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7 meditation and mindfulness apps with free tools for coronavirus anxiety – Mashable

Posted: March 26, 2020 at 12:45 am

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By Caitlin Welsh2020-03-25 10:42:30 UTC

March Mindfulness is Mashable's series that examines the intersection of meditation practice and technology. Because even in the time of coronavirus, March doesn't have to be madness.

Whether you're social distancing, in lockdown, self-isolating, sheltering in place, working to keep essential services going, or just finding yourself with a lot more free time and uncertainty ahead, you could probably benefit from developing a mindfulness or meditation habit right now. Or at least doing something with your phone that isn't doom-scrolling the news.

The coronavirus pandemic is impacting everyone in different ways, but stress and anxiety is a pretty universal effect. Whether or not you were already in the habit of taking some time regularly to meditate, the practice could be extra helpful for your mental health now and in the coming weeks and months.

There are loads of apps, courses, and other resources to help you develop a regular practice, but some of the most popular apps and guides now have dedicated resources to help you do so in the midst of this unprecedented moment. All the below have free resources, from special access for healthcare workers or people who've lost their income, to apps that are completely free anyway.

Take a deep, slow breath, and let's have a look.

This app is great if youre looking for something with minimal woo-woo vibes. Theres a pricey premium tier, but the Basics course of explanatory videos and guided sessions is free. With most, you can choose from a couple of options depending on how long you have, from just a couple of minutes to longer guided meditations. There are also free daily highlights you can do on their own, including some specific new ones for dealing with coronavirus anxiety.

Theyve even created some free meditations especially for healthcare workers and other coronavirus responders, and are offering those workers free subscriptions too. Their website now includes a whole section on managing anxiety around COVID-19 (the disease caused by coronavirus), with daily live sanity break videos.

App Store, Google Play

The OG gym membership for your mind is a comprehensive go-to in this, uh, space, and theyre now offering free Premium access for people working in U.S. public healthcare. The company says its working on ways to verify healthcare workers in other parts of the world, too.

For everyone else, theres a broader section with some free guided meditations, as well as more specialised resources for work and education.

App Store, Google Play

Calm has an entire page of resources dedicated to mindfulness exercises to practice during isolation.

Calm, another super-popular mindfulness and meditation app, has curated a page full of resources to help you meet this moment together, all of which which you can access in your browser without having to download the app and sign up.

As well as mindfulness exercises and guided meditations at a range of lengths, there are calm body stretching exercises to take care of your working-from-home back, resources for kids, a talk on creativity from Eat Pray Love author Elizabeth Gilbert, calendars to print out with a mindfulness exercise or idea for every day, conversation and kindness prompts to help you reach out to others, and even a half-hour bedtime story read to you by the most chill man in showbiz, Matthew McConaughey. The page is available in English, Spanish, German, French, Korean, and Portuguese.

App Store, Google Play

Insight Timer is incredibly popular and always free, with a library of over 30,000 guided meditations and a simple timer for meditation. You'll need to log in to use them. There's also a premium support tier, which has a generous 30-day trial.

App Store

This free app was designed originally for kids and young adults (and their parents and teachers) but its a comprehensive resource for everyone, including over 41 sessions across 10 modules in its Mindfulness Foundations section for adults. If youre a fan of Australian accents, the narrators soothing, incredibly chill tones are a relaxing listen on their own.

Their COVID-19 resource page isnt as comprehensive as Calms, as the resources are already completely free, but it features simple tips on self-care and grounding yourself during moments of panic, with a super effective, looping breath-guiding animation. The design is super kid-friendly, so it's great if your newly home-schooled littlies need some calm.

App Store, Google Play

Smiling Mind also has a page dedicated to COVID-19 resources.

This app from UCLAs Mindful Awareness Research Center is always free, with (as you might guess) a research-based approach. It includes basic meditations in English and Spanish, and the Center also hosts weekly podcasts from the Hammer Museum, which are currently being held over Zoom for safety reasons and will no doubt be tackling some topical strategies.

App Store, Google Play

This popular app, which focuses on five-minute sessions to help busy people develop a daily practice, also has a collection of online resources dedicated to combating anxiety and other feelings around the coronavirus crisis. Youll need to sign up for a free account to access them.

In a nice inclusive touch, theyre also offering free Premium memberships to anyone who cant afford to pay for them due to loss of income in the pandemic; you can just send them an email. Theres more detail in this blog post by the companys CEO.

