Exploring Meditation

Meditation has been shown to be helpful for treating depression in clinical studies conducted by mindfulness Hopkins University. In fact, 30 minutes of meditation daily may improve symptoms of anxiety and depression. It’s important to know that meditation only should not replace meds or other treatments for anxiety and depression. In the world of psychology, treatment is multi pronged. Also, what works for one patient, may not work for another.

This John Hopkins study found that “mindfulness meditation”, a form of Buddhist self awareness designed to focus precise, non judgmental attention to the moment at hand–showed promise in alleviating pain symptoms as well as stress.

If you are new to meditation, or have been doing this for a while, a good app to use is Headspace. Headspace offers guided meditation courses, you can customize the length of each meditation session as well.

In the world of personal development, Gabby Bernstein is an excellent coach in meditation. Head over to her website here and download a free guided meditation. Her books are pretty great too. I just finished ‘The Universe Has Your Back’ and loved the advice.

You can meditate anywhere. At home sitting in a chair, at work, on the subway, the possibilities are endless! I usually sit cross legged on the floor. I feel more centered when I am sitting on the ground. Some people light candles, or play music. Whatever gets you focused.

When starting out in meditation, I find that listening and focusing on my breathing helps keep my thoughts from wandering. Close your eyes, breath and just listen. It’s hard since our minds want to wander. But just practice re-directing your thoughts, and pretty soon, you’ll be meditating.

An Attitude of Gratitude

These past few weeks have trying to say the least. At home, dealing with a pre-teen child who thinks the rules don’t apply to him. At work, with an ever-increasing workload and seemingly endless amount lately of rude patients. It’s frustrating and I get angry. But I read in my personal development this week about having an attitude of gratitude.

When we are in a pissy mood, down and just want to complain, remembering the things you are grateful for can be uplifting. I usually take time in the morning to journal and always write a list of five things I am grateful for. I’ve been through a lot this past year and remembering gratitude shifts my perspective back to what matters most. It’s so easy to complain about what we lack.

Five things I am grateful for: Having a car, Having a job, Having a place to live, My son and Family, and my boyfriend. Those may seem like trivial things to be grateful for. But I was homeless last year for several months, without my own vehicle, job, and a place to live. I could easily be thrown back into that life at any moment if I lost my job.

What things are you grateful for? Do you shift your mindset to positive thoughts when you are feeling pissy or down?