Guest Post By Emily Fletcher, Founder of Ziva Meditation
In the West we have a habit of putting band-aids on our problems. Didn’t get enough sleep last night? Grab an extra coffee on the way into the office. Had an intense day at work? Stop on the corner for a bottle of wine on the way home. Have a migraine? Take an extra strength Advil, hoping this one keeps the pain at bay.
In a perfect world we would be able to be like Sabrina from Bewitched, zapping our problems away with a quick wiggle of the nose. And while she looked adorable in her crop top and pony tail, I’m going to tell you the truth: lots of people are are sick and tired, and the solution isn’t coffee or wine.
The Problem is Stress.
We all know that stress is bad for us, but doctors are calling stress the “black plague” of our century. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services says that chronic stress is responsible for 80% of all doctors visits and can lead to a number of psychological and physical problems, from high blood pressure to depression.
The Solution? Meditation
Seems too simple to be true, but if stress can mess this many things up in our bodies and minds then it stands to reason that the most powerful stress relieving tool out there may be able to help. Here’s how it works. At Ziva Meditation I teach a powerful type of meditation that gets rid of old stresses we have been storing in our cellular memory by giving the body deep healing rest aka de-exciting the nervous system. When you de-excite something you create order. When you create order in your cells, the stress can start to come up and out. This frees up your brain to use more of its computing power for the task at hand. This is why meditators report performing and feeling so much better.
How Will that Help You Sleep?
Everything in the body has a domino effect. When you take the time to meditate you use that time to get rid of stress in the body. This allows you to use your sleep as a time for sleep. When your body is fully rested, and isn’t being flooded with acidic stress chemicals, it is able to function at the top of its game. Harvard recently reported on a study that involved 49 adults. At the conclusion of six meditation sessions they showed significant improvement in insomnia, fatigue and depression. This is no surprise to me, as I slept through the night for the first time in eighteen months after my very first meditation class!
And What About Sickness?
We know that stress can overwhelm our bodies, but did you know that this can prevent immune function? When the body is stressed, it is basically preparing for a predatory attack, so there isn’t much energy left to run maintenance functions. By meditating twice a day every day like I teach in my online training zivaMIND, you decrease the stress in your body and therefore decrease your susceptibility to sickness.
Rudolph Tanzi, who holds positions both at Harvard University and Massachusetts General Hospital, reports on this in a statement following a study of almost one hundred people. “The benefit we experience from meditation isn't strictly psychological; there is a clear and quantifiable change in how our bodies function,” said. “Meditation is one of the ways to engage in restorative activities that may provide relief for our immune systems, easing the day-to-day stress of a body constantly trying to protect itself. The prediction is that this would then lead to healthier aging.”
And Yes, That Includes Chronic Illness.
Just last week I heard from a student who came to me in 2015 with a deep and painful history of chronic illness and migraines. She thanked me profusely not only because her migraines have disappeared, but because her body has been able to heal from chronic illness so gracefully with the help of meditation. While she still has moments of pain, her anxiety has calmed so drastically that she is able to more elegantly deal with the mental frustrations that chronic illness inevitably brings up, flooding herself with deep understanding and compassion instead of guilt and frustration.
Less Stress = Younger Looking Skin.
Meditation is not a joke. Not only does it have profound affects on your mental health, but also on physical appearance. There’s an entirely new, cutting-edge field called psychodermatology that focuses solely on the connection between human emotions and the health of our skin. When we get stressed out, the body produces acid to shut down digestion. That same acid seeps onto your skin, which accelerates aging and breaks down skin elasticity—there is a reason why your yoga teacher looks so much younger than her age!
I personally believe nature didn’t intend for us to feel sick, tired, and stressed. I believe that nature gave us a toolbox filled with everything we need. And meditation? It’s the key that unlocks so many of these internal pharmaceuticals. If you feel moved to join me on this journey I would love to teach you how from anywhere in the world with a comprehensive eight day online training called zivaMIND. You will graduate with less stress, more energy and a powerful daily meditation practice that you actually look forward to. What do you have to lose, besides stress?