurable? Yes – they are! Meditation involves more than naps or exercise.
At the Annual Meeting of the Society for Neuroscience, Dr. Prashant Kaul of the University of Kentucky took 12 students who did not meditate and taught them the basics in two short sessions.
Then, over a series of weeks, the students were asked to come in and take a test devised to measure skills like reaction time. The tests involved a series of visual cues on a display screen that the volunteers had to react to by pushing the correct button. The students were asked to take the tests in mid- to late afternoon, when people tend to be sleepiest. They did so before and after 40 minutes of meditating, napping or exercising, or after taking caffeine. Napping produced poor results, presumably because of “sleep inertia,” the researchers said. Caffeine helped, and exercise was unpredictable.
Earlier studies have found that people are awake while meditating but that their brains undergo changes similar to patterns found in sleep. Some studies have found that people who meditate a lot report sleeping less, so the researchers were curious to see if meditation could serve the same function as sleep. The results support the idea that it can. In fact, when some of the students were asked to skip a night’s sleep and then take the test, the researchers said, meditation was even more helpful. They said they did not know if caffeine and meditation combined would be even better.
Meditation is the practice of focusing your attention and mind on something that makes you feel calm and relaxed and gives you clarity about your life. The medical community is becoming much more accepting of meditation as a legitimate treatment for many different medical problems, such as anxiety, stress and depression. It’s being used treat all kinds of chronic pain. People are using meditation to try to quit smoking. It’s also being used for alcohol and drug addiction. And the National Institutes of Health is even recommending meditation for high blood pressure. Studies have show also that it can help women who suffer from PMS, menopausal hot flashes and even infertility.
Meditation beats medication – and these points are important reminders:
- Meditation can be a form of medication
- Meditation helps your enter a relaxation state that can lower your heart rate, your blood pressure, slow down your breathing and relax your muscles
- Meditation can be a “reset button” for your body
- Meditation is something that most people can safely try on their own
- Take time each day to meditate and connect with the silence within yourself
- Prayer and meditation is a way to be at peace
- Developing a deeper sense of peace and direction will give you a clearer sense of purpose at work and at home
Exercise is a form of meditation
- Chinese medicine practitioners often recommend medical Qi Gong, a form of Chinese healing exercises
- Qi Gong focuses on breathing and movement of Qi to increase physical harmony and strength and establish spiritual/emotional peace
- Exercise helps you to refocus and regroup
1. Sit or lie in a comfortable position with your eyes closed.
2. Simply focus on your breathing, focusing all your attention on sensation of air moving in and out of your body.
3. The other thing you can do is repeat a single word or phrase either silently or by whispering. 4. Do this for about 20 minutes every day if you can
As you begin, your mind may wander, but don’t despair, simply refocus your mind and try again.
So, are these shoes made for walking, for exercising, for weight loss?
Wow – we continue to see more physiological footwear on the market – shoes aimed at bringing our bodies into alignment, balancing the weight, burning calories, and more! Well, I have tried several of them, and while the center-of-gravity issue was present in some, the benefit of feeling one’s muscles moving for the first time in years is a huge plus.
Physiological footwear may have a permanent place in a niche market, but it’s not going to revolutionize female American butts. Only squats, lunges, and fewer donuts will accomplish that. (http://www.businesspundit.com/reebok-easytone-shoes-promise-to-tone-your-butt-fad-alert/)
Is your glass half-full or half-empty? Do you see the positive side of life or the negative side to everything? I have a colleague who wisely states that each day that we wake up on this side of the earth is a good day – and it is time to start releasing your negativity and appreciate each day for what it is!
My mom was the most negative person I ever knew. She was happy when she made other people unhappy. Do you know anyone like that? I hope not.
My mantra in life is to surround myself with people who come with batteries – not those who need them. In doing so, I think positive thoughts, release negativity as needed, and I feel better in the process.
So, what are some methods that we might use to release negativity?
- A visual board (cut and paste photos of the positive things in your life and review it daily; add those things that you wish to accomplish and reflect on your accomplishments as they occur)
- Positive expectations (see the winning trophy before you, and chances are that it is within your reach)
- Let a higher power help you (pray)
- Emotional release (we store memories in our bodies, and we need to release those energy stores periodically)
- Close your eyes in a quiet location
- Select the negative energy you wish to release; concentrate and feel it pass through your body
- Repeat the process with each issue or emotion as follows: Imagine that it fills up your body, then imagine blowing all that emotion into a balloon. Breathe the emotion out of your body, out of your mind. You may notice as you blow the emotion into the balloon, that it changes colors. It may turn brown or black with the energy of that negative emotion. When the balloon is full, imagine tying it off, and let it float up into the sky. Continue filling the balloons, tying them off and letting them float up until you feel complete release
- Let yourself feel peaceful
Feeling better is a process! Being a positive human being is a process! These are processes that you can achieve and appreciate. Let those glasses be half-full; raise them high and celebrate the release of your negative feelings. Celebrate the positives in your life!