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Friday, March 15, 2013

Meditation Daily can decrease stress




With the world a buzz and living in a fast food nation do we ever slow down? Not really and even when we do rest our body our mind is reeling with what is happening in the day or what is to come within the next few days.

It is no wonder many people have a great deal of stress they never take time to decompress and get rid of the worries of today. Stress is associated with anxiety disorder, heart disease, headaches, feeling overwhelmed, and it taxes our physical body every day.

We know that research has shown that reducing stress in our lives will help us mentally and physically. When my mom had her first heart attack the doctors told her to limit the stress she had in her life. Well that was a difficult feat for her to bear. However, continuing a life full of stress may take years off your life and potentially cause other harmful situations such as an anxiety disorder.

We know everyone has had anxiety and it is a physiological drive in our body. Does that mean anxiety wins? For some “yes” and for others who have found the art of meditation “no.”

Researchers from Harvard Medical studied the art of meditation and found information regarding what they term, “disease fighting genes.” The researchers suggest that when you meditate these genes are turned “on.” This means that when you meditate you turn these “disease fighting genes” on and they fight disease such as pain, infertility, Rheumatoid Arthritis, and high blood pressure.

What the researchers found was when someone meditated the individual’s meditation caused, “A relaxation effect” this phenomenon is just as powerful as taking a medical drug for the specific disease.

During this study they asked participants of the research groups to meditate everyday for two months. The participants were taught how to meditate to cause the relaxation effect. After two months of meditating every day the researches found that inflammation for participants came down, the genes that were turned on were killing diseased cells, and a protection mechanism for Cancer were all turned “on” during the meditation.

These are huge accomplishments with meditation. Not only that but research suggest that meditation lowers blood pressure, reduces stress, and allows the body to get into a repair state of being.

You can see the benefits that one can receive from engaging in meditation each and every day.

7 Health Benefits of Deep Relaxation 

The next time you tune out and switch off and let yourself melt, remind yourself of all the good work the relaxation effect is doing on your body. These are just some of the scientifically proven benefits …


1. INCREASED IMMUNITY


Relaxation appears to boost immunity in recovering cancer patients. A study at the Ohio State University found that progressive muscular relaxation, when practiced daily, reduced the risk of breast cancer recurrence. In another study at Ohio State, a month of relaxation exercises boosted natural killer cells in the elderly, giving them a greater resistance to tumors and to viruses.


2. EMOTIONAL BALANCE


Emotional balance means to be free of all the neurotic behavior that results from the existence of a tortured and traumatized ego. This is very hard to achieve fully, but meditation certainly is the way to cure such neurosis and unhealthy emotional states. As one’s consciousness is cleansed of emotionally soaked memories, not only does great freedom abound, but also great balance. As one’s responses then are not colored by the burdens one carries, but are instead true, direct and appropriate.


3. INCREASED FERTILITY


A study at the University of Western Australia found that women are more likely to conceive during periods when they are relaxed rather than stressed. A study at Trakya University, in Turkey, also found that stress reduces sperm count and motility, suggesting relaxation may also boost male fertility.


4. RELIEVES IRRITABLE BOWEL SYNDROME


When patients suffering from irritable bowel syndrome began practicing a relaxation meditation twice daily, their symptoms of bloating, diarrhea and constipation improved significantly. The meditation was so effective the researchers at the State University of New York recommended it as an effective treatment.


5. LOWERS BLOOD PRESSURE


A study at Harvard Medical School found that meditation lowered blood pressure by making the body less responsive to stress hormones, in a similar way to blood pressure-lowering medication. Meanwhile a British Medical Journal report found that patients trained how to relax had significantly lower blood pressure.


6. ANTI-INFLAMMATORY


Stress leads to inflammation, a state linked to heart disease, arthritis, asthma and skin conditions such as psoriasis, say researchers at Emory University in the US. Relaxation can help prevent and treat such symptoms by switching off the stress response. In this way, one study at McGill University in Canada found that meditation clinically improved the symptoms of psoriasis.


