Meditation as Medicine: Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction

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Meditation As Stress Management

Meditation As Stress Management

Stress is purely a mental problem. When the mind goes haywire, then the rest of your body will also do the same.

You will become emotionally unstable when you're under the throes of stress and you will mostly like feel the repercussions on your body, like muscle cramps, headache, and more. It is important that a person learn stress management techniques to get rid of it before it becomes permanent.

Stress Is All In Your Mind

The initial effect of stress is in our minds. Our normal though patterns are disrupted that would often lead to confusion that would eventually affect us emotionally and physically when subjected to it for a long period of time.

Stress is oftentimes caused by work and financial matters. Friends and family members can also become a source of your problem, especially when they go out of their way to create conflicts.

Since stress starts with the mind, then you need take the necessary steps to control it with your mind. Relaxation plays a major role in stress management is often the prelude to every other techniques to help you cope with the problem.

We can never deny the fact that we can think clearly when we are at a relaxed state, we weigh each thought that passes through our minds calmly and rationally, whether it’s a problem or just some stray thought from the day's events.

Meditation To Help You Relax

One way to help your mind relax is through meditation. This method can help you focus your mind clearly on a problem without getting distracted and come up with the right solution to get it out of your system. After all, a calm and focused mind can easily cope with stress.

There are two ways to do meditation -- you can either enroll in meditation classes or you can do it on your own. The former is perfect for those who have plenty of free time to spare since meditation classes takes around 2 to 3 hours per session. You will be guided slowly by your mentor on the different exercises, both mental and physical, to help you relax.

If you don’t have the leisure due to the demands of work, then you can do it on your own while you're in the office or in the convenience of your own home.

Starting With Meditation

There are different methods and tools you can use to start meditation on your own. You can listen to calm music or chant a mantra. You can buy books to help you achieve meditation through visualization techniques. Pick one that suits our taste and get started.

First find a quiet place to start your meditation exercise. If it's your first time at it then make sure that you won't get distracted with the noise in your surroundings. Lock your room or tell everyone that you don’t want to be disturbed.

Start with the meditation by looking for a place where you can sit down and relax. Don’t lie down since that will only put you to sleep before you can complete the exercise. Apply your own relaxation method.

Concentrate on your mind and let random thoughts fill your head. Observe each thought calmly as if you are watching a movie. If a stressful scene comes out, try your best not to focus on it. Keep doing this exercise until you arrive at a time when your mind becomes blank.

Next is to think of one problem that you want to solve and focus on it. Again, don’t get emotionally attached to the image and only observe it in passing. You will eventually arrive at a solution to the problem without even noticing it.

Meditation To Help You Deal With Stress

Meditation is one of the techniques used in stress management. A person who is riddled with problems often finds it hard to focus; which often leads to more problems cropping up due to their mistakes.

Meditation techniques helps a person achieve a calm state of mind without having to resort to drugs or relaxation tools and implements. Every step to meditation is done in the mind.

Remember that meditation is not a one shot deal. It is almost impossible to attain a calm state of mind in just a matter of minutes, especially if it's your first time at it. It is essential that you keep on practicing meditation until you have conditioned your mind to instantaneously achieve the state just by thinking it.

Here are some steps for a beginner to start with meditation as their Stress Management strategy:

Step 1: Find A Quiet Corner To Start Your Meditation

Distraction is a hindrance to those who are still starting out with meditation. When you close your eyes, your sense of hearing will be twice as good so it is quite possible to hear almost anything in your surroundings that will make it hard for you to concentrate.

For beginners, it is important to start out in a quiet place in your home where noise is non-existent. Close your windows and lock your door. If possible, you can tell everyone in your home to minimize their noise so that you won't get distracted.

Step 2: Ready Your Position

It is advisable for beginners to avoid lying down when practicing meditation. The aim here is not to sleep, and it is a guarantee that you will immediately fall off to sleep if your mind reaches a relaxed state.

To stop this from happening, you can start your meditation in a lotus position or you can find a chair you can sit on. Make sure that your back is straight and your hands are relaxed on the armrest or on your lap.

Step 3: Begin Your Meditation With Proper Breathing

A good way to start meditation is to do the proper breathing exercise. You inhale through your nose and exhale through your mouth. This way, you can come up with a rhythm that you can easily focus on.

Also, the amount of oxygen in your body will be enough to keep you relaxed. Keep practicing your breathing until you can do it easily without having to think about it.

