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HomeThe RegionDavaoJUST TAKE A BREATH

JUST TAKE A BREATH

Why is it important to breathe slowly in a stressful situation? This is because when you breathe deeply, it sends a message to your brain to calm down and relax. The brain then sends this message to your body. Those things that happen when you are stressed, such as increased heart rate, fast breathing, and high blood pressure, all decrease as you breathe deeply to relax.

The terms “mindfulness” and “meditation” are often used interchangeably, but in reality, mindfulness is actually a form of meditation.

“Meditation is a broad term that can mean anything, whereas mindfulness is a specific form of meditation. It doesn’t have to be done in the same formal way as what we would normally think of as meditation,” explains Richard Sears, PsyD, Ph.D., MBA, ABPP, of the Center for Clinical Mindfulness and Meditation at Union Institute and University in Cincinnati.

“Mindfulness can be taking a breath, taking a moment to notice the trees while taking a walk; it’s more about setting aside time to be with yourself—in whatever form that may take.”

Mindfulness is one of three common forms of meditation that are particularly popular today. Here’s a closer look at those three forms and how they can benefit you:

This practice is designed to cultivate warm, compassionate feelings toward others, even toward those we may not like. It begins by cultivating feelings of self-compassion, then moves toward developing feelings of love and compassion toward others. A study from Stanford University led by researcher Cendri A. Hutcherson found that even a short, seven-minute compassion meditation can increase feelings of social connectedness with others.

A wandering mind is the greatest challenge to effective meditation, and in focused attention, the meditator concentrates on the cycle of each breath as it goes in and out. Each time the mind begins to wander, the meditator returns his or her focus to the breath. At Emory University, a study revealed that different areas of the brain lit up as the attention shifted, further supporting findings that meditation—even in short increments—creates physiological changes within the brain.

Mindfulness meditation involves observing what’s going on during meditation—sights, sounds, smells, sensations and thoughts. Instead of being engaged in them or carried away by them, meditators observe and dismiss them, and studies have shown that those who practice mindfulness experience diminished activity in areas of the brain typically associated with anxiety, such as the amygdala and the insular cortex.

Ronald D. Siegel, PsyD, assistant clinical professor of psychology at Harvard Medical School, teaches that walking and eating meditations are particularly effective for those who want to learn mindfulness. Both can be started informally, such as just being more “present” and aware while walking or eating, and then can become a more formal practice if desired. 

In our incredibly fast-paced society, it’s easy to get lost in the habit of “go, go, go” and not rest often. While completing tasks and goals is an important part of life, our bodies and minds need time to rest and recover. Restfulness is just one of the benefits of meditation, there are many more.

Especially for teenagers nowadays, life can become overwhelming pretty fast. Students have many responsibilities and sometimes they can become too much between getting a high GPA, playing sports, participating in clubs, and staying involved in the community. It can lead to serious anxiety and depression.

Mindful breathing in particular is helpful because it gives us an anchor—our breath—on which we can focus when we find ourselves carried away by a stressful thought. Mindful breathing can also help us stay “present” in the moment, rather than being distracted by regrets in the past or worries about the future.

In our incredibly fast-paced society, it’s easy to get lost in the habit of “go, go, go” and not rest often. While completing tasks and goals is an important part of life, our bodies and minds need time to rest and recover. Restfulness is just one of the benefits of meditation, there are many more.

Especially for teenagers nowadays, life can become overwhelming pretty fast. Students have many responsibilities and sometimes they can become too much between getting a high GPA, playing sports, participating in clubs, and staying involved in the community. It can lead to serious anxiety and depression.

Taking a moment does more than you think benefits of meditationWhen mindfulness started getting popular, many just assumed that it was another trend that would come and go–but the benefits of meditation say otherwise. This ancient technique has been used all over the world for centuries to help people focus, heal, and cope.

More and more research is showing us that this isn’t just another “trend” either. The benefits of meditation have the power to really nourish, maintain, and improve your mental health.

When someone thinks of meditation, they often imagine someone staying still and quiet for a long period of time, but there are many different types of meditation. The one that has been studied more recently is mindfulness meditation. This meditation isn’t just about sitting and breathing, it’s about taking the time to check in with yourself.

It’s about objectively getting in touch with what you’re feeling, why you’re feeling that way, and how your environment is affecting you. This may sound redundant, but most people almost never do this because they’re always focused on completing the next task.

At the moment, I sit in my tropical garden and relax. I breathe slowly. I am not sick. I just relax.

“If you want to conquer the anxiety of life, live in the moment, live in the breath.” “Breath is life. We should pay as much attention to it as any other aspect of beingness.” “I took a deep breath and listened to the old bray of my heart: I am, I am, I am.”

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