The Importance for Arthritis Sufferers to Meditate

There is no better way to relax and become centered through through meditation. There are many meditation tapes on the market. Choose one that is right for you. Again, you may have to experiment to find one that is best for you. But do not be in a hurry to choose a meditation CD. Take your time and make sure that you try at least ten different ones so that you can decide which one is best for you.

Many arthritis and fibromyalgia sufferers have days when negative thoughts and emotions plague them. Sometimes there is no real reason for it. Many arthritis and fibromyalgia sufferers are sooner to dwelling on negative feelings and emotions. It is important to make sure that these negative feelings and emotions do not fester and make our pain and fatigue worse. We will also feel more tired and out of control when we are stressed out. This cycle will make our pain and fatigue worse and we will feel very low overall.

Therefore, it is important to take the time to change our negative thoughts and move them out of negative mode to positive. That requires a bit of effort and discipline at first. But it sure is worth it because you can become a master of your own negative emotions and you can take steps to make bad days into good ones. It is possible for us to take control over our minds regardless of how much physical pain and fatigue we experience. We can do this with a bit of self-control and the decision to live the best life we ​​are capable of.

Meditation does not have to be hard. Even the simplest type of meditation will work wonders for you.

Here is a simple yet effective way to meditate.

• Set a timer for fifteen minutes. Place it beside you.
• Light a candle and turn off any loud noises. Turn the ringer off on the telephone.
• Sit down. You may want to close your eyes.
• Take a few diaphragmatic breaths. Breathe in on a count of four and breathe out on a count of four. Keep that up for a few minutes.
• Think of a pleasant nature scene. Breathe deeply.
• If distracting thoughts flow in, just ignore them. This can take some practice at first. Please be patient but consistent with yourself.
• Breathe deeply and focus on your breath. Stay in the present.

There are a many benefits to meditation. Here are a few of the most known ones that yogis talk about continously.

• You'll feel more relaxed and centered.
• You'll feel less frustrated.
• You'll feel less pain and fatigue.
• You'll feel more self-confident.
• You'll feel less stressed.
• You feel more plugged into yourself;
• You'll feel more capable of coping with your arthritis.
• You'll feel more able to carry on with your day in a better way.

Given these benefits, you can not afford not to meditate. It is sure to be a win-win for all of you and it will ease back pain and fatigue considerably.

Living with constant pain and fatigue can be very difficult. Negative thoughts and emotions can plague an arthritis and fibromyalgia sufferer. Meditation can really help individuals to come to terms with their pain and neutralize some of the negative effects of living with the disease. Meditation can make life much easier and much happier for an arthritis and fibromyalgia sufferer.

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Meditation Centre: For Perfect Healing And Relaxation

The ever changing lifestyle has given birth to various diseases. This has given birth to various deadly diseases. One such disease in stress. This is a root cause of various diseases. It gives birth to some of the deadliest diseases like diabetes, blood pressure and various others.

So, it is mandatory to have perfect relaxation and rejuvenation. The meditation is a perfect cure for this disease. This is basically an exercise that helps in providing relaxation and rejuvenation. This is a very efficient exercise which helps a lot in controlling various stress related diseases.

There are various meditation centers that are offering their services in order to provide you full relaxation. Some of these centers use yoga in order to provide cure from stress. One such pose for this is “Lotus Pose”. In this, the practitioner has to sit in the area having fresh air and has to do this pose. The practitioner has to sit with the folded legs and meditate in order to get perfect relaxation.

There are several advantages of doing meditation. The first and foremost is that it helps in providing relaxation. It provides calmness to the mind and provides rejuvenation. This exercise is very effective in improving the strength of the mind. It helps in improving the memory & retaining power of the mind.

The meditation also helps at the time of the mental trauma. There are various causes of mental trauma. This can be caused by accident, sudden death of loved ones, family problems and various other things. The meditation centers help in the total rehabilitation of the patient. They provide healing by using meditation in order to cure mental trauma. These centers use various healing therapies in order to give strength and cure to this disease.

There are several meditation centers that are offering treatment for stress, mental trauma and various other related diseases. The experts at these centers help in providing effective cure from the mind related diseases. They are offering their services in order to bring happiness, joy & comfort in the lives of millions of people.

If you are suffering from the stress or due to some reasons you are passing through a difficult time, then you can avail the services of meditation center. Here you will get perfect relaxation & rejuvenation. Here you can learn various exercises that help in bringing joy & happiness in your life. Moreover, these exercises will help in providing relaxation & rejuvenation. The calmness and strength will certainly bring good health standards in your life.

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A Natural Solution to Modern-Day Stress-Related Problems

Meditation is a means of attaining calm and tranquility. There are so many meditation techniques available to women who want to de-stress and relax. Anyone who knows what to do to meditate can perform meditation anytime and anywhere.

These days, you can meditate while participating in a meeting, going out for a walk, waiting in line or riding the subway. There are also classes specifically for the purpose of teaching people how to mediiate. It involves breathing exercises and certain postures.

One of the ways that meditation benefits women who practice, is the way that it produces a deep state of relaxation, which enables you to focus and attend to one thought or object.

