The Amazing Benefits of Meditation

🧘🏾‍♂️ Mediation has changed my life.

In 2014 I went on a retreat to southern India, when I returned, I started meditating every day, it was my way to connect back to the most special time at the Ashram. I found meditation helped me in so many areas of my life.  I would park my car outside work, meditate for 10 minutes and then go and start my day, I found I had better relationships with my colleagues, unnecessary work no longer needed doing, and my team were more helpful. After months of waiting for divorce paper, I did a meditation to clear the energy around this, 2 days later the signed papers where received.  They literally must have been signed the day I did the meditation.

🧘🏼‍♀️ And it’s important to know I hadn’t been transformed into a master, my mind was still extremely busy, I would still think about what I had to do, what I was having for dinner etc through my practise, but I kept at it, I kept bring myself back to the now, and whether I had a blissful experience or I struggled through my meditation, the results where undeniable. My life was changing, I was changing.

😥 Depression is disabling and crippling at its worse, yet 1 in 4 of us (UK statistic) have experienced depression in our life.

😥 Depression sucks the joy out of life, for me it was like my starting point was depression, I could move into happiness, joy and have fun, (and I could also move towards darker moments) but there was always a feeling of doom.  I thought that that was my lot in life, I was destined to be slightly miserable most of my life.  Then through a series of events I realised this wasn’t the case and I could actually feel a permanent sense of joy and happiness

😁 And it was working with an energetic therapist and starting a daily meditation practise that shifted this depression.

😁 When I look back, I find it hard to remember the person I was, yes, it’s still me, but not I wake up joyful and at peace every day, I feel huge gratitude for the life I have.

Stress has become a state of being that I think many people have resigned to feeling pretty regularly

Believing that stress will motive and push you harder can lead to burn out

Yes, we all want to be motivated to share our gifts with the world, to earn money to look after our families, but when we are stressed, we are on way to burn out.

🧘🏿‍♀️ Taking time each day to meditate, for just a few moments can dramatically reduce stress, it’s a time to connect to yourself, to listen to the whispers of your soul, to let go of the burdens and if it’s in your practise to ask for Divine assistance, it has be scientifically proven that meditation reduces stress, and helps people thrive in the world

🌸 When we meditate, we can find a place of awareness, where we become an observer of our thoughts and beliefs, from this place we are able to separate our true self, from the thoughts and therefore understand our thoughts are not real. When we can do this, we are able to see our anxious thoughts as not real.

Having this awareness we can gradually change our relationship with our anxious thoughts and our anxiety in general, allowing for clearer discernment, and an ability to see the truth more clearly 

Earlier this year I listen to a pod cast of Chris Evan interviewing Matthew Walker. He wrote a book called “Why we sleep”

I have always been a huge fan of sleep; it was my go-to place to recover from burn out and stress. But I had no idea quite how amazing sleep is for us, in so many areas of our life.

And the thing I have found helps me with sleep the most is meditating before bed.  I particularly like Yoga Nidra body scan style meditations, where the awareness moves to the body, allowing the mind to calm and settle, ready for a peaceful night’s sleep.

A simple Yoga Nidra Practise

💤 Lie comfortably

💤 Make any last-minute adjustments

💤 Gently close your eyes

💤 Take your awareness to your breath

💤 Breath in for 3 and out for 6

💤 Repeat this 6 times

💤 Become aware of your surroundings, notice any sounds, the taste in your mouth, the feel of the bedding or bed on your skin, do you feel warm or cool. What can you smell? 

💤 Become aware of your feet, feel the sensations in your feet, take your awareness to each toe, one at a time

💤 Move up your body very slowly becoming aware of each part of your body, one at a time

💤 When you reach the top of your head, notice your whole body, let it sink into the bed, feeling heavy, and ready for sleep

💤 Deepen your breath, and count back from 10-1 on every out breath

💤 Lie quietly and allow your body to sleep, it knows how to do this, trust

🥴 Pain and long-term pain can be reduced, eased and managed through meditation in some circumstances.

⚖️Some studies show meditation lessens chronic pain and stress for some people. However results are varied and there is limited research in this area at present.

🦊It is preferable to have no expectation  of the result prior to meditation, and surrender to the experience

🥰Meditation has been shown to release endorphins which help with pain management and to reduce stress which naturally increases our tolerance of pain

🧡Also meditation can bring greater awareness to our whole experience, we can separate ourself from our physical experience, from our thoughts and become more aware of our whole self.

🙏Remember everyone is unique and what works for someone may or may not work for you, but meditation has so many wonderful side effects, why not start practising and see what works for you.

Blood pressure is a measurement of the force of blood against the walls of your arteries and can become elevated due to a number of factors 

Blood pressure is a measurement of the blood against the walls of the arteries. High blood pressure can be caused by a number of factors, including wellbeing, age and diet.

Meditation can boost your wellbeing and defence against heart disease.

While scientific studies are not 100% sure how meditation helps, one thing we know is that meditation helps regulate the nervous system and the autonomic nervous system regulates blood pressure. 

When our nervous system is stuck in a constant state of stress, of fight flight or freeze, our blood pressure will be affected.

