Mental Health is important to our overall sense of wellbeing. It includes our emotional, psychological and social wellbeing. Our mental health affects how we think, feel and act. It is Also involved in how we handle stress, connect to others, and make choices.
Maintaining mental health is just as important as maintaining physical health. Many people will have periods in their lives where they will have to make taking care of their mental health a priority. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, 1 in 5 people will experience mental illness at some point in their lives. The good news is that, if mental health is taken care of, whether personally or through treatment, 70 to 90% of individuals have significant reduction of symptoms and improved quality of life.
When we are mentally healthy, we are able to cope with the stresses of life, have meaningful relationships and make contributions to your community, work productively, and realize our full potential.
In honor of May being the National Mental Health Awareness Month, we wanted to share with you practices that you can use to improve or maintain your mental health. Given that our mission is rooted in making trauma-sensitive yoga and mindfulness programming accessible, we wanted to extend what we offer within our programs to our larger community. We all deserve a chance to learn mindfulness-based practices that can be incorporated into our lives whenever we need them.
Benefits of Meditation
Meditation and mindfulness practices have been well established in research to both improve and maintain menal health.
Here’s are some reasons why you should #Meditate4MentalHealth:
Meditation changes your brain and the way you respond to stress.
Brain scans of people who meditated for a little bit of time each day revealed that after 3 days there was more activity in the protions of the brain dedicated to resolving stress, providing focus, and creating calmness.
Practicing meditation has been shown to increase the grey matter of the brain which is responsible for ability to process information, which contributes to our sense of self and ability to be compassionate
Meditation is like exercise for your brain.
It has been shown to improve our memory. The hippocampus and frontal brain lobe, which are both involved in memory formation and storage, are activated during meditation.
It even helps boost our resilience, our ability to meet challenges and overcome them.
Meditation can ease anxiety.
Research has suggested that it helps to quell anxiety symptoms. Practicing mindfulness allows you an opportunity to start to notice how much power you give your thoughts. After time, you can start to notice re-occuring thoughts and use strategies to try to soften the ones that cause anxiousness.
Meditation is accessible.
All you need to do is create a little bit of time (anywhere from 1 minute to a half hour) where you can allow yourself to be, breathe and connect. It is something you can practice anywhere! Whether at home, work, inside, outside, wherever you need.