I have to meditate; if I don’t, my mental wellbeing goes downhill. I try to meditate every day, even if it is a visual meditation using videos on Youtube. Or using apps on my phone to guide me. In this article, I will be talking about all the reasons you should meditate and how it can help ease symptoms of anxiety, depression and calm a bipolar brain.
I’ve even added one of the videos I watch to the article so you can relax at the end of it.
Why is Meditation Good For You?
It quiets the mind, and we all need that; it lowers stress, and it can even improve your memory and cognitive skills. You can get all this by spending 20 minutes a day meditating. This should be a prime reason for it to be part of your self-care practice.
If you are suffering from anxiety or depression and worried about the possible outcomes of things, meditation will help you. A study on the JAMA International Medicine states:
Reviews to date report a small to moderate effect of mindfulness and mantra meditation techniques in reducing emotional symptoms (eg, anxiety, depression, and stress) and improving physical symptoms (eg, pain).
It does also say that they have not found conclusive proof of its effect, and it could be a placebo effect. However, I’m living proof that it helps me; I have to recommend it. And so would thousands if not millions of others.
In fact, during one of the therapy sessions with the NHS (UK Health Service) occupational therapy team, we learnt many forms of meditation, and I have added a few on this website; you may find the raisin technique very useful.
If it did not work then it would not be recommended by the NHS.
For centuries people have meditated, and it seems as though medicine was slow to catch onto the benefits. However, they have now, and they recommend it as a treatment alongside medication if needed to combat the effects of poor mental health.
In another study on NCBI, and there has been a lot of studies regarding the effects of meditation, they state:
Individuals can improve their levels of psychological well-being (PWB) through utilization of psychological interventions, including the practice of mindfulness meditation, which is defined as the non-judgmental awareness of experiences in the present moment
How Long Will It Take to See Effects?
You should expect to see an improvement in your symptoms within a couple of weeks. I can’t remember how long it took me, but I started from a terrible place, so it was probably longer than that and I did nearly give up thinking this is not working. But it did, I am pleased to say.
I’m not saying this is a cure; it is not. It is a tool for reprogramming your brain. You can buy devices now which help you meditate, from glasses to headbands. See the company below; they provide a light and sound system meditation system. All very hi-tech but well worth it for reducing the effects of mental illness.
[AF] As you can see, the woman is relaxed and experiencing a new way to meditate; after all, we are in the 21st century. MindPlace designs the system, and you can visit them by clicking the picture or clicking on their name.
Oh and you can just lie on the couch, you don’t have to sit crossed legged, you need to be comfy.
I think it is brilliant these days we have the technology to help us. Although the above is a meditation app and not a medical appliance, I’m sure eventually medicine will catch up with the tech companies. But I digress; I want you to really give meditation a try. And you can do it for free or with tech, it is up to you, but the main thing is you give it a go.
Since there are ancient images of people meditating, if you don’t believe me check out Wikipedia, then I can only assume once again we are only just catching up to something that was once mainstream. Thankfully it is becoming so again.
The Physical Benefit of Meditation
It is not just mental benefits. There are also physical benefits to meditating, and as we know, anxiety and depression can really affect us physically.
The heart can be greatly affected by meditation, here is a quote from WebMD:
Regular practice has been shown to significantly help high blood pressure over the long term, according to government-sponsored studies conducted at the College of Maharishi Vedic Medicine in Fairfield, Iowa. Among those studies, one showed significant lowering of blood pressure and heart rate in black adults.
Plus, it also helps reduce inflammation; it can boost the immune system, help women with PMS, and if this is not enough, it may even help reduce cell ageing. Meaning you will be younger and possibly look younger to boot.
There are plenty more studies, and one I found interesting was on The National Library of Medicine; here is a quote from it. If you can get past the technical jargon, it is a good read.
Evidence is accumulating that mindfulness training has favorable effects on psychological outcomes, but studies on physiological outcomes are limited. Patients with heart disease have a high incidence of physiological and psychological problems and may benefit from mindfulness training.
Overall I hope I have persuaded why you should use meditation in your care plan, but if you need more than I suggest you also try the video below to help you relax. Make sure you put it on full screen. Turn your phone on its side to view it in full, and make sure you will not be disturbed for 10 minutes.
Peace & Blessings x