Motivational Monday: Meditation –


Jolie Carston, Clinical Director  with the Elliott Counseling Group joinds is for Motivational Monday. 

What is meditation:

* Intentional focus to increase feelings of peace and decrease feelings of stress.

* Exercise for the brain to reduce atrophy and improve neurological functioning.

* Attention – intentionally focusing on something for even one minute is meditation.

* Concentration – intentionally focusing on a word, a phrase, an object, a sound, or an image.

* Awareness – intentionally focusing on the present moment as it comes without judgment.

What meditation is not:

* Not a relaxation technique: meditation can lead to relaxation, but it is not the goal.

* Not emptying the mind: meditation is developing awareness of thoughts.

* Not a goal to achieve: meditation is focusing on the present rather than the past or future.

Benefits of meditation:

* Reduce feelings of stress and increase feelings of mental preparedness.

* Decrease negative health issues:

o Hypertension

o Anxiety

o Depression

o Irritable bowel syndrome

o Chronic pain

o Addiction

o Insomnia

* Positive effects on brain:

o Increased gray-matter density in various areas of brain associated with learning, attention, concentration, memory, empathy, and self-reflection.

o Reduce or even reverse effects of aging on brain, such as mind-wandering and decreased senses.

o Decreased amygdala area – less anxiety, fear, and stress

Simple ways to practice meditation:

* Eating: try to sit alone and focus on enjoying your food with all of your senses and gratitude.

* Breath awareness: focus on breathing fully and deeply, from your belly rather than your chest.

* Body scan: focus on each part of your body, from your head to your feet, noticing any tension.

* Rainbow Walk: focus on things around you that match each color of the rainbow.

* Perspective: focus on at least one positive quality within each person you encounter for a day.


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