The mind is often crowed by nagging worries and negative emotions, which affect a person's judgment. With the different techniques of meditative practice available to everyone, it is now possible to eliminate chaotic thoughts and the usual mind clutter that leads to frustration and confusion.

Meditation succeeds where other approaches do not seem to help. Since it has been introduced to the West, meditative practices have benefited millions of people who lead happier lives because they are better equipped to deal with any challenge they encounter.

Meditation is also a great anti-stress antidote. When the human body is subjected to either psychological or physical stresses, there are physical changes that occur that negatively impact the body. The fight-or-flight response kicks in. This is the body's way of preparing the person to “survive” the situation.

This physiologic response can be harmful when the stress is applied continuously, like what happens to women who live a stressful lifestyle. It is therefore not surprising that the incidence of heart disease, hypertension, and other diseases due in part to stress is increasing in modern society.

Western medicine generally focuses on medicines in alleviating these conditions and improving quality of life, but this can have several undesirable side effects. Today, many women are looking for other ways, or alternative approaches to help them deal with stress and make themselves much more capable of dealing with any situation that arises without kicking into high stress mode.

Scientific studies have shown that meditation has the opposite effect as the fight-or-flight response. Based on research, the following are the physiological effects of meditation: lowered muscle tension, decrease in blood pressure, heart rate, and respiratory rate, as well as lowered oxygen consumption. These effects are proven to be very good for the body.

Meditation may well be the “de-stressing agent” that women are looking for. Practicing meditation is there before an effective approach to promoting emotional balance as well as overall good health. Experts today recommend it as a way to deal with stress and to less the symptoms of some body ailments.

Discover how Just 10 minutes of meditation can clear your mind and leave you feeling refreshed and re-energized!

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Time to Consider Mindfulness-Based Meditation for Chronic Pain Management

Many people are familiar with the idea of ​​meditation, but they are not exactly sure why people do it or even how to do it. While meditation is something that has been around for thousands of years, researchers have been pointing to the fact that there are some health benefits to this age-old practice, including for those who suffer from chronic pain.

In the September 2015 issue of the journal Psychiatria Danubina , it is reported that those who suffer from chronic pain are more prone to becoming angry and depressed. They also report that they studied whether or not mindfulness-based meditation could help those people who suffer from stress related disorders as they deal with their chronic pain. Their group of participants engaged in mindfulness meditation three times per day, for an hour at a time, for a period of eight weeks. What they found is that there was a noticeable improvement in the depression, anxiety, and pain that people experienced (1).

This report does not long after another study published in the April 2015 issue of the journal Pain Medicine , where the study found that there was a significant effect after using mindfulness meditation for chronic pain. Their participants had lower general anxiety and depression, better psychological well being, they felt more in control of the pain, and had a higher pain acceptance. Overall, the study concluded that mindfulness meditation contributions positively to chronic pain management (2).

Many people feel intimidated by the idea of ​​mindfulness meditation, worrying that they are doing something wrong, but with practice you will become more comfortable. You also do not have to start out with an hour at a time. Focus on just 10 minutes at a time and build on it as you become more comfortable with the practice. You can get started with attending a class, watching online videos, or just going for it. Find a comfortable place to sit with your legs crossed and sitting upright, having your hands relaxed on your legs, close your eyes, and just focus on your breathing. Allow yourself to breath naturally, noting the breaths come and go. Your mind will wander to thoughts, which is fine. Let them pass through you without judgment and return again to your in and out breath. It's really just that simple, but over time it can have a big impact on chronic pain, as well as in other areas of our life.

Mindfulness-based meditation is not about getting yourself to not think. It's about being in the present moment and noticing the thoughts for what they are, and then focusing once again on something as simple as comfortably breathing in and out. Making it a part of your chronic pain management tool kit is a good way to bring calm to your life, as well as help to reduce pain and stress.

Sources:

1. Psychiatria Danubina. 2015 Sep; 27 Suppl 1: 209-11.

2. Pain Medine. Apr Apr; 16 (4): 641-52. doi: 10.1111 / pme.12605. Epub 2014 Nov 7.

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The Best Practices For Learning Mindfulness Meditation

Mindfulness meditation is one of the most popular forms of meditation today. Advocates of mindfulness meditation say this technique can help improve just about every aspect of one's life. Various scientific studies have also show that mindfulness meditation can reduce stress, enhance one's ability to focus and be flexible and thicken the parts of the brain responsible for regulating emotions.

Another draw of mindfulness is that this is a simple concept. If you want to learn about this meditation technique, simply pay attention to what's happening in the moment, and when your attention moves away, bring it back to your object of focus. Repeat this as necessary. The gateway to the present moment can be found right under your nose and through the practice of breathing meditation, you achieve mindfulness.

If you are just starting to learn about and practice mindfulness meditation, there are some tips you can follow to achieve mastery in this form of meditation. These include the following:

Do not be too hard on yourself. Do not list and strive to achieve certain goals. Before even trying to do some meditation, it is important to understand and accept that fact that your practice is not a performance. Each practice will not be evaluated on whether it was a “good” meditation or a “bad” one. This performance-based mind misses the point of meditation completely. If there is any goal you should focus at, this should simply to learn.