App Store, Google Play

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7 meditation and mindfulness apps with free tools for coronavirus anxiety - Mashable

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March 26th, 2020 at 12:45 am

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Feeling stressed? Try meditating to find a moment of calm in your day –

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If you feel like your brain is spinning in circles and you cant find a moment of calm in your day, youre not alone. There is a lot of stress in the world right now, for good reason. But its important to find some moments to relax, ease your mind, and be able to just breathe.

One thing that might help with that is meditating. Personally, I have been meditating for a few months now, and I love the benefits it has brought to my brain.

But you dont have to take my word for it.

Its so important to give ourselves a rest. Its really easy to feel overwhelmed right now, says Ryan Kenny, co-founder of Pause Meditation in Portland. We have to be really careful with our mental space because that has a huge impact on our overall health and well-being. So learning to meditate offers us an opportunity to develop ways to relax our minds and our bodies, to restore and replenish some of our energy, and can help us feel more resilient as change continues to unfold.

So if you want to try meditating, where do you start? Start by setting up what Ryan calls a breathing space - a space that feels welcoming and inspiring. This space should, ideally, be away from the typical distractions, like technology.

Whatever you can craft that will feel welcoming, says Ryan.

Here are some things Ryan uses in his breathing space:

Floor cushions (or a chair, if that works better for your body)

Flowers (or anything else beautiful)

Inspirational books


Ryan also says that having a sense of community can be very beneficial to your meditation practice. Normally, Pause Meditation hosts group classes in a studio. But right now, during this time of social distancing, for the first time ever, the studio is offering online classes throughout the day.

Its just really neat to see people. Were all isolated in our little corners and doing the best we can, but its really kind of beautiful to see the other people that youre with, and to rely on one another to hold the space for meditation.

Whether youre meditating alone or with others, you still may find it difficult to focus and tune out the world during your practice. But dont worry - that is natural, and ok."

Whats really important to know, is that this is not a practice of eradicating or squashing our thoughts, says Ryan. But what we can do is learn to relate to our thoughts in a different way. And when we notice ourselves get pulled into a stream of thinking, and we gently acknowledge, like, Oh, Im thinking right now! you just kind of touch it, and then you let go, and you come back to your anchor - breath, sound; then youre actually practicing resilience. You expect or hope life to go one way, all of a sudden you find yourself going this way. And then you catch and you correct, and you start over. And so, just the simple practice of noticing your mind take off, coming back, gently resetting can be really nourishing, and prepare us to take on the challenges that are inevitable.

Cassidy Quinn is the host of Tonight With Cassidy on KGW. But right now, like many of you, she is working from home, trying to focus on the happier things going on in the world. Tonight With Cassidy is currently on hiatus, but you can watch previous segments from the showhere, and follow Cassidy on Twitter@CassidyQuinn.

RELATED: Can I still go hiking and fishing? Should I call 911 if I see people gathering? Questions and answers about Gov. Brown's stay-home order

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Feeling stressed? Try meditating to find a moment of calm in your day -

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March 26th, 2020 at 12:45 am

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Finding a Peaceful Place: Is Now the Time to Try Meditation? –

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Is Now the Time to Try Meditation?

As many of us hunker down in our homes at this frightening and stressful time, there are all kinds of things we are doing to fill the time. Some things we havent done in a while, like the 1000 piece puzzle that is near completion. Other things are brand new, like using Duolingo to learn a foreign language. How about trying out meditation? The science is clear, meditation is a quick way to reduce stress, something we could all use. For those who havent tried before, it can take a little time to get started, so how about now?

When my husband, Nez, was being treated at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC) a few years ago, our stress and anxiety was at an all-time high. This is when we both began a meditation practice. We used a free 21-day series by Oprah Winfrey and Deepak Chopra to get started. A new series was just released yesterday #HopeGoesGlobal. You register online and can access the free meditations on your computer, or you can download the app on your phone or iPad. Oprah and Deepak give inspirational thoughts and then there is roughly 15 minutesof meditation.

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There are other choices of course. If you Google free meditation you will get over 400,000 results. MSKCC has a series online as part of their Integrative Medicine. The App Stores have all kinds of offerings, such as Headspace or Calm. You can find meditation on many fitness apps like Peloton, and YouTube is a treasure trove. Find something that speaks to you, find a quiet corner, get comfortable, and get started. Help clear and calm your mind; even if only for a few minutes.

