Why is everybody so stressed out? Oh yeah, because 20, 20 sucked. Do you want to know my secret to lowering stress and anxiety? Check out this video.
Don’t have time to read this blog post? Watch it here instead!
Hi, I’m Dr. Rich and my passion is to provide everyone with practical knowledge about the world of women’s health. February is the shortest month, but it can hold its own with Valentine’s day black history month, and American heart association month. Every heart is a magnificent gift. As long as it beats, we have life. So how do we take care of this precious organ? Diet exercise probably comes to mind and you wouldn’t be wrong. But equally important is mental fitness through mindfulness and meditation. In fact, scientific research has shown a number of health benefits from meditation, for diseases such as heart disease, high blood pressure, anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress, headaches, sleeping disorder, irritable bowel syndrome, and even chronic pain in the world of surgery, there can be a lot of nervousness and meditation can help mitigate that stress as well. Meditation is easy. Inexpensive requires no special equipment has proven health benefits. You can do it for five minutes a day and you could do it right now. So are you telling me that I can meditate my high blood pressure away? Well, in a sense, it’s not that easy, but it is easier than you think. And so today I’m going to condense my 10-year journey through mindfulness and meditation and show you in the next five minutes, how I’ve learned to de-stress and slow down that wasn’t terrible. Nope. Good. And the good stuff.
Mindfulness and meditation are often used interchangeably. There is a subtle difference. Mindfulness is the practice of focusing on the present moment. Meditation is the practice of focusing on nothing. Now there are many different types of meditation, most notably transcendental meditation with chanting and mindfulness meditation, which can be self-directed or guided
For the purposes of this video, we’re going to talk about mindfulness meditation. The core of the problem is that our mind is always programmed to look for what’s wrong. The analytical mind wants to find the problem, which at its root when we were cavemen, we always had to look out for the next threat. Where’s the saber tooth tiger, but in today’s society, we’re constantly bombarded by stimulation that our brain still sees threats. Every time the phone goes off, it causes a catecholamine response of a stress hormone in our body that gets us all fired up. The mind is constantly judging. It’s constantly being self-critical. Uh, I lovingly refer to this as the monkey mind. So it’s always going and we never actually get a rest from this constant stream, this constant thought process, really not even when we’re asleep, the only time that we can calm the mind is when we actively do so during this process of meditation, where we clear our mind of all thought and actually give ourselves a rest.
Stress is an ever-present part of our lives, especially in 2020 post 22, especially in this post-2020 pandemic world. So if judgment and self-criticism sound like that’s something that you do. Don’t worry. Everybody’s mind is out of control. In fact, for thousands of years, yogis and gurus have practiced meditation to try to get in touch with the universe at its simplest level. We can only really exist in two States, either a beautiful state or a suffering state. The positive emotions that we think of our happiness, laughter, enjoyment, or the suffering States, and we fluctuate back and forth. And we’ll never eliminate all of the suffering States. But what meditation can do is it can give you a moment in between the stimulus of the world, the stress that comes in, and your reaction to that. Most people instantly react.
If you’re in a car and somebody cuts you off, you feel like yelling. But even at that moment, you can be thoughtful and meditate and you can formally respond as opposed to overreacting and letting the stress of your life take over seven other ways. Meditation is a process whereby we clear away that information overload that overwhelms us every day. Many people don’t want to meditate because they have common excuses. One, they don’t know how, well, we’re going to take care of that. I’m going to walk you through it right now. Number two people say they don’t have time. Everybody should meditate. Five minutes a day. Everybody has five minutes. And if you don’t have five minutes, then you should meditate twice a day.
The practice is simple. There’s really no right or wrong way to do it. The key is just in the doing so sit comfortably if you will, the floor palms up in the chair. And really the main thing is to close your eyes and just focus on your breath. You want to do our normal breath, but a deep breath. And as you breathe in, you can envision the air coming into your lungs. And then as you breathe out, back out, as thoughts come into your mind, the important thing is to acknowledge that thought and just let it go. Not to get frustrated, the process of focusing on the breath and letting your mind after it drifts away to come back to the breath truly is the process of meditation. And to save you hours of frustration, uh, one of my meditation mentors, Dan Harris of Nightline said, this is the process.
So it’s easy to get frustrated. I can’t do it. It’s too hard. I keep my mind keeps wandering. The reality is you’re doing it. The process of letting the mind wander, catching yourself, congratulating yourself for catching yourself, not judging, let that thought drift away and go back to the breath. Every time that happens. It’s the equivalent of doing a bicep curl. If you’re trying to strengthen your muscles, except in this case, you’re strengthening your mind. I hope this was helpful. And I’d love for you to give meditation a try. There are number of helpful resources that we’ll include below. And the only other thing I would say about mindfulness is I had the opportunity to have a private audience with Eckhart Tolle, who is one of the gurus for meditation in, uh, Western, uh, meditation. And his book is the power of now. It almost sounds cliche.
But the reality is the present moment is all we ever, have, no matter how much you focus on it, the past is unalterable and the future, although it causes a tremendous amount of anxiety and worries, nothing in the future has ever happened. How much of your life have you spent worrying about things that never actually happened? So focus on now focus on this moment. You’ll be glad you did. Thanks for spending this moment with us. If you connected with this video and you want to learn how to actually meditate, then subscribe to my channel and you’ll find out when our next guided meditation video drops. You surely Dr. Rich, we’ll actually be doing the next guided meditation. If you had any questions, please put them in the comment section below, stay safe, low stress, and we’ll see you next time.