Put heart in your practice. Learning about mindfulness will not be effective if you do not bring your heart into it. In mindfulness, when there is pain involved, there is an increased awareness of the pain and the attention has this quality of wanting to be supportive in some way. This is a quality of care and self-compassion. As such, if you're doing this practice because you care about yourself, you will work harder since you know that this can also be a gift to those around you.

Do not forget to thank yourself and give yourself a pat on the back. Many trusted wellness coaches say that the most important part of this practice is to thank yourself each time you do it. Acknowledge yourself after each practice for making the effort to take time out of your daily schedule for your own learning, health and well-being. This then imprints in your memory that you care enough about yourself to pay attention to you. And this self-compassionate caring type of energy is very healing.

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Meditation May Not Be What You Think

Also, many people believe that by meditating you can achieve a greater sense of the universe, God, the divine, etc., or consciousness. It's focus is mainly to quiet the mind.

There are just as many ways to meditate as there are reasons to meditate. Mindful meditation, for instance, can be done while walking, eating, or just about anything. The focus is being in the present, mindfully doing what ever it is you are doing, in the now.

For instance, let's say you will practice mindful eating with a peach. You would focus your attention on the peach. How it feels, how it smells, how it tastes. The texture, the feeling of the juice in your mouth, the sweetness. It is a grounding experience in the present.

Alternative To The Traditional Form Of Meditation

I bet you never considered coloring a form of meditation! Psychologists suggest that adult coloring is an alternative. In an article by The Open Mind.com, Psychologist, Antoni Martínez explains: “I recommend it as a relaxation technique. We can use it to enter a more creative, freer state. I recommend it in a quiet environment, even with chill music Let the color and the lines flow. ”

Coloring is known to relieve stress and tension. Carl Jung used to try to get his patients to color in mandalas at the turn of the last century, as a way of getting people to focus and allow the subconscious to let go.

If you do not like to color, how about watching fish in an aquarium? In an article titled, Learn How an Aquarium Can Lower Stress and Help You Sleep , studies have demonstrated that aquariums help lower stress and blood pressure.

In fact, a study dating back to the 1980s discovered that watching fish in an aquarium can reduce blood pressure similar to what has been reported for relaxation therapy, biofeedback or traditional types of meditation.

Another group found that people who gaze at fish and aquatic life for as little as 5 minutes can significantly decrease their anxiety and stress levels.

There are even apps for your computer that you can buy that simulate fish in a tank right on your desktop.

I would add here that while practicing these alternatives to traditional meditation, you focus on your breathing. Most people do not breathe properly, and in fact are known as “shallow breathers”.

Stress and tension cause us to breathe more shallowly. In an article by the San Jose Mercury , Dr. Margaret Chesney, a breathing researcher at UC San Francisco, says breathing properly can reduce stress and anxiety, improve mental focus and athletic performance, help control high blood pressure and mend other health problems.

Chesney and others point out that many of us have developed a habit of not breathing deeply enough, and unknowingly we hold our breath for short periods when under stress. Women are more prone to such “under-breathing,” Chesney says. Both of these unconscious practices can raise carbon dioxide levels in our blood, which over the long term can be harmful.

Still Not Convinced Meditation Is For You?

If you are a person who does not like to sit still, yoga may be the answer to traditional meditation for you. Yoga can be done mindfully, which means again, focusing on the movements. How your body feels, and your breathing.

There are many other activities that you can incorporate meditation into, such as running, listening to music, going to a lake or beach and watching the water. The main thing is to clear your mind, focus on relaxing your body, and breathing. You do not have to take overly deep breaths, just nice, full, regular breaths.

The benefits of meditation are many, and undisputed; and it does not have to be for long periods of time. Even 10 minutes can help you feel more energized, yet relaxed. It can clear your mind and help you feel more centered and grounded. Why not give it a try in whatever way works for you!

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Meditation Without Even Trying

You may be surprised to hear that meditation should be effortless, that no driving or concentration is needed. I know I was. When I first became interested in meditation, back in the mid-sixties, I was repeatedly told that it took great mental discipline and many years of practice. Indian teachers had liked the mind to a wagonload of restless monkeys that needed to be tied down and kept quiet.

And my experience appeared to confirm it. My mind was full of thoughts, and try as I may, I could not keep them at bay. Like many others, I naturally assumed that I was not trying hard enough; I needed greater mental discipline, not less.

However, a quiet mind is not a state of mind to be achieved. It is the state we experience when there is nothing to be achieved. It is the mind in its natural condition, untarnished by fears and desires, and the thoughts they create. When everything is OK in our world, we feel OK inside; we are at ease.

Or rather, that is the way it should be. Yet, even when all our physical needs are met, and there is no immediate threat or danger, we seldom feel at ease. More often than not, the very opposite. Leave us with nothing to do, and most of us start getting bored. If someone upsets us, we may hold a grievance days, weeks, or even years later. Or we may spend hours worrying about situations that could occur, but seldom do.