Step 4: Focus On Your Mind

While you are busy with your breathing, you will achieve a state wherein your mind will start throwing images at you. These are mostly in random, events of the day, future plans, problems and worries, fears and so on.

It will be hard to ignore these thoughts and you are not supposed to ignore them. The gist here is to focus on these thoughts without really paying any attention to it.

This might sound hard but a here is a simple example to understand the concept. You know that you have furniture at home, you can see them clearly with your eyes but you are not really concentrating on it.

Focusing on the furniture will usually make you think of its color, its material, how it looks in that part of your home, and more. You need to be able to look at these random thoughts in a detached state -- seeing them clearly in your head but not focusing your attention on it.

There will come a time that these random thought will stop and you will notice that you are already in a blank space in your mind. This is the state you want to achieve during meditation.

This is the place where you can think about your problems and focus on it till you can find a solution for it. With this, you have successfully mastered the basics of meditation for your stress management program.

We can help! Please check out our extensive self-help library in the member's area. We'd also like to recommend our range of stress-busting products.

Jill is also available for 1-to-1 online therapy if you'd prefer to speak to a very experienced therapist face to face.

Meditation Helps Depression 

Meditation Helps Depression 

350 million people globally have some form of depression. In 2015, about 16.1 million US adults had at least one major depressive episode in the past year. 11% of adolescents have a depressive disorder by age 18.

Women are 70% more likely than men to have depression and about 12 million women in the United States experience clinical depression each year. Depression is a mental health diagnosis where specific symptoms accompany a general feeling of sadness that lasts at least two weeks or longer.

Anti-depressant medications can help with many forms of depression, but adding complementary options to help promote recovery and improve quality of life is a smart plan and one of the best natural therapeutic options is meditation.

Depression medications works by stimulating the release of neurotransmitters in the brain. A study conducted by the University of Montreal found that meditation offers you the opportunity to naturally boost levels of serotonin.

In 1996, a University of Washington study found that the hippocampus was incredibly underdeveloped in individuals suffering from depression and that damage was more severe in those with prolonged depression. Thankfully, this damage isn’t permanent and meditation helps revive the hippocampus to help treat and even prevent depression.

The fight or flight stress response triggers the amygdala region of the brain, causing it to become overheated and flood the body with hormones that can damage mental health. A study conducted by Harvard found that meditation not only helps you learn to control the triggering of the fight of flight stress response, but it also improves the health of the amygdala.

Most people suffer from depression because they feel incomplete, something that easily occurs when life changes in a significant way, meditation brings calm and peace, makes you feel whole again and helps you get back on your feet.

What is the best form of meditation for depression? A study published by psychologists from the University of Exeter showed that mindfulness-based cognitive therapy, or MBCT may actually be more effective than counseling or medication, citing that four months after MBCT, three fourths of study subjects felt well enough to stop taking antidepressants.

Mark Williams, an Oxford professor of clinical psychology and the leader of the team that developed MBCT cites that brooding is one of the key features seen in patients with depression and MBCT specifically tackles brooding to teach compassion for self and others.

Add meditation to your depression management regimen today, thanks for reading and take care.

 

We can help! Please check out our extensive self-help library in the member's area. We'd also like to recommend our range of stress-busting products.

Jill is also available for 1-to-1 online therapy if you'd prefer to speak to a very experienced therapist face to face.

Acceptance – Let Go Of That Which You Cannot Control Guided Meditation Script With Audio

Acceptance – Let Go Of That Which You Cannot Control Guided Meditation Script With Audio

(This is one in a series of 13 Guided Meditation Scripts with audio which can be found in the member's area

Please click on the button to play.

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Welcome to acceptance – let go of that which you cannot control guided meditation.

Find a quiet place and settle into a comfortable position. Prepare yourself for surrender.

Take a deep breath in through your nose. Hold it for 3 seconds. Now push that breath out through your mouth.

Again, take a deep breath in through your nose. Hold it for 3 seconds. Now push that breath out through your mouth.

One more time, take a deep breath in through your nose. 1. 2. 3. Now push that breath out through your mouth. Deep breath in, hold it for 1. 2. 3. Slowly exhale.

Take a deep breath in through your nose. Hold it for 3 seconds. Now push that breath out through your mouth.

Again, take a deep breath in through your nose. Hold it for 3 seconds. Exhale.

One more time, take a deep breath in through your nose. 1. 2. 3. Exhale out through your mouth.

Deep breath in, hold it. Slowly exhale.

