Lets talk about the power of Meditation. Why? Because I find that time and time again, I revert back to basics with 90% of my clients. There are so many psychological therapies, and almost as many therapies as there are mental illnesses so getting back to the basics and training the mind is paramount to good health. What do I mean when talking about getting back to basics? I am talking about mindfulness meditation. Why do I continue to use mindfulness mediation with my clients? Because it works, because I see the results and my clients are able to better themselves in so many aspects of their lives.
Mindfulness meditation can be taught to help treat a variety of concerns both in the mental and physical health realms such as:
Acute-traumatic stress disorder
Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder ADHD
Bi-Polar Affective Disorder
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
But you do not need to have a health concern to start on this path. Athletes use meditation to help improve their skills and strength too. Yes, the mind really does influence the body.
There are a wide range of Mindfulness Meditation techniques:
Positive Mental Rehearsal
From the above meditation techniques there are multiple variations of each. As you can see there is a large variety of different techniques which can be taught and learned. It really does depend on what the concern is, the severity, the willingness of the student to practice, and what resonates with the student.
A person with ADHD would benefit from focusing techniques, slowing down the brain waves, enabling better concentration.
A person suffering from asthma could benefit from mantra meditation, opening the airways, creating easier breathing.
A person suffering under chronic stress would respond to relaxation, walking and eating meditations.
Each technique has its merits. But herein lies the problem. One should find an experienced meditation teacher to learn from. These teachers would vary in experience and knowledge. Some will teach just one technique while others a broader range thereof.
But the real benefit for the student lies in daily practice, making training the mind and body to sit still a priority. If the student can practice for 21 consecutive days, then a habit will be formed. Thereafter the student won’t have to force themselves to meditate. It will become an automatic function of everyday life. From this real change will start to appear.
People often ask me about the facts of meditation, how it affects the brain, body and life, so I thought I would share some interesting information with you.
Dr. Rick Hanson, a Neuroscientist has proven that people that mediate for 30 minutes or more daily create measurably thicker tissue in several parts of the brain. He also recorded an increase in neurons.
The 1st area is the frontal lobe directly behind our foreheads which improves attention. The 2nd is a very small area called the Medulla which is located at the bottom of our brain. This helped meditators become less erratic, calmer and more organized. The 3rd area was the development of the forward left lobe resulting in more positive emotions. The 4th area is the development of tissue in the back part of the brain which reduces the likelihood of the elderly getting mental illnesses such as dementia, Alzheimer. So, in effect we stay younger.
Now a little bit about how our minds behave, brain wave states, and how they change through meditation
1. We start with a superficial, scattered mind – our daily activities are characterised by a lot of thoughts, some positive and others negative, with very little control or knowledge of how they got there. We find that we are easily distracted, have difficulty concentrating and probably worry about many unimportant things. This is known as the Beta brain wave state. This is our normal waking minds as we go about our daily lives. Thousands of thoughts, bouncing from one to another.
2. We then progress through to concentration - to deeper, analytical thinking. When our mind is focused completely on one thing, we are the most efficient and purposeful in our thinking. This analytical level reveals the deepest we can go with thought. This is the Alfa brain wave state. Have you ever been involved in something, so focused on it that you are free of distraction? You are not aware of anything else except your task at hand. This is also know as FLOW.
3. From this very deep thinking we enter into intuitive states. We reach a state where it feels so right. When thinking stops and intuitive experience takes over, this is true meditation. Once you have reached this state you sometimes disappear from your thought process, losing all track of time and return later not knowing where you were, but feeling so blissful, peaceful and in awe. This is what the gurus call an enlightened state and this is available to all who practice meditation. This is the Theta brain wave state. This is the state you reach when you are just about to fall asleep at night. No longer aware of your environment, your body, and vacant of thought. Not awake, not asleep, but still breathing. This state can be achieved through meditation.
Meditation is actually exercise for your mind. Let’s say you are doing bicep curls with a dumbbell. If you continue to do this your bicep will get stronger. The same is with meditation. When you are meditating and your mind wanders you need to bring it back to concentrate on the chosen technique. Every time you bring the mind back your attention becomes stronger, you build thicker brain tissue and more neurons also in this process. You are strengthening your attention muscle. So, having distractions is good for the mind. With every distraction your mind is getting stronger. Do not think that you are a poor meditator or you can’t do this. There is no such thing as a bad meditation. Each time you meditate you produce results. There is no failure only results. The more you mediate the quicker your mind realises that your thoughts have wandered and the easier it is to bring it back to concentrate on the technique.
Everything is mind made. By controlling our thoughts, we can change the physical structure of the mind and the body. This has been scientifically proven. If you would like to know more about mindfulness meditation and it's benefits then contact me below.
You can also download my 8 Lesson Mindfulness Meditation Audio Series here:
This 8 Lesson Mindfulness Meditation and Self-Improvement Audio Series has been designed to guide students on an inner journey.
Like all my teachings it is by no means an easy path. It will take great commitment on the students part but the benefits are extremely rewarding.
You will learn 14 different mindfulness techniques, and about negative limiting beliefs and behaviors which hold you back from a happy prosperous productive life.
This program is also available on iTunes.
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