7. CALMNESS


The simple difference between those who meditate and those who do not is that for a meditative mind the thought occurs but is witnessed, while for an ordinary mind, the thought occurs and is the boss. So in both minds, an upsetting thought can occur, but for those who meditate it is just another thought, which is seen as such and is allowed to blossom and die, while in the ordinary mind the thought instigates a storm which rages on and on.


How to switch off stress 

How can you use relaxation's healing powers? Harvard researchers found that yoga; meditation and even repetitive prayer and mantras all induced the relaxation effect. ''The more regularly these techniques are practiced, the more deeply rooted the benefits will be,'' Jake Toby says. Try one or more of these techniques for 15 minutes once or twice a day.


Body Scan: Starting with your head and working down to your arms and feet, notice how you feel in your body. Taking in your head and neck, simply notice if you feel tense, relaxed, calm or anxious. See how much you can spread any sensations of softness and relaxation to areas of your body that feel tense. Once your reach your feet, work back up your body.


Breath Focus: Sit comfortably. Tune into your breath, follow the sensation of inhaling from your nose to abdomen and out again. Let tension go with each exhalation. When you notice your mind wandering, return to your breath.


Mantra Repetition: sitting quietly with eyes closed for 15 minutes twice a day, and mentally repeating a simple word or sound such as Om can evoke the relaxation response.


Guided Imagery: Imagine a wonderfully relaxing light or a soothing waterfall washing away tension from your body and mind. Make your image vivid, imagining texture, color and any fragrance as the image washes over you.

 



For more information please go to this sitehttp://foodmatters.tv/articles-1/7-health-benefits-of-meditation

I would like to share with you my experience thus far with meditation. I have been doing the 21-day meditation challenge with Oprah and Depak Chopra. Each day they guide me through a 16 minute meditation. Today is day 5 of the challenge. I find time no matter what to do this because I know it will benefit me greatly. Those of you who read my blog know that Cancer has been quite an issue for my family and I am determined to make changes that my ancestors did not know about to become healthier and to increase my chances of being healthier.

The first few days of my meditation my mind was a buzz and I kept having random thoughts pop up about what I should be doing and need to be doing. I pushed them aside and ignored them. I decided to lie down for the majority of my meditations and would turn on my electric blanket and lie on it to help me to relax. On day 3 I stopped having random thoughts passing by and I instead had new insights come to me. I felt more relaxed than I have ever felt even when sleeping. My body was still and in sinc with my meditation and answers I needed to be answered became answered.

During today's meditation, I sat in my chair and did it and still felt the same intense relaxation. I found myself sitting on a beach and animals were all around me. At first a black bear cub showed up and just sat down next to me and then an owl came and talked to me for a few minutes about a question that I had been frustrated over. I sat there watching the sun set sitting on the beach listening to the waves crash the shoreline and was surrounded by furry friends. 

I must say it was quite an amazing and uplifting moment for me and it only took 16 minutes of my day away from me. What have I noticed in my body so far? My heart used to beat a little erratic nothing to worry about the doctor says but I was worried none the less. It has stopped since I started this meditation journey. Now I have meditated many times in the past but I have not been very regular with any of it.

I went to the doctors the other day and already by blood pressure had dropped. I was ecstatic about the news. I feel more grounded and more productive in a day that I have meditated as opposed to a day when I have not. I don't think there will be another day that I won't spend those 16 minutes in bliss. I may even add an additional 16 minutes before bed at night and I bet I would sleep more soundly and restful than before. I will let you know as I continue this journey of meditation.

I am meditating to heal my physical body and to decrease stress in my life. What can meditation do for you? Give it a try and see. I would love for others to share their story of meditation and what it does for them so don't be shy. Share with us your story. Until next time

Namaste

Here are some great meditations to guide you to good health

You will want to lie down or get very comfy with this meditation and you need a pair of headphones to get the full benefit. This is the 30 minute one that I do in the afternoons. I do the 16 minute one in the morning.