Meditation and the Route to Mindfullness

WHAT IT IS

  • Meditation is a mindfulness practice engaging both the mind and the body.
  • It is often used as a natural treatment for a variety of illnesses and conditions.
  • Meditation can improve overall health, well-being, and awareness of one’s self.

WHY IT MATTERS

Meditation has been proven to have physical effects on the brain including increased gray matter in the frontal cortex and reduction of the amygdala. Mental health can also be improved by a mindfulness meditation practice. Dialectical Behavior Therapy paired with meditation has been shown as a viable treatment for a variety of disorders such as anxiety, addiction, insomnia, chronic pain, depression, and hypertension.

  • THE BELIEVERS – “This is for me”

    • Relax: Studies have shown that practicing meditation as a daily relaxation method can help relieve stress.
    • Health benefits: Meditation can alter the expression of an individual’s genes. These changes can positively affect the mitochondria, insulin production, and other genes related to energy levels.
    • Student advantage: Working memory and concentration skills can be improved with meditation. Students who partook in a meditation class significantly increased their GRE scores.
  • THE DOUBTERS – “Not for everyone”

    • Religious implications: Due to its Eastern roots, some people feel that meditation and yoga practices are promoting traditional religions and values. This poses complications for those who are people of other faiths.
    • Inclusivity: Since meditation and yoga are so commonly associated, people of difference may not always feel welcome into these predominantly white, upper class spaces.
    • Alternative methods: There are other ways to live a mindful life if meditating is not your thing. Be fully present while washing the dishes, notice each sensation as you shower, practice yoga, or take a walk and pay attention to nature.

WHERE WE ARE NOW

THINGS TO THINK ABOUT

  • Check out apps that can be used to meditate on the go.
  • Click for a guide to meditations based on the situation.
  • How can you best incorporate meditation into your lifestyle?