Linda Togni, Naturopath
In this period of very high stress, uncertainty and instability, practicing meditation and the presence of the breath helps to get in touch with one’s true essence. It is necessary to really understand one’s needs and ease tensions in order to bring order and presence in the “here and now” to the body, mind and spirit.
Very often, in our life, we go forward like automatons, like “war machines” without ever stopping. We do not ask ourselves how we are, what we are feeling, where we are going and with whom. This only increases our stress and anxiety in everyday life and the associated psychosomatic problems.
Meditation brings us back to the present moment, making space for us among the thousand thoughts and limiting mental beliefs. A great Zen master teaches us speaking of breathing: “What we call is just a door that opens and closes when we inhale and exhale, when we do Zazen the mind follows the breath. When we inhale the air enters the internal world. When we exhale it comes out into the outside world.” The real intent of the practice is to observe things as they are and let everything go as it should go, and therefore focusing on the breath while meditating is of great help. of our mind is pure and like water, it has waves and a mind crossed by waves is not disturbed, it is a mind amplified by various experiences (S. Suzuki-roshi “Zen mind, beginner’s mind”).
Do you sometimes wonder how you are? What is your psycho-physical state of health today?
These are questions that as a woman and Naturopath I ask clients in counseling. I try to make people aware that the quantity of life has increased, but the quality of healthy life has deteriorated! We live longer, but less healthy, because we do not focus on our mental health in connection with the body to have a global psycho-physical and energy well-being. In fact, numerous scientific researches show that 77% of the population suffers from stress, 33% complains of a state of chronic stress and 48% believe that stress has worsened in the last 5 years (Statistic Brain Research Institute, of the American Institute of Stress, 2015).
There are also numerous scientific articles that point to the many benefits of meditation for treating anxiety disorders and chronic stress. Such as, for example, a study of 70 adults with anxiety and distress undergoing a stress reduction program, based on awareness and education and management of the same based on awareness interventions (meditation and mindfulness) This study showed, thanks to the analysis stress reactivity, comparing pre-treatment, during, and post-treatment distress and anxiety (Trier Social Stress Test TSST), a significant reduction in anxiety, reduction of adrenocorticotropic hormone ACTH and pro-inflammatory cytokines, and has demonstrated a reduction in stress markers with combined hormonal and immunological evidence and, therefore, that meditation and mindfulness practices can improve resilience to stress (National Institutes of Health, Hoge EA, et al. J Clin Psychiatry, 2018).
As a professional and well-being advocate, I would like to make you aware of the problems associated with stressful situations that almost always involve hyperactivation of the stress axis (increased blood levels, cortisol and noradrenaline) complicit in the onset of many diseases or problems. The systems involved can be: the nervous, metabolic, immune, reproductive, cardiovascular systems, increased risk of cancer and metastases. Even mental and psychological problems with psychosomatic problems (irritable bowel, dermatitis, fibriomyalgia, headaches, lack of memory, menstrual pain) and for pregnant women, chronic stress can affect the unborn child and the fetus during pregnancy.
Just 5 minutes a day of presence and meditation are enough to feel the long-term benefits. It takes practice and value in wanting to get better to prevent certain situations from turning into something more serious.
What is meditation?
- ATTENTION / PRESENCE with the present moment, brings us back to the “HERE and NOW”
- INCLUSION of any emotions or thoughts (not necessarily only positive); I experience any kind of feeling without judgment
- CONCENTRATION on the breath (no thought control) remaining focused in a sustained and prolonged way over time on the object of attention
- CONTEMPLATION: observing through silence without judgment, “is letting myself be, I observe life without pretensions”
- UNION: it is a higher state of consciousness and awareness that happens naturally without us realizing it and happens when we become one with our object of attention
What are the benefits of meditation on the body, brain and emotions?
- lowers cholesterol and hypertension
- decreases stress and inflammation
- improves blood supply to the brain
- improves anxiety, depression, mental brooding and impulsiveness
- harmonizes centering and clarity of thought
- improves sleep, menstrual cycle, fertility
- relieves muscular, nervous and psychological tension
- regulates the hormonal cycle (serotonin, gaba, endorphins, cortisol, melatonin, dopamine, noradrenaline, oxytocin, dhea)
- influences the brain activities that control the painful stimulus by lowering its intensity and acts as a natural pain reliever
In connection with meditation, there are holistic practices to rebalance the body and be more vital, such as, for example, foot reflexology and natural integration with natural supplements that help relieve tension, stress, improve mood, promoting relaxation of body and mind.
Tranquilla Mente supplement with plant extracts and micronutrients does not contain caffeine and helps to counteract anxiety thanks to the presence of Valerian, Hawthorn, Passionflower and Linden extracts that stimulate synergistic GABA, a hormone of calm and natural sedative. It is an excellent adaptogenic mood tonic, thanks to the presence of Griffonia (it raises the levels of serotonin, the hormone of happiness), has a muscle relaxant and antispastic action thanks to the presence of Lemon Balm which has a sedative and relaxing action on the gastrointestinal mucosa, relieving somatic stress disorders. It also has an antioxidant and neuroprotective action, containing Ginkgo biloba associated with Vitamin C, E, A and B with the trace elements Copper, Zinc and Selenium which protect against oxidative stress.
During meditation (and also in daily life at home or in the office) you can use the power of Aromatherapy through a diffuser or by applying locally (topically) under the nostrils a balsamic essence of natural essential oils Sinergia S.A. with expectorant, antimicrobial and decongestant action for the respiratory tract. Sinergia S.A. contains a precious mix of pure essential oils, among which we find Cypress, Eucalyptus, Lavender, Peppermint and Pine, Chamomile, Sage, Rosemary, Lemon, Geranium, essential oils with anti-inflammatory, mucolytic, decongestant, antimicrobial, calming action on the central nervous system.
At the end of your day, I also recommend a little “Ritual Bath” cuddle with Idrobagno i.u. for a purifying and regenerating bath/shower. It is a blend of oils with a balsamic, skin-purifying power, which also stimulates peripheral and vasotonic circulation. Idrobagno i.u. contains a blend of precious essential oils such as Juniper, Lavender, Sage, Thyme, Chamomile, Eucalyptus, Niaouli, Marjoram, Cypress, Cloves, Peppermint that have a balsamic, draining, anti-inflammatory, purifying, soothing, antimicrobial power.
If you feel stress it is time for meditation and breathing to eliminate anxiety!