Along with such feelings come an almost infinite procession of thoughts. Most of these thoughts boil down to worries about how we can be more content; yet, ironically, a worried mind is, by definition, discontent. This is the sad joke about human beings. We are so busy worrying whether or not we are going to be at peace in the future, we do not give ourselves the chance to be at peace in the present.

Given how easily such thoughts spring up, it is easy to assume they must be subdued and controlled. But that approach stems from the same belief that created them-the belief that we need to be in control of things in order to feel at ease.

Thus the advice that occurs repeatedly in a variety of meditation traditions is:

1. When you realize you have been done in a thought, accept the fact. Do not judge or blame yourself. It happens, even to the most experienced meditators.

2. Instead of following the thought, as you might in normal life, gently shift your attention back to some experience in the present moment. In TM that may be the thought of a mantra, in mindfulness the sensation of the breath, or in other practices sometimes a visual image, or a feeling of love.

3. Let the attention rest in that experience. Do not try to concentrate or hold it there. Ah yes, you will be sure to wander off again. But the practice is not so much learning how to stay present, but how to return to the present. If you wander off a hundred times that is a hundred opportunities to practice gently returning your attention to the present.

Even then, trying and effort can rise in subtle ways. Maybe if I just added this or focused on that, it would be easier. Some of it is so subtle that we do not even notice we are doing it. A fault resistance to an experience sometimes. Even a slight wanting to have a good meditation can get in the way.

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Meditation And Active Thought

Thinking about the nature of reality hardly often changes it. Meditation and powerful active thinking are not an exception. Being overly busy and overly active changes reality less than being “active” and doing some sort of meditation or deep thought that goes down deep into the reality controlling parts of the brain, spirit and mind. I mean, realize, that sort of relaxation is more reality controlling and creating than anything you can physically do “immediately” like a few minutes of “mindless” work, or trying to “be in control” so to say.

Also, what I mean by meditation and active thought is to honestly gain more control by relaxation instead of panicked action that only serves to not give genuine solutions and actually make a problem worse. After all, genuine power comes from the most productive of relaxation and meditation on problems.

Let me give examples of how two great inventors used to meditate to show my point. Nicola Tesla and Thomas Edison: They used to go into deep states of mind, in different ways of course and visualize the solutions to their problems andvention solutions. Nicola Tesla used to put the whole machine together in a halfway hypnotic state, let it work in his mind through visualization for a few months and then actually put it together physically with it working mostly like it visualized. Thomas Edison when he would have an invention “hang up” or problem, would take a halfway hypnotic nap with two small ball bearings in his hand with his hand hanging, and when they would drop, he would wake up with the answer at the forefront of his waking consciousness. The point to these two stories is to show the vitality of deep meditation using the mind, and genially active thought processes. It is not my point to go “wow” at inventive talent or whatever.

So, if these states can be used to solve the problems of major inventions easily. Imagine when these states are used to solve the common problems of life and existence. Victor Hugo once said, the most powerful idea is an idea which time has come, and Johann Goethe basically said “be bold and begin it now”. This is the idea where those two writers genuinely meet. Life begins at a very deep energy level, and works genetically at a deep energy level which is where it is at . Deep is bold, shallow is weak. Strength is depth, weakness is shallow. Think about that fact before going on with this article.

Energy is controlled genetically with depth, not shallow actions at the surface that immediately “look busy”. Like a plant seed germinating in ways that we can not see, everything really works deeply, we only see the plant after it has grown. But when it is a seed underground, that is when the really deep stuff we wish we could see and understand happens as it is deep in the ground fighting and powering to the surface. That is what I am giving you in understanding here. What happens with a seed is like meditation, you do not seem to be doing anything , but the most happens.

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The Bankrupt Mind

The Mind is Timeless and eternal so how can we have a bankrupt mind?

As I see it, it is the ego in the mind with its perception of chronological time that is the problem. The thinking process that we use with its verbalization ties us to the world of the past, present and the future. It makes us time travelers who believe that thinking will solve all our problems and who fear that if we stop thinking, we might disappear from the mind altogether. Thus the thinking process in most individuals becomes a self-sustaining process where one thought ends and another one begins. It becomes like a squirrel in a cage where one goes round and round in circles. It becomes a habit where one feels that one can not stop thinking.

But do you know that our thinking process is very limited? One might be a genius, a great scientist or a philosopher, but the fact remains that our thinking is limited. Why? It is because all our thinking is based on the centuries of knowledge we have gathered from the world that we know today. Yes, we can think only in the terms of the known world not the unknown. Therefore, if we were to imagine what life forms could be found in a distant galaxy which is the unknown, we can only conjure up images of life from the shapes and sizes of creatures that we have discovered on our planet earth to date. We can run wild with our imagination but we will only be able to build a picture based on the creatures that we have known in this world and from the geometry of the structures we know. So to understand the Timeless or the Unknown one has to go beyond the thinking process that we know. The Timeless or the Unknown can only be appreciated when the thinking process becomes still on its own volition with the realization that it is limited.

