Meditation benefits well-being, productivity – The Branding Iron

Posted: October 13, 2019 at 3:46 pm

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Katelyn Moorman Staff Writer

Meditation can be described as the process oftranscending ordinary waking consciousness or replacing unwholesome states ofmind.

Transcendental meditation, which puts someone ina state of restful alertness and rids the mind of unnecessary mentalactivity, is an effective way to lower stress levels, hypertension, bloodpressure, and depression, according to a study by Daniel Gutierrez, Jesse Foxand Andrew Wood.

Meditation trainers believe, according toGutierrez, Fox, and Wood, that these positive effects are the result ofmeditations ability to help people transcend through their thoughts andemotions.

The meditation practiced at the UniversityCounseling Center (UCC) is an experience where students learn basic meditationskills, such as placing their awareness and focus on the breath in the presentmoment, said Dr. Toi Geil, UCC Director.

Walking meditation is also practiced, in whichstudents learn to place awareness and focus on the sensation of the soles ofthe feet in the present while walking.

While the choice of what type of meditation topractice is up to the students, Geil said, What is popular really depends oneach students unique experience with the different practices.

Meditation is effective in reducing perceivedstress as well as benefiting ones mental health and cognitive/emotionalfunctioning, according to Li-Chuan Chu of Chung Shan Medical University inTaiwan.

Emotional intelligence, tolerance, sociability,empathy, and positive states of mind are found to be enhanced with regularmeditation. Conversely, anger, anxiety, hostility, depression, and relapsesinto depression are found to be decreased in those who practice regularmeditation. An overall improved well-being, including improved emotionalbalance and self-awareness, can be achieved through mediation. People whomeditate are likely to be more mindful about their environmentthepresentrather than thinking about the past and the future, according to Chu.

Beingable to focus on the present helps to alleviate worry and to be moreproductive.

Mindfulness practices at the UCC can have thesesame effects. Geil said the various types of mindfulness practices that includemeditation have benefits that involve calming the nervous system and helpingstabilize the mind.

Geil also said ample research is available to supportthe statement that the following are benefits of mindfulness practices: feelingless stressed, improving academic performance, and improving ones generalsense of wellbeing.

Geil said many people will benefit from mindfulnesspractices such as meditation, and that if a person wants to learn mindfulnesspractices for managing stress and improving well-being, then I am happy to helpthem learn various mindfulness skills.

People who suffer from headaches and migrainescan benefit from meditation, too. According to Mandy Oaklanders articlepublished in Time, people who meditate saw a decrease in the severity oftheir headaches as well as 1.4 fewer migraines a month. The length of theheadache also changed, with meditation taking off an average of three hours perheadache.

The UCC has incorporated mindfulness relatedapproaches intended to help students improve their wellbeing since the fall of2014, according to Geil.

The Big Sky Workshops have been offered througha collaboration between the UCC and the Wellness Center since the fall of 2015.These workshops and group offerings are based on the Koru mindfulness programthat was developed at Duke University, said Geil. For additional informationabout this program, refer to Mindfulness for the Next Generation byHolly Rogers, MD, and Margaret Maytan, MD. Meditation and mindfulness has beena part of UCCs practices for years, and Geil said, I have been helpingstudents in individual counseling learn mindfulness based stress reductionskills at the University of Wyoming since I was hired in the fall of 2012.

Two meditation-related programs areavailable on campus:

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Meditation benefits well-being, productivity - The Branding Iron

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October 13th, 2019 at 3:46 pm

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