emotions

Running the 20s marathon: how mindfulness can help the stress of your twenties

wildmind meditation news

Blake Colaianne, Huffington Post: Living through your 20s is exhausting. Suddenly you are faced with big questions that seem to require as-soon-as-possible answers. As if it wasn’t hard enough, social media has transformed this time of life into what seems like a sprint-to-the-finish-line marathon. We want to be happy for each other and be there to support the people close to us. But we are constantly flooded with posts/pictures/tags/tweets/snapchats of someone’s new job, apartment, house, relationship, wedding, baby, vacation, and anything else that someone else has or has “better” than you. And …

Read the original article »

Read More

Experts recommend meditation to ease arthritis symptoms

Digital Journal: Arthritis patients have their own ways of reducing the pain and suffering from their condition. Many use pain relief drugs, while others are relying on natural alternatives such as herbal supplements. In addition to these popular alternatives, there is also another option that is believed to help patients.

Experts recommend meditation to ease arthritis symptoms. This ancient practice is believed to be very effective in fighting chronic pain. Meditation can be very easy to practice and it doesn’t require too much time or energy. It is even believed to be beneficial to one’s physical and psychological state.

“Arthritis patients can choose how they respond and cope with the symptoms. They can stop pain from defining their lives and change the way that they see it,” said VitaBreeze Supplements spokesperson, Michelle O’Sullivan.

According to the National Institutes of Health Survey, there are more than 20 million people in the United States who practiced some form of meditation in 2007. A variety of relaxation techniques are believed to be very effective in easing pain, stress, insomnia and anxiety.

The techniques can be practiced alone or with groups initiated by a health care professional. One technique is deep breathing, which enhances relaxation. There is also another method called cognitive-behavioral therapy that helps people focus on positive thoughts. Other techniques include body scanning, yoga-based meditation, chanting, guided imagery and contemplative walking.

Steven Rosenzweig, M.D., an emergency medicine doctor, believes that there are three ways the practice can help patients. It lowers pain intensity, keeps the cycles of pain escalation moderated, and makes pain less intrusive on the patient’s thoughts or life. Meditation allows individuals to realize that there is more to life than focusing on pain. It can help patients concentrate on the moments of pleasure and enjoyment.

Many people in the medical community agree that meditation or mindfulness practice can significantly help arthritis patients take control of their emotions and pain, as well as manage them successfully. There are even scientific studies that show meditation practice may have positive results on arthritis pain.

Read More

You must find time for self-care to take back control of your life and wellbeing

Reeta Wolfsohn, Social Justice Solutions: How do you find time for you when our lives are full of responsibilities towards others? How can you disconnect when, thanks to technology, our lives are always connected? If you’ve been looking for answers to these questions, we’ve got a few tips to share with you below.

Finding time for yourself isn’t a luxury – it is a necessity. If you do not take time to find healthy balance in your life and take care of yourself mentally, physically or spiritually, then you can …

Read the original article »

Read More

So… why do you meditate?

Reetu Gupta, Huffington Post: This is a question that is posed to me quite regularly, and I can see the skepticism in people’s eyes — the fear of meditation, and the preconceived notions that the only people that meditate are/were Buddha and Mahatma Gandhi. However, I am also regularly asked, “Reetu, why do you always seem at peace? Why do you seem like you are happy from the inside? How are you so centered? So positive?” Well, this is because I meditate.

When our bodies become overworked, the body …

Read the original article »

Read More

Let Go

The Butterfly in your handsWhat Are You Holding Onto?

I’ve done a lot of rock climbing, so I know firsthand the importance sometimes of not letting go! This applies to other things as well: keeping hold of a child’s hand while crossing the street, staying true to your ethics in a tricky situation, or sustaining attention to your breath while meditating.

On the other hand, think of all the stuff – both physical and nonphysical – we cling to that creates problems for us and others: clutter in the home, “shoulds,” rigid opinions, resentments, regrets, status, guilt, resistance to the facts on the ground, needing to be one-up with others, the past, people who are gone, bad habits, hopeless guests, unrewarding relationships, and so on.

Letting go can mean several things: releasing pain; dropping thoughts, words, and deeds that cause suffering and harm; yielding rather than breaking; surrendering to the way it is, like it or not; allowing each moment to pass away without trying to hold on to it; accepting the permanently impermanent nature of existence; and relaxing the sense of self and opening out into the wider world.

Living in this way is relaxing, decreases hassles and conflicts, reduces stress, improves mood and well-being, and grounds you in reality as it is. And it’s a key element, if you like, of spiritual practice. To quote Ajahn Chah, a major Buddhist teacher who lived in Thailand:

If you let go a little, you will have a little happiness.
If you let go a lot, you will have a lot of happiness.
If you let go completely, you will be completely happy.

Appreciate the wisdom of letting go, and notice any resistance to it: perhaps it seems weak to you, foolish, or against the culture of your gender or personal background. For example, I remember talking with my friend John years ago about a woman he’d been pursuing who’d made it clear she wasn’t interested, and he felt frustrated and hurt. I said maybe he should surrender and move on – to which John replied fiercely, “I don’t do surrender.” It took him a while to get past his belief that surrender – acceptance, letting go – meant you were wimping out. (All ended happily with us getting drunk together and him throwing up on my shoe – which I then had to surrender to!) It takes strength to let go, and fortitude, character, and insight. When you let go, you’re like a supple and resilient willow tree that bends before the storm, still here in the morning – rather than a stiff oak that ends up broken and toppled over.

Be aware of the letting go that happens naturally all day long such as, releasing objects from your hands, hanging up the phone, pushing send on an e-mail, moving from one thought or feeling to another in your mind, saying bye to a friend, shifting plans, using the bathroom, changing a TV channel, or emptying the trash. Notice that letting go is all right, that you keep on going, that it’s necessary and beneficial. Become more comfortable with letting go.

