The Mind and Body Connection and Meditation.

What Is The Mind And Body Connection?

The mind and body connection is a set of mechanisms through which one’s thoughts, emotions and spiritual practices can affect the way your body functions.

An example is how the way your body responds to stress and/or constant worry over jobs and finances. Your mind and emotions control your health just as much as the food you eat.

What is Meditation?

The process of quieting your mind by utilizing concentration and relaxation to pivot yourself away from distracting thoughts and instead focus on the present moment.

What we call meditation is referred to in Sanskrit as “Dhyana”. It came from eastern religious practices of India, China and Japan. 

How do you meditate?

Here is a simple way to meditate.

  1. Sit or lie comfortably
  2. Close your eyes
  3. Start breathing naturally
  4. Focus your attention on your breath and how your body moves when you breath in and out.

What are the different types of meditation?

There are seven types of meditation:

  1. Mindfulness Meditation: Involves focusing your mind on your experiences in the present moment.
  2. Transcendental Meditation: Involves the use of a mantra while sitting with your eyes closed.
  3. Guided Meditation: Involves one or more participants meditating in response to the  guidance given by a teacher.
  4. Vipassana Meditation: Also called insight or awareness meditation, gives us insight into the true nature of our experiences.
  5. Loving Kindness Meditation: Also called “metta” meditation consists of mentally sending goodwill, kindness and warmth toward others by repeating a series of mantras.
  6. Chakra Meditation: Chakra is a Sanskrit word that literally means disk/wheel. The practice involves a transfer of energy wheels throughout your body. Each chakra is regarded as a focal point linking your emotional, physical and spiritual energies.
  7. Yoga Meditation: Yoga is a Sanskrit word that means union with the divine. It’s a practice that involves conscious breathing, conscious concentration and relaxation along with a steady pose that should bring you to a meditative state.

What Are The Benefits of Meditation?

  • Anxiety: A section of the brain called the medial prefrontal cortex has numerous neural pathways that emerge from it to connect with the brain’s fear and bodily sensation perception centers. This part of the brain becomes stimulated when were stress out of anxious. Meditation relaxes these connections and you’ll feel less anxious.
  • Resilience: Meditation can lead to the increased resilience of the brain. For example if a particular part of the brain get injured it can quickly repair itself.
  • Stress: Meditation is a great way to relieve stress. When you’re dealing with stress your body produces more cortisol and this can lead to an inflammation response that can disrupt sleep, increased anxiety and depression and high blood pressure. Meditating regularly may reduce this inflammation caused by stress.
  • Creativity: A calmer mind after meditation can lead to increased creativity.
  • Memory: Meditation has been described as being weight lifting for your attention span. Regularly practicing meditation can increase your attention span and allow you to focus on a specific task longer. It’s possible for meditation to reduce age related memory loss.

How Did I Get Into Meditation?

My interest in meditation started in the beginning of 2016 when I went to an intro to Buddhism meeting. This was for Nichiren Buddhism; a form of Buddhism that started in the 13th century in Japan by a monk named Nichiren Daishonin. His teachings emphasize the recitation of the mantra “ nam myoho renge kyo” for health, happiness and enlightenment.

From this point one I became increasingly interested in mindfulness. After dealing with mental health problems that involve depression and anxiety for years meditation was the one practice that benefited me the most. 

Something simple such as practicing mindfulness meditation while sitting in my car during my breaks at work help relieve stress and help me focus.

As of last fall I started practicing yoga. At first I had trouble with balance but with enough practice I improved and it resulted in a looser body and a clear mind.

Have you ever meditated before? If so which type?

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