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Hartley Health

Meditation

Meditation is a learned practice that requires you to focus your attention on something, it is a technique used to help develop an awareness of the present moment. This exercise of the mind was created to aid in suffering and to help find a deeper meaning in life. 

Meditation has been used for thousands of years and in recent times studies have shown how beneficial meditation has become to personal growth, improving performance, and mental and emotional health. 

Studies have shown that our minds are wandering 46.9% of the time and by partaking in meditation we can turn our attention and awareness into the present moment. 

Jordan Hartley

Research also shows that when we aren’t doing a task our brain is going into default mode, when our mind wanders and goes into default mode this harms our happiness.

By practising the skill of meditation we are aiding in strengthening our neural pathways, this helps us to reinforce the new pathways that have been created through meditation.

This helps us to more easily return to an awareness of our thoughts and emotions, allowing us to accept whatever is happening around us.

Through meditation, science has shown that the amygdala becomes less activated through the practice of meditation, which helps to alleviate our flight, flight and freeze responses which can often be misinterpreted by our brain.

How to meditate

Meditation requires a singular focus, any thoughts that come into the mind you are to watch, observe and let go of without judgement or frustration.

This practice of being in the present moment allows you to foster an awareness of your thoughts and feelings gently, this practice is to be repeated over and over, a skill that needs to be built upon.

Over time meditation becomes easier just like any new skill you partake in, creating this relationship with your mind allows you to gently bring yourself back into the present moment when your mind wanders.

This meditation portal will include a range of audio meditations, all recorded by Jordan on a different frequency. The frequencies all represent a feeling and/or emotion within you. 

Screenshot and refer to the frequency table below.

Listen to Breath-focused meditation

This meditation is on 540hz frequency, representing joy.

How stress impacts THE body

The stress response begins in our brain when the amygdala is activated, when this happens it sends a distress signal to the hypothalamus which activates the sympathetic nervous system by sending signals through the autonomic nerves to the adrenal glands.

This puts our body into flight, fright or freeze. This area of the brain contributes to emotional processing, feelings of:

Listen to BODY SCAN meditation

This meditation is on 780hz frequency, representing enlightenment.

Over the years the repeated activation of the amygdala being activated has caused our bodies to easily slip into a stress response, as evolution has happened our brain hasn’t adjusted to the ever-changing world around us.

Unfortunately, this causes our brains to misinterpret information. 

All of these changes happen so quickly in the body that our brain isn’t able to act at full capacity, and thinking straight becomes hard, in turn, this is why when danger does arise we begin to function and act before our brain has fully had the chance to process the information that has gone on around us

In life-threatening situations this is ideal, however, experiencing this in day-to-day life begins to cause issues, for example, a small conflict or difference of opinion could send the body into overdrive leaving it unable to regulate emotions and impulse control.

Through meditation, evidence suggests that just after 8 weeks of consistent practice the amygdala begins to shrink, which causes the prefrontal cortex to become thicker.

The prefrontal cortex is associated with attention and concentration, as the amygdala shrinks it allows the prefrontal cortex to take higher-order, essentially allowing it to down regulate lower-order brain activity.

What this means is that our primal response to stress seems to be overridden by more thoughtful responses.

In summary, through regular meditation practice and mindfulness, you are able to reduce the impact that stress has on the body by becoming more aware of your surroundings, triggers and reactions. Allowing the intelligent part of the brain to function at a more optimal capacity within minutes.

Jordan Hartley

Mindfulness

Mindfulness is practising and maintaining an awareness of the present moment without judgement or fear. This basic human ability allows us to become aware of our thoughts and emotions before they become too extreme, incorporating an awareness of your mind and body helps you to become aware of them as they begin to change. 

The practice of mindfulness allows you to come up with strategies to navigate the feelings that may arise throughout the day.

Mindfulness is a state, meditation is a practice. When practising meditation it is about transcending the mind and letting go of thoughts, whereas when you’re practising mindfulness you can watch your thoughts which allows you to be aware of your mind and body.

One of the key differences is when you’re practising meditation you are not aware of time as you are when practising mindfulness, mindfulness keeps you active and present at the moment.

Being mindful helps you to regulate your emotions, it brings you back to the present moment and can help to relieve stress and anxiety.

Listen to Observing of thoughts meditation

This meditation is on 396hz frequency, representing acceptance.

Reasons to meditate

Negativity bias of the brain is the notion that a negative or unpleasant thought has a greater effect on the brain than a positive one.

 

We tend to remember the bad things in our life over the good ones, this is because it takes less than a second to lay down a bad memory as opposed to laying down a good memory which takes a minimum of 12 seconds to lay down.

 

It is believed that over millions of years of evolution we began to register and remember the bad memories to help with threats, this in turn has become built into our brains which unfortunately means bad memories are easy to access.

 

It requires consistent and active effort through mindfulness to reinforce the good memories, through a daily practice of gratitude we can bring more awareness to the good memories that have happened throughout the day, week, and life.

 

Whilst practising meditation we can become mindful of the thoughts and feelings that arise that may be negative, we can then notice them and acknowledge them, allowing us to move through the negative thoughts/feelings without them completely taking over our mind and or body.

Mirror neurons are brain cell that reacts to someone else’s emotions, they begin to fire when you watch someone else doing something.

 

Having mirror neurons allows us to mimic others’ patterns of behaviour and emotions, by the age of 6 months old even babies began to reflect off another person’s emotions.

 

It is thought that these neurons may be responsible for why we feel empathy or understand others because mirror neurons it is the reason why our moods can become impacted by another person’s mood, for example, an upset or angry sibling could cause a reaction among all siblings creating an environment for the other children in the room to become upset or unsettled.

 

When we practice mindfulness we can pick up on the traits and actions that we may have picked up along the way through childhood, work, school or friendships.

The relationship between the body and the mind is the connection between thoughts, attitudes, behaviours and physical health. The relationship that the mind has with the body can be navigated and changed through mindfulness.

 

Only now are we beginning to understand that emotions and thoughts influence health and longevity? 

 

What we know is that the mind requires learned experiences for it to make accurate decisions, this is where mediations and mindfulness come in again.

 

By meditating and practising mindfulness you can change the relationships that you have to your thoughts with how the brain and the body communicate to each other, your mind isn’t able to tell the difference between something actually happening or you simply thinking about it and replaying a past or present experience is what can cause stress to the body/mind.

 

This is why when you hear the saying be present in the now, it is to bring awareness to the current moment without all the distractions that the mind can sometimes create with the past and future.

 

Through the practice of mindfulness and meditation, we get to actively change and work on our relationship between our mind and body finding out what is and isn’t to be true to us, what is a stressor, causes pain or where more compassion could be had between the mind and body.