The evidence is in: meditation has become an increasingly popular component of the landscape of self-care because of the myriad of proven benefits. Meditation in it’s variety of forms can help reduce stress, reduce anxiety, support recovery from addictions, enhance self-awareness, and even generate a greater expression of kindness.
Stress reduction is one of the more common reasons people begin to explore and practice meditation. Thousands of people have participated in research that demonstrates that meditation, especially mindfulness meditation, helps reduce stress as evidenced by a reduction of systemic markers typically associated with elevated stress levels. There is mounting evidence that meditation also helps with physical and psychological conditions often associated with stress, like PTSD and fibromyalgia.
Not surprisingly, given its impact on stress, meditation is also demonstrating effectiveness in reducing anxiety. Research supports the use of habitual meditation in reducing on-the-job stress as well as conditions like social anxiety, certain phobias, and obsessive-compulsive behaviors.
Ample evidence also demonstrates that in the broadest sense, meditation helps deepen one’s self-awareness, emotional health, and even helps people in early recovery control and manage alcohol and drug cravings more effectively.
In our work together we will practice different elements of meditation including breath and body awareness, which I see as integral to my practice and your growth. On this page, I have curated a variety of meditations I find helpful and effective. Please explore and suggest to me your favorite meditations. Namaste!
Recovery from Addictions
This meditation by Jason Stephenson has been watched over 300, 000 times. His voice is soothing and is likely to help you find calm and reduce anxiety. Participants in this meditation have also noticed that it helped reduce cravings for alcohol and other drugs, and was reported to be helpful by love addicts and food addicts, as well. What I especially like about this video is that embedded in the message is the idea about the importance of reaching out for help. Addiction is a disease of isolation and recovery happens through connection.
Attention Deficit Disorders
Mindfulness meditation is effective in treating adults with attention-deficit/ hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), according to a recent study published in the Journal of Attention Disorders.
ADHD has an incidence of 4% in the adult population, and is often characterized by the inattention and hyper-activity-impulsivity displayed by patients. Adults with ADHD can also experience executive functioning deficits and emotion dysregulation. While many treatment interventions focus on the hyper-activity aspect of the disorder, treatments that target emotional dysregulation are often more difficult (Ely, 2018)
Current interventions used to manage symptoms include stimulant and non-stimulant medicines, yet these drugs do not target executive functioning or emotional dysregulation. A potential therapy to minimize these symptoms is mindfulness meditation, a practice in which an individual adopts a nonjudgmental attention to one’s current experience.
According to WebMD, meditation is thought to help with ADHD because it thickens your prefrontal cortex, a part of the brain that helps regulate planning, focus and impulse control. Meditation also raises dopamine levels.
Consistent mindfulness practice can help be more calm, focused and effective despite having an attention deficit disorder.
Mindfulness meditation can be described as the practice of paying attention in the present moment, and doing it intentionally and with non-judgment. Mindfulness meditation practices refer to the deliberate acts of regulating attention through the observation of thoughts, emotions and body states. The meditations below are either conducted by famed Mindfulness Meditation expert Jon Cabat-Zinn or inspired by him, as with the guided meditations offered by Myra Weiss.