How Meditation Works | Living Healthy Chicago

Meditation can be a very
powerful stress-relieving tool but a lot of people
don’t know where to start or even how to meditate. So today I’m catching
up with an expert to learn all of that and more. Monica, first things first. People need to understand
exactly what meditation is and that is a connection
between the mind and body? – That’s correct, yeah. Meditation is a
practice that helps you to quiet and settle your mind. Usually you do it in
a seated position. And you can use your
breath or a sound or something to focus on. You know when you shake a
snow globe and all the snow kind of goes up and bubbles up? The snow is kind of
like your thoughts. Meditation is like putting
the snow globe down. And allowing all
the snow to settle, so you can see things
as they really are from a calm and
relaxed state of being. – How is mediation
then relieving stress? Because we’re
seeing more clearly? – Basically every single
thought that you think has a chemical
reaction in the body. Worried thoughts
produce stress hormones and that impacts
your immune system, your ability to lose weight. It actually makes you hold on
and store fat in your body. So when you meditate
and you relax, then you’re actually
relaxing your nervous system and that counters the negative
effects of stress hormones. – Okay Monica, I think
it’d be great to learn from an expert so can you
show us the first steps on how to start meditating? – I would love to. Okay so we’re gonna
do a breathing
meditation in practice. So the first that you
wanna do is to connect and find your breath. So you’re gonna just
take your right hand and put it on your low abdomen. You’re gonna take your left hand and just leave it easily
on your left knee. We’re gonna use the
breath as an aid and as something to focus on. You want to let
your belly expand when you’re inhaling the breath and feel your belly contract when you’re exhaling the breath. Start off doing this
for two minutes, then gradually increase to five. You can also
increase the duration of the inhalation
and exhalation. Inhale. One, two, three. And hold. – Okay now we’ve got
our breathing down. Is there like the next
level that I can go to? – Yeah, so I’d love to show you
alternate nostril breathing. Take your right thumb and you’re gonna close
your right nostril. And you’re gonna take your
pointer and middle finger and I’m just going to have
you breathe in and out of your left nostril. It helps to calm and
cool and pacify the body. So if you’re feeling angry
or irritable or frustrated then you’d want to favor
and breathe in and out of the left nostril only. The right nostril heats the
body and stimulates the body, so breathing in and out
of the right nostril helps you if you want
to enhance mental focus. – I think the biggest lesson that we can all learn from
today about meditation is that it’s really
just a good tool to add into our
wellness toolbox. – Meditation can be a
great aid because stress is known to accelerate
the progression of all disease across the board. So the more that you
can state in a calm and relaxed state of mind, the more that you’re gonna promote healing and
wellness in your body and mind on all levels. – [Jane] Thanks so much, Monica. – [Monica] Thank you. – To learn how other things work in the world of health
just head to our website livinghealthytv.com.

Jerry Heath

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