Reduce Anxiety Through Mindfulness Meditation
In this day and time anxiety is at an all-time high. Daily we are bombarded with news of deaths, suffering, and disasters everywhere. I have found that the best way to deal with all the negative energy is by using mindfulness meditation. This is a type of meditation practice that helps you to be present in the moment. It has some very specific benefits. Researchers and scientists have really started to take the healing powers of meditation seriously, and it's becoming an accepted and popular practice across the globe. One very specific use of this type of meditation is the alleviation of anxiousness! I know it has helped me tremendously. Follow along with me as I share how mindful meditation can calm anxiety. You may be surprised at how effectively just taking a few minutes out of your day can reduce your anxiety level.
Effects of Meditation on Anxiety
Meditation, in general, can be beneficial toward lessening the effects of anxiety. There is evidence that mindfulness mediation can be particularly effective in this area. That's great because this form of meditation is quite easy for beginners to learn. It can simply start with finding a quiet spot to sit and engage in focused breathing while keeping your mind on the present moment instead of letting it drift to other things. It will take practice to master the art of settling your mind, but it can be done, and the benefits are immense. The reason this type of meditation works it that the foundation of anxiety often lies in unproductive worries and thoughts. Mindfulness meditation teaches you to stop those unproductive thoughts. With repetition (21-56 days), actual changes in the structure of your brain will occur and the nagging worries will essentially be short-circuited.
Changes in the Brain
It's true. The ways in which your brain functions are completely changed after engaging regularly in mindful meditation. Modern neuroimaging technology has shown researchers evidence of these changes! In one particularly thorough research investigation, Johns Hopkins University researchers sifted through approximately 18,000 earlier studies on mindfulness meditation to ensure that the research was accurate and scientifically sound. They then determined that the evidence presented was enough to rule the benefits of mindfulness meditating helped the most with generalized anxiety disorder and related conditions such as panic attacks, agoraphobia, and social anxiety.
Structural, Functional, and Chemical Transformations
Without getting too technical, let's look at some of the specific alterations that happen within the brain due to repeated practice of mindful meditation. One of the main developments that can arise is actual "rewiring" of the brain in which new neural pathways are built. The ease with which the brain has the ability to undergo these changes is called "plasticity." Meditating can assist your brain in rewiring so that it becomes less anxious and more focused. Yes, you can train your brain to recognize your thoughts in a new light and acknowledge when they are wandering, stop them immediately and help you to let them go. Structural changes to the brain can also occur as a direct result of meditation. Scientistic evidence has shown that physical differences have occurred in increased gray matter, along with noted changes in the thickness of the cortex and volume of the hippocampus. Perhaps more significantly, the fear center of the brain, known as the amygdala, decreases through exposure to meditation. Many connections within the brain are improved, and inflammation is reduced. Amazingly, these changes can happen in the span of several hours.
There you have it. I know this post is rather deep, but my greatest desire is to help you find a sense of peace during these very transformational times! Sending lots of love, peace, and good vibes! Stay in your heart. Cheryl
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