Who has never heard of the power of stress meditation? For years, it has been said that practicing meditation gives us enormous good by relieving our mind. But did you know that it also has health benefits? How does meditating help us heal both our body and our mind? Let's find out in this article !
Meditation, a practice that benefits body and mind
The term “Meditation” comes to us from the word “melete” of Greek origin, which means training or exercise.
Meditation is defined as a technique that allows you to empty your head to find calm and serenity. The goal is to refocus on yourself, learn to breathe better in order to evacuate negative waves, to recharge your batteries through inner peace. It acts on the mind and body and would even help us lose weight or quit smoking. So many good reasons to practice it! But there are several types of meditation, the most famous of which are.
It is a method that does not have relaxation as its sole aim. We practice meditation on a daily basis to achieve wisdom.
It is a technique whose principle is to focus your attention on the present moment in order to analyze the sensations felt, in other words to focus on the thoughts, sensations, breathing and awareness of the present moment. What we are looking for is an improvement in self-esteem.
Jon Kabat-Zinn, Professor of Medicine Emeritus at the University of Massachusetts and Doctor of Molecular Biology, has greatly contributed to its dissemination.
It is based on the principle of the four levels of consciousness. The sensory level related to its environment, the level of self that refers to its body, the level of consciousness in the strict sense based on the mind and the level of absolute consciousness that surpasses all others, It is that of transcendence and it translates into a state of deep well-being and calm.
The effects of meditation on our health
It boosts the heart system
According to studies done at Harvard University, doing a meditation session significantly reduces blood pressure. This decreases the risk of cardiovascular disease.
People who do regular meditation exercises have their heart rate decrease by 15 to 20 beats. A good point because a slower heart is less tired and is doing better. Other studies have shown that meditators have half the risk of developing a stroke or having a heart attack.
When you meditate, you feel your abdomen swelling and then your chest and collarbones relax. As a result, we breathe fully, even in areas rarely stimulated.
It boosts memory and concentration
As researchers at the prestigious Harvard University have proven, engaging in meditation stimulates the production of gray matter, especially in the parts of the brain that are involved in memory, learning and emotional control.
This would maintain cognitive abilities and curb the effects of aging on the brain. A theory that we have been able to verify with people suffering from nervousness. By allowing them to focus on the essential, meditation allows them to feel more zen, more relieved.
It considerably reduces stress
Stress has a negative impact on our health, it is a fact! And several studies have shown that doing meditation can effectively relieve feelings of stress or anxiety.
It actively contributes to counteract the activity of the cerebral amygdala, a nucleus located in the temporal lobe and responsible for the excessive production of cortisol, the stress hormone. It rids us, in fact, of the negative thoughts that invade our mind.
By practicing meditation, we become aware of the things around us. We take a step back, our mind opens more and it becomes easier to release all those thoughts that pollute our mind.
Some meditation exercises to do at home
You can do meditation anywhere and anytime. The main thing is to stay focused on one thing and prevent all the other negative thoughts from entering your mind.
Keep in mind that the goal is to let go. Remember that all the conditions must be met (quiet and isolated environment or place, comfortable clothing) for a successful session. Here are 3 meditation exercises to try out at home !
Exercise number 1
Put on a comfortable outfit, clothes that you feel comfortable in. Make yourself comfortable, preferably in a quiet room
Sit down and close your eyes. Breathe deeply, then calmly. Breathe in and out while staying focused. Visualize a peaceful and calm place, a setting in which you feel safe. Think of a problem, a worry that you want to get rid of and remove it from your mind.
Exercise number 2
In case of stress, what is recommended is to do a deep work on your breathing. Get into the position that makes you most comfortable. Focus on the air you inhale and exhale.
Every time you breathe, imagine the stress leaving your body. Repeat this action until you feel much better.
Exercise number 3
Seated comfortably, close your eyes. Breathe quietly, breathe in through your nose and breathe out slowly through your mouth
Concentrate on the different parts of the body. In the first place, the head, the skull, the ears, the nose, the eyes, the lips. Then, the neck, the inside of the throat, the shoulders, the back then the toes. Finally, scan your body and pay attention to all the sensations.
You can do sessions of 5 to 10 minutes.
What applications to start meditation ?
To help you practice meditation at home or in the office, here are some applications that you can download to your mobile phone or computer. There is something for everyone, ranging from beginners to the most experienced, including the simple amateur !
If you don't know it yet, you've probably heard of it, the MyLife Meditation app, previously known as Stop, Breathe & Think. Through guided meditation classes, yoga and acupressure videos, she teaches you how to meditate properly.
The app has a wide choice of programs suitable for advanced users or for people who want to learn mindfulness meditation. Another advantage is that you can download meditation lessons and access them anywhere without an Internet connection.
She does not only offer sessions for meditation. It also has a rich library of music or sounds to set the mood, relax the atmosphere during the session.
Besides being the app that offers the most free content, Insight Timer gives users the ability to chat and share tips with fellow community members.
Buddhify is an interactive application designed to introduce you to the techniques of urban meditation. The goal is to create a state of mindfulness and well-being in everyday life situations.
With over 200 meditations, the app teaches you how to deal with your stress as well as difficult emotions. Sessions last from 3 to 40 minutes, with varying levels of user experience. Which makes it a good option for experienced practitioners but also for novices.
Other applications are also to be recommended such as Mind with its rich library of 350 podcasts and meditations guided by experts or Headspace, which offers around a hundred meditation sessions on several themes (concentration, sleep, etc.).
Meditating opens your awareness, helps you develop your senses, and improves your breathing if practiced regularly. Great reasons to get started and you can get started by watching this video !