Consciously let go of tension in your body. Exhale long and slowly, activating the relaxing parasympathetic nervous system. Let go of holding in your belly, shoulders, jaws, and eyes.

Clear out possessions you don’t use or need. Let in how great it feels to finally have some room in your closet, drawers, or garage.

Pick a dumb idea you’ve held on to way too long – one for me would be that I have to do things perfectly or there’ll be a disaster. Practice dropping this idea and replacing it with better ones (like for me: “Nobody is perfect and that’s okay”).

Pick a grievance, grudge, or resentment – and resolve to move on. This does not necessarily mean letting other people off the moral hook, just that you are letting yourself off the hot plate of staying upset about whatever happened. If feelings such as hurt still come up about the issue, be aware of them, be kind to yourself about them, and then gently encourage them out the door.

Letting go of painful emotions is a big subject, with lots of resources for you in books such as Focusing, by Eugene Gendlin, or What We May Be, by Piero Ferrucci. Here’s a summary of methods I like: relax your body; imagine that the feelings are flowing out of you like water; vent in a letter you’ll never send, or out loud someplace appropriate; get things off your chest with a good friend; take in positive feelings to soothe and gradually replace the painful ones.

In general, let things be pleasant without grasping after them; let things be unpleasant without resisting them; let things be neutral without prodding them to get pleasant. Letting go undoes the craving and clinging that lead to suffering and harm.

Let go of who you used to be. Let yourself learn, grow, and therefore change.

Let go of each moment as it disappears beneath your feet. It’s gone as soon as you’re aware of it, like a snowflake melting as soon as you see its shape. You can afford to abide as letting go because of the miracle – which no scientist fully understands – that the next moment continually emerges as the previous one vanishes, all within the infinitely tiny duration of Now.

Read More

Which positive emotion has the most “awesome” health benefits?

The New York Times magazine this weekend will have an interesting article in its health column, The Well, about research into the health benefits of positive emotions.

The researchers were interested in looking at levels of a compound called interleukin-6, which is associated with general inflammation in the body. Low levels of interleukin-6 correspond to good health.

In the study, students were asked “about their normal dispositions and the extent to which they had recently felt seven specific emotions: awe, amusement, compassion, contentment, joy, love and pride. The students also provided a saliva sample. While happy moods were collectively still associated with low IL-6 levels, the strongest correlation was with awe. The more frequently someone reported having felt awe-struck, the lower the IL-6.”

The lead author of the study, Dachel Keltner says that “a primary attribute of an awe-inspiring event is that it ‘will pass the goose-bumps test.’”

Rather to my surprise, the students in the study reported feeling awe three or more times a week. Unfortunately there wasn’t any indication of the circumstances under which they experienced this emotion, but Keltner points out that music and nature are common triggers of awe.

Keltner also suggests that we seek out awe, which I think is a great idea. It’s a feeling that doesn’t just confer health benefits, but which leads to life being more meaningful and enjoyable. I welcome the reminder to seek out awe. For me, there’s no need to listen to music or watch a sunset in order to experience awe; all I have to do is to become aware of how miraculous it is that I experience. Simply becoming aware that I am aware, and recognizing that I don’t even know what awareness is, is enough to trigger goosebumps. But music and sunsets are lovely too!

Read More

How mindfulness changes your life

wildmind meditation newsMeditation MP3 – Mindfulness of Breathing Sarah Rudell Beach, The Huffington Post: Mindfulness is not a silver bullet. It’s not a magic trick that allofasudden eliminates stress and gives you the life of your dreams.

But here’s something I’ve noticed: Whenever I speak with people who have integrated a mindfulness practice into their lives, the phrase they almost always use to describe it is this:

Life-changing.

It’s the phrase I’ve repeatedly used to explain the impact of mindfulness in my life, too.

I have a few theories about why mindfulness is so transformative, so powerful, so life-altering.

You realize you …

Read the original article »

Read More

Meditation helps quiet our overactive minds

Patrick Henry, The Buffalo News: Lately we’re hearing a lot about a simple technique scientifically proven to promote positive mental health, something I’ve been doing daily for some 20-odd years:

Nothing.

Well, that’s not quite true. It is definitely something.

Call it “meditation,” “mindfulness” or, simply, “sitting,” the practice of taking time to do what, at first glance, appears to be nothing is growing in popularity. Even Parade, the most widely read magazine in the country and a supplement to this newspaper, did a cover story on the subject (the article is …

Read the original article »

Read More

Movement, mindfulness through meditation taught to kids in martial arts program

Lori Corbin, KABC: At Ekata Training Center in Valencia, a massive mural of martial artist Bruce Lee reinforces the power of marital arts.

Ironically, the main theme taught here is peace.

“If you look at the warrior perspective of the Samurai, it was to maintain the sense of peacefulness in the eye of the storm,” said owner Ed Monaghan.

Multi-black belt instructor Monaghan doesn’t allow TV or magazines while at the gym, and adds meditation as a requirement in his classes, especially for kids.

“The idea is no TVs, it’s meant to be …

Read the original article »

Read More

There are risks to mindfulness at work

David Brendel, Harvard Business Review: Mindfulness is close to taking on cult status in the business world. But as with any rapidly growing movement—regardless of its potential benefits—there is good reason here for caution.

Championed for many years by pioneering researchers such as Ellen Langer and Jon Kabat-Zinn, mindfulness is a mental orientation and set of strategies for focusing one’s mind on here-and-now experiences, such as abdominal muscle movements during respiration or chirping of birds outside one’s window. It is rooted in ancient Eastern philosophies, such as Taoism and Buddhism. Contemporary empirical …

Read the original article »

Read More
Menu