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Back on October 17th I had spent some time using a guided meditation (Blissful Deep Relaxation) and then written a poem (Meditation) about what that was like for me that day. Plain and simple, meditation is good for you. Here’s what Web MD has to say about it:
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Most Americans aren’t raised to sit and say “Om.” But meditation has gained millions of converts, helping them ease chronic pain, anxiety, stress, improve heart health, boost mood and immunity, and resolve pregnancy problems.
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Any condition that’s caused or worsened by stress can be alleviated through meditation, says cardiologist Herbert Benson, MD, well known for three decades of research into the health effects of meditation. He is the founder of the Mind/Body Institute at Harvard Medical School’s Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.
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“The relaxation response [from meditation] helps decrease metabolism, lowers blood pressure, and improves heart rate, breathing, and brain waves,” Benson says. Tension and tightness seep from muscles as the body receives a quiet message to relax.
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There’s scientific evidence showing how meditation works. In people who are meditating, brain scans called MRI have shown an increase in activity in areas that control metabolism and heart rate. Other studies on Buddhist monks have shown that meditation produces long-lasting changes in the brain activity in areas involved in attention, working memory, learning, and conscious perception.
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The soothing power of repetition is at the heart of meditation. Focusing on the breath, ignoring thoughts, and repeating a word or phrase – a mantra – creates the biological response of relaxation… (http://www.webmd.com/balance/features/transcendental-meditation)

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pvc10I know meditation works because I have PVC’s and meditation almost always settles them down. Premature ventricular contractions are extra, abnormal heartbeats that begin in one of your heart’s two lower pumping chambers (ventricles). These extra beats disrupt your regular heart rhythm, sometimes causing you to feel a flip-flop or skipped beat in your chest. There are times they scare the bloomin’ tar out of me. But when I meditate, my regular heart rhythm is very often restored.

NoelBut there are other things I do which I consider meditative that aren’t so traditional. Repetitive things that free my mind up for contemplation and even prayer. Needlework for example. For years I’ve cross stitched and tatted, and since the stitching is so repetitive I find it very calming. It allows me to open my mind to ponder what’s going on in my life or to think about and pray for the person for whom I’m making the gift.

Now don’t laugh, but doing dishes is another meditative experience for me. How often do I stand at the sink looking out the window at the mountains and just get caught up in — nothing! My mind gets quiet and suddenly I find I’m not focusing on anything. It’s as if my brain has taken a vacation. I actually find I do this with a lot of chores.

What about you? Are there things you do you get lost in that help to “free up space on your human hard drive?” If there’s not, I hope you can find something that will allow you to de-stress and give your mind permission to roam free for a little while every day. I can almost guarantee it will make you feel more balanced and grounded. 

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Picture Credits:
Lady Meditating — The New York Times
Mindfulness — www.dreamstime.com
PVC’s — www.unm.edu
Noel Cross Stitch — personal

 

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