- I started meditating a few years ago after escalating anxiety episodes and insomnia. Looking back, I probably carried stress for a while before it became chronic, which led to frightening moments of anxiety or “panic” attacks. Whether it was worrying about the day-to-day stuff, or doing a good enough job as a mom, or challenges in my relationships, I was suffering from anxiety. A friend also dealing with anxiety and depression referred me to a coach specializing in performance anxiety and stress. He also had a background in psychology. His work provides training in relaxation techniques, self-regulation, meditation and biofeedback.
- Biofeedback is a radical vehicle for measuring stress levels and patterns in brain wave activity. The monitor provides a coach that guides with the rhythm of breath to reduce stress in the body (usually four to five deep inhalations and exhalations). The sessions with my coach would start with discussing personal issues and afterwards, I would be hooked up to the monitor to begin my training with biofeedback and meditation. Along with Biofeedback, I learned the techniques of Mindful Meditation. Within a short time, I felt more relaxed and less anxious. I had improved sleep and everything around me started shining brighter.
Mindful meditation is using the breath to become in the moment. It’s being connected to the NOW. Mindfulness consists of letting go of past thoughts (which could trigger depression),or thoughts of the future (which can lead to anxiety). When I practice mindful meditation, I quiet down, let go of self-judgement and over-analyzing. With continuous practice, I’m able to develop the skill of “no thought.” Mindfulness brings the body and mind into balance when breathing in the rhythm. It fosters inner calm awareness and sense of well being. Practicing mindfulness helps me slow down. It’s been critical in parenting and relationships. When trying to be “non reactive,” I turn to mindfulness. Research proves that Mindfulness has been proven to decrease depression, anxiety, hostility and attention issues, benefiting health well being social relations academic performance and athletic performance on even the highest levels.
The word “anxiety” comes up more and more these days. It’s trending. People find less shame in expressing they feel anxious or have anxiety. Mindfulness is a great resource for tapping into and helping reduce anxiety.
- Here is a quick how-to to get you on the path to mindfulness:
Find a quiet place.
Take a deep inhalation through your nose for 4-5 counts and hold for a few seconds expanding your belly outward.
Exhale through your mouth with pursed lips,allowing your belly to deflate back to normal. With the exhalation, allow for a gentle smile when finishing the breath.
Repeat five times. If at any time you feel lightheaded or dizzy please stop.
When you feel you’ve mastered the technique you can practice this for 10 minutes two times a day. Set an alarm for 10 minutes to avoid any distraction or worry of time.
The process of practicing on a daily basis will have great benefits in stress reduction and optimal vitality.
Centers for practicing Mindful meditation:
Against The Stream West Coast