There are many experiences and events in life that you do not control and cannot change. Choose something that is going on in your life right now that you cannot control or change. If you don't want to focus on current hardship you can draw from your past as well.

Take a deep breath in through your nose. Hold it. Now push that breath out through your mouth.

Hold it. Again, take a deep breath in through your nose.

Hold it. Now push that breath out through your mouth.

Hold it. One more time, take a deep breath in through your nose.

Hold it. Now push that breath out through your mouth.

Now focus on the issue you cannot control or change. See all of the different parts it holds. See your frustration, sadness, anger, and fear.

For now, we will focus on the fear.

Allow yourself to feel the fear connected to this situation you can't control or change. Allow all of those fearful emotions and thoughts to pass through your mind.

Imagine yourself standing in a storm, now reach your arms toward the sky with your palms facing upward.

Repeat after me…

I am releasing all of the fears I feel about this situation.

I am letting go of all of these fears once and for all.

I surrender. I accept it as it is.

Imagine yourself shaking all of your fear from your fingertips, fear flying from them as though they are raindrops.

Now allow your arms to drop back to your lap, let them rest there for now.

Take a deep breath in through your nose. Hold it. Now push that breath out through your mouth.

Hold it. Again, take a deep breath in through your nose. Hold it. Now push that breath out through your mouth. Hold it. One more time, take a deep breath in through your nose.

Let's focus now on your frustration.

Allow yourself to feel the frustration connected with this situation you can't control or change. Feel that frustration at your very core.

Now lift your arms above your head, with your palms facing up reach for the sky and repeat after me.

I am releasing all of the frustrations I feel about this situation.

I am letting go of all of these frustrations once and for all.

I surrender. I accept it as it is.

Imagine yourself shaking all of your frustrations from your fingertips, frustration flying from them as though they are raindrops.

Now allow your arms to drop back to your lap, let them rest there for now. Relax for a moment.

Take a deep breath in through your nose. Hold it. Now push that breath out through your mouth.

Hold it. Again, take a deep breath in through your nose.

Hold it. Now push that breath out through your mouth.

Hold it. One more time, take a deep breath in through your nose.

Hold it. Now push that breath out through your mouth.

Let's focus now on your frustration. Allow yourself to feel the frustration connected with this situation you can't control or change. Feel that frustration at the core of your being. Now lift your arms above your head, with your palms facing up reach for the sky and repeat after me. I am releasing all of the frustration I feel about this situation. I am letting go of all of this frustration once and for all.

I surrender. I accept it as it is. Imagine yourself shaking all of that anger from your fingertips, anger flying from them as though it is raindrops. Now allow your arms to drop back to your lap, let them rest there for now. Repeat after me. I am free from worry.

I release the negative emotions surrounding this situation and I fully accept that I cannot control it. I let go of expectations and choose to live my life as I wish. I know that trying to control everything is a waste of my energy and resources. I cannot control everything, I accept that I cannot control everything and I am letting go. You may now resume your day when you are ready to do so.

(This is one in a series of 13 Guided Meditation Scripts with audio which can be found in the member's area).

Using Guided Meditation to Reprogram Your Mind

Using Guided Meditation to Reprogram Your Mind

 

 

Using Guided Meditation To Reprogram Your Mind

If you are stuck in a cycle of negative thinking, it can feel impossible to overcome it. Stress, worry, and anxiety can have massive impacts on mental health by disrupting thought patterns and interfering with our lives.

If you are looking for a method to reprogram your negative thinking, guided meditation is an excellent tool to help reverse your habits. Through guided meditation, people can seek inner peace and gain better control over their negative thinking for relaxation, stress relief, and peace of mind. As a bonus, guided meditation is a great way for beginners to explore meditation as it involves leadership from a teacher to perform.

 

Begin any guided meditation session by setting your intentions.

Before you even turn on your guided meditation app or walk into your teacher’s meditation studio, determine what you want to achieve from your guided meditation session before it begins.

When you enter your session with a clear picture of what you want, you’ll be able to focus on it as the instructor leads you into a state of relaxation. You don’t need to have a big, complicated goal for the session–you can keep it as simple as “I want to steady my breathing” or “I want to feel a little more calm than I do now.” Baby steps turn into the foundation for reprogramming your mind toward more positive, relaxed thinking.

Use your guided meditation time to really get in touch with your emotions.

Emotions are complicated. Often, when we think we feel one way about a situation, we end up actually having multiple emotions swirling together to make one confusing mix of feelings. This can really mess with our minds. Instead of taking a moment to really process and understand emotions, we allow them to overcome us, which often leads to negative thinking cycles. Or, as Psychology Today points out, some people do the exact opposite and repress their emotions rather than experiencing them. Either method can lead to serious upset and damage to our minds.