Because our thinking process creates such confusion, chaos and conflict in our mind with its constant verbal chatter that we are forced to search for some inner peace. The techniques of meditation we have developed where we exclude all obtrusive thoughts and concentration on one thing may give us temporary peace of mind. But it is a delusive path because we fail to recognize the fact that the real purpose of meditation is to discover the Timeless dimension.

The Timeless is all round us and is always in the present. One does not have to go looking for it. It is a dimension in itself as real as the chronological time dimension that we have created and live in. The only thing that separates us from the Timeless dimension is our perception. Everyone experiences and has a glimpse of this Timeless dimension from time to time, but as we are too involved with our daily chores in time traveling we fail to appreciate it. However, if we were to move away from any man-made structure at any given time, we will be in fact walking into the Timeless zone. So when one is taking a walk in the garden or in a park and if one becomes aware of it, one will soon start experiencing the timeless zone. In the wilderness it is even more overpowering and overwhelming. When the observer in the mind and what is being observed become one phenomenon, you are experiencing the Timeless dimension. Please recognize it and become one with it. Do not verbalize it; otherwise you will revert back into your own time zone. Look around, become aware and you will know what I am talking about. That is true meditation when one becomes aware of one's inner as well as the outer world. It is an all-inclusive process, not an exclusive process. You will start experiencing and understanding eternity while you are still alive, not after you die.

So what is a bankrupt mind? It is a mind that perceives the truth in a statement, but then ignores it because it may affect the comfort zone that one has created for oneself. It is a mind that resists change for fear that if one did change, one might lose one's identity with all its associated beliefs and ideologies. It is a mind that is stuck in a groove steeped in traditions and philosophies with no insight into how one can go about freeing oneself from the web of time. It is a mind that is inflexible, unreasonable and contradictory that has lost its ability to listen.

Now if you think you have an open mind and willing to understand how you operate in this hypnotic world, I would urge you to read my book “The Enchanted Time Traveler-A Book of Self-knowledge and the Subconscious Mind.” Mental illness is increasing in societies all over the world with its associated violence. The Titanic is sinking. Health professionals should be in the team that is handing out life jackets and helping people get into life boats, but unfortunately most of us are in the team that is rearranging decks chairs or playing the band on the ship.

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Rebuilding Your Mind and Body With Mindfulness

I'm Linda Miles, Ph.D., and a Mindfulness practitioner for over 30 years. I use mindfulness in my daily life and in my practice as a marriage and family therapist. In this article I will show specific examples of how Mindfulness can be practiced and how it can have positive outcomes in everyday situations to which I hope readers can relate.

The benefits became clear to me 15 years ago when I was stuck by a particularly virulent strain of pneumonia. I was weak and scared but determined to fight it with everything I had. I wanted to live!

As I waited for yet another daily chest X-Ray on my seventh day in the hospital, I knew was dying.My husband is a doctor. Although he could not bring himself to tell me the prognosis, I could read the signs. I felt my consciousness fading as my body began shutting down. I also overheard a conversation among the medical professionals working on me about kidney failure, lack of oxygen and the alarming blood work results they had just received.

Although my body was crashing! I felt a sense of inner peace and gratitude for my life. Fortunately, I was only 51 years old and had maintained good health prior to this bout with this dangerous pneumonia.

It was a long struggle, but I ever recovered. Despite the medical crisis, I maintained a mental state of inner peace and calm most of the time during my illness. Using a practice of mindfulness, I was able to accept my illness but not give up.

What is mindfulness?

It is a scientific approach to acceptance and inner peace. It was extensively studied by John Kabat-Zinn, Ph.D., at the University of Massachusetts. It was viewed as a way to reduce suffering for patients with severe medical illnesses and to help people deal with day-to-day life challenges. His work has contributed to a growing movement of mindfulness into a variety of areas including medicine.

He defines mindfulness as purposely focusing attention in the present moment non-judgeally.

WHY MINDFULNESS: REWRITING YOUR THOUGHTS?

“You can not stop the waves but you can learn to surf.” John Kabat-Zinn

Although this was an extreme situation, my practice of mindfulness and rewriting my thoughts had prepared me to accept what was real in the present moment. This preceded me from comparing myself to those who were healthy and productive. I learned that when I compared myself to people that I had set up as ideals, I rejected myself. I believe that my practice helped save my life because I avoided the anxiety of the situation and concentrated on healing. Do not view acceptance as giving up, because it is often the opposite. My acceptance of my illness saved my energy so I could meet my situation head on.

During my illness, I could have watched my condition deteriorate. I could have told myself powerful stories about impending death or attacked myself for weakness. However, I did not dwell on the worst possible exit because what I knew from mindfulness training was that these were merely movies in my mind.

These negative movies were damaging and would only make my symptoms much worse. I was on oxygen and needed several visits a day from a respiratory therapist just to survive. In this case, more rapid respiration and a stress response would have been extremely harmful to my health.

“In the brain practice makes permanent.” Says Dr. Wane Drevets, a neuroscientist.

