This summer, we’re focusing on replenishing. Need a good place to start? Welcome to the Replenish! Series, a collection of articles write to spotlight certain supplements and the role they play in maintaining the health of your body. Let’s dive in!
This week: replenishing your mental health with meditation
With everything going on in our world, one thing we cannot forget to take care of is our mental health and wellbeing. Along with getting the nutrients your body needs most, it is important now more than ever to make sure you’re taking the time in your day to press pause.
What Is Meditation?
Meditation is the practice of deliberately focusing on the now. It is about being present and fully engaged in the current moment. Like any other skill, it takes time and practice to get good at, but can be enormously beneficial if you stick with it. Keep in mind, it's called a practice because no one sits down and becomes an expert meditator in one day. Meditation is about doing your best to stay focused on where you are.
What Can Meditation Help With?
In short, everything! Meditation is a practice that helps you maintain the holistic health and wellness of your mind and body. More specifically, regularly meditating can help with:
Reduces Anxiety and Stress
Studies show that practicing meditation can reduce symptoms of anxiety. It is a low cost and effective way for people to manage the stresses that contribute to poor sleep and irritability. It helps people regulate and reduce negative emotions like rumination or worry. In addition, studies have also found that meditation helps reduce reported levels of stress and stress related health conditions. Many people who practice mindfulness report a greater sense of calm and relaxation, and even greater life satisfaction.
Improves Attention & Cognition
Also, there is some evidence that practicing meditation can protect your brain, improving your cognition and possibly preventing the onset of dementia. Not an experienced meditator? No worries! Studies show that practicing mindfulness meditation is effective at improving attention even in novice meditators.
Eases Psychological Symptoms
Research shows that participating in a meditation program can help ease the symptoms of anxiety and depression. In fact, study found that after using a guided meditation app for 8 weeks, people reported a 46% reduction in feelings of depression, and a decrease of 31% in feelings of anxiety.
Reduces Stress-Related Health Problems
We all know how detrimental stress can be for your body, physically speaking. For more information on how stress affects your fertility, click here. But how can meditation help? When you are stressed, your body produces cortisol, the stress hormone. High levels of cortisol in turn put pressure on your bodily systems. They can raise your blood pressure, heart rate, and put you at risk for a number of detrimental health conditions. Practicing mindfulness seems to reduce the amount of stress hormones, like cortisol, circulating in your body.
In short, more meditation means lower stress, which means less cortisol, which means lower heart rate, blood pressure, and improved oxygen levels. This in turn contributes to lower risk of heart attack and stroke, more energy, and better sleep.
In addition, some research indicates that meditation can actually help reduce pain levels. If you suffer from chronic pain, research indicates that incorporating regular mindfulness practice into your pain management routine can be more effective at reducing your pain levels than just medication alone.
Finally, a lot of people turn to meditation to build self-discipline. Researchers have found that actively focusing on the moment can help people acknowledge and resist certain urges. For example, studies have found it can help curb nicotine cravings and reduce the urge to smoke in smokers.
How Do I Start Meditating?
Like any new skill, it’s always easier to learn from a teacher. If you’re new to the whole meditation game, we recommend trying some guided meditations. Need a good place to start? We’ve teamed up with Journey Live to give you free access to their meditation app!
Journey Live has been called “Peloton for Meditation” and is the perfect way to finally turn your interest in meditation into a healthy, daily habit (just like taking your Binto!). They have meditations for everything -- from energy and focus for your day to stress relief and sleep for nighttime. We love their new 3-minute meditations because they make it easy to take time for mental health even on busy days.
Here’s what you’ll get:
- A variety of meditations, from energy and focus to calm and sleep.
- Daily notifications when your favorite instructors are online.
- Live chats with instructors and members, plus access to the Journey Live community.
Ready to get started? Here’s how it works:
- Follow this link to download the Journey Live app
- Register to being your 1-month free trial.
- Start enjoying the benefits of daily meditation!
We hope you’ll join us as we carve out some time to replenish our mental health! As always, if you have any questions, comments, or just want to chat, you can reach us via the chat portal or book a telehealth consult here.