Meditation helps relax the nervous system, activating the parasympathetic nervous stem and helping the mind and body relax. When the nervous system is in balance blood pressure will be more easily regulated.6 minutes of 6 -3 breathing everyday can support your nervous system dramatically. I am offering a free 3-6 guided meditation to all those signed up to my mailing list,

While its quite common knowledge these days that mediation is a useful tool to manage stress, anxiety and general wellbeing. Yet there are so many more slightly more unusual benefits

I have out together a list of my favourites and each day over the next week or, so I am going to write about each one

If you don’t want to miss a post, click the three dots on the top right corner and select notify

And if you’d like to test this for yourself, why not join my mailing list and receive a beautiful, recorded meditation straight to your inbox as a thank you

This always makes me smile, I had a notoriously bad memory, I couldn’t go to the shop to get 3 things without forgetting one of them, maybe it was my misspent youth, who knows, but I now have a pretty good memory, it’s a rare occurrence when I forget to pick something up I the supermarket, life truly is much easier when we practice meditation regularly. 

And since I’ve had a regular mediation practice, I also find studying easier and more effective, I’m more organised at work, and generally in the flow with things.

How many of us have an inner critic?

With the clients I work with, and from my own healing journey the inner critic is one of the biggest hindrances

When we meditate, we start to understand that our thoughts are not real, we can observe them, and we can change them, through mediation and inner child work we can really start to rapidly transform from having an inner critic to an inner champion, we can start to love ourself, value ourself and believe in ourself

Self-awareness is the experience of one’s own personality or individuality. (Wikipedia)

We all think we know ourselves well, but do we? Do we see our gifts, our growing edges and all the in-between clearly? We are likely to hold a view of ourselves that combines the view our primary caregivers, formative teachers etc held of us, plus the impression others may have had of us, or in relation to those around us, all of this may mean we are not as self-aware as we think we are. 

That and the general busyness of life, means we often don’t wat to stop, pause and reflect on ourself, we don’t want to look at the bits of self we are ashamed of, the bits we judge and don’t love.  We can be quite attached to the image we hold of ourself, and it can be uncomfortable looking beyond this. Yet through meditation, we can access a beautiful stillness, where we know our truth clearly, we can feel the limitless potential we are, and we can let go of the judgments and shame we have held on to. This process allows us to start a beautiful relationship with the self, one where we listen deeply to our wants and desires, to our dreams and our passions, through this process we get to know ourselves intimately and become more self-aware.

🧘🏾‍♂️ Do you struggle to focus on any one thing for long? Distracted by your phone during zoom meetings (I’m sure not!) 🦄🌈

I know I am a master at distraction and being self-employed means it’s so easy to flit between jobs, projects and general distractions.  When I am aware of this happening, I find 10 minutes to sit still, breathe, and come back to inner stillness. From this place I can remind myself that I am a focused trained jedi 😉😂

🧘🏿‍♀️Meditation helps us be present

With presence we are able to fully focus on the now

We can be more present for our family, colleagues and loved ones

Being present for others is one of the best gifts you can give someone

It also allows us to be more present with ourself

And this if one of the best gifts we can give ourself

To be present, to hold ourself through the roller coaster of life

I love this benefit of meditation, especially because as a mum to a teen I get a fair bit of loving teasing about my hippy ways. Yet Meditation does promote rationality. Because meditation regulates the brain (specifically the prefrontal cortex) we are more logical, less irrational and make better decisions when we meditate regular

I often find that my mind can be super busy trying to work out what is the best decision, then if I meditate and can get clarity, more often than not, especially for certain small decisions, the clarity is, it doesn’t matter, do which ever brings you more joy.  But for important life decisions meditation has certainly helped me, brought me clarity, and rationality. I am a very intuitive person, and also a cautious one, so I like to know that my decisions not only feel right, but they also make sense logically.

Another amazing reason to meditate every day

🏋🏾So this one may appeal to some of you more than others! But It is true, meditation can help us to exercise for longer and more regularly!My personal experience with this, is that through meditation, I am able to regulate my thoughts, I am aware of my thoughts being something I can control

🏃🏼‍♀️ Ok I am no runner, but just before I turned 40, I started running daily, bit of a fundraiser and a bit of denial about aging! I decided I would run around a beautiful reservoir; it was over an 8-mile run.  I dropped my son at friend’s house, and my lovely friend said the thing is the distance isn’t that far, but it’s a killer on your mind, because you keep thinking you’re almost there, but every bend takes you to another bend.

My reply, “oh I’m rubbish at running, but I have great mental stamina, I’ll be good!” 

And true to my word I ran the whole thing, and then around the village just because I could! It took me hours, but I did it.

💪 So if you’d like help with your monkey mind, give meditation a try 

Addiction programmes like AA are an absolute must for anyone struggling with addiction. They work wonders, and I am so grateful to the support they have given loved ones. Meditation is by no means an alternative, I would always recommend working with dedicated programmes, but meditation can assist these programmes.

Meditation can support the body with cleansing, the mind with thoughts and beliefs and can support emotional wellbeing, helping with the triggers that are underlying.

Meditation Can Prevent Acute Respiratory Infection

Read that again

Meditation Can Prevent Acute Respiratory Infection

How cool is that

Regular meditation boosts our immune system but there has been a study specifically on ARI and it showed that meditation specifically helps. (ref below)

So if you are keen to stay fit and healthy, try meditation

I hope this article has convinced you to start a daily meditation practice, I run 2 weekly meditation groups, more info here

Published by Laura Hamblyn Holistic Therapist

I live in the UK, in a large town north of London, I am devoted to my spiritual path, and I’ve discovered that real joy comes from service, I am a qualified healer and therapist, meditation teacher, a vegan chef, and a solo mother to a wonderful child.

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