Different meditations to achieve focus, relaxation
Mindfulness—the practice of focusing on the here and now—seems to boost both your mood and overall well-being. You may think of mindfulness as something you do during meditation—that is, while you’re sitting quietly with your eyes closed. If you can carve 20 minutes out of your day to meditate, that’s great. But meditation is just one mindfulness technique. You can also practice informally, by simply being present in the moment during everyday activities.
For example, instead of trying to multitask and do two or more things at the same time (such as eating while you’re driving or watching television), try to practice “single-tasking.” That means doing one thing at a time and giving it your full attention. As you floss your teeth, pet the dog, or eat an apple, slow down the process and be fully present as it unfolds and involves all of your senses.
The goal of any mindfulness technique is to achieve a state of alert, focused relaxation by deliberately paying attention to thoughts and sensations without judgment. This can help you refocus on the present moment. Below are suggestions of different meditations you can try, as found in the Harvard Special Health Report Positive Psychology.
Basic mindfulness meditation
Sit quietly and focus on your natural breathing or on a word or mantra (such as “om,” “relax,” or “peace”) that you repeat silently. Allow thoughts to come and go without judgment and return to your focus on breath or mantra. Read More
A Different Approach To Pain Management: Mindfulness Meditation | Fadel Zeidan
Learn about the psychological and neural processes that mediate the relationship between self-regulatory practices and health!
Fadel Zeidan, Ph.D is an Assistant Professor of Neurobiology and Anatomy and the Center of Integrative Medicine’s Associate Director of Neuroscience at Wake Forest School of Medicine. His program of research is focused on understanding and identifying the psychological and neural processes that mediate the relationship between self-regulatory practices and health. Specifically, Dr. Zeidan’s research has uncovered the specific brain mechanisms involved in mindfulness meditation-based pain relief. He is currently developing meditation-based interventions to best target chronic pain.
5 Scientifically Proven Benefits of Meditation & How to Get Started
First, what is meditation?
The American Meditation Society describes it as “a simple and effortless process where you connect with the silence and peace within yourself”.
Basically it is a type practice that involves turning the mind and attention inward
Now let’s look at what the research has to say about the benefits of meditation.
#1 Meditation Reduces Psychological Stress, Depression and Anxiety
Researchers from Johns Hopkins University looked at 47 trials with 3515 participants and found that 2-6 months of meditation programs reduced the anxiety, depression and stress of participants.
#2 Meditation Reduces Physical Pain
A study published in The Journal of Neuroscience found that meditation is better than placebo for reducing pain:
75 healthy volunteers were randomly assigned 4 days of either: (1) mindfulness meditation, (2) placebo conditioning, (3) sham mindfulness meditation, or (4) book-listening control intervention.
The researchers “inflicted” pain on the volunteers in the form of thermal stimuli. Although all 4 groups experienced pain reduction, the group that underwent mindfulness meditation experienced significantly reduced pain intensity.
#3 Meditation Can Slow Alzheimer’s Disease
A new study published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease randomly selected 60 older adults with subjective cognitive decline to beginner meditation for three months.
At 3 months, meditation significantly enhanced both subjective memory function and objective cognitive performance.
#4 Meditation Improves Working Memory
This has been shown in a study of 198 middle school children, who were randomly assigned either mindfulness meditation, hatha yoga, or were a control group.
A special computer program assessed the participants’ working memory before and after the intervention, and showed that the mindfulness meditation group had significantly greater improvement in working memory compared to the other groups.
#5 Meditation Boosts Immune System
A review of 20 randomized controlled trials examined the effect of mindfulness meditation on different biomarkers of the immune system that affect inflammation, immunity, and biological cell aging.
The researchers found that meditation was associated with decreased levels of proinflammatory proteins, increased immune cell count and increased activity of the enzyme telomerase, which is an enzyme that helps slow or reverse cell aging.
#6 Meditation Lowers Blood Pressure
A Scientific Statement From the American Heart Association declares that based on the available evidence from the published literature, Transcendental Meditation technique lowers blood pressure and may be considered in clinical practice for the prevention and treatment of high blood pressure.
Ok, let’s go through some common questions you may have about meditation:
#1. I’m an atheist and/or not spiritual, can I still meditate?
Anyone can meditate. Meditation is not about religion or spirituality. It’s a technique or practice of training the mind, where you focus on a single thought, image, object, or feeling.
#2. How can I make the time to meditate in my busy schedule?
Meditation can be practiced anywhere and anytime.
You can meditate for 2 minutes a day if that’s all the time you have. No particular posture is required, as long as you’re comfortable.
#3. How often do I need to meditate?
The secret to gaining the benefits is to practice it regularly. You would need to meditate everyday in order to get into the habit and rip the benefits. But remember, all you need to start with is few minutes a day.
#4. How do I start?
Either find a local teacher in your area or Download an app like Calm or Headspace to your phone.
You started the day full of energy. Work wasn’t a problem, and you were more productive than you’ve ever been. This should have lasted throughout the day, right? But even with a good lunch, it’s gotten to 3pm, and you’re starting to slump.
You may even be slumping before lunch. It’s 11am, and you need some pick-me-up. It’s common to reach for the cakes or sweets. You want something that gives you the quick burst of energy.
After all, office fatigue can be dangerous. You increase the risk of injury depending on the type of job you’re doing. Workers are also more likely to suffer illnesses due to drowsiness. The body gets the message that you need to rest, and your immune system just isn’t as effective.
Office fatigue is highly common in a shift or night workers. We’re working against our natural circadian rhythm. The lack of daylight tells our bodies that we need to rest, so we find ourselves sleepy even though we’ve only just woken.
While you can’t change your shifts or your natural circadian rhythm, you can take steps to get rid of the drowsiness. We’re going to share seven top tips to get rid of office fatigue.
But Why Are You So Tired?
There are a few reasons to feel so drowsy.This is highly common in shift workers and night workers, as we’ve already mentioned. Our bodies know that we sleep when it’s dark and are awake when its light. If we try to reverse that and become nocturnal the body reacts. It fights against us, knowing that that isn’t supposed to be the thing we do.
In some cases, other medical issues get in the way. We can have medication that makes us drowsy or insomnia that just makes it hard to get the right amount of rest. Jet lag and stress are also linked to worker drowsiness.
Even those who work the traditional nine-to-five can end up feeling drowsy and fatigued. The diet and other sleeping habits will get in the way.
So, it’s time to re-energise your body when you’re in the workplace. It’s time to fight office fatigue and make sure you’re productive throughout the day. It’s time to follow these seven tips to overcome your drowsiness. Read More