Lemongrass Spa Blog
4 Reasons Meditation is the Missing Piece to Overall Wellness
Meditation has been part of our spiritual journey for centuries, but it wasn’t until the 1960s meditation gained mainstream notoriety in the west as a means of self-improvement. In modern times, meditation has become a part of a well-rounded wellness routine along with healthy diet and regular exercise. Meditation is a simple concept: sit still, breathe deeply and focus on a single point or intention for a short amount of time. As easy as it sounds, it can be difficult to schedule time alone to practice or keep your mind from wandering to your mental to-do list. After reading how meditation can positively effect your mind and body, I promise you’ll want to clear your calendar for a mere ten minutes each day to receive all the mental and physical benefits meditation has to offer.
Stress causes hormone imbalance, which in turn can manifest itself in skin problems like acne, dry skin and rash. Depending on severity, skin issues can negatively affect our self-esteem and perception of ourselves. Relaxation and meditation are well-documented remedies for reducing the body’s stress response. Mediation can also reduce inflammatory promoting genes, which can decrease the skin’s signs of aging like wrinkles and dark spots. Studies have also shown meditation to reduce blood pressure and increase blood flow; increased blood flow boosts the amount of oxygen and nutrients carried to cells, overtime.
Incorporating mindful meditation into your daily routine could have long-term positive effects for pain management. Chronic pain sufferers often rely on opioid treatments for pain management just to be able to complete basic daily tasks. There is a large list of long-term side effects of opiate use including addiction and liver or brain damage. A promising study published in the Journal of Neuroscience showed participants in the meditation group’s pain ratings decreased by up to 24% compared to the non-meditating participants.
Do you ever feel you could be more productive throughout the day? Is it difficult at times to stay on task? Mediation can help overcome these common obstacles; A study by the University of Waterloo found ten minutes of mindful meditation increases focus and decreases repetitive anxious thoughts.. In another small study published in Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging, not only did participants report feeling “capable of acting with awareness, observing, and remaining nonjudgmental”, but MRI images of mediators showed an increase in concentrations of grey matter in several areas of the brain.
How to Meditate
There are a variety of meditation methods to practice; start with a basic technique to ensure you continue to practice when life is hectic. Ten minutes is all you need each day, and for most of us, before the day begins in the morning or when it ends before bed is the only time you have for yourself. Find a quiet corner, set your alarm and begin. Sit or lie still and focus on taking deep breaths. The more you focus on slowly breathing in and out, the clearer your mind becomes. Aromatherapy is a complement to any meditation routine; try diffusing Lavender, Frankincense, Sweet Orange or Balancing Act while meditating.
If you’re like me, you might need a little guidance to concentrate each session, and using an app on your mobile device with instructor led meditations can help keep you focused.
Practice makes perfect! Don’t fret if your time is cut short or your mind wanders. Continue a daily practice, and eventually, meditation becomes a daily habit.
Do you meditate and have tips to share? Let us know in the comments.