Meditate Before You Medicate!

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If I could give you a magic pill, a wonder drug, that would help you feel less stressed, anxious, and depressed, and more focused, emotionally sensitive, and happy…would you take it? Well, you’re in luck because I have a pill for you. It’s not something you’s the simple act of sitting in stillness. The pill is meditation.

If you have ever experienced pain…either physical or emotional, you’ve likely tried more medications than you can count. But, here’s a treatment option you may not have tried…mindful meditation.

Think of this… What if next time you had a doctor’s appointment, there were TV screens that played guided meditations instead of the news? Meditation is a powerful, and has only positive side effects. A few studies have demonstrated the benefits on the positive impact that meditation techniques can have on your pain and brain. Here are a few scientific findings…

• The World Health Organization estimates that by 2020, depression will be the second largest issue in ill health worldwide. According to Harvard Health, “Antidepressants and psychotherapy are the usual first-line treatments, but ongoing research has suggested that a regular meditation practice can help by changing how the brain responds to stress and anxiety.”

•  A 20-minute meditation three days a week can significantly reduce your perception of pain. As a bonus, meditation can also encourage a restful state of mind…one that is open, present and nonjudgmental.

•  The effects linger!  You can still experience a reduced perception of pain even after a meditation is over!

• It’s better than distracting yourself. Meditation was found to be more effective than distractions for producing an overall analgesic effect.

Before I meditate, I practice a short progressive relaxation to calm my mind and get me in the right headspace to begin meditating. And, the progressive relaxation helps slow my thoughts and release tension in the body. Join me in this 3-minute progressive relaxation technique, and then drift into your peaceful morning meditation.