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home : features : vitality April 16, 2014

5/11/2013 10:00:00 PM
Peace of mind: Meditation can come in small or large packages
Yavapai Regional Guidance Clinic

If you are looking for one tangible way to make a change in your attitude, but one, which also may translate to improvement in your health, give this a try:

"One thing I strongly encourage clients to do is start a practice of reading something uplifting every morning, such as a daily meditation book," said Ann DeLorme, MS Ed, LPC, therapist at West Yavapai Guidance Clinic. "There are many different types of books on different issues, and some websites even have a reading for the day."

This small but consistent practice can have amazing impact. What if you set your frame of mind for the day, and did not let the cable newscasters do it for you? What if you reminded yourself daily about the power and positive experiences that lie ahead for that day, as opposed to having others bring you down by highlighting the negative? Just establishing this single practice as encouraged by DeLorme can bring big results.

But if you want to take daily meditation and readings to a totally different level, the benefits could be larger as well as measurable. The Jan. 28, 2011, edition of the New York Times featured an article by S. Bhanoo, who wrote, "The researchers report that those who meditated for about 30 minutes a day for eight weeks had measurable changes in gray-matter density in parts of the brain associated with memory, sense of self, empathy and stress. MRI brain scans taken before and after the participants' meditation regimen found increased gray matter in the hippocampus, an area important for learning and memory. The images also showed a reduction of gray matter in the amygdala, a region connected to anxiety and stress. A control group that did not practice meditation showed no such changes."

If you think meditation may be for you, and you want to read more, here are just two informative websites: http://nccam.nih.gov/health/meditation/overview.htm, and www.mayoclinic.com.

Reader Comments

Posted: Sunday, May 12, 2013
Article comment by: William Taylor

Meditation is a practice that helps with calming and relaxing the mind. It is a process that allows one to let go of negativity, and it can be started with just a few minutes of breathing focus. Here is a page that gives a simple breathing relaxation meditation.

Posted: Sunday, May 12, 2013
Article comment by: Meditation Is Also Medication

Years ago I noticed that when I checked my bp at home with my digital monitor after meditating, the systolic was 10 mmHg lower and the diastolic 5 mmHg lower.

I've been meditating twice a day ever since. My bp is now what it was in High School, consistently.

I don't know why it's not more promoted or prescribed. No money in it I guess.

Posted: Sunday, May 12, 2013
Article comment by: Tom Von Deck

There's an increasing number of companies with meditation classes for their employees because it reduces sick time and "blah" days, boosts productivity and increases bottom line. People often report that it's much easier to focus on work tasks. Google has a program called "Search Inside Yourself" in its Mountain View offices. Apple and other companies offer "wellness hours" and meditation and prayer rooms. One company called Tribeinc lets employees slip out any time during the shift for meditation or physical activity. I interviewed their employees and I can say that morale is extremely high there and they get more done with higher quality.

One of the great things about meditation is that it is as devotional or as secular as you want it to be and it's compatible with every religion. You just have to find what you're compatible with.

Most companies don't offer such things in Prescott, but individuals can take it upon themselves to learn and practice. There are tons of resources these days.

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