I created The Ancient Forest Meditation as a fun and relaxing way to incorporate mindfulness, breathe and relaxation. Studies about mindfulness, relaxation, and conscious breathing validate the importance of these practices… something Eastern medicine and philosophy have always known. In a nutshell, mindfulness is about consciously focusing on the present moment, being consciously aware of all of our senses, and letting go of any judgment about the present moment.
Check out my meditation ~ available on MindStead!
Meditation, conscious breathing, relaxation and guided imagery are great tools for developing mindful practice. As you develop mindful practice, you are quite literally building new neuronal pathways in your brain ~ pathways that encourage peace, calm and presence. As you develop these new pathways, you will develop an entire new way of being and of responding to your environment. When focused in the present moment, it is basically impossible to worry about the future or the past ~ you can’t do both at the same time. And… focusing on the past or future is highly correlated with stress, anxiety and depression. Of course, there are times when the present moment simply isn’t ideal. The good news is, mindfulness helps in the present too! And, if you are focused on the past or future, you are completely missing the present. As you learn to focus on the present, everything changes!
Studies find some of the benefits of mindful practice include:
- Reducing your level of stress and anxiety
- Reducing worry
- Increasing a sense of joy
- Changing behaviors including behaviors associated with eating and weight loss
- Alleviating chronic medical condition/pain symptoms
- Lessening depression
- Possibly slowing or decreasing cognitive decline in dementia and Alzheimer’s
- Reducing feelings of loneliness
- Improving sleep
- Boosting resilience
- Helping with emotion regulation
- Improve attention span
- Improve your ability to remain positive
- Develop an overall sense of peace and calm
Mindful practice can also benefit your brain! Neuroplasticitiy is basically the ability of your brain to change over time. Positivepsychology.com states: “When we practice mindfulness, we send the message to our brain that we are more effective at dealing with everyday tasks when we are aware, observant, nonreactive, and nonjudgmental. This causes our brain to make the changes that will improve our ability to function mindfully”. For a detailed explanation of the benefits of neuroplasticity and mindfulness, check out the article “23 Amazing Health Benefits of Mindfulness for Body and Brain” at https://positivepsychology.com/benefits-of-mindfulness/
You can use this meditation anytime you want (except while doing basically anything else…) even while going to sleep at night. It’s exactly 30 minutes long – you can even fit it in during your lunch break! I hope you enjoy this meditation; it’s a magical and relaxing escape full of benefits for you.