As my body was fighting for survival, I chose to focus my energy on healing, using positive and loving thoughts. I deliberately asked about the lives of my nurses and doctors and worked at connecting with others in a deliberate way.
I thought about my family and friends with appreciation and loving-kindness and these thoughts triggered the release of calming and healing chemicals into my bloodstream. I was not thinking clearly enough to reason WHY I was thinking and behaving with thoughts of loving-kindness. The thoughts and behaviors were an automatic response to threat based on my years of practice of mindfulness. Although my previous daily practice of mindfulness was under less stressful circumstances, it had prepared me well for my health crisis. A practice of loving-kindness toward self and others generates positive chemical such as dopamine and oxytocin that help you remain calm so that the body can heal. These are the thoughts I used in loving-kindness meditation:

May I be healed
May I be at peace
May you be healed
May you be at peace
You do not need to be a prisoner of your thoughts. Let go of worn-out thinking and replace it with a new storyline based on a practice of loving-kindness.

Author Viktor Frankl faced circumstances far more dire that my own.

Despite the deterioration and misery of a Nazi concentration camp during World War II, Viktor Frankl was able to utilize his most important freedom – the freedom to control his inner life. He realized that despite the Nazis could subjugate him and his fellow prisoners, they did not have access to his inner life. They could not dehumanize his inner existence. He made a decision to focus on his love for his wife and have conversations with her in his head to help find the strength to stay alive.

After the war he wrote a book about his experiences and survival strategy entitled, Man's Search for Meaning. Human beings are wired for connection and a practice of loving-kindness is healthy for you and others.

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How to Start a Meditation Practice

Along with regular exercise, excellent nutrition and as much daylight as possible, the other tool in my anxiety toolkit is daily meditation. And so I wanted to write a post for anyone who has thought about meditating, or thinks it might help them, but do not know how to get started.

Just like exercising, you need to find a way of meditating that is not too much of a chore, otherwise you will not do it. And also just like exercise, it takes a little bit of practice to get into the habit but once you get it, you might even find yourself looking forward to your meditation time. Here I'll share how I practice and suggest some modifications that may help you.

I find meditating is especially healing for me when my brain starts to get over-buzzed from too much social media frenzy or when I have too much to do and can not decide what to focus on next.

As Gandhi is famously invited to have said “I have so much to accomplish today that I must meditate for two hours instead of one.”

If you have the kind of brain that never slows down, gets stuck on obsessive thoughts, or gets mired in self defeating behavior, I highly recommend meditation as a way of calming that overactive frontal cortex and getting grounded into your body again.

Meditation does not have to be complicated. You do not have to go to a class, recite mantras or put your hands into specific positions (unless you want to!). Essentially meditation is a practice in being OK with being still, which is something so many of us these days are really in need of.

How to begin meditating

1. Find a timer and set it for 10 minutes. You can do longer if you want to – I find 20 minutes is perfect for me now – but 10 minutes is perfect to start with. Do not start it until you're ready.

2. Sit comfortably. I like to sit cross-legged with my hands resting palms upwards on my knees. You can sit any way you like from a comfy armchair to full lotus. Lying down works too, although you may find you drift into sleep – in which case that might be exactly what you need.

3. When you feel comfortable and ready, start the timer and close your eyes.

4. Sit. Breathe. Imagine that you are breathing your breath into your heart. You will find that many thoughts come to your mind. The idea is to watch them, but this might be difficult at first so do not worry about it. If you find your mind getting thought up in thoughts, just think “oh look at me thinking all these thoughts” and breathe into your heart again.

5. After a few minutes, or seconds, you will probably remember something that you have to do! Your mind will tell you that you had better go and do it RIGHT NOW. Tell your mind gently that you will do it afterwards and go back to breathing into your heart.

6. If total silence freaks you out, you might enjoy putting on relaxing meditation music (search on YouTube and find something you like). Or you can try a shamanic drumming track, which I have found calms my brain down like nothing else. Let yourself experiment.

7. Keep sitting. Keep breathing.

8. Often I find my shoulders want to move around, shake themselves out, or I gently circle my spell. If your body wants to move, let it. It's wonderful to release the tension held in our shoulders and backs.

9. Keep sitting. Keep breathing.

10. When the timer goes off, slowly open your eyes, shake your body out and, if possible, go and drink some water. Check in with how you feel.

Not every meditation makes me feel amazing. Sometimes I feel like it was pointless or that I did not really relax. In fact, some days my brain is so busy that I do not make it through the whole time without leaving up to do something else. And that's OK. This about learning who we are without the constant stream of input and thoughts that run constantly through our heads. And sometimes it's about learning self-forgiveness.

It's so simple really, just sit and breathe and observe. It almost does not feel as though it is worth the time. And yet, with regular practice, that ability to situ, breathe and observe works its way into every day life, working its magic on anxiety and stress levels, until one day you too might be saying to someone “I love my meditation practice”.

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Focus on Mindfulness

Chances are you have heard of mindfulness and chances are you know it's good for you – for your mental well-being, your physical health – that it's a good de-stressor. But, quite how to achieve it is something else.

The meditation gurus will tell you that being mindful claims that you pay attention to the present moment with an open, non-judging and compassionate awareness; sounds simple. And, research on the technique shows that it can significantly reduces anxiety, stress, the recurrence of depression and pain perception and that it can help reduce the symptoms of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. So, where is the downside, or is not there one?

