Cures for Holiday Stress
Holiday Depression got you down… try meditation! The Holidays for many can be a stressful and for some, a poignant, lonely time. As winter sets in, memories of lost family and (for some of us) youth, the shopping craze etc. can trigger feelings that are not always wholly joyful. There are many studies on how quiet simple, sitting meditation can help to reduce stress and improve overall well being. Jon Kabat Zinn, the founder of the Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction Program at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, was a pioneer in recognizing that mindfulness meditation might be helpful for adult patients suffering from continual pain. He developed a secular version of the Buddhism practice. He calls it “Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction.” Kabat Zinn’s MBSR program has been found to reduce not just continual pain, but additionally high blood pressure level and levels of cholesterol, alleviate depression, nervousness, post traumatic stress, eating disorders and chemical abuse.
Depression, ADHD and Mindfulness
When we feel sad from holiday depression or otherwise, the executive functioning portion of the mind is the most vulnerable. It can especially hard in individuals who have clinical depression, unprocessed grief or even ADHD. Many people who don’t understand grief, clinical depression or ADHD believe the sufferer might be simply stupid, lazy, or unmotivated. Research has indicated that there are opportunities to rewrite the brain circuits in people who have depression. A study on the meditation as a treatment for adults and teens with depression or ADHD was published in the Journal of Attention Disorders. One benefit of practicing meditation is relate to difficult tasks, and become more present, and better integrated into one’s daily life. Mindfulness is defined as the moment to moment awareness of our present experience, being in kind sync with ourselves, without judgment, and can wash away depression.
Relaxation, although frequently induced throughout the training, isn’t the sole objective of the activity. Instead, the most important activity is a cognitive and intention based process characterized by self kindness and attention into the present moment. We can greet each moment with a loving, open and accepting orientation towards one’s experiences, no matter how loud and colorful! Meditation can help to change attentional networks, alter serotonin levels, change neural activity, and regulate EEG patterns, so it’s really for everyone,and it’s a biochemical key to evoke happiness. This could be enhanced by using meditation recordings which include new age or soothing music, recorded mantras, entrainment and Binaural Beats which assist the individual meditating go from an alpha state to beta state.
Meditation is really easy, one can start right now. Find any quiet place, sit with a straight back, open or close your eyes and then just notice the breath as it come in and out of the nose. Meditation invites one into the present moment, by slowing down thoughts down and sweeping away those thoughts which are buzzing around in a busy incoherent mind that prohibits the person from relaxing. We at Sakura, practice mantra and silent meditation every day, it really is a true solace!
Mala Beads Can Help to Focus
The depressed or busy mind is likened to a screen which is rapidly turning from one channel to another. We have so much stimulation these days, especially during the Holiday! Meditation doesn’t have to be complicated, religiously oriented, dull, or expensive. There’s a myth surrounding the practice of meditation which it’s attached to eastern religion. Our mala beads, here at Sakura Designs, can be an invaluable tool in helping the mind to focus during meditation. Even though it’s true that Buddhism and Hinduism practice incorporating some form of meditation, the intention is to be in greater peace with oneself, so meditation is helpful for everyone! Warmest welcome to… yourSelf, we can master this busy season beautifully!