I don’t know why, but as human beings we tend to complicate things. And health is certainly no exception.
The media plays a large role in this as we get bombarded with a different message every week.
Butter V Margarine
Fish oil V Krill oil
Zumba V Crossfit
Bacon V….. surely there is nothing better than bacon
The choice is often overwhelming and very often the end result of being overwhelmed is that we become paralysed and end up doing nothing – arghhh.
This overwhelm is having a huge impact on our emotional health also with a recent report showing that antidepressant use has sky rocketed 49% since 1991.
This month though I am taking it back to basics and I’m hoping you’ll join me.
I’m committing to 10 minutes of mediation each day ( I know that doesn’t sound like a lot but research shows benefits from just 5 minutes a day).
Arianna Huffington in her most recent book “Thrive” refers to meditation as “the Swiss army knife of medical tools, for conditions both small and large.
A study funded by the National Institutes of Health showed a 23 percent decrease in mortality in people who meditated versus those who did not, a 30 percent decrease in death due to cardiovascular problems, and a significant decrease in cancer mortality. “This effect is equivalent to discovering an entirely new class of drugs (but without the inevitable side effects),” observe Mark Williams and Danny Penman. Another study found that meditation increased levels of antibodies to the flu vaccine, and the practice was also found to decrease the severity and length of colds, while researchers at Wake Forest University found that meditation lowered pain intensity.”
Many of our clients are often confused about how to meditate.
So here’s a simple place to start.
1. Sit still and stay put. You don’t have to be on a cushion or mat; just find a spot where you can sit comfortably for ten minutes.
2. Turn your attention to the breath. For a minute or two, think to yourself “inhale” with every inhalation, “exhale” with every exhalation.
3. Notice how it feels to breathe, and feel the mind wander. After a minute or two, drop the labels, and just notice how it feels in the body to breathe. You might feel it in the nose, in the belly, or in the throat. If your mind wanders—which it will!—just keep calm and return to the sensation of the breath.
That’s it. This micro-meditation is an incredibly powerful practice—the practice of returning attention again and again to the breath kicks the prefrontal cortex (the decision-making center of the brain) into high gear and quiets the stress and craving centers of your brain. Every time you bring your attention away from a wandering thought and back to the breath, you strengthen self-awareness and boost self-control – yippee.