What Worry and Meditation Have in Common
What worry and meditation have in common? We live in a world where people are chronically. Stressed people are activating their sympathetic nervous system that fight or flight response on a regular basis. In fact I believe for many of my clients. They're just living in a chronic state of fighter fighter flight particularly for my clients who grew up in an abusive or dysfunctional homes. I believe that they are living in this place of needing to assess for danger and have a have a very difficult time. Activating their Paris sympathetic nervous system. So the sympathetic nervous system assists us in fighting or fleeing. If we have an animal chasing us we need that sympathetic nervous system to release cortisol and adrenaline to help our body to prepare to fight or to flee we. We need our respiration to increase. We need increased blood flow to our arms and our legs. We need to be able to fight or to run in the Para sympathetic state state. It's referred to as rust and digest because our immune system and our digestive system are activated during the Para sympathetic state. They about it this way. If you are running from an animal is your body really all that concerned about digesting food or fighting Often pathogen when you could die because of this animal chasing you so we were in the Para sympathetic state were in that rest and digest state when were in the sympathetic state were increasing inflammation in our body because we are releasing all of these stress hormones in an attempt to protect ourself. The sympathetic system is extremely important. We needed what we don't need is to be activating it regularly and that is what I believe a probably most all of my clients are doing and what we need to be doing is getting to that Paris sympathetic state because because in that Paris sympathetic state that rest and digest state. Our bodies are able to heal we're able to rewire our brains scenes. Were able to digest. Foods were able to fight off pathogens. That is a state of health when we're in that para sympathetic state and one of the ways that we can activate the para sympathetic nervous system or that Rushton digest system is through meditation and last last month I was encouraging you to think about twenty twenty and what you wanted to do differently this year and one thing I would encourage wjr everybody to include in their life. is meditation meditation. The research is it's it's it's it's amazing what. The research search shows of what meditation does for our bodies it truly is a healing practice. It increases our our immune in system's ability to fight infection. It decreases inflammation in the body and inflammation is at the root of all diseases it assists with sleep. It assists our brains in being able to critically think. In fact I was listening to a podcast with Dr James Gordon. And he indicated that because meditation increases the activity in the frontal CORTEX. We have an increase in judgement self awareness and compassion. I think all of us could use an increase in those three areas in our life life and when I encourage people to meditate frequently what I hear people say is I can't I just can't meditate my. I'm I'm just not able to do it. It is impossible not to be able to meditate. And I mean that in fact if you're someone who worries stories you're meditating. Now it's not healthy meditation nonetheless. It is a form of meditation. So if you're a worrier no more excuses no more excuses. You're able to meditate and and think about that for a minute if you are concerned about a problem if you have something going on in your life and you're just going over it over it at. Let's say you're concerned about losing your job or your concerned -cerned about a relationship or finances if you're just sitting in that and going over it and over and over at. You're meditating right so meditation meditation and there's all sorts of different interpretations of what meditation is. I like to think of it as a way to simply calm the brain that were really working on directing our focus so that we can call the brain. Now I hear some people talk about meditation. As you know blanking linking out the mind I can only speak for myself but I know I'm not capable of blanking out my mind. I am an. I'll use an always here. I'm always just thinking about something so with meditation I think about it as the quieting of the mind. Me Focusing on something that's helping took quiet so for example it could be listening to music. There's by Naral. Sounds which means it's the sounds in one ear is different than the sound another. It reminds me a lot of em Dr. And if you've worked with me directly you know I'm a huge proponent of amd are because it's bilateral movement so with the by Naral sounds. The belief is that it is actually helping to change the brainwaves and helping to calm palm the brain so for me that gives me something to focus on. It gives me something to listen to so that when my mind does wander. I'm able to bring bring back to focus. The sounds that gives me something directly to bring my my focus back to and then work on breathing of course while comparing it with the sounds. If you're a worrier you are sitting. And you're thinking about the problem and you're going over it and over it and over it and think about I mean we really if you've worried about something recently. I bet if you sat for a few minutes you were all in right. You were consumed completely with. What was you were worried about? You weren't distracted by anything. You were all into the worry. We'll that's what we want to do with meditation when you're worrying worrying you're activating that sympathetic nervous system. You're activating that potentially and I think for most individuals they are your activating that sympathetic nervous system. That that fight or flight response you. There's fear associated with it. If you're worrying about something you're fearful of it you're definitely not in that para sympathetic state. So you really think about that for a minute. If you have the ability to sit and be lost in your fear you have the ability to work at being lost in a sound wound or in your breath or even a word if you wanted to focus on one word even saying it over and over is a way to do meditation. Where again with meditation were working on quieting the mind? So if you're thinking about a word and you're it let's say it was joy and maybe you're even saying joy and you're thinking about how it feels in your mouth and you're thinking about how the sound sound wound and how you feel it in your body while you're breathing. That's a form of meditation. Dr Mark Hyman who. I'm a huge fan of. He is a functional medicine doctor and he believes in the body's ability to heal and he also also believes that food is medicine. Which of course I think you know that I believe in that? And he says that meditation is medicine and that it's it's so important for us to take time to work on quieting the mind because it has such a profound effect act on her physical and emotional health. It was interesting. He's he commented that medicine shuts off a pathway or or it blocks something in. It's actually interfering with your biology to stop a symptom. where meditation and food also Soviet? He was referring to meditation. And this moment is actually suggesting to to heal the body. It's working with the body and helping the body to activate its own systems so that it can heal itself and he talked about how one's immune system you know increases how the inflammation decreases. How sleep improves? Because the and and how there's also rewiring of the brain are that that neuropathy of the brain allows the brain to be rewired and over time just as though you can be wired to be a worrier over over time. If you're doing meditation you can rewire your brain to be to be healthier. In fact Dr Hyman was talking into Emily Fletcher. She's an expert in the field of meditation and she explained that meditation neutralizes is the adrenaline and Cortisol. While it floods the brain with dopamine and Serotonin so those feel-good right neurotransmitters metres. Meditation helps to release those so again. We're not with Meta medicine. You're altering those were with meditation. You're actually assisting your body in doing the its own processes that it knows how to do. We've just kind of hijacked it with worry.