Updated: Aug 17
Thankfully, mental health issues are a regular topic of discussion these days. Here is how meditation can help change the way you feel.
Thankfully, mental health issues are a regular topic of discussion these days. The awareness around mental health has created a platform where people struggling in secret can honestly and openly communicate about what they are going through, realizing the community surrounding them.
Those struggling with mental health, seeking holistic alternatives, may seek out healthy habits such as yoga or meditation. #Meditation is a powerful practice (notice the word practice) and can be used to cultivate self-compassion, self-awareness and a better connection to the physical and subtle body.
In our busy Western culture there is a great need for quiet and reflective practices. The reach for bigger better, stronger, faster, more is a stressor in itself, and external pressures like social media, television, and other electronic mediums inhibit our connection to self.
Meditation is a practice that supports creating a strong bond between mind, body, and spirit. The Harvard Medical School Guide to Yoga, 8 Weeks to Strength, Awareness, and Flexibility by Marlynn Wei, MD, JD and James E. Groves, MD states, “Meditation has been shown to reduce stress and improve overall well-being. It has been used in several health-care programs to reduce stress and has been shown to decrease anxiety in people with generalized anxiety disorder.” They move on to say, “Meditation also lowers stress hormones and decreases inflammation in the body. Chronic stress is a contributor to many physical illnesses, including many illnesses related to inflammation, including diabetes and cardiovascular and autoimmune diseases. One small study found that by adding meditation to walking on a treadmill, people with type 2 diabetes were better able to control their blood sugar and lower stress hormone cortisol levels doing just regular walking.” Considering stress is scientifically proven to cause inflammation in the body, it is important to cultivate mindful practices such as meditation, or perhaps yoga.
Many people are dealing with chronic stress and stress related conditions. As previously mentioned stress results in inflammation in the body but research shows meditation can improve conditions including irritable bowel syndrome, post-traumatic stress disorder and fibromyalgia.
The importance of managing and treating chronic stress is emphasized in the aforementioned facts. Managing your chronic stress can improve or eliminate gut issues, insomnia, body aches and continuously improve your overall well-being. Furthermore, your reaction to stress is incredibly important and meditation can help the way you react and shoulder stress in your day to day life.
In the weeks to come I will give you tips and ideas to get your meditation practice started.