Take time to experience one of our mindfulness, meditation and/or yoga groups. Just because you’re busy doesn’t mean you can’t take some time for YOU.
Mindfulness meditation is a practice that involves cultivating attention to the present moment in a non-judgmental manner. Over time this practice creates an internal awareness that allows us to be with ourselves and others with a gentle, open attitude that is particularly helpful for disengaging from tendencies to criticize, ruminate, react or avoid.
Benefits of mindfulness meditation
The benefits of mindfulness meditation have been widely studied and there is substantial empirical evidence suggesting that regular practice is effective for:
- Alleviating symptoms of depression and anxiety
- Increasing capacity for attention and concentration
- Improving self-esteem
- Enhancing resilience to stress
Mindfulness improves well-being. Increasing your capacity for mindfulness supports many attitudes that contribute to a satisfied life. Being mindful makes it easier to savor the pleasures in life as they occur, helps you become fully engaged in activities, and creates a greater capacity to deal with adverse events. By focusing on the here and now, many people who practice mindfulness find that they are less likely to get caught up in worries about the future or regrets over the past, are less preoccupied with concerns about success and self-esteem, and are better able to form deep connections with others.
Mindfulness improves physical health. If greater well-being isn’t enough of an incentive, scientists have discovered that mindfulness techniques help improve physical health in a number of ways. Mindfulness can: help relieve stress, treat heart disease, lower blood pressure, reduce chronic pain, , improve sleep, and alleviate gastrointestinal difficulties.
Mindfulness improves mental health. In recent years, psychotherapists have turned to mindfulness meditation as an important element in the treatment of a number of problems, including: depression, couples’ conflicts, anxiety disorders, and obsessive-compulsive disorder
Benefits of Yoga
Depression and Anxiety
Yoga, with its emphasis on purposeful movements and the use of breath to guide us through asanas, can help with depression and anxiety. Yoga increases awareness of present-moment experience and attentional focus, and as a result, can help individuals become aware of negative moods and the dwelling (i.e., rumination) in negativity that is characteristic of depression. Through these pathways, individuals can begin to disengage from evaluative thinking and “mental chatter.” The hyperarousal or discomfort of physical sensations such as sweaty palms, tightness in chest that are associated with anxiety can also be worked with during a yoga practice. The more aware of and engaged one is with breath and the process of paying close attention to the breath while in and during the transition from one pose to the next, one can allow for physical sensations and the thoughts about those sensations to exist, without the associated arousal or tension that occurs when emphasis is placed on these experiences. Over time, acceptance of an uncomfortable sensation or thought may occur and the individual can simultaneously live his/her life in a meaningful way with less distraction from the “anxiety.”
The effects of yoga on mental health can also promote self-efficacy (one’s ability to accomplish tasks and move through life challenges, despite stressors), counteracts lethargy and agitation associated with depression and anxiety, and can nurture and support participation in social, work, and intimate relationships.
Traumatic experiences by their true nature are heart-wrenching, dark, and scary, and can often lead to a fear response that consistently pervades the mind and body. Over time, a deep-rooted sense of fear and resistance to experiencing, or “being with,” thoughts, emotions, or physical sensations develops and results in a complete shutdown of the mind and body. Yoga as a mind-body practice provides a gateway to accessing the more primitive, reptilian part of the brain (responsible for survival and maintenance), which helps individuals with trauma to relearn how to approach sitting with unpleasant internal experiences in a healthy and safe environment.
Stress is a major epidemic in our society that can create a “hypervigilance” in our mind and body, and impairs our ability to come from a less reactive place during times of increased stress. Yoga functions like a self-soothing technique in that it alters the stress response system, helping to “tame” and quiet down the nervous system. In this way, the mental benefits of yoga are witnessed with the reduction of stress by way of decreased cortisol (stress hormone) levels in our body. An overarching theme that weaves its way through all yoga poses is the “letting go” of deep holding patterns in the body and finding a state of balance to support healing. Longer-held poses characteristic of Restorative yoga, for example, function to dial down the sympathetic nervous system’s fight-or-flight response, the place we react from when feeling overwhelmed and unable to cope with the many demands of our lives. Then, a space is created to move from fight-flight to relaxation, and the parasympathetic nervous system (which is responsible for activating the relaxation response) can thrive and work efficiently.
The impact of yoga on mental health is diverse and expanding. Yoga is a unique mind-body practice with its emphasis on moving through asanas in a mindful and purposeful way. Further, the use of breath as a focal point to guide you and to keep you grounded in your body, especially when the mind wants to distract you with seductive thoughts or emotions, provides a dynamic platform for working with emotional health issues. So, whether you are interested in a rigorous power vinyasa class or a calming and gentle restorative class, you will likely enter that state of bliss, and experience emotional health benefits along the way.
“Finally, A Place Where a Busy Person Can Get In Touch With Their Inner Self And Everyone Is Welcome.”
Whether you’re looking for individual coaching, meditation, wellness or yoga, Midwest Recovery and Wellness has programs that will meet your needs. We structure our groups for the busy individual which allows us to work on YOUR schedule. Inquire today to discover how we can help.
Make a Change
Find Your Flow.
Every single day people come looking for a place to improve their emotional, mental, physical and spiritual self. Our programs are designed to help you along in your journey to a better self. Whether you want to work on on part of your self of multiple parts, we’ll take the journey together and help you achieve the growth you have been striving for. Don’t spend another day just making plans to improve your well-being…take action today and experience your best self! We look forward to working with you!
What IS Flow?
Technically, flow is defined as an “optimal state of consciousness where we feel our best and perform our best.” In flow, concentration becomes so laser-focused that everything else falls away. Action and awareness merge. Our sense of self and our sense of self consciousness completely disappear. Time dilates—meaning it slows down (like the freeze frame of a car crash) or speeds up (and five hours pass by in five minutes). And throughout, all aspects of performance are incredibly heightened—and that includes creative performance.
Harvard’s Teresa Amiable discovered that not only are people more creative in flow, they also report being more creative the day after a flow state—suggesting that flow doesn’t just heighten creativity in the moment, it heightens it over the long haul. In other words, being in flow actually trains us to be more creative.
How this all works comes down to neurobiology. Flow is the product of profound changes in standard brain function. In the state, our brainwaves move from the fast-moving beta wave of normal waking consciousness down to the far slower borderline between alpha and theta waves. Alpha is associated with day-dreaming mode—when we can slip from thought to thought without much internal resistance. Theta, meanwhile, only shows up during REM or just before we fall asleep, in that hypnogogic gap where ideas combine in truly radical ways. Since creativity is always recombinatory—the product of novel information bumping into old thoughts to create something startling new—being able to slip between thoughts quickly and combine them wildly enhances creativity at a very fundamental level. Click for More.
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