Meditation = lowers stress, balances thinking and emotions, creates a more positive perspective
There are two parts of the brain that play a key role in stress and serve the functions of emotions and cognitive reasoning. There is a ‘thinking brain’ and a ‘feeling brain’ which function together as a Psycho-Emotional system that links together the perspective of the mind and the physiological response of the body.
Life challenges that are stressful and emotional trigger the Stress Response in the Psycho-Emotional system. Blood pressure and the heart rate increases as adrenaline and cortisol hormones surge the system and call to action subconscious programs of either the ‘fight’ or ‘flight’ response which push the mind and body into action.
As tensions rise and are prolonged, the body responds with heat, inflammation and tension; the mind responds with flares of agitation, clings to the negative and oscillates between past regrets and disappointments and fearful anxiety of future possibilities.
The Logical Brain is always trying to turn off the Stress Response and works to control or subdue the Emotional Brain. This reaction results in a fragmentation….we are literally -‘pulled apart’ or disconnected. Parts of our self are denied and discounted. This unaddressed energy flows beneath the surface of daily life. Operating under a current of stress becomes the ‘norm’.
The disconnection, or disunion, between the Thinking Brain and the Emotional Brain creates a general sense of dis-ease…. ‘Things just don’t feel right’. Coping mechanisms develop in response to the damming up of unacknowledged emotions and dismissed ideas and life can be experienced from a place of ‘lack’…like something in missing or incomplete.
Meditation and breathing with focused attention are the most powerful tools that each person has to bring the stress response under direct control and reconnect the Psycho-Emotional system. Practicing meditation trains the ability to align with the present moment and builds an immunity to stress. When met individually, moments become manageable and thought processes can turn towards positive expressions of ability….the ‘I can do this’ or ‘I got this’ mindset.
Learning how to self-regulate the stress response is a way to reclaim personal power and to become sovereign over thoughts and emotions. The energy that is used to hold onto past wounds and regrets can be freed up and the power that is used dwelling on unknown future possibilities can be harnessed and transformed into energy to move towards a more positive lifestyle, experience more fulfillment and connect with people in life in a deeper way.
Basic Steps to Meditation:
Keep in mind that there are many ways to practice meditation and many philosophies that influence the practice.
*In this approach, the goal is PRESENCE…..to be more CONNECTED….to experience a sense of union….a feeling of belonging….with the goal of being able to engage in life with sovereignty and fullness.
Prepare to RELAX completely….sit in a chair with your back supported and your feet on the floor, or lie down in a restorative posture….if you fall asleep easily then sit in a chair. If you prefer sitting on the floor, then prop yourself up with bolsters or blankets so that you can sit easily without pain.
- Use your senses to tune into your environment….listen to the sounds, smell the air, feel your clothing/hair/all of the things touching your body and then place your attention on your breath and take a few deep inhales and exhales and give your self permission to relax…..no need to sit perfectly straight or strain in any way.
- Place your hands under your thighs and focus on feeling your hands or focus on your feet….or focus on your feet.
- If your mind begins to think about other things….just notice and say silently in your mind..”thoughts”….and then say….”it’s ok….right now I can just rest” ….and then go back to relaxing and follow the rhythm of your breath.
- Use your imagination and imagine that each time you breathe out you sink down or settle down…. and relax a little bit more.
Set a time for the amount of time that you want to relax. When you are finished tell yourself “I am really good at relaxing…I am a good meditator.”♥
Take time for this each day and you will begin to notice changes in how you respond to situations, how you view your life and how you think about your self.