Emily & Nez Nikoo

After meeting at Purdue University, Emily & Nez Nikoo (both Electrical Engineers), married and began their professional journey working together first for the space program and then in media & entertainment. After tackling lifes challenges, Emily gravitated to healthcare innovation and Nez to STEM advocacy and education.

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Finding a Peaceful Place: Is Now the Time to Try Meditation? -

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March 26th, 2020 at 12:45 am

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40 days of mindfulness meditation leads to structural brain changes and improved quality of life – PsyPost

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A study in Scientific Reports has helped reinforce our understanding of how meditation and mindfulness affect change in the structure and functioning of certain brain areas, and how these changes lead to increased wellness.

In the study, fourteen university students participated in a 40-day meditation training course. None of the students had any prior training in meditation, which allowed the researchers to evaluate changes in the function and structure of a number of brain regions. In addition, subjects were given self-assessment questionnaires before and after the meditation course to monitor any changes in mood and wellbeing.

After 40 days of mindfulness training, imaging techniques revealed alterations in the precuneus and posterior cingulate cortex. These two brain regions are thought to be involved at various levels in self-awareness and consciousness. They also play critical roles in the Default Mode Network, a vast network of interconnected structures that contributes to certain fundamental aspects of personhood, including the perception of ones own emotional state, understanding others thoughts and emotions, and moral reasoning.

In addition to these neurological changes, participants also showed a marked decrease in both depressive and anxious tendencies, as evaluated by the self-assessment questionnaires. More significant reductions in depression and anxiety scores correlated with greater structural changes in the aforementioned brain regions, lending support to previous research in the same domain.

The study, as noted by researchers, should be considered in light of certain methodological limitations. First and foremost, a relatively small sample size of 14 participants limits the studys generalizability. There was also no control group, which is unfortunate, as this makes it difficult to be sure that the observed changes were, in fact, a result of the meditation practice, and not some other, external factor.

Nonetheless, the studys findings are both intriguing and promising: they contribute to our understanding of how brain structures are changed by meditation and mindfulness, and provides a number of opportunities for future research. The most striking finding of the study is that a mere 40 days of meditation was needed to both alter the structure and function of participants brains, and improve the participants quality of life as measured by depression symptomatology and anxiety.

The study, Alterations in Brain Structure and Amplitude of Low-frequency after 8 weeks of Mindfulness Meditation Training in Meditation-Nave Subjects, was authored by Chuan-Chih Yang, Alfonso Barrs-Loscertales, Meng Li, Daniel Pinazo, Viola Borchardt, Csar vila, and Martin Walter.

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40 days of mindfulness meditation leads to structural brain changes and improved quality of life - PsyPost

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March 26th, 2020 at 12:45 am

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Beat the stress, meditate – The Tribune India

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Gurnaaz Kaur

In its recent health guideline, the Harvard Medical School said yoga, meditation and controlled breathing are some of the tested ways to address anxiety issues related to the novel coronavirus. The pandemic has us all facing uncertainty and then there is isolation anxiety. Usually, being at home on a workday is a good feeling, but when there is a curfew in the city and all that you have access to is news of growing number of covid-19 cases, it needs some strong coping skills.

Focus in silence

Believe us, meditation can be your guiding force. But how does one start? If you are a beginner, weve got you covered. One could practice mindfulness by becoming aware of the present moment. In simple words whatever mundane chores you do, do them with full awareness. For example, when you brush your teeth, your mind should just be in that act and not thinking of what needs to be done later in the day, explains Hugo (Hartaj), a yoga and meditation teacher.

When you follow this, you become one with the act and the present moment; thats meditation. Similarly, when you do anything, be it cooking, cleaning, dancing or reading, be fully engrossed in it and love the act fully, he adds. Once you learn this meditation in motion, you can graduate to sitting in meditation. There, according to Hugo, one may sit in silence, observe the sounds around you and feel your breath. With time and practice, one reaches a spot where the monkey in the mind goes to sleep and you reach a place of no mind.

The key is regular practice and persistence. Practicing it daily even for five to ten minutes will take you a long way.

Varied techniques

Honey Grewal, a meditation facilitator, says one can begin with visual meditation. Firstly, imagine that your body is made up of light; then visualise the sun right above your head, showering its light onto you and filling up each cell of your body with vital energy. Do this for 10 minutes and gradually increase the time, she says.

