Meditation…seems like a buzz word these days. When I scroll through mediation podcasts there a meditation for everything: mediation for intimacy, meditation for forgiveness, shower meditation, self-love meditation and the list goes on. How does one choose which one to do or who to do it? Well in my opinion you can’t go wrong by pushing play on any. Sure you might not like the style of one or the sound of someone else’s voice but when you learn how to practice mediation you will quickly find what works best for you and your brain.
What is Meditation?
Meditation is a habitual process of training your mind to focus and redirect your thoughts.
So why is everyone meditating? Is it just the cool thing to do? Well it turns out it may be the cool thing to do but it’s also one of the best things you can do for your mind, body and soul! Mediation can help you tap into your true self, visualize a positive outcome, change the patterns in your brain and become a more integrated and self-regulated human.
Here’s are just 6 benefits of meditation:
- Reduces Stress
- Manages Anxiety
- Increase Self-Awareness
- Improve Sleep
- Helps Control Pain
- Helps Regulate your relationship with food
Meditation and The Brain:
Research suggests that mediation may physically change the brain and body while improving health problems and promote healthy behaviors. In 2012 results from a NCCIH (National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health) study showed that meditation can affect activity in the amygdala the part of our brains that process emotions.
The amygdala is an almond-shaped section of nervous tissue located in the temporal (side) lobe of the brain and it’s responsible for the perception of emotions such as anger, fear, sadness and the controlling of aggression. It’s also helps to store memories of events and emotions so that you can recognize similar events in the future. For example, if you have ever suffered a dog bite, then the amygdalae may help in processing that event and, therefore, increase your fear or alertness around dogs.
Meditation can affect the size and patterns of the amygdala. Gaëlle Desbordes a scientist at Harvard Medical School took before and after scans of subjects who learned to meditate over the course of two month while these subjects were performing everyday tasks. The scans still detected changes in the subjects’ brain activation patterns…so a change in the amygdala was detected due to the subjects practicing meditation. Desbordes study showed that after 8 weeks of practicing mediation a subject that was shown emotional content had less activation in their amygdala. If that’s not a plug for meditation I don’t know what is! Seriously a casual stroll through social media is a minefield for the amygdala these days!
How meditation has helped me:
I’ve used mediation in the past to help clients visualize their ideal future, process grief and trauma and ground themselves in the moment. I’ve also used meditation personally to help decrease my own anxiety, process trauma and center myself in my own truth. It’s not a woo woo as some might think.
Let me give you two examples:
- I helped a client in session visualize all parts of her personalty at one table to see which one felt ignored. She was able to identify her inner artist was not being shown much attention to and that grieved her deeply. When we processed this grief and integrated this woman’s inner artist back into her life and identity she felt more whole.
- A personal experience of mine was when my husband and I were at odds with knowing if we were supposed to have another child we did a mediation together to visualize our future and we both saw our future having 3 children. It was an intimate exercise that connected us and allowed us to see beyond our current struggles… and now we have 3 beautiful kiddos.
The Botton Line:
Meditation is something everyone can do to improve their mental and emotional health. You can do it anywhere, without special equipment or memberships. However meditation courses and support groups are super helpful and I recommend them! The amazing thing about mediation is that it can change our brains and rewrite the script of fear we’ve been living in.
So if this was at all interesting to you be sure to reserve a spot in my FREE masterclass: “The 3 Step System to Finding Your Passion”. Hint hint meditation is key part of this so you’re already halfway there my friend.
Also I have to let you know about episode 48 of The Sure, Babe Podcast cause it’s so so good! I interviewed my naturopathic doctor Leah Gordon and we chat all about how she’s helped me get into my optimal health, reset my gut and learn so much more about libido.