Well, put bluntly, it's not what the human brain evolved to do. Rock bottom, our brains are built for survival on the savanna, which involves problem-solving and steering clear of danger. This means that our minds detect negative information faster than positive, and that we have a tendency to ruminate over past problems, and stress over possible future ones. On the upside, however, a primitive lifestyle had a reasonable amount of down-time built into it, allowing the body's natural relaxation response to act as a counterpart to the brain's instinct to be on the alert for danger and difficulty.

This is something that our contemporary 24/7 on-the-go society has forfeited. Mindfulness is, therefore, something that needs to be cultured and practiced. If done daily, benefits typically begin to show after only eight weeks. And those benefits are significant because they encompass a wide range of skills fundamental to happiness; skills such as empathy, communication, and relationship, focused attention, and fear modulation.

To have something out there that gives us more satisfying friendships, improves our concentration, gives us a sense of peace and calm, and is actually good for our mental and physical health, has to be a winner.

Mindfulness is a wonderful technique. In the therapeutic circles, it is very much in fashion, and an intense amount of research has been done on it, showing that regular practice significantly reduces fatigue and depression, hypertension, stress and anxiety, the perception of pain, fear and anger; and that it also significantly increases a sense of both physical and psychological well-being, sense of oneness and connection, empathy, focus and concentration, and improves the quality of our relationships.

Consciously developing these habits, and consciously expressing and directing them towards ourselves as well as others, can greatly improve our mindfulness practice.

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Practicing Mindfulness and Its Benefits With Simple Techniques for Busy Schedules

The world can be a stressful place. Relationships, jobs, and juggling long lists of errands everyday can leave people exhausted mentally and emotionally. Learning to handle stress through the use of mindfulness meditation is the key to staying calm in hectic times and dealing with what life throws at us.

Practicing Mindfulness

Mindfulness meditation can be done anywhere, but finding a quiet place makes it easier when you first begin. Sit comfortably. Begin focusing on each part of your body beginning with your feet. Tighten the muscle and hold it for a few seconds before moving on to your legs and upper body. Feel the tension lessening as you release. Work your way up to you hands and arms. When you have finished, focus on your breathing. One breathing technique that is helpful is to breath in for six seconds, hold the air in your lungs six seconds, exhale for six seconds, hold the breath out of your lungs for six seconds and repeat. The goal of these beginning exercises is to quiet the mind by putting all of your focus on something else.

Next, find a word or phrase that is calming to you such as “inner peace”. Repeat the word in your mind or say it aloud if you wish. Your mind may wonder, and that is alright. Gently bring your thoughts back to the phrase. Pay attention to how you feel when certain thoughts cross through. Are they uncomfortable? Do they help you in any way? If they are causing despair or anxiety then consider why for a moment, and then let them go. The point of mindfulness is to begin to control your thoughts and feelings instead of letting them control you.

The Most Effective Mindfulness Techniques for Busy Schedules

These Mindfulness techniques are simple, convenient, and effective, these can be used anywhere at anytime to battle the daily stress we all encounter .

Deep Breathing

One of the best mindfulness techniques used in stress management is deep breathing. Something that can be done at work or home, it simply involves breathing from the stomach and making sure you inhale through your nose and exhale through your mouth. Not only will the physical act of deep breathing help to slow down your heart rate and keep the stress hormones in check, but it will also help clear the mind by letting you focus on the breathing itself. By closing your eyes and concentrating on the sound and rhythm of the breathing, you can calm down very quickly.

The Sound of Music

While music can soothe the savage beast, it can also be very therapeutic physically and emotionally. Whether it's classical music from Beethoven or the latest pop hit from the Billboard charts, music has been proven to be a great stress reliever. By focusing on the sounds and vibrations of each note and the feelings that generate within you, it's possible to clear out any negative thoughts you may be experiencing and replace them with positive ones.

House Cleaning

The great thing about this technique is that you accomplish two things at the same time. Not only do you clear your mind and focus only on what's happening at the moment, but you also get a clean house in the process. This is considered a great mindfulness technique because you can focus on so many different aspects. For example, when you are filling a box full of items to donate to charity, you can focus on clearing out the clutter in your own mind. If you're washing dishes, you can focus on how the warm, soapy water feels as you wash each dish, or let the vibrations from a vacuum cleaner soothe your mind.

Benefits of Mindfulness

Learning to control how you think and feel has many positive effects towards an increased ability to concentrate and focus on yourself instead of the negativity of others. By practicing mindfulness techniques daily, you'll quickly find yourself feeling less stressful and more positive about each and every day. Consider setting aside time each day for mindfulness meditation. Make the time for yourself one without judgment. The benefits of consistent mediation include reduced blood pressure, reduced anxiety and stress, and feelings of calmness. With practice, the reduced amount of time it takes to push negative thoughts away during mediation will decrease until you can quickly shut out thoughts that are disturbing.

