Mindfulness and Meditation
We live in a switched on world, in which our reliance on technology means that it’s often difficult for us to switch off, from work, our social lives, everything.
Being always on the go like this is not beneficial to our long term health. Our minds and bodies need time to relax and recuperate, and not just when we’re asleep. The pressure cooker of modern life can easily take its toll on both our mental and physical wellbeing.
Think of the mind like a computer. If it keeps on going and going, never hibernating or shutting down, then sooner or later it’s likely to crash. This can take the form of anxiety, insomnia, mood swings which we are seeing more and more often at the clinic. It can also lead to wider conditions, like depression or even withdrawal from everyday life.
These stresses have an effect on other parts of your life. You may find it difficult to concentrate and get on with work, enjoy the time you do have to yourself or perhaps struggle to see a point in the world as it is.
The good news is that practicing Meditation and Mindfulness can have significant health benefits, reducing these stresses.
Physically, the body often bears the brunt of mental tensions, with muscles knotting up or headaches that seem inexplicable. A lot of the physical problems we treat at our centre can often be tied back to some degree of mental/emotional tension or stress. When we make stress hormones in our body it causes it to go into flight or flight which is known as defense physiology. In fight or flight we cannot heal and repair damanged cells. This is why when we’re stressed we have a lower immune system and have more health challenges. Our body needs to be in a state of what we call ’rest and digest’; where the ideal chemicals and hormones are being created to allow for the best and fastest healing.
When we are stressed, we create the stress hormones adrenaline and cortisol. The chemicals are designed to be used for short bursts. If we are in a state of chronic stress, these chemicals exhaust the body but also shut down the healing mechanisms. This causes repairing in the body to be very slow.
Mindfulness and Meditation are interlinking practices that teach methods to help you switch off from the pressures and demands of everyday life and calm your overactive brain and nervous system and stimulate the rest and digest part to your body.
Mindfulness practice can be undertaken as part of your daily routine, and involves simply learning to appreciate how even the simplest of living beings are utterly complex, to understand the power of your senses and take in the beauty of the world around you.
They have been practiced for many centuries, but there has been a surge in popularity in the western world in recent years as increasingly more people have felt overwhelmed by the pace of modern life.
It is a drug-free and longer-lasting alternative to taking anti-depressants and a stand-alone or complementary route that we would recommend to any patient suffering from pain that may be a result of emotional strain.
So taking time to relax and and switch off helps you to heal faster and more effectively