During your guided meditation, as you begin to relax your body and open your mind, sit with your emotions, and break them down into specific parts. Often, big emotions such as anger or sadness are often accompanied by others, such as grief, jealousy, or frustration. When you can identify separate emotions and truly get in tune with your mind and body, you can begin to accept and learn to work with how they affect your mind.

 

Use guided meditation to help you determine what you really want for yourself.

When you think about what we want for yourself in the future, you might have a hard time really visualizing what you truly desire for yourself. Whether you have a negative self-image or a hard time determining which pathway you want to take, getting your mind to focus on yourself can be a challenge.

Group Meditation

Depending on the situation you are facing in your personal life, you may want to consider group guided meditation. This is very similar to the guided meditation mentioned above, in which a guide walks you through the meditation process, however group guided meditation is generally completed in a room with other people around. This may seem a bit weird at first, but you will find that some of these people are going through similar situations that you are in your own life.

And having a social group surrounding you as you meditate can help you feel supported and loved—which may be especially important if you are dealing with something like the loss of a loved one.

 

Final Thoughts

Guided meditation can help you reach a comfortable balance between your mind and body to allow yourself that opportunity to explore potential pathways in a safe environment. Guided meditation is often used in tandem with other practices, such as visualization.

By using guided meditation to relax your thoughts and your body, you can open a great space for your mind to explore different pathways you envision yourself taking. In reality, trying to imagine yourself accomplishing a huge goal can seem fuzzy and impossible to imagine, but during guided meditation, the fog is lifted. Your mind is free to wander down different pathways to allow yourself a chance to see yourself as the person you really want to become.

 


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Guided Meditation for Beginners

Guided Meditation For Beginners Guided meditation is an excellent tool for relaxation, connecting with yourself, and exploring your mind. As the name suggests, guided meditations are sessions led by a guide–this is usually a teacher, either in person or by audio/video means. If you’re new to exploring meditation, guided meditation is an excellent way to start. When you practice guided meditation, it can help you stay focused on what the person is instructing you to do, so your mind is less likely to wander. If you’re new to guided meditation and aren’t sure where to start, consider some of the following tips as you begin your journey. Before diving into a new meditation practice, consider what you’d like to accomplish through it. Everyone has a different reason for wanting to explore meditation. If you head into your first guided meditation session with some ideas in mind, it’ll help you focus your energies even better as you begin to get comfortable with guided meditation and learn the processes through practice. Before you embark on this new journey, Headspace suggests taking a moment to jot down some goals you’d like for your first few sessions. These can be super simple! Perhaps you want to achieve some relaxation through your first few sessions. You can even make your goal as simple as staying focused on the instructor during the class. While small, these goals are excellent for getting started with guided meditation. Don’t get discouraged if you have a hard time focusing or following along with your guide. Humans are thinkers who constantly toss different ideas around in their minds. If you tend to stress or worry a lot, you probably experience wandering (and even sometimes frantic) thought patterns that can make concentration difficult. If you have a hard time staying focused on your guided meditation teacher’s instructions, don’t give up! It takes time to learn a new skill, such as relaxing your mind and body through a series of steps. Your first few tries may not go exactly as you planned, and that’s okay. The more you practice, the better your guided meditation experiences will become. Don’t be afraid to test the waters with new apps or teachers. Guided meditation isn’t a “one size fits all” sort of practice. If you try a new meditation app or sit in on a new meditation class and don’t feel a good connection, it’s fine to try something else! Everyone has preferences, and if you feel like you’d be able to focus easier with a different instructor, don’t be nervous to try some different ones to find a good fit for your needs. This is another reason why improving your guided meditation experience can take some time–not only are you developing a brand-new skill but finding the right instructor for you can take time as well. Consider your preferences when selecting and testing guided meditation methods. Meeting your guided meditation preferences can set a more positive tone for your practice. If you discover you prefer guided meditation, you can see if there are any classes or groups that meet in your area. If so, you can attend to practice guided meditation in a supportive group setting. Others may realize they’d rather practice one-on-one with a live instructor or through a pre-set guided meditation from an app. After some guided meditation sessions, some folks realize they’d prefer to embark on their meditation journeys alone. However, you prefer to practice is fine–as long as you are feeling satisfied after a guided meditation session and getting what you need from your practice, you are doing great.