The majority of us are busy from the minute we wake to the moment we fall asleep. Hopefully, we get get a restorative night sleep so we can embrace the challenges of the next day. It is becoming ever apparent that we all, and some more than others, are feeling overwhelmed by life and the many decisions we have to make day to day. How we manage these decisions and the stress that comes with them as a profound effect on out health and well-being.
An abundance of research and studies has clearly provided us with some solid findings that getting stimulating exercise, proper nutrition, adequate sleep, positive approach to life and healthy relationships are the foundation for minimizing stress and creating wellness.
An area that does get mention but needs further discussion is mindfulness meditation. Meditation is the quieting of the mind and the awareness of living in the moment. It is at it’s simplistic form a way to slow the brain and the nervous system down. It enables us to shift out of the high gear ( sympathetic nervous system ) and into a low gear ( parasympathetic nervous system). This allows the mind and body to become more integrated and allows a person to become more present and focused, which ultimately allows you to gain clarity and process information better. In this super fast moving and multitasking world that we all live in, meditation can give you an edge in handling and processing all the information.
Meditation changes the brain. Studies indicate that people who meditate regularly have more gyrification ( folding) in the cortical brain and these extra folds seem to help regulate distractions and improve cognitive function.
Mindfulness meditation ( 10-12 minutes per day) can make you more productive. In the journal Emotion, a study has shown that mindfulness improves working memory, the “system we tap into for managing information, controlling emotions, problem solving and complex thought”.
It may also play a role in boosting positive brain neuro-chemicals which could help combat depression and help in managing chronic pain.
Children with ADHD who practiced Transcendental Meditation for 10 minutes twice a day were able to significantly reduce their symptoms within 3 – 6 months. This may have huge implications for children with learning difficulties. It may also help counter some of the negative brain effects that children experience due to prolonged use of video games.
Additionally, deep relaxation brought on from meditation may impact bodies and thus longevity on a genetic level. Research indicates that genes that protect us from hypertension, rheumatoid arthritis and infertility were switched on by the “relaxation effect”.
Mediation classes and course are available everywhere and can be found at yoga studios, health clubs, spas and online.
Take time to slow down and you will find that a quiet mind leads to a more productive life.