Likewise, there is sound meditation wherein you sit quietly and focus on any sound present around you. It could be birds, a fan, a dog or even your own breath. In sound meditation, one can even put some healing, soft sound or mantra on their phone. Just listen to it for as long as you can.

Honey, however, offers a word of caution. When you meditate, it is important to not supress the thoughts. Just let them come and go. Your focus should not change; it is either on the visual or sound. Eventually, the thoughts will stop.

Honey sheds light that meditation is especially important in times like these when staying indoors can cause a lot of mind clogging and too much fearful thinking can negatively affect the immune system, therefore one must have faith in their body and know that the mind is a powerful tool.

Control the mind

While some of us fear losing our jobs or fear getting affected by the virus or are stressed about our families, but is any of this under our control? What is in our control is following the advisory of the authorities. What is also in our control is working on ourselves internally. With all of us locked-down, its good time to focus on our physical and mental health, says Rabiya Gill, a life-coach.

She says one of the best ways to deal with mental and emotional discomfort is to meditate. Meditation helps you calm the mind, brings stillness, helps reduce BP and heart rate; it helps provide proper oxygen to the body, brings clarity of mind, facilitates decision-making and keeps the body healthy.

A beginner, Rabiya adds can start meditation by focusing on the breath. To avoid distractions, sit in a silent place, close your eyes and you can even listen to calming music. But the key is to focus on the breath. Take deep breaths and observe the air going in and out of your body. Keep breathing and allow yourself to feel the breath. If you feel distracted by your thoughts, slowly just start observing them instead of trying to push them away. Make friends with them.

Last, but not the least, count your blessings it calms your mind.

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Beat the stress, meditate - The Tribune India

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March 26th, 2020 at 12:45 am

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This 1-minute meditation will help curb anxiety and stress – Travelbinger

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It is obviously a stressful time.

I suffered an anxiety attack in my sleep last week. I didnt see it comingbut I should have. I was constantly trolling Twitter and news outlets to see what terrible thing could happen next in this pandemic. Id been checking on people every day, including 8 friends I personally know who have coronavirus, which was stressful, then someone I knew passed away from covid, and that hit me hard. I have also been cooped up with a very active and impatient dog, 24/7, which has been exhausting me, and the bleak news notifications on my phone was taking a toll. All of this lead me to think negatively. I was constantly thinking of worst-case scenarios, in the worst possible headspace.

I was practically feeding my anxiety with tons of fuel.

Then I started to feel completely run down, which made me think I had covid. I had taken all the necessary precautions, to an extreme level, so there was no reason why I would have it. This led me to further panic. My neighbor, a paramedic, told me I likely didnt have it, that I was just so stressed out from the times that I was weakening my immune system. And its true. I had been drinking tons of electrolyte water, sleeping 10 hours a day and taking all the proper vitamins (once a day vitamins, immunity boosters, etc). But I was getting to a dark place mentally because of anxiety, which was compromising my health. I feel fine. Im physically and mentally fine now because I took a step back and addressed this situation.

Anxiety and stress can weaken your immune system. This is a fact. Stress weakens your white blood cells that help fight off infection, so coronavirus or not, you can still get sick and many people might start feeling off because they are compromising their immune systems.

Im starting to think that a lot of people who believe they have covid may be incredibly stressed out, leaving their guards down, becoming more susceptible. In fact, almost 50 percent of people with covid start with diarrhea as a symptom, which baffles experts, because coronavirus is a *respiratory infection*. I personally believe, because diarrhea is a symptom of anxiety and stress, and NOT a symptom to respiratory disease, some people are simply getting sick from anxiety first, which opens the doors for susceptibility.

Obviously Im not a doctor, and you should just assume you have it and self quarantine if you feel covid symptoms, but you should take care of yourself mentally, which is just as importantly as physically. In fact, your mental state can have an impact on your physical state. The point is: your stress and anxiety right now could compromise your health.

A friend lent meHealing Back Pain by John E. Sarno, which Ive read three times. I have back issues, and the main takeaway from this book is that a lot of my back pain was attributed to my mental state because physical symptoms *do* transpire from your thoughts and emotions and feelings. Why do people get stomach aches when theyre nervous? Why do people get headaches when theyre stressed? People can manifest certain physical symptoms.