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Lost in Meditation: The Top 3 Reasons Your Meditation Practice Is Going Nowhere

1. New Age spirituality has very limited basis in true spirituality. Meditate, meditate, and meditate! New Age spirituality is primarily about the various ways and uses for meditation. The word meditate has become so over used, and taken on so many different interpretations. To put it frankly, mediation has become a cure all! Do not get me wrong meditation has a lot of excellent health benefits when utilized as a relaxation too, and has noticeable results for a number of diseases and conditions. However, a true deeply spiritual mediation is often hard for the average person to come by.

In today's modern society, taking time to mediiate, even briefly is often a stolen moment. Also, all forms of guided mediation or group meditation practice seem to be preferable over a judicial practice. This is pure irony in and of itself because meditation at its core is the practice of stilling the mind. Just try and imagine what ancient spiritual leaders would think of this type of meditation practice! How can true connection be realized while actively listening and adhering to the voice of another?

Historically, American spirituality was not supposed to exist. Early European settlers were exposed to spirituality in both Native American and African cultures, and it was not something Europes easily understood. More or less early Europeans felt powerless against true spirituality. As long as spirituality was so deeply ingrained in these other cultures that the early settlers experienced, the settlers would remain powerless. And for the early settlers to be powerless was to leave the new lands and the New World unconquered. However, as the world has evolved and become tumultuous more and more people of all cultures find themselves seeking a higher power and deeper purpose. A lot of this seeking is mimicked, but that is not to say that there is not spirituality in all human beings. Often especially in modern American culture spirituality and metaphysical gifts have been long regarded as nonsense. These thoughts patterns stem from the times when the early settlers cut themselves off and silenced the knowledge of spirituality of being passed down.

2. The average spiritual teacher has limited experience in the depths of psychic development. Over time spirituality has become a business, plain and simple. There are more psychic development teachers out there than one could even think about connecting with in one lifetime. This is not necessarily a bad thing. Highly recognized spiritual teachers of the day often speak about it being more light workers on the planet than ever before due to the need raise the vibration of the Earth. What the average spiritual teacher or psychic development coach will not tell is their own personal limit in spirituality. Everyone has been blessed with unique gifts and talents, and some are more natural inclined with metaphysical gifts. But because spirituality commands big dollars for coaching and psychic readings and the like, this has created more room for those who are less than authentic to enter the market offering false services. This is part of the reason why spirituality and spiritual gifts are met with so many skeptics. Needless to say, that the main reason is that world culture as a whole has denounced metaphysical gifts as true and natural.

3. Connection to your higher self can only be achieved if you are open to the concept of a higher consciousness. The very basis of meditation is being open to connect your higher self. Connecting to your higher self can be beneficial for various reasons. However, one has to be aware of one's higher self to increase the likely hood of connection and experiencing the benefit. In the confines of religion, it is not uncommon for the good church folks to say “God spoke to me.” Traditionally, spirituality and religion have long since been mistaken as one for other. But also, the introduction of religion has more or less canceled out spirituality for the believers. When this removal of spirituality took place and was replaced with religion, people have often inserted God in the place of intuition or the “higher self.” This act in itself can limit how deeply you will be able to moderate and how much growth will be able to occur in your spiritual development.

Becoming lost in meditation is more common than you think. The thing to remember is that mediation is what you make it as an individual. But it all starts with still your mind and being open to connection. As spiritual beings, there is nothing that you need to do other than provide a quiet place to practice stillness. The more you practice the defect you will go. The best advice anyone can give you in regards to meditation is to let go of judgment, trust yourself, and allow connection to present itself with the offering of whatever benefit is waiting for you.

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Meditating At The Park

During my many long years of meditation practice I've often received a visit, while I was still and motionless as a statue, in the lotus posture, from insects that turned around me. I always tried to figure out what they wanted from me in those specific and precise moments or what was the message they wanted to convey. I realized, in fact, watching my train of thought, that their arrival, and staying, were often related to what I was thinking at that moment, and above all, when the mind was taking me away, that is when I was going to get lost in an endless thought and then exiting from the present state of the reality of that time.

Also yesterday, during meditation at the park with eight other friends, at a certain moment came a flying insect, which I did not see because I always keep my eyes closed, to turn around my head, with a loud humming. As soon as it arrived, I immediately realized that I was, even then, going away with a thought, I do not remember where, but certainly I was really losing myself within it. Its arrival, and loud humming, took me immediately back to reality and not only that, in fact, accompanied by the sound of wings beating faster, next to me, there was even a thought, an inner voice, a communication of a sort that I sensed and decoded in my mind as words spoken, which simply said: “Shut up and listen to the voice of God.”

At that exact moment I realized that in the world of nature, thinking is to speak up loud; it is intense noise that superimposes and smothers all other gentle voices. When I follow my mind, when I look at the mind, when the mind takes me away, I'm alert and present no more to the universal voice of God. It was not an invitation; it was almost an order, a bit annoyed too, as if to say: Stop the mind and always continues to listen to the language of existence.

It's absolutely clear to me at this point, that there are two ways of living and interpreting the everyday life, one is getting lost in it, in the world of man, and the other is giving space to our inner silence that captures everything that happens and has ears that allow us to hear the voices of the cosmos, the voices of the infinite, which are quite simply the voice of God.

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