Using Mindfulness Techniques and Practices
Posted 3/31/2016 by Alexander Rigda LPC, Behavior Specialist for Healthy Kids
What are meditation and mindfulness?
Mindfulness practices involve a variety of acts which help individuals achieve a healthy mind and body connection. Some techniques, such as meditation, have been practiced for many years dating back to early civilizations. Today, modern health and medicine have adopted the practice of mindfulness to use as a proficient tool in optimizing overall health.
According to research completed by the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, practicing meditation may reduce blood pressure, symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, anxiety and depression, insomnia and the incidence, duration and severity of acute respiratory illnesses (such as influenza).
How is mindful meditation achieved?
The act of meditating is achieved in many ways. The most traditional form of meditation uses specific techniques:
- Find a quite location away from distraction. Taking the time to minimize our distraction can help with creating a calming environment to enjoy.
- Find a posture that is comfortable for you. This could be any combination of sitting, standing, walking or lying down.
- Focus your attention on a specific mantra or calming statement to help achieve stillness. You can also focus on calming patterns of breathing such as deep breathing.
- Keep an open attitude. Allowing thoughts to flow through without creating a distraction is the most important discipline of creating a positive meditation experience.
Each variation of meditation depends on the individuals personal health concerns and may require adjusting, depending individual capability.
Results on the Brain from Long Term Studies
Research has found that adults who practice regular meditation and mindfulness techniques also have improved brain function. The process, called gyrification, helps promote additional folding on the outer layer of the brain which improves the brain’s functioning for processing of new information. Meditation and mindfulness have also been proven to slow, stall or even reverse changes that take place in the brain due to normal aging. Emotional regulation has also shown to be drastically improved by simple and disciplined meditation.
Learn more about meditation and mindfulness services at University Hospitals Connor Integrative Health Network.