It’s all in the mind
It’s there all the time….. the mind calendar. The plan for tomorrow, next week, next year, the events of yesterday, last Saturday, five years ago. This is sleepwalking through life. Do you notice the now, the items in front of you, the sounds disrupting your peace, the colour of white?
Its time to stop sleepwalking through life. Living is about your feelings, awareness and appreciation of the moment that will never be repeated.
Our busy lives test this ability to appreciate the now with constant interruptions and distractions which can cause our health to suffer leading to anxiety, stress, insomnia, depression or worse.
Mindfulness is at the core of wellness and is achieved by focusing awareness on the present moment. This “now” state of mental awareness can bring about long-term benefits and positively affect levels of happiness and well-being. Scientific studies have shown that mindfulness can prevent depression as well as directly impact the brain patterns underlying day-to-day anxiety, stress and irritability.
Today, therapies have combined ancient and modern beliefs to include philosophy, meditation massage and fitness programmes.
Mindful meditation can bring about a change in mood and ultimately an improved quality of life according to former Buddhist monk and Headspace co-founder, Andy Puddicombeall, who recommends just 10 minutes a day.
Meditation can improve insomnia. By calming the mind, the body follows suit. Trying to sleep with the mind in full alert will never rest the physical body, the “to do” list will just get longer and cause further anxiety.
Most of us are worriers. Scientists believe that our brains have a negativity bias so we are drawn to threats rather than opportunities. A Mayo Clinic article claims that meditation is key to lowering stress and anxiety levels. With a few minutes each day, meditation can restore calm and inner peace.
Increased levels of stress in our daily lives can lead to heart disease and other cardiovascular disease. According to physician, scientist and author, Dr Robert Schneider, the leading cause of disease is stress and his studies show that the best antidote for treatment and prevention is meditation, not medication. “There is now sufficient evidence to conclude that for prevention of heart disease and promotion of overall mind-body health, meditation deserves to be included in our modern daily routine.”
Chronic pain can be debilitating. Research has proven that the holistic practice of meditation can alleviate pain. Rather than depending on drugs, a study found that by activating and reinforcing some areas of the brain used in pain processing, meditation has the overall effect of helping reduce pain intensity in patients.
Ways to integrate the art of mindfulness in your life:
Sit comfortably for 10 minutes in a place you find calm and quiet and where you will not be disturbed. Focus on your breathe. There is no need to include incense or to sit cross-legged, unless they help you to relax.
Exercise brings the present mind into focus. But if you cant face a full workout in a gym, stretch the body as soon as you wake up.
Place a notepad by the bed and instantly write down what’s on your mind to be dealt with the following day. This will help you relax and sleep.
Book a “mindful massage” or a “mindful facial” a holistic experience guided by breathing and visualisation techniques with a focus on balancing the body and instilling positivity.
Take a walk in the park, leave your mobile at home. Focus on the colours you see, the sounds you hear and the air your breathe.
Editor of www.thehealthcareholiday.com