The most common image of meditation is one of a monk in a religious experience. However, meditation is actually a practice that anyone can do to improve mind function and overall health.
Meditation has been proven to reduce stress levels and it can even help with conditions such as high blood pressure. Once you’ve become more calm and peaceful through meditation, your life will open up to more opportunities and you’ll find it easier to make healthy choices.
What Exactly Is Meditation?
Meditation is a way of clearing the mind. Once you’ve gotten into a habit of meditating often, you’ll discover that it’s easier than you think.
Some people sit in a cross-legged position when they meditate, but this isn’t mandatory. Another sitting position might be more comfortable for you, but the key is to maintain a good posture. If you slouch, you’re more likely to get tired and feel like falling asleep.
To get started, find a quiet place and get comfortable. Then start taking deep breaths in and out. Pay attention to your breath. You might find it helpful to say a “mantra” to yourself as you breathe in and out. Your goal is to keep your mind clear of thoughts.
Thoughts are inevitable though. The best way to eliminate them is to recognize that you’ve had a thought and then focus on your breathing and clearing your mind again. This will get easier with frequent practice.
When you focus on breathing and clearing your mind, you’re actually centered on the present moment. On the other hand, stress arises when you think about something in the past or future.
Since you have little stress when you have a clear mind in the present moment, you exude calmness. When you practice this often, you can bring a calm, stress-free demeanor to your everyday life.
Stress And The Body
When you feel stressed, you put your body into overdrive. When it’s overworked, it’s more open to various diseases and disorders. Stress exists for a reason; you need to have the hormonal adrenalin rush and increased breathing and heart rate in order to escape threatening situations. It’s simply how you’re able to handle threats.
By always having your mind on past or future stressors, you keep your mind and body in a stressful state even when you aren’t enduring a stressful situation in the present. This is exactly why it’s important to give your body a much needed break from all the stress. When you learn to meditate often, you’re giving your body the energy and rest it needs to stave off exhaustion and disease.
Improving Your Health
The absence of overwhelming stress improves your health in many ways. You’ll likely enjoy lower blood pressure and a strengthened immune system. Stress can also lead to mental disorders, so when you strive to be stress-free, you’ll keep anxiety and depression away as well.
When you meditate, you place your body in a kind of sleep state. You’re still awake, but your body can begin to repair itself in the same way that it does when you sleep. If you meditate in the morning or at night, you can help yourself transition from sleeping to wakefulness and vice versa.
Meditation is the ultimate exercise for a healthy mind and body. You’ll feel refreshed and rejuvenated once you’ve given it a try. Who knew that “just sitting” could be so helpful!
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I really wanted to talk about this topic today because I wanted to share some lifestyle-based strategies to improve your overall mindset and mental health, which in turn improves your life. You must do the internal work to improve your overall health. You can do this by learning what motivates you and working each day on improving your mindset. Your thoughts control your feelings, which controls your behavior. You can cultivate certain behaviors and practices that will not only enrich your life, but that you can pass on to your family, friends, and community, so that you can leave a legacy of health to your loved ones.
If you are familiar with my approach, I use functional medicine and lifestyle medicine as the first line of treatment, before medications, to treat lifestyle-related chronic diseases. Lifestyle-related chronic diseases include diabetes, hypertension, obesity, some cancers, just to name a few. Lifestyle modifications, such as stress reduction and mindfulness exercises, can help you feel better about yourself and your life. In certain cases, these approaches may even outperform pharmaceutical therapy. But I always tell my patients that conventional medications may be appropriate at this time to prevent catastrophic illness, but over time, you can work to make the necessary lifestyle changes to possibly reduce and/or eliminate medications. Please remember to always consult your physician for your particular needs and circumstances prior to making any decisions whatsoever.
Is Dietary Supplementation Right For You?
Did you know that what you eat can have a significant impact on your mood and mindset? A poor diet can lead to decreased energy levels, low moods, and even depression. Conversely, a healthy diet can improve your mood, help you feel more energetic, and boost your overall sense of well-being.
For some people, vitamin and mineral supplements offer important health benefits. Supplements are designed to fight deficiencies found in our diet and complement the food we eat regularly. Supplements are basically “helping hands” to our daily food.
When stress, anxiety, and depression creep in, it can be difficult to stay motivated and keep your head in the game. Fortunately, dietary supplementation can help. Certain vitamins, minerals, herbs and other natural ingredients have been shown to improve moods and reduce stress levels. For example, B vitamins (such as B6 and B12) are essential for maintaining healthy brain function and producing energy. Omega-3 fatty acids, which can be found in fish oil supplements, are known to reduce stress hormones and promote relaxation. Magnesium is also important for mental health – it helps regulate stress hormones, reduce anxiety levels and improve quality of sleep.
In addition to these supplements, there are also a number of herbal remedies that can help with stress management. Herbs such as lavender, chamomile and passionflower can be helpful for calming the body and reducing stress levels. Valerian root is another popular stress-relieving herb – it helps to relax the mind and promote restful sleep.
Ultimately, dietary supplementation can play an important role in improving your mindset and mood. If you’re feeling stressed or down, consider adding some of these supplements to your daily routine! They may just be the key to unlocking your mental wellbeing.
So… if you are unable to eat better and need supplementation, the supplements in my Mindset and Mood Support Bundle may provide the extra boost you need.
