Here are a couple of related resources that have been suggested to me – enjoy!
Here’s an outstanding overview and tutorial on breathing techniques! Breathing Techniques: A Guide to the Science and Methods
Nestmaven has created this roundup of guided meditation sleep-aid videos on Youtube. They have included a wide range of techniques in the videos, so there’s a good chance you’ll find something to help you sleep better. And if you’re having sleep issues, be sure to check out the rest of nestmaven.com – tons of good info there!
I have been surprised by some of the objections people still raise concerning meditation. Maybe it’s just that I’ve been doing it so long, but I thought such concerns had been put to rest. Turns out… not entirely. Here’s an article by healthambition.com addressing the perception that meditation is something only for women: How Meditation Can Make You More Manly.
And now, back to our original post… :)
I’ve just bookmarked this page on Live and Dare – Giovanni has put together a terrific list of benefits of meditation, with references to the relevant studies. He also created the beautiful infographic you see below.
He includes results of studies involving several types of meditation. Some of the benefits seemed more likely to result from a particular style of meditation (such as increased compassion and social bonding resulting from loving-kindness Buddhist meditation), but many benefits seem to accrue from any type of meditation practice. Some of the studies indicated that meditating even 20 minutes per day for a few weeks was enough to start experiencing the benefits.
Read the full article to see the entire list with links to references. Just a few of the benefits included:
- In a study conducted at five middle schools in Belgium, involving about 400 students (13 ~ 20 years old), Professor Filip Raes concludes that “students who follow an in-class mindfulness program report reduced indications of depression, anxiety and stress up to six months later. Moreover, these students were less likely to develop pronounced depression-like symptoms.” Another study (University of California), made with patients with past depression, concluded that mindfulness meditation decreases ruminative thinking and dysfunctional beliefs. Yet another concludes that mindfulness meditation may be effective to treat depression to a similar degree as antidepressant drug therapy”.
- High-risk pregnant women who participated in a ten-week mindfulness yoga training saw significant reductions in depressive symptoms, according to a University of Michigan Health System pilot feasibility study. The mothers-to-be also showed more intense bonding to their babies in the womb. The findings were published in Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice.
- In a research published in the American Journal of Psychiatry, 22 patients diagnosed with anxiety disorder or panic disorder were submitted to 3 months meditation and relaxation training. As a result, for 20 of those patients the effects of panic and anxiety had reduced substantially, and the changes were maintained at follow-up.
- A group of Harvard neuroscientists ran an experiment where 16 people were submitted to an eight-week mindfulness course, using guided meditations and integration of mindfulness into everyday activities. The results were reported by Sara Lazar, PhD. At the end of it, MRI scans show that the grey matter concentration increases in areas of the brain involved in learning and memory, regulating emotions, sense of self, and having perspective. Other studies also show a larger hippocampal and frontal volumes of grey matter for long-term meditators.
And summarized in infographic form: