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Week Seven: Meditation

There are a lot of studies that cover the benefits of meditation. Meditation can aide an individual with sleep issues. It can help relieve anxiety and calm as well as declutter the mind. It helps individuals focus and connect better. It even has multiple health benefits like lowering heart rate and blood pressure! All without any real side effects! Here's some solid proof: In an 8-week study, a meditation style called “mindfulness meditation” reduced the inflammation response caused by stress. Furthermore, research has shown that meditation may also improve symptoms of stress-related conditions, including irritable bowel syndrome, post-traumatic stress disorder, and fibromyalgia. A meta-analysis including nearly 1,300 adults found that meditation may decrease anxiety. Notably, this effect was strongest in those with the highest levels of anxiety. Another study of 47 people with chronic pain found that completing an 8-week meditation program led to noticeable improvements in depression, anxiety, and pain over 1 year. One review of treatments given to more than 3,500 adults found that mindfulness meditation improved symptoms of depression. Lastly, one study found that people who listened to a meditation tape experienced improved attention and accuracy while completing a task, compared with those in a control group.


There's lots of health benefits and meditation seems simple enough, right? So why don't more people meditate? I truly feel that there's two reasons. One: people don't either believe or know the science behind mediation. And two: people think that meditation needs to be this expansive practice and that a person needs to meditate for long periods of time. The truth is that just isn't true. Studies show that just a ten minute meditation daily can have a massive impact!


There are different types of meditation including movement meditation (like yoga), mantra meditation (where an individual repeats mantras), spiritual meditation, and transcendental meditation. The most common meditation that I have found is mindfulness meditation. Meditation looks different for everyone. You can meditate on your own in the quiet with no outside distractions. You can meditate using a guided meditation. You can meditate with music or sounds. You can meditate sitting up, while doing poses, walking, or even lying down in bed. Meditation is a personal preference and one that each individual needs to explore more. Personally, I really enjoy guided meditation. You can find many guided meditations on YouTube or even through apps on your smart devices. I recommend starting there. With the use of YouTube, you can go through many different kinds of meditations and find what works best for you. If you're not sure where to start, Deepak Chopra is one my favorite individuals when it comes to meditation, mindfulness, and alternative medicine. He is an MD, has founded the Chopra Foundation, he is a professor at four separate universities as well as a research scientist. He also is a best selling author and has written a book about meditation.


Your challenge this week is to find a guided meditation that speaks to you and follow through with the entire meditation. As I stated prior, there are many different types of meditation so you can find one with minimal words and music or maybe you prefer a meditation that is guided and includes deeper thoughts without music. Here are a few of my favorites that you might want to try.

For deeper thinking and awareness and about Inner Peace by Dr. Deepak Chopra: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BiYWp6I-RcE

For anxiety and fear that is both guided and contains relaxing music: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HT_ZvD94_kE

For soothing and relaxing music without guides: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ZYbU82GVz4

Now journal about your experience. How did meditation make you feel? Will you be able to incorporate this into your daily routines? Did you notice a difference in your mood, your thoughts, your emotions, or your tension after you meditated?

I hope this was a week that you enjoyed. Meditation is truly amazing and the benefits are really there and backed by science! Don't be afraid to slow down and try this! Until next week my friends, Blessed Be!

-Jacelyn



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