Holistic care is a form of care that incorporates the care of the person with many complex needs as a whole, the physical, psychological, emotional, and spiritual dimensions. One form of holistic care I enjoy is meditating. I sometimes do this alone or with my children and husband. Meditation is good for the body. Our brain is constantly going when we are awake so giving it rest and allowing it to relax is good for our mental health. Relaxing is not only for adults it’s also for children. Promoting good mental health in children at a young age will help them when they become adults. My children actually enjoy doing this, not only am I teaching them good self-care, I’m also bonding with them.
Holistic care popularity has grown, according to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health over 30 percent of adults and 12 percent of children use some form of holistic care besides conventional medical approaches. Massage therapy, Chiropractic care, Acupuncture, Ayurveda, Biofeedback, Diet-based therapies, Energy healing, Guided imagery, and the list goes on. If you have a medical problem there are different types of holistic care you can use for treatment. I myself prefer alternative medicine as opposed to conventional. Medicines have so many side effects and I always felt if there is natural treatment then I will try that first. I believe in the healing philosophy, the body was design to heal itself, but while we are sick we must feed it proper nutrition. When we get sick it is an indication of an imbalance. Our body response by alerting us through a sickness, when we are hungry it growls, when we are tired it makes us yawn. Our body is smart it will let us know what we need if we continue to neglect our needs.
For example if you have a cold (acute upper respiratory infection) then you must increase your fluid intake including electrolytes. Increase your intake of immune boosting vitamins such as Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, Vitamin E, and lastly rest. Our body needs rest to heal, if you’re always busy and have poor sleeping, and eating habits, you’re more susceptible of getting sick. I noticed when I was experiencing tiredness and mild colds it’s usually when I did not get necessary rest. I hardly ever get sick but when I do its maybe once a year, and I always treat myself with this method, rest, hydrate, and nutrition. I been doing this for years and this what works for me, if I’m not well within ten days then I go see a doctor. Most doctors say if you’re not well within seven days make an appointment.
So why is meditation so important? Meditation is a period of time when you give your brain rest. You release the clutter, anxiety, and thoughts from your mind, and you allow yourself to be still. Your brain needs a break because it is always thinking about what to do, what to eat, etcetera, etcetera. Sometimes people even think in their sleep, so if you do this, when do you allow your brain time to rest? During meditation the mind is clear and calm. During this time you want to inwardly focused, not concern from the external world. I like doing this while laying down but you also do this siting. Meditation is for everyone. Why? Because it has so many benefits. Meditation helps with mental clarity, if you have a hard time making decisions this can be beneficial. When we struggle with making decisions it’s because we have multiple thoughts and opinions in our head but when you meditate it helps your brain calm down so you can focus. You can’t focus when your brain is cloudy.
Meditation is helpful for stress. Meditation relaxes the body because when you are under stress your body is tensed and your blood pressure is probably higher than normal, so meditating helps relax the body to release that tension and stress that you have from external factors. Meditation is also good for your brain because when you meditate you are calming your body, relaxing, releasing unwanted emotions. According to a UCLA study, long-term this helps increase the size of the brain regions associated with emotional regulation.
Meditation is good for your body and when I researched it I starting incorporating it in my life. I encourage everyone to do it. Life can sometimes be stressful so if you’re always stressed this is one way you can alleviate that tension. Also remember this is only a temporary fix, you have to face your stressors head on and figure out how you will handle it in a healthy way. Everyone has experienced stress, just riding on the road can be stressful, so if you have things in your life bothering you such as your career, money, relationships, etcetera, then you have to figure out what you must do the eliminate that stress from your life.
The best time to do meditations is when you start your day. Since it helps with mental focus and calmness this will ensure that you start your day out calmly. The saying is true “how you start your day will determine how your day will go,” which is why meditating in the morning alone, having calm time, spending time with yourself, first, before you give the world you, is important. After work meditation is beneficial as well, especially if you had a stressful day, this will help with your stress levels so when it’s time for bed you can sleep well.
How long should you meditate? Starting out I would say 5 minutes then increase overtime based on your judgement. When you meditate you can have calm spa like music on or no music at all. I have meditated both ways, once you actually silence your mind and focus inward you won’t even notice the music in the background. Meditation takes the focus off of the external world but the music just helps you relax so you can start the meditation process. You can meditate lying down or sitting up, just make sure you’re comfortable. Once you get comfortable, relax your body, allow your arms to rest on your thighs if you’re sitting, or by your side if you’re lying down, breathe in and out to calm your body and eliminate thoughts and noise from your mind. Your mind is going to try to wonder because it is not used to being calm but when it does this slowing bring it back to focusing on your breathing. I close my eyes during meditation but you do not have to do so. Set a timer and meditate, it’s so easy to do, and you can even do this in the tub. I tried this while soaked in my tub, I set my timer, and relax. I relaxing my brain I was relaxing my body as well so my body was receiving two benefits at once.
Meditation is good for the body, there are so many apps that have meditation exercises if you are looking to try it out. Though you don’t need an app, starting out with an app can be helpful because most of the apps I tried have an instructor that talks you through how to meditate and they have relaxing music playing. One of the apps I have used is Headspace and another one is Fabulous. Both apps are great when starting out and they are both free, the free version doesn’t unlock all the exercises but there is enough free ones, you don’t have to purchase anything on the app. I like the Fabulous app better just because it’s more than meditation it also is a habit app that encourages you to make habits that will be beneficial to achieving your goals. So, try both and let me know what you think. This year I am promoting more of what An Inspiring Woman blog is about, inspiring people to take care of their body, mind, and soul. Meditation is one way you can start taking care of your body. Take care of your body you only have one.
“An empty lantern provides no light. Self-care is the fuel that allows your light to shine brightly.” -Unknown