Join our mindfulness meditation challenge!
Meditation holds immense power to heal. In my very first Meditate the World post, I mentioned three key things meditation has taught me: that the truth of my soul is pure awareness, how to let go and be okay with however life is for me right now, and how to access real measurable physical healing. Today it’s all about the healing. Having autoimmune disorders myself, I can easily become disheartened and frustrated when I get flare-ups. Once I’ve had a good cry, I remind myself to take extra time to sit and breathe. When I do, my symptoms are less intense and don’t last as long.
I am not alone. In Australia there is an epidemic of stress-related disorders. Our body’s normal fight or flight response, which can save our life if we are fighting a tiger in the wild, is running rampant through our bodies. When we are stressed, our heart rate, respiratory rate and blood pressure go up. We pump out stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenalin, our blood gets sticky and our immune cells are activated. The resulting inflammation in the body takes time to return to normal after the stress has passed. If we are in a constant state of stress, we have no time to recover and can become very sick.
These days, the chances of meeting a hair-raising snarling tiger on our way to work is low but our emotional states can create the same response in our bodies. A large portion of our stress is caused by our fears and anxieties about ourselves, our jobs, relationships, families and the direction of our life. These tigers are snarling only in our minds, but the stress response is the same whether or not the tiger is real.
These tigers are snarling only in our minds, but the stress response is the same whether or not the tiger is real.
Meditation allows us to move our attention from the stress-inducing tigers of the mind to pure awareness, the source from which our consciousness springs. This space is open, peaceful and clear and has an opposite effect on the body to the stress response. Meditation lowers the heart rate, blood pressure and respiratory rate. It increases serotonin (the happiness hormone) and growth hormone, which repairs cells and tissues. It boosts immunity, increases blood circulation and lowers inflammation. This is called the relaxation response and its healing potential is generating worldwide interest.
Did you know that disease-causing genes are also affected by stress? Meditation has the potential to switch those genes on or off, helping to prevent the development of the disease. Thanks to neuroplasticity, which is the brain’s ability to change its neural pathways by shifting our thinking and behaviour, meditation can actually rewire the brain.
Over the past decade it has become clear that multitasking causes stress in the body. By contrast, present moment mindfulness is focusing completely on the one thing you are doing. It can elicit the same relaxation response as meditation and is an ideal way to remain centred, clear-headed and at peace during your day. The more present you are, the more you rewire your brain and your body’s response to stress, giving yourself a healthier future. Why wouldn’t you give it a go?
The Meditation Challenge
Bearing all of the benefits of meditation in mind, do you want to join us in a challenge? WellBeing has created a team for Mindful in May, a 31-day meditation challenge designed to kickstart a daily habit of mindfulness, while raising funds to build fresh water wells in developing countries. Registration is $30 which covers the cost of running the program. Once you register, you can raise money by asking your friends to sponsor you for taking up the 31-day challenge to meditate for 10 minutes a day. It’s optional to fundraise but 100 per cent of the money raised goes to Charity Water, a not-for-profit organisation that donates all of its funds to water projects.
You get an email every day with guidance on mindfulness meditation including easy tips and coaching to help you along. You also receive a weekly audio guided meditation, video interviews with global experts and quick healthy recipes to support your month of mindfulness.
Click HERE to join our team! I’ll be taking the challenge myself and blogging about my experience.
If you’d like to find out more about the challenge, visit the Mindful in May website.
Across the world, one in nine people don’t have access to clean water. Diseases from unsafe water kill more people every year than war. Most of those deaths are children under five years old. It only takes $35 to change one life forever by giving clean water.
Clear your mind, heal your body and save a life. Its a no-brainer.
11 ways to meditate in under a minute
Alexx Stuart shows us how to meditate and stay mindful even when life gets busy. Here are 11 ways to...
Find out how meditation, gut health and your skin are linked
Meditation was once seen as a spiritual practice reserved solely for yogis but has now become widely recognised as something...
Alexx Stuart offers 10 quick things you can do to lead a conscious, low-tox life
Alexx Stuart offers 10 quick things you can do to increase your toxin-reducing, eco-conscious, wholefood-loving mojo.
Are you a mindful eater? Discover the benefits of eating and drinking slowly
If you’d like to lose weight or work through disordered eating habits, it’s important to exercise self-compassion and become present...