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Meditation, why and how do we?

Updated: May 23

Meditation is a mental exercise that trains attention and awareness. Its purpose is often to curb reactivity to one's negative thoughts and feelings, which, though they may be disturbing and upsetting and hijack attention from moment to moment, are invariably fleeting. It’s difficult for us to make our thoughts disappear; often, the more we try to suppress them, the louder they become. But practicing meditation can help clear away the mind’s chatter and clutter. Studies show that meditating even for as little as 10 minutes increases the brain's alpha waves (associated with relaxation) and decreasing anxiety and depression. Why should I try meditation? Meditation has been shown to increase focus, reduce stress, and promote calmness. It can also help people recognise and accept negative emotions—especially when it is done in combination with mindfulness practices that keep people grounded in experiencing the present moment. It is particularly effective when the meditator has social support, such as in a structured group setting or with the help of a friend, family member or teacher. What types of meditation should I try? In mindfulness meditation, one turns their attention to a single point of reference, such as one’s breath or bodily sensations, or a word or phrase known as a mantra. The practice has been shown to decrease distraction and rumination (rumination, is defined as excessive, repetitive thinking about the same event in psychology), make negative automatic thoughts easier to let go of, and promote greater enjoyment of the present moment. Loving-kindness meditation directs one’s focus toward developing feelings of goodwill, kindness, and warmth for others. It can help boost empathy and compassion, and curb charged responses to negative thoughts.

At he Academy Of Presence we teach and guide you through a process which has both these elements and outcomes. How does meditation improve physical and emotional health? Meditation also acts on areas of the brain that modulate the autonomic nervous system, which governs such functions as digestion and blood pressure—functions heavily affected by chronic stress. Through its physiological effects, meditation has been found to effectively counter heart disease, chronic pain, and many other conditions. It is also valuable in improving emotion regulation and countless other things physically and psychologically. What do people misunderstand about meditating? Meditation doesn’t require someone to get rid of all their thoughts, nor do you have to sit for hours sounding out Ohmmmm. While meditating can be relaxing, it can also be physically and mentally demanding to train oneself to focus differently. People tend to think of meditating as a solitary activity, but it can be just as beneficial in a group setting. And people often believe they’re not capable of meditating, but the truth is that there is no wrong way to meditate—just trying can bring about positive changes and anyone can meditate. Is meditation recommended for people with mental health concerns? For people who struggle with emotional regulation generally, or with specific psychiatric diagnoses, meditation can be a way to circumvent and regain control of negative self-talk that is otherwise difficult to ignore. Meditation helps to provide an emotional buffer, giving an individual time to reflect before succumbing to negativity or acting impulsively. As a result, meditation has become a common prescription for mental health conditions by mental health services around the world.

We guide you and show you techniques to enable you to meditate, creating focus, calm, joy and love.

Much love and light to you.

JT Noor

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