Mindfulness Meditation

Mindfulness Meditation

Mindfulness meditation is a practice that improves your skills on “staying in the moment”. It also  teaches you to accept your thoughts and emotions, slow down, let go of negativity and calm both  your mind and body. 

There are so many techniques and ways about mindfulness meditation. Such as spending time in  nature or just moving and increasing your physical activity are just a few ways of meditation.

Effect on your health

How it's effect your body and health?

The underlying mechanism of our mind and body have not been systematically explored but in the  light of recent studies and researches, we know the results of meditation. 

☝🏻 Benefits for so many diseases: Studies have shown benefits against an array of conditions  both physical and mental, including irritable bowel syndrome, fibromyalgia, psoriasis,  anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder. 

🩺 Lower heart rate: Studies have shown meditators have lower heart rates and perform better  on a test of cardiovascular capacity. 

📈 Improved immunity: Recent studies have established that greater relative left-sided anterior  activation at baseline is associated with enhanced immune function using measures of NK  activity 

😌 Decreased stress: With meditation practice, studies have shown the grey matter in your  brain’s amygdala – a region known for its role in stress – can become smaller 

🎨 Increased creativity: It also increases creativity with the grey matter in the pre-frontal cortex  which is the area of the brain responsible for things like planning, problem-solving is  becoming thicker. 

🤔 Improved immunity in HIV+ patients: Recent research indicates that relaxation and stress  management procedures increase T-cytotoxic/suppressor (CD3+CD) lymphocytes in HIV infected men. 

💉 Increased effect on the vaccine: Researchers also found significant increases in antibody  titers to influenza vaccine among subjects in the meditation compared with the controlling  group. 

How to improve?

Mindfulness meditation is a practice for your brain. So just like going to the gym, you can improve your brain and strengthen your immune system with mindfulness meditation exercises.

Now because it is an internet world, you can find so many resources online and you can look for apps, especially if you think about meditating. But there are even simpler ways to be more mindful. There are some tips for improving your awareness:

🧘🏻‍♀️ Meditate: Even with 5-10 minutes per day with meditation, you can feel more aware and healthy. If you do it before sleep, It also increases your sleep productivity. There are apps for guided meditation which is a meditation technique under the guidance of a trained practitioner or teacher. Or you can just focus on your breathing and let go of your thoughts yourself.

🌅 Spend time in nature: Doing especially outdoor activities in nature makes your body and spirit relieved. It can be walking, running, climbing -whatever you want to do outside.

🍽️ Eat mindfully: Eating only when you are really hungry, and listening to your body for the effects of the meal is a basic tip to improve awareness. Make a mindful choice about what you eat and when you eat. Also before eating a delicious meal, you can take a moment to breathe and analyse the thing you are eating. How does it look? What is the texture of it? Then you can smell it. Take one bite but before you chew, feel it in your mouth. It will be hard but it will be one of your best meals.

🔔 Take a break: Time is always running and we are always so busy. In this run of life, sometimes we forgot to take a break and listen to our bodies. Take mini-breaks and pay attention to your body rather than the task you are doing.

📋 Focus on one thing at a time: Switchtasking is decreasing our productivity. So make a wise choice and focus on one thing at a time. It will increase your productivity and mindfulness.

🙇🏻‍♀️ Create your own meditation! Like these listed tips, there are so many ways to improve your mindfulness in daily life. Listen to your body and find what makes you feel like you are in the moment and create your own mindfulness meditation.

 

References:

  • Harvard Study: Clearing Your Mind Affects Your Genes And Can Lower Your Blood Pressure (WBUR)
  • The Harvard Gazette: When science meets mindfulness
  • Verywellmind: What Is Mindfulness Meditation?
  • Bupa UK: How does mindfulness affect the brain?
  • Davidson RJ, Irwin W. The functional neuroanatomy of emotion and affective style. Trends Cogn Sci 1999;3:11–21.
  • Davidson RJ. Emotion and affective style: hemispheric substrates. Psychol Sci 1992;3:39 – 43.Kang DH, Davidson RJ, Coe CL, Wheeler RW, Tomarken AJ, ErshlerWB. Frontal brain asymmetry and immune function. Behav Neurosci1991;105:860 –9.
  • Davidson RJ, Coe CC, Dolski I, Donzella B. Individual differences in prefrontal activation asymmetry predict natural killer cell activity at rest and in response to challenge. Brain Behav Immun 1999;13:93–108.
  • Antoni MH. Cognitive-based stress management intervention effects on anxiety, 24-hr urinary norepinephrine output, and T-cytotoxic/suppressor cells over time among symptomatic HIV infected gay men. J Consult Clin Psychol 2000;68:31– 45.
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