Our self-help columnist Athena Laz is a qualified psychologist and the creator of the online wellness e-course Own Your Power. She works with women worldwide, helping them to reclaim their ability to feel good. You can see her work here.
We’ve all heard about meditation but what is it exactly and how does doing it help you. According to a study done in Psychiatry Research, people who meditated for 30 mins per day, over a two week period showed significant positive changes in their brains. Each participant’s MRI displayed an increase in the grey matter in the hippocampus (the part of our brain responsible for learning, spatial orientation, and memory) and a reduction in the grey matter of their amygdala (the fear, stress, and anxiety centre of the brain). That means less stress, better memory and emotional wellness from doing something that doesn’t cost you a thing!
More Amazing Benefits of Regular Meditation:
- Helps to reduce the stress that you may be experiencing.
- Helps you to control your anxiety.
- Enhances self-awareness.
- Promotes emotional wellness.
- Lengthens attention span.
- May reduce age-related memory loss.
- Increases kindness.
- Helps you to feel good.
How to Do a Simple and Effective Breath Meditation
Step 1: Switch off your cell-phone and find a quiet place where you will not be disturbed
Step 2: The most simple way to meditate is to sit, with your legs uncrossed and feet planted firmly on the ground.
Step 3: Place your palms facing up and simply relax.
Step 4: Bring awareness to your breath.
Step 5: Breathe in and out (on a count of five). In other words, as you inhale, focus only on your breath, count for 5 and then exhale. Focusing fully on your exhale for the count of five.
Step 6: As thoughts come up in your mind (they always do!), simply witness them and re-focus your awareness on your breath.
Step 7: Try to do this for a minimum of 10 minutes a day. As it becomes more comfortable for you to meditate, simply increase the time you sit in meditation.