Yesterday, I unplugged from social media and emails all day. I did meditation. I thought about good moments in my life to release chemicals in my brain that suggest Im happy and healthy and in a good place. I had to switch my brain. I took a mental health day, and it helped significantly.

One meditation Im doing is extremely helpful and incredibly simple.

Close your eyes. Take a deep breath for four seconds, and think about positivity and love and light and people you love as you inhale. Hold for four seconds. Then exhale all the anxiety and stress and negativity from your body. Do this five times.

Its just a simple meditation, but I find it to be incredibly powerful.

Its important people are in good mental health right now, so do whatever you can to get there! Travelbinger is proud to be a publisher with Google News. Only few travel publications qualify. Google News consider Travelbinger a blog, making us the only travel blog to be part of Google News. Well take it!

Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. If you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Please do! Im a one-man team for this website, so any help is sincerely appreciated.

Travelbinger is now on YouTube! Subscribe here for exclusive travel tips and advice from founder Jimmy Im.Were also on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

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March 26th, 2020 at 12:45 am

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International Contemporary Ensemble And Music On The Rebound to Present THE WORLD WIDE TUNING MEDITATION – Broadway World

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On four Saturdays - March 28, April 4, 11, and 18, 2020 at 5pm EDT - the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE) and Music on the Rebound present The World Wide Tuning Meditation. Ione and Claire Chase lead a global performance of the late Pauline Oliveros' The Tuning Meditation, a sonic gathering with a legacy of bringing communities together through meditative singing. Anyone from anywhere in the world is invited to join in via Zoom to sing together from their personal phone or computer. No music experience is necessary.

Oliveros' The Tuning Meditation consists of four steps:

1. Begin by taking a deep breath and letting it all the way out with air sound. Listen with your mind's ear for a tone.

2. On the next breath using any vowel sound, sing the tone that you have silently perceived on one comfortable breath. Listen to the whole field of sound the group is making.

3. Select a voice distant from you and tune as exactly as possible to the tone you are hearing from that voice. Listen again to the whole field of sound the group is making.

4. Contribute by singing a new tone that no one else is singing. Continue by listening then singing a tone of your own or tuning to the tone of another voice alternately.

Claire Chase says, "I remember with deep admiration how Pauline handled the devastating moments after 9/11, immediately calling on artists to come together, to create renewed kinds of community, and to make music more purposefully and more generously than ever. In these confusing moments over the past weeks as we have found our lives and work upended by the public health crisis, many of us have again turned to Pauline, and even though she is no longer physically with us, her music, practice, and the ever-widening spaces of inclusivity and listening that she engendered in her lifetime are very much with us. The Tuning Meditation is perhaps her most inclusive composition, as it invites any number of humans to listen and sound with one another over any distance, and I can think of no greater salve for our souls right now than the gathering of a thousand self-isolated people to share in music making across all kinds of real and imagined borders. I am so grateful to my colleagues at ICE, to Raquel Klein and Rebound, and to IONE and Pauline for their extraordinary collaboration in this. As Pauline always used to say, 'Collaboration is a community of effort.' When there are so many forces at play to divide us right now, we need every effort to stay together, in all of our complexity and all of our beautiful difference, in all of our suffering and all of our hope."

Of the project, Ione says, "'Call it listening out loud." Pauline said once about The Tuning Meditation. I listened as the 500 members of the audience at St John's Cathedral, Smith's Square in London received comfort from their own rising sounds after hearing Pauline's simple instructions. She stood at the front of the vast crowd, hands clasped, head slightly bowed, listening. It was June of 2016 and the news of the positive Brexit vote had just stunned an enormous number of British citizens. A sense of extraordinary community was palpable in the room as the singing concluded. Pauline, very aware of a political climate that might shock and separate us, intended to present The World Wide Tuning Meditation again to meet upcoming new challenges. I am so grateful to Claire Chase, Raquel Klein of Music on the Rebound, and Ross Karre and Bridgid Bergin of the International Contemporary Ensemble who are bringing Pauline's score to us again in its worldwide form. It has the effect of a healing balm to unite us as one community."

Music on the Rebound is an online, interactive music festival designed to bring people together and support performing artists affected by the COVID-19 crisis, streaming March 25-30, 2020 featuring music across genres from esteemed artists such as Claire Chase, Paola Prestini, Ganavya Doraiswamy, the Brooklyn Youth Chorus and more. Donations will go directly to the artists featured in the video or to an emergency arts fund. New concerts are released at 7:30pm EDT each day of the festival.

