Improve your life through Meditation
Hello everyone and I hope that you have all had a positive week since my last blog and as you can see from the title of this weeks blog I have decided to talk to you about how you can improve your life through meditation as I believe that meditation is beneficial to each and every one of us. It is a natural mind state that many of us have become detached from. Everything has become so fast in our lives now that people find it hard to switch off. In fact we could all benefit from learning to LITERALLY SWITCH OFF! That’s switch off your mobile phones, your ipads, your wifi and all this other electrical equipment that is putting different radio waves and electric ions into our surrounding atmosphere. It is a good idea to first switch these things off before we can relax our minds and go into our own meditative state and SWITCH OFF our own minds. Our minds definitely need much more rest than they are currently getting.
I learned meditation myself at quite a young age. I did have some trauma in my life and I now believe that meditation saved me from quite a lot of psychological damage. Of course at a very young age I didn’t even really realise I was meditating and I certainly didn’t realise that meditation was a form of self- hypnosis. So, for me, at that time it was escapism, turning my mind off to the real world. This used to be more in the form of reading fictional books or pretending I was someone else. It was all a coping mechanism I naturally used to help me through some harder times. It was later on when I was in my teens that I discovered what meditation, as we know it now, really was. I believe everything that happens to us happens for a reason and I was lent a book on meditation and astral projection that I found fascinating. I found that, with some practice, I could learn to shut down my conscious mind and enter a state of extreme relaxation. I say with some practice because it’s not something that you can learn to do it one sitting. Like everything worth having you really have to practice and train yourself as it is a discipline. It is a fantastic practice to learn though for your own physical and mental health.
To begin with it was just a case of sitting down quietly somewhere I wouldn’t be disturbed and trying to switch off my thoughts. This wasn’t always an easy task so I often used my imagination to focus on something. I remember imagining a flickering candle in my mind and concentrating on that until I felt my mind and body relaxing. Sometimes I would put relaxing music on (with no words) and I would focus on this, again, until I felt my mind and body quietening down. The more I practiced this, the easier it got, until I was finding myself in deep meditative states. I didn’t realise it at the time but when I became trained as a professional Hypnotherapist I realised that I was putting myself into self -hypnosis where I could often find answers to questions and solutions to problems that would naturally come to me. I believe that this is our natural way of being. How we should be much more of the time than we currently are.
So, what are the benefits of meditation?
Calmness – Letting go of negative thoughts so that the mind doesn’t dwell on them until they are blown completely out of proportion causing anxiety. The act of the deep breathing exercise also helps to slow and calm our bodies down.
Anti-Inflammatory – Stress cause inflammation which has been linked to heart disease and asthma and skin conditions such as psoriasis. Relaxation through meditation helps switch off this stress response. This is also very good for Irritable Bowel Syndrome.
Lower 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.
Increased Fertility – Studies at the University of Western Australia have revealed that women are more likely to conceive when they are relaxed and men have a boost of sperm count through relaxation.
Helps cure neurosis – Helps to find emotional balance and cure neurosis and un healthy emotional states. It helps cleanses emotionally soaked memories.
Boosts Immunity – Relaxation has been shown to help boost the immune system making it very beneficial to recovering cancer patients. A study at the Ohio State University found that progressive muscular relaxation, when practised 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 tumours and to viruses.
Aside from the regular sitting still and closing your eyes and trying to clear your mind there are many other ways to meditate from using guided imagery to breath focus, yoga, saying mantras and guided imagery. I find the most beneficial meditation for me is a tapping meditation using Emotional Freedom Technique. An introduction video to EFT can be found here. And a video showing me demonstrating the basic recipe for tapping can be found here. If you would like a guided imagery relaxation audio you are welcome to download my relaxation mp3 FREE OF CHARGE here.
You may want to try some different forms of meditation to see what works for you. The important thing is to find the time to do it, even if it is just twenty minutes a day. We all deserve at least that. Give it a try and see how much more positive your life becomes. GO ON! YOU ARE WORTH IT!
Brad Mace, Dhp, MAPHP (acc).