Meditation and being mindful has many advantages and long-lasting benefits shared by people all over the globe. As we’ve already discussed how stress can affect your health, it’s no unspoken thought that being mindful and realigning with yourself goes hand in hand with winding down from a stressful day.
Taking those few minutes to center yourself and gather your thoughts to bring yourself back to the present.
Many of you have shared your interest and curiosity with us about reaching a level of mindfulness, and we are guilty too! Who wouldn’t be looking at taking that extra step to reaching inner-peace.
What is Mindfulness?
Mindfulness and meditation has taken the world by storm, with society and individuals continuously increasing awareness around mental and physical health and how this affects our lifestyle and daily routine.
Mindfulness meditation is a practise in which you train your mind to be fully present by closing off any wandering thoughts that are taking away from your energy and entering a calm, peaceful state.
In essence, it’s all about refocusing all of the energy that we spend planning, over-thinking, daydreaming and problem-solving onto the current moment, making you intensely aware of your feelings, senses and the environment around you.
Your Body’s reaction to Stress
Your body is built to deal with an amplitude of situations; each sparking a different reaction within your anatomy. A common occurrence being stress, which can appear at any time that you are faced with a situation that causes you to feel under threat, both mentally or physically.
The remarkable detail is that your body is built to respond to these circumstances by triggering a reaction within your system.
When you’re experiencing a feeling of stress, your body reacts with an acute stress response commonly known as the ‘fight or flight’ response. This response will release particular stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline, placing your body on high-alert.
How Stress can affect your Menstrual Cycle
Simply put, the rise in hormones will affect the communication between your brain and adrenal glands, leading to an increased production in two of the following hormones: corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH) and cortisol.
This increase in the two hormones can suppress the normal levels of the reproductive hormones, mainly oestrogen and progesterone, responsible for your menstrual cycle and affect their interaction with one another.
While your body is under stress, the main message that it is sending throughout your system is ‘we are under threat’, which to your menstrual cycle will look a lot like: right now is not the time to reproduce! Which at times can cause a delay to or even halt your period cycle – and we don’t need to mention that this in itself is a stressful situation to be going through!
The benefits of being Mindful
Jon Kabat-Zinn is thought to be one of the first individuals introducing the art of Mindfulness, with a course that began in 1979 which seeked to help individuals with pain management, which later was shown to help with depression, anxiety and some clinical and non-clinical issues.
Being mindful is comparable to meditating, and also serves similar benefits to your mental health. Mindfulness can close off unnecessary thoughts which may trigger stress, maintaining a calm and peaceful mindset which enhances your performance and brings your attention to your personal state of mind.
The central point to this practise is the suspension of judgement, be it internal or external, which then unfolds a warm and kind experience.
A Simple Mindfulness Exercise:
Although the benefits and effects of Mindfulness are ever-growing; the art and form of practising mindfulness is simpler than you may think! In fact, you could even start right here, right now! All you need is a quiet and calm place, where you can take a seat. Set a timer of 3, 4 or 10 minutes of which you are going to dedicate your mindful practice to(this will prevent you from falling asleep!).
Now that you’re in a comfortable position:
- Close your eyes and take notice of your body.
- Begin to follow your breath, as you breathe in and out again.
- Refocus your mind when it wonders. Simply do this by consciously returning your attention back to your breath.
- Be gentle. This is your safe space and there is no room for judgement.
Set Aside Some Time to Relax
Once you’ve been exposed to the practises of Mindfulness, you can take 5 minutes to yourself at any given moment!
With a range of scents, you can really delve deep into your Mindfulness practices and calm your mind whilst lingering in sensory bliss.
Here at BeYou, we’re all about supporting a positive balance between you and your mental welfare, and setting aside some blissful ‘me-time’ is a top requirement!
We’d love to know if you’ve tried this simple mindfulness exercise and what you think! We here at BeYou will never turn down your own tips and tricks for a calm evening, so drop into our DMs! We’re around all week, so don’t forget to stop by!