Program Information The World Wide Tuning Meditation Saturday, March 28, 2020 at 5pm EDT Saturday, April 4, 2020 at 5pm EDT Saturday, April 11, 2020 at 5pm EDT Saturday, April 18, 2020 at 5pm EDT Tickets: Free. RSVP Here to receive Zoom call-in information. Information Link:

Performers and Administration: Raquel Acevedo Klein - Music on the Rebound Festival Organizer Ione - Co-Organizer, Tuning Meditation Bridgid Bergin - Co-Organizer, Tuning Meditation Larry Blumenfeld - Advisor, interviewer Claire Chase - Co-Organizer, Tuning Meditation Boo Froebel - Producing Advisor Ross Karre - Co-Organizer, Tuning Meditation Erica Zielinski - Producing Advisor International Contemporary Ensemble - Host, Tuning Meditation

Social Media: Facebook - Hashtags - #musicrebound #reboundrecover

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International Contemporary Ensemble And Music On The Rebound to Present THE WORLD WIDE TUNING MEDITATION - Broadway World

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March 26th, 2020 at 12:45 am

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You can join a live, global meditation with Deepak Chopra this weekend – Time Out

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If youre feeling a little lost or panicky or, you know, just in a full-on anxiety spiral about the state of the world heres something that might sooth your frazzled nerves.

This weekend, youll be able to livestream some seriously calming vibes into your probably-not-very-calm flat.

Famous self-help guru Deepak Chopra is teaming up with The Well, a fancy wellness members club in New York, to bring millions of people together from all over the world during these times of uncertainty and heightened anxiety.

Chopra will be live streaming a free, global mantra-based meditation calledH(OM)E (see what they did there?) into our homes.

The idea is that the meditation will bringing people around the world together, despite them being in their separate houses. The world will breathe as one and, if you believe in that kinda thing, the positive intentions and power of the collective meditation will helpto heal the world. Its worth a go, right?

Tune intoChoprashigh-frequency vibes on Sunday March 29 at12pm EST (4pm GMT).

You can sign up for free here.

Feeling frazzled?

Take a digital yoga class

This greenhouse is live-streaming soothing content

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You can join a live, global meditation with Deepak Chopra this weekend - Time Out

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March 26th, 2020 at 12:45 am

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Now Is The Perfect Time To Start Meditating, And Science Proves It – Forbes

Posted: March 24, 2020 at 2:44 pm

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Photo taken in Barcelona, Spain

Between the coronavirus pandemic, an uncertain future both economically and environmentally, its not a stretch to say that these are times filled with stress, anxiety and worry unlike what many of us have experienced before.

But with tens of millions around the world being asked to shelter in place for weeks if not months to come, it could also be an excellent opportunity to cultivate a new habit that recent research has shown can reduce anxiety while improving your memory and focus.

Some of you will not be surprised to learn that Im talking about meditation.

A study by researchers at New York University found that less than fifteen minutes of meditation a day for eight weeks can reduce anxiety, fatigue and mood disturbance.

The study published last year in the journal Behavioural Brain Research involved groups of people between the ages of 18 and 45 with little or no experience meditating. One group of participants spent 13 minutes a day in guided meditation while a control group spent 13 minutes each day listening to a podcast.

Throughout the experiment, participants were given tests meant to gauge their response to stress, mood and cognition. After eight weeks, the meditation group was generally in a better mood, able to focus more and remember things while also responding more positively to stress.

Interestingly the participants did not show any results after only four weeks of meditation, suggesting a longer term investment is required to see benefits from the practice.

Even relatively short daily meditation practice can have similar behavioral effects as longer duration and higher-intensity mediation practices, the paper reads.

The study is one of several showing that meditation can improve thinking and might do so by actually reorganizing the networks in the brain.

A regular meditation practice is also recommended for everything from weight loss to improving leadership skills.

The key, the new research suggests, is not how long you can sit in stillness for a stretch, but consistently integrating it into your daily schedule.

With our daily schedules now very much upended and stillness at a surplus for many of us (at least when the kids are asleep), it could be the perfect time to start a new habit that may help you get through the months ahead.

