by Dr. Gia Marson
"The Intuitive mind is a sacred gift, the rational mind a faithful servant, we have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift." - Albert Einstein
We live in a complex world, bombarded by media & technology. It is easy to default to spending our days reacting to external stimuli. This strategy can get you through days, weeks and even years. But it may not get you what you want in your relationships, career, spirituality, mental and physical health or larger life goals. If you have been busy chasing your life as opposed to living it, I want to encourage you to make change-- to a life of acting rather than reacting. This is not a change based on my values but one based on your own. One well researched, simple method to shift away from responding to forces around you and toward being centered and value driven is to meditate. Meditation can connect you to your values & to your soul. Regular meditation can enable you to bring your unique intuitive strengths into your everyday living.
Beyond feeling more grounded in your values, meditation is also good for your health. Do you want to increase your sense of well being, intuition and attention? How about reduce emotional reactivity (1), blood pressure and risk of inflammation related illnesses? If so, meditation is definitely worth a try. A recent meta-analysis that looked at meditation’s impact on gene expression found downregulation of targeted genes. Specifically, meditation seems to lead to the reversal of the molecular signature of the impact of chronic stress and to a reduction in the risk of illnesses caused by inflammation (2). Another meta-analysis showed the regular practice of Transcendental Meditation has the potential to produce clinically meaningful reductions in both systolic and diastolic blood pressure. (3). And in just five days of meditation, researchers who used brain imaging found positive changes in self-regulation (4).
If you are tired of external forces driving your actions and intrigued by the possibilities above, build the habit. Identify the day you will start. Then, find your preferred type and duration of meditation. There are meditation apps, meditation centers, yoga studios with meditation classes, and transcendental meditation centers. Now, challenge yourself. Choose to intentionally increase your mental and physical health by expanding calmness. For the next 30 days, meditate daily. If you feel better, keep it going.
Sources: (1) http://marc.ucla.edu/about-marc (2) Buric, I. et al. (2017). What Is the Molecular Signature of Mind–Body Interventions? ASystematic Review of Gene Expression Changes Induced by Meditation and Related Practices. Frontiers in Immunology; doi.org/10.3389/fimmu.2017.00670. (3) Anderson, J. et al. (2008). Blood Pressure Response to Transcendental Meditation. AmericanJournal of Hypertension; doi.org/10.1038/ajh.2007.65. (4)Tang et al.. (2007). Short-term meditation training improves attention and self-regulation. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America; doi: 10.1073/pnas.0707678104