Meditation and mindfulness is becoming more popular as people begin to see and feel the benefits and stop thinking its for yoga enthusiasts that sit on tops of mountains (you can do if thats what you enjoy but you don’t need to).

My first proper experience of meditation

For me its a new thing, I knew the benefits of it, but didn’t really associate with what I needed.

We had some mindfulness work in the Skinner release classes I attended at university which I always felt calm and relaxed after but I had forgotten how it felt at the time and used that age old excuse of ‘I don’t have the time’.

 

meditation and mindfulness

So I began only a few weeks ago and meditating (not everyday but when I remembered).

I didn’t use any fancy technqiues I just focussed on my breathing. Coming from the therapy point of view I was focussing on how my muscles and body moved during breathing.

The first time I did it for as long as I could manage before my mind wandered…3 minutes 40 seconds my brain had changed focus.

It was less than 4 minutes but to my shock it felt like it had not even been a minute and was suprised how easy that time felt. As soon as I had finished, I went back to my work and felt, more relaxed and focussed and literally got my to do list completed without checking my phone or emails once!

This month I met with Nathalie Roth from Nurse Your Tree as I want to do more but wanted help with some consistency so I have signed myself up to a four week course starting next month to help me develop some new habits with meditation and then I can continue the journey and become more consistent with it.

One thing she did say to me which stuck with me is that we are constantly thinking about the next steps or even worrying about the past but we forget to think about the here and now and before you know it is gone and you are moving on to the next thing. She asked me when I showered this morning what was I thinking about? How great the shower was or thinking about the days events?

She gave me another tip to get started and that was to choose one thing I do everyday (like shower) and focus on that time and what you are doing and how you are feeling at that particular time.

Here is a bit of science behind how it can improve your wellbeing at work

 

Memory and Learning

Meditation can improve your learning and memory proceses. A study by Hölzel, Britta K. et al. found that gray matter had improved in the part of the brain that is involed with memory and learnig process during the study carried out over an 8 week meditation program.

Improves your immune system

A study carried out by Pace, Thaddeus W.W. et al. demonstrated that an 8 week program of meditation reduces stress levels in the body which which affects the immune system.

 

And finally a little infographic about using the breath to have a kick start. I will continue to write about my experiences, but would love to hear about yours!

Meditation

1. Holzel, Britta K. et al. ‘Mindfulness practice leads to increases in regional brain gray matter density’ Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging, Vol 191, Issue 1 36-43

2.  Pace, Thaddeus W. W. et al. ‘Effect of compassion meditation on neuroendochrine, innate immune and behavioural responses to psychosocial stress’ Psychoneuroendocrinology , Volume 34 , Issue 1 , 87 – 98