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Now Is The Perfect Time To Start Meditating, And Science Proves It - Forbes

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March 24th, 2020 at 2:44 pm

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Meditation has many benefits, especially in these uncertain times – Reading Eagle

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During this time of uncertainty thats impacting each of us in one way or another, not just here in Berks County, but globally, one thing we have been told to do is to slow down our lives.

Not literally, but with everyones state of normal being turned upside down by the coronavirus pandemic, we are essentially being asked to put things on hold to isolate ourselves.

Things like play dates, greeting the school bus, going to a game, movie, gym or maybe even work are no longer possible at least until we get the go-ahead again, whenever that may be.

While we can look at one of the positives of this situation as the gift of time we have been given to focus on our family at home, slowing down isnt going to be easy for everyone.

Slowing down, when youve been running on adrenaline and cortisol, our two major stress hormones, may not be easy for many at first, said Greg Schweitzer, a wellness coach, educator and professional speaker. One of my clients, a physician, called this syndrome 'hurry-sickness.'"

As the owner of Stress Reduction Resources in Spring Township, Schweitzer provides educational workshops on meditation, more specifically what he refers to as effortless meditation.

Effortless meditation encapsulates the idea that it takes literally no effort in terms of any physical exertion to practice meditation.

It is completely effortless, he said. We are not doing much to get a great benefit.

Greg Schweitzer, wellness coach, educator and public speaker.

His approach centers on a mantra-based practice, and Schweitzer said that after just a few days of keeping up with it, you can begin to reap benefits that include feeling happier, having more energy, feeling more awake and more alert, leading to a more enjoyable life.

The mantra is our vehicle to get from that active, turbulent mind to the peaceful mind the mind wants to go there without effort, he said.

Schweitzer, who worked with Deepak Chopra in the 1990s, describes meditation as a natural medicine that heals and has the potential to literally transform peoples lives.

During meditation we experience a very deep state of rest, deeper than what we experience in sleep science shows, he said.

Schweitzer recommends spending 15 to 20 minutes twice a day for maximum benefit to impact your day in positive ways, a small investment of time that has great rewards.

The key is to commit to the practice, to make it as natural as brushing your teeth. If you are short on time on a given day, Schweitzer offered some advice.

If you feel you cant do it for 15 minutes, go for 10 or 5, he said. Anything is better than nothing.

Schweitzer said that to meditate you can sit in a way that makes you comfortable, whether on the ground or in a chair or even on your bed. And you dont have to wear any special clothes.

You dont have to sit in the lotus position, he said. If you had back surgery or are ill and need to lie down to be comfortable, that is fine.

You don't have to wear any special clothes and can sit comfortably in a chair to meditate.

Whether you take a workshop or learn through research online, if you are curious as to how meditation may benefit you, now may be an optimal time for you to learn more about it and give it a try, particularly to help manage any stress associated with the current health crisis.

Chronic stress and pressure is an irritant to our health and well-being, Schweitzer said, adding it can be released during meditation practice. The deep rest, peace and calm that meditation brings are healing for our physical, mental and emotional health.

Since the practice of meditation is typically done on our own time, doesnt require a special location and doesnt cost a dime, it is ideal to do at home.

We can experience the benefit of meditation even if we are isolated or quarantined, he said. We are not dependent upon anyone to deliver this service to us.

You may be wondering what the best time is to fit meditation in if demands at home for your attention are at an all-time high with kids off from school.

If you have young children, an ideal time may be when they are taking their morning and/or afternoon naps.

If your children are older, you can serve as a good role model for self-care by letting them know you will be taking time for yourself to meditate, with ideal times being mid-morning and just before dinner times when you may feel in need of a reset to maximize the rest of your day.

Schweitzer said when he started meditating 45 years ago, he was able to cut out coffee to get himself through the day.

I wasnt relying on caffeine to kickstart my alertness and adrenaline, he said.

The key to reaping the most benefits is being consistent. Once you begin dedicating time to meditation twice daily, you will most likely come to view it as an essential part of your day.

Meditation has the potential to feel like a mini-vacation, something that might greatly enrich your life with minimal effort.

Meditation is self-care at its finest, Schweitzer said. With regular practice, life after meditation quickly becomes more satisfying, enjoyable and healthier it is so important to our life.

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Meditation has many benefits, especially in these uncertain times - Reading Eagle

Written by admin

March 24th, 2020 at 2:44 pm

Posted in Meditation

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