We wrote previously about the negative effect that an excess of cortisol causes us on a biological level. The solution that we found was deep breathing and meditation, it is the best way to reduce it, but for those of us who haven’t really meditated, the act itself may seem daunting. We know that deep relaxation changes our bodies on a genetic level, but how?
In a recent Harvard study, it was proven that those who have practiced deep relaxation had considerably more disease fighting genes than those who didn’t. We all want more of those genes that fight inflammation, kill diseased cells and protect us against cancer, and the incredible part is that they switch on during meditation or other relaxation exercises. The practice also seemed to balance out hormones, and promote the release of feel-good hormones (serotonin and dopamine) which help to induce our bodies to repair damaged cells and tissue.
When our minds become quiet and calm, the biological effects include:
- Increased immunity
- Increased fertility
- Emotional balance
- Relief from irritable bowel syndrome
- Lower blood pressure
So how can we introduce meditative practice into our everyday lives?
1. Focus on the breath:
Tune into your breath – focus solely on the sensation of inhaling and exhaling. When you inhale, imagine that you are breathing in peace, clarity, white light and on the exhale, expel negative emotions from your body. Allow your body to release tension every time you let go of your breath. Try breathing in for a few seconds, holding the breath briefly and then breathing out for a few seconds.
2. Body scan:
Go systematically through each body part, starting from your head, scanning for tension. Focus on sending sensations of warmth and softness to any area that you find has tension, imagining that the muscle and tissue around it is inhaling and exhaling through the pores of your skin.
Instead of focusing on the breath, focus on a repeated word, such as om or shring… see how the tonality changes as you repeat the word over and over in your mind.
4. Guided imagery
Imagine a relaxing image, such as a wave crashing in slow motion, or a beautiful waterfall or stream trickling through the jungle. Imagine the picture taking over your negativity and tension, and washing away any stress or anxiety in your mind.
You could try a few of these different methods, which all help our minds to enter into a state of calmness, allowing some true magic to happen on a cellular level in your body! It only takes a couple of minutes, and could be done at your desk.
The Wellness Team at Santosa wishes you a beautifully meditative time… and in the hopes that you will share with us your meditation experiences.