So we are now well into September and I must apologise for the lack of communication in August, the world just went a bit crazy but I am managing to reign it back in now! I am just back from my craniosacral course in Devon (6th seminar out of 10! Only 4 to go, eek!) and I was aware we did a lot of meditation during the week. We have guided meditation from the tutors most days and then I try each morning to sit quietly before we start and do 15-20mins. For me meditation is a little bit like the ironing, I loathe the idea of starting but once I get into it, I enjoy it, and I also see a ton of benefits like feeling calmer and being able to slow things down to a better pace for me. Therefore I thought it would help to dig into the some of the science and share it with you.
Focus & Productivity: I have noticed after I come back from Devon I am much more focused and I am clearer in what I want to say when I speak to people, I put much of this down to the amount of meditation we do but obviously not having the stresses of everyday life present also helps! Various studies have found that after only four days of meditation, attention and cognitive function improve (ok so it isn’t just my imagination!); more and more evidence is coming out to suggest we can re-wire our brains to be more effective and efficient with meditation. In this world of fast paced processing surely you and I can do with a little more of this!
Sleep: If you suffer from a high stress load then often it can be a challenge to fall asleep as your brain is still wired when you get into bed. By practicing meditation you become more aware of your thoughts and so do not have to follow them all down the rabbit hole. This puts you more in charge and can help with that all important shut eye, so that tomorrow is another day you have loads of energy for!
Reduce High Blood Pressure: Research has shown that high blood pressure is the single greatest risk factor for heart attack so it stands to reason if we can lower blood pressure naturally then that’s a good thing. Various controlled trials have shown a reduction in blood pressure in people who do regular meditation verses those doing health education or muscle relaxation programs. Just giving yourself 10-20mins a day to sit or lie quietly can have a major influence on your health.
(As an aside making sure you eat real food not processed junk is also very important here as it can reduce the inflammation in your system dramatically and this in turn can reduce your blood pressure. My own blood pressure went from 130/100 to 120/80 by changing my diet alone; my other lifestyle choices came a bit later on).
It’s Free!: And finally given all of the above and a ton of other benefits it’s really a no brainer to practice meditation and it’s totally free, except of course for your time which is where most of us fall down. I plan to make a conscious effort to fit 10mins into my day and not get hung up on exactly when that happens. This is what got in the way before as I fixated on doing this in the morning and then did loads of early morning networking meetings! Not very clever!
I would love to hear from you about your meditation practices, so head over to my Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/lorimcphersonwellbeing or follow me on Twitter @studio7therapy and let me know what’s going on!
Health and happiness