These are my favorite Mood Support Supplements to use! This Mindset and Mood Support Bundle will ensure you have the intake of the important vitamins, minerals, and probiotics to decrease inflammation and boost your innate wellness day and night. Taken together, it’s a solid plan for increasing your body’s natural resiliency while you improve your sleep, decrease your stress, and improve your mental clarity, naturally.
Tools For Motivation And Mindset
Although you don’t need a cushion to meditate, you may want to consider using one at some point. You could meditate in a chair, or simply sit on the floor if you want. You can also use pillows or cushions from your furnishings to try out. Cushion, chair, bench, floor – it’s all good. Eventually, though, if you’re not sitting upright on a chair, you’ll probably do well to buy a dedicated meditation cushion. The cushion will support your sitting posture and help you create an appealing mindfulness corner that will encourage you to practice every day. I recommend this meditation cushion and mat bundle.
If you struggle with stress, depression, or anxiety, keeping a journal can be a great idea. Even if you don’t have these conditions, journaling can enhance your life in many ways. Having difficulty processing your thoughts and emotions? Journaling can help clear that mental clutter and move towards a positive mindset. Research suggests that keeping a journal can have positive impacts on both mental and physical health. So, to start you on your journey, I recommend this self care journal.
Yoga can be a great way to improve your strength and flexibility, manage your stress, improve your heart health, and lose weight! I recommend using a grounded yoga mat to connect yourself with the earth and reduce inflammation.
Remember, living a healthy lifestyle including eating a whole foods plant-based diet, regular physical activity, meditation and mindfulness, as well as healthy and supportive relationships are the best ways to support mental health. Please talk with your doctor about any complementary health approaches, including supplements, you use. Let me know what you think in the comment section below.
Still Feeling A Little “Off”?
You may want to consider looking at your neurotransmitter levels. We’ve all heard of neurotransmitters—those chemical messengers that facilitate the transmission of signals from one neuron to the next across a synapse. But, what do they actually do? Neurotransmitters influence and regulate a wide range of processes, from mental performance and emotions to pain response and energy levels. It’s no wonder why many people seek professional help when their neurotransmitter levels become imbalanced. Let’s take a closer look at how neurotransmitters work and what options are available for addressing imbalances.
What Is a Neurotransmitters Test?
The best way to determine if there’s an imbalance is through testing. The Vibrant Wellness Neurotransmitter Test is designed to measure levels of various hormones and chemicals in the brain and peripheral nervous system that play an important role in mood, memory, aging, balance, nervous function, movement, pain perception, eating behavior, sleep/wake cycles, stress biology, heart rate variability (HRV), etc. The Neurotransmitters panel measures levels of important hormones and chemicals in the brain and peripheral nervous system—including serotonin (mood), dopamine (motivation), epinephrine/norepinephrine (energy), GABA (relaxation) , glutamate (balance), acetylcholine (memory) , histamine (inflammation).
It’s also important to note that this test looks at both active levels as well as metabolites which helps identify underlying causes for imbalances such as poor absorption or metabolism. With this data in hand, you can start making changes that help restore balance.
Imbalances in these chemicals can lead to a variety of symptoms including irritability, anxiety or depression; cognitive issues such as forgetfulness; sleep disturbances; fatigue; digestive problems; low libido; weight gain or loss; etc. A Neurotransmitter test is used to detect underlying imbalances that may be causing these symptoms.
What Are the Benefits of a Neurotransmitter Test?
A neurotransmitter test can provide valuable insight into your overall health. It can identify any underlying hormonal or chemical imbalances that may be contributing to your symptoms. Once these imbalances have been identified, you can work with your healthcare provider to develop an individualized treatment plan that addresses the root cause of your symptoms. This could include lifestyle changes such as diet modifications or exercise regimens as well as supplements or medications designed to correct any deficiencies in neurotransmitter production.
What Can I Do if My Test Comes Back Positive?
If your test comes back positive for an imbalance in one or more neurotransmitters, there are several things you can do to get back on track. The first step is to identify any underlying lifestyle factors that could be contributing to the imbalance (such as sleep deprivation or poor nutrition). Once you’ve identified those factors, you can begin making changes – such as improving your diet or getting more exercise – to help restore balance. Additionally, certain supplements may also be recommended by your doctor or health care provider in order to promote optimal neurological functioning and support healthy neurotransmitter levels.
In A Nutshell…
Neurotransmitters are essential for a healthy mind and body – they influence mental performance and emotions while helping regulate key processes like pain response and energy levels. If you’re feeling off balance lately or experiencing unusual symptoms like insomnia or digestive issues it might be worth looking into whether there’s an underlying imbalance in your neurotransmitter levels causing your discomfort. A Neurotransmitters panel test will give you valuable insight into what’s going on within your body so you can take corrective action if needed! With the information gained from this test you’ll be able to better understand what’s going on within your body and make informed decisions about how best to bring yourself back into balance!
PLEASE NOTE: If you or someone you know is experiencing severe stress, anxiety, depression and/or other mental health issues, please contact SAMHSA’s National Helpline, 1-800-662-HELP (4357), (also known as the Treatment Referral Routing Service) or TTY: 1-800-487-4889. This is a confidential, free, 24-hour-a-day, 365-day-a-year, information service, in English and Spanish, for individuals and family members facing mental and/or substance use disorders. This service provides referrals to local treatment facilities, support groups, and community-based organizations. Callers can also order free publications and other information.
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