Meditation is about training the mind to focus. It's about gaining awareness of the thoughts and creating distance between you and your thoughts. When you learn to observe your thoughts and the reactions you have to your thoughts you learn to detach from the thought and find your true inner self.
Meditation and mindfulness will bring calmness, happiness and compassion into your life.
You will become more in control of your thoughts and emotions and become a physically and mentally healthier person.
Like our bodies, the brain is constantly developing and changing. Just as we learn how to train and rest our bodies, for mental and physical health, we must learn how to train and rest the brain.
In present times, there has been more and more research on neuro-plasticity and the ability for our brain to develop and change. This is where meditation takes centre stage.
When we meditate, we stimulate the growth of new brain cells which produces more "grey matter" (the part of the brain where the neurons connect to each other) and new brain cells grow and are activated when we learn new skills.
Meditation increases grey matter in the hippocampus (the area in the brain that turns short term memories into long term memories) and this in turn helps us to learn new skills, and retain information.
Meditation directly impacts the pre-frontal cortex of your brain. This is the fist size part of your brain which sits right behind your forehead.
The pre-frontal cortex manages all the motor and sensory information to the other areas of the brain. It governs your judgement, decision making, problem solving, ethical reasoning and sense of self. It fully develops in the late teens or twenties which explains why teenagers take more risks without considering the consequences.
Through meditation and increasing our grey matter, we are more equiped to deal with emotions and thoughts.
Through meditation we can then reduce the stress centre of the brain. The "Amygdala". The amygdala is an almond shaped set of nerve cells deep in your brain. It is the part of the brain that lets us know when we are in the fight or flight mode. Great when we need it but unfortunately in today's fast paced world it is constantly activated resulting in increased states of anxiety and stress.
This is when we become over reactive to almost everything.
When we meditate the connections between the pre-frontal cortex gets weaker and we become less reactive to stressful stimuli.
When we are stressed through over activity in the amygdala, our adrenal gland above each kidney secretes excessive cortisol.
Cortisol is the stress hormone which feeds anxiety and makes us more anxious producing more cortisol. This toxin in turn begins to destroy healthy muscles and bones, slows healing and normal cell regeneration, slows digestion, metabolism and mental function, resulting in a weakened immune system. The exhaustion of constant stress and anxiety plays a key role in maintaining our mental well being and balance.
Cortisol also stimulates your appetite and suppresses your body's production of melatonin which is vital for healthy sleep patterns.
Stress is responsible for two of the first world's biggest killers. Heart attacks and strokes. Conditions that can be the direct result of damaged arteries through stress.
We also experience elevated blood pressure through stress whilst both awake and asleep. Elevated blood pressure is one of the most dangerous conditions to our health, resulting in blocked arteries leading to heart attacks and strokes.
To achieve the full benefits of Mindfulness Meditation, you should start with at least 5 minutes a day and gradually increase it to 20 minutes a day.
Bring meditation into your daily routine. Perhaps wake up 5 to 10 minutes earlier each morning if possible to practice your meditation in a quiet and dedicated space.
If that doesn't work for you, find a short amount of time each day to practice your meditation.
If you miss a day, don't worry. It is not a problem. Just like going to the gym, go back the next day to get the best results.
It won't happen overnight but with regular practice, like the gym, your brain will learn to be trained.
It will be well worth the daily 10 minutes you invest in your self for a healthier, happier and more harmonious life.
LEARN TO MEDITATE IN A DAY
Lunch and refreshments included together with a beautiful sound bowl emersion by Andrew Cox.
SATURDAY 15th MAY. 9.30 TO 4PM