Guest Post by: Nicole Telfer, ND
Meditation has been practiced for many many years. Over the last century, meditation has been studied through using EEG, hdEEG, fMRI, PET/CT scans, and physiological benefit has been shown time after time. These benefits include:
- Lowering high blood pressure
- Reducing anxiety attacks
- Decreasing tension related pain: headaches, ulcers, muscle and joint tenderness/hypertonicity
- Increases serotonin production in the brain
- Improves the immune system
- Increases the energy levels
- Increases attention span/memory
- Increases white matter density within the brain.
With all these benefits of meditation it is important to incorporate this practice into our busy lives. The next time you are on a hike, or stumble across nature nearby (click here for Forest like areas in the GTA), try this quick meditation.
- Close your eyes. Relax, Concentrate on your breathing. Breathe in through your nose, breathe out through your mouth. In the nose, out the mouth. In. Out.
- As your breathe in, notice the temperature of the air. It’s getting cooler, not cold, but cool – refreshing. Moist. Damp. Rich. In through the nose, out the mouth.
- Notice the smell. Earthy. Fresh. Alive. The smell of pine trees, wild flowers, and an undertone of fresh decomposition. Notice a slight breeze as it picks up, cool, flowing over your skin.
- Notice your feet, bare, against the cool earth. Wet from the morning dew. What sound would it make if you took one step into the forest. What would you see if you took several steps – if you took a walk in this forest? What type of trees surround you? Maple? Oak? Pine? Spruce? Of are you in a tropical forest? Surrounded by broad leaved trees creating a canopy? With ferns and vines?
- What sounds do you hear? Rustling branches, leaves, creaks. Are there animals?
- You keep walking till you reach a quiet clearing. Lay down in the soft field of grass, the sun warming your body. Breathe. Remember how happy you feel here. Warm. Loved. Free. Remember, you can return here anytime you want. You know the way back for a visit.
- Now that you feel relaxed and peace, its time to come back. Notice how, slowly, the blades of grass under your body change and mold together into the table. Notice how the sounds of the forest start to fade. Focus on your breathing. Breath in through your nose, out through your mouth. In the nose, out the mouth. In. Out. Welcome back.
Nicole Telfer is a Naturopathic Doctor who is passionate about making a healthy lifestyle simple for everyone. With her degrees in Naturopathic Medicine and Biomedical Science, and experience as a Personal Trainer, she focuses on providing real nutrition and fitness advice which will help you lead a healthier lifestyle. Her goal is to coach her clients into reducing stress when it comes to their health. She aim to simplify all the contradictory information when it comes to natural, organic and processed foods which can make anyone second guess their eating habits. She also aims to guide and coach your fitness training to help you achieve your fitness goals.