It is more important than ever to look after and boost our immune system.
Stress makes our immune system function at a suboptimal level because it triggers the production of cortisol, the main stress hormone and one of the biggest immunosuppressants. Meditation combats stress: as we create more internal space, we calm the nervous system, it is no longer in fight or flight mode, it is at peace. Therefore, anxiety is reduced and a sense of calm is induced in the mind.
For our students, this can be especially helpful during times of stress…
such as exam periods and waiting on application results. Reducing anxiety through meditation can help us perform at our best while maintaining our mental health. Meditation de-excites the nervous system and allows the body to rest and heal itself. Other health benefits include blood pressure reduction and reduced heart rate.
Visualizations can help us reprogram old fight-or-flight stress reactions…
and move into a “stay and play” mindset. When we were children, we always used our imaginations in our creative play, as adults we often forget how to do this. Visualization encourages this playful aspect of the self.
Many people find the idea of meditating intimidating…
imagining that it is a way of switching off the mind. In fact, this is not true, ultimately you will feel much more clarity and alertness. Even during the process of meditating, thinking will still exist, but just with a gentle observation and detachment, no longer judging or analysing. The analytical part of the brain is essential to our lives, but it is exhausting and anxiety-provoking when it occupies all our time. Meditation allows us to objectify our thoughts and organise them, therefore creating internal space, ultimately doing less but achieving more.
It is such a simple objective, just making a small commitment to stay with the fullness of the breath, giving it your full attention. This can be the starting point of a new relationship with yourself, which can help your health in so many ways.
The breath is a bit like a door to your inner world…
it allows you access to the inner layers of yourself, beyond merely the thinking part of you. At any time anywhere, you can focus on your breath and feel immediately embodied. The breath helps you to find a way to go, slower, becoming more reflective, creating a softness and a subtlety to your actions and clarity to your choices, which become more informed as they are united with what you feel.
The most important journey in our life will always be that which we make inside ourselves.
Join our Guided Mindful Meditation Sessions
Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 10 am UK, we run a 20-minute mindful meditation guided by our Head of Wellbeing, Christina. This is provided by Dallington, free of charge, our gift to our students and friends.
You are welcome to join with your camera and microphone on or off, whatever makes you feel most comfortable. The room will be open from 09:50 so please feel free to join when you can as we will start at 10:00.
Let us know if you would like to join and we will send you the link. We look forward to welcoming you!
*These sessions are temporarily on hold. Please contact Dallington to be notified of future dates.
Author: Head of Wellbeing, Christina Mardell-Walsh