Mindful Meditation for Brain Health

Meditation is a form of alternative medicine that has been associated with a number of benefits, specifically to the individual’s mental health, such as decreased stress levels and improved mood. Mindfulness, in particular, is a form of meditation that involves intense concentration and focus on the present.

Mindful meditation requires awareness of one’s thoughts and actions in the present, putting aside all thoughts of the past and the future.

Meditation In Holistic Care

No matter who you are, or the stresses you have in your life, mediation is a sure-fire way to improve wellbeing. Those who mediate will attest to its powers and mediation masters can literally detach themselves from any type of chaos and outside noise by simply going into their minds and a meditative state.

Enlightenment is often experienced by those who mediate and is it brings them close to their internal feelings and who they are.

In holistic medicine, meditation is often used to treat those with anxiety, depression, and stress. It can help relax, calm and give a truly 100% natural and effective treatment method that has many health benefits.

Here are some key points to remember when performing mindful meditation:

• Be aware of your own breathing pay attention to the sensation of air entering your nostrils and leaving your mouth, and the rise and fall of your belly.
• Let each thought come and go, without suppressing or ignoring each of them. Stay calm and focus on your breathing.
• If you get distracted, simply follow your thoughts without being too hard on yourself.

Mindful Meditation Evidenced-Based Study

A recent study published in the “Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences” online journal suggested that a few hours of mindful meditation or integrative body-mind training can help improve mood, self-control, and response to stress.

The study, which was published on June 11, 2012, involved 68 undergraduates from the Dalian University of Technology in China. The students were divided into relaxation training and meditation training groups. Each of the group underwent either a 30-minute relaxation training or integrative body-mind training over a period of two weeks, totaling 5 hours of training for each group.

Researchers of this study have found changes in the brain’s “white matter”- a part of the brain’s anterior cingulate cortex after performing mindful meditation after just a short period. These changes weren’t observed in the brains of those who underwent relaxation training. None of the participants from both groups had any previous meditation training experience.

A non-invasive, MRI-based technology known as diffusion tensor imaging was used to see the white matter in the brains of the students, together with other imaging technology that measures the white matter’s ability to adapt and change.

The researchers focused on certain areas of the brain that were most susceptible to these physical changes, and measured these areas before and after mindful meditation training.

The white matter is an area in the brain that affects how it learns, and coordinates and relays information among the various brain regions. According to the authors, understanding the white matter with training, learning, and human development can potentially prevent various mental conditions such as anxiety, ADHD, depression, borderline personality disorder, schizophrenia, and even addiction, disorders that all involved the anterior cingulate cortex of the brain.

The most common problem with meditation, just like with any other alternative form of medicine is that scientific evidence is often lacking.

People who have practiced meditation may have been “conditioned” to feel positive about the therapy, and thus have responded favorably to the training.

This study, however, offers a quantifiable result that is actually based on scientific evidence. Because the real structural changes that the brain went through were observed and measured, this discovery study opens up a number of new possibilities in the world of alternative medicine.

 

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedin

Symptoms Of Unwellness

A general feeling of “unwellness” can mean many different things and can manifest in various ways.
It is important first, to find exactly what it is you are feeling when you experience “unwellness.”
What are your specific symptoms? They can vary widely and from person to person: everybody is different.
For example, do you feel tired or lethargic all the time?
Do you suffer with aches and pains? Are they in the joints or the muscles?
Do you find that your performance in daily tasks is suffering?
Are irritated, stressed out, and annoyed much of the time?
Are you overweight?
Do you sleep well or do you find that even though you seem to sleep all night, you wake up feeling as if you’ve been pulled through a hedge backwards? Is your sleep light and fitful, where you are woken up by the slightest noise? Do you find yourself waking up every night at the same time, say 3am, and then finding you cannot get back to sleep again until the wee hours?
Are you taking medications? Have you checked the possible side effects? Could these be contributing to your feelings of unwellness?
Possible Medical Causes
These are dependent on many factors and it is very difficult to pin down exactly what might be causing your malaise. Some common conditions that cause a feeling of general malaise include chronic fatigue, depression, fibromyalgia; you could have anemia or low blood pressure, or, you might have a urinary tract infection.
Problems that are more serious can include HIV and AIDS, cancer, diabetes and adrenal gland dysfunction. If your feelings of malaise go on for more than seven days, it is wise to see a medical practitioner.
The most obvious step is to discuss your symptoms with your doctor who is going to give you a thorough check-up and an educated diagnosis. It is important to get your health checked out to rule out the possibility of anything serious, or, if it is something serious, to catch it early and hopefully treat it successfully and prevent major problems from developing further down the line.
Your doctor will give you a physical examination and probably want you to get some blood tests or x-rays done to rule out certain problems such as thyroid disease or cardiovascular problems.
Identifying Your Needs and Deficits
Optimal wellness begins when we address the whole person, also known as holistic healing. This means that we need to take care of your physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual wellbeing, along with considering our financial (the main cause of stress for many people) and occupational wellness.
In order to assess your own wellness, it’s important to take an honest and comprehensive inventory of your life and self to find problem areas to begin the journey to reach an ideal level of wellbeing.
Basic Ways You Can Improve Your Overall Wellness
Manage your sleep: There are some ways to help your sleep: for instance, don’t eat after 6pm. Try to turn off your computer at least one hour before you go to sleep. Reading is a good way to make yourself drowsy last thing at night. Meditation or listening to a relaxation recording can be helpful. Drinking a cup of warm milk before bedtime is soothing and helps you to settle down.
Eat well: a sensible diet with plenty of leafy greens and fresh fruits and vegetables is key to feeling well. Try to avoid too many carbohydrates as these can make you feel sleepy and light-headed.
Exercise, in moderation, is beneficial to your overall sense of well-being. Walking for half an hour daily can help you feel better.
Rest and relaxation: Getting enough of both will make sure you feel and do your best.
Drink plenty of water and avoid alcohol, sugary drinks, and caffeine: Water can help flush your body of toxins and avoiding stimulants like sugar and caffeine can help calm the nervous system.
Reduce Stress: Whenever possible try to cut stress from your life. Create a calm and welcoming home environment. Avoid people who are negative and complaining. Find time to have fun. Connect with others and grow your social network. Laughter alleviates stress.
Self-care: At the core of all successful wellness attempts is self-care. This means making yourself and your wellbeing a priority, it is truly the foundation of your wellness.

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedin

Empty Nest Syndrome And How To Avoid Related Depression For Women

If a woman has her children in her 20s and 30s, it means that she begins to lose those children to college and marriage around the ages of 40-50. This is unfortunately peak time for perimenopausal symptoms of depression, irritability, physical symptoms, and insomnia. The combination of hormonal changes and “empty nest” syndrome can be emotionally taxing for the woman who has seen herself as a “mother” for much of her earlier life. Continue reading “Empty Nest Syndrome And How To Avoid Related Depression For Women”

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedin