What is NLP? And how can it change your life?August 15, 2022
Neena is a wonderful Energy Healer who helps people overcome physical pain, sleep better and increase energy levels to ensure they maximise their personal performance at home and work.
Neena’s been running meditation sessions and energy workshops for a number of years. Her insight into meditation and how it can enhance your mental and physical wellbeing is invaluable. Have a read and make sure you check out her website too.
Transforming Your Mental and Physical Health with Meditation
1st September 2022
by Neena Saith
The mind-body connection
Have you paid attention to how your body feels when you think certain thoughts? Science shows us that the mind affects the body and the body affects the mind and it’s almost impossible to ‘think’ without ‘feeling’. You can test this connection out for yourself, for example, the next time you find yourself worrying about something, take a moment to close your eyes and bring your attention to your body and notice where you are feeling this worry. Children are a prime example of this where worry often shows up as a tummy ache.
Medical research has shown that stress impacts the function of the body and it is estimated that up to 90% of illnesses and disease are stress related. Stress, particularly chronic stress, i.e. over long periods of time, can kick hormones out of balance, cause digestive problems, impact sleep, increase blood pressure, result in heart disease and so much more. As I found out in 2014, it was stress that was at the root of my neck and shoulder pain and I knew that the only way to shift the pain was to learn how to release the stress and manage my mind. After a friend shared the ‘Headspace’ book with me, I knew that Meditation was the first step for me.
What is Meditation?
Meditation is an ancient practice that helps to bring you into the present moment and connect the mind and body. It essentially involves focusing the mind for a period of time. There are many different types of meditation including mindfulness meditation which involves being fully present with your thoughts, Loving Kindness Meditation which involves directing love and kind thoughts toward others and Guided Meditation where you are guided by a teacher through a visualisation that evokes the senses and often results in a deep sense of calm. Meditating does not have to involve sitting or lying down, as practices such as yoga and Quigong are types of moving meditations and you may find that you are able to enter a meditative state while walking in nature or mindfully eating a meal.
The Benefits and Science of Meditation
As I found out myself, meditation can bring benefits on many levels, physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. I found myself feeling a lot calmer within, less reactive, sleeping better and generally more self-aware.
Research shows that meditating regularly can literally change the structure of the brain by giving it the equivalent of a regular gym work out. The result can include benefits such as a greater ability to manage emotions, increased concentration and the ability to access positive feelings such as happiness, compassion and empathy. Some evidence also shows that meditation not only has the ability to enhance overall well-being but also reduce inflammation and other biological stressors at a molecular level.
Meditation also helps us connect within and build a greater sense of self-awareness – in other words, get to know yourself better in terms of your feelings, who you really are and what you really need.
Self-awareness is very important because it has a crucial role in the release of painful emotions. As Dr David Hamilton points out in his book ‘Why Woo-Woo Works’, self-awareness helps to link frontal regions of the brain (that are associated with higher brain functions such as concentration, decision-making, and the experience of positive emotions) with the amygdala (which processes fear and anxiety and is involved in the processing of most of our emotional pain).
What’s stopping you?
“I don’t have the time”, “My mind is too busy”, “I can’t concentrate for that long”, “I’m worried about doing it wrong”……these are all reasons I hear commonly stated when I have conversations about meditation. Do any of these ring true to you? If so, this is even more reason to give meditation a try. My advice is to view meditation as a habit to build into your life alongside daily routines like brushing your teeth or eating lunch. It does not need to take hours of your day, maybe start with 5 minutes a day where you simply sit and notice your breathe or the connection of your feet on the ground. Keep in mind that meditation is a skill and like with any skill in life, it takes practice, patience and consistency to master.
If you’re ready to give it a try, you can download a 5 minute guided meditation from my website www.neenashealing.com in the Stay Connected section at the bottom of the page.