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e-book Steps to Happiness: Traveling from Depression and Addiction to the Buddhist Path

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As her research would go on to help demonstrate, there was no single factor that predicted her drug problems. Neuroscientists have found a complex blend of nature and nurture at work in addictive tendencies and their research shows that many genetic, epigenetic and environmental factors work together in complex ways that often remain elusive. As a kid I felt like a prop in this play of the perfect family.

A pivotal moment came when, aged nine or 10, Grisel found her mother crying at the kitchen sink. And that felt like dying. After years of trying a range of ways to stop Grisel taking drugs her family now withdrew financial support entirely. When she did find work she stole from the till, she regularly took credit cards from strangers and ruthlessly stole money and drugs from friends. She believes people might make better choices if normal brain function was more widely appreciated.

In the introduction of our book we talk about the Buddha being in recovery. We suggest the following questions for you to work through after reading the introduction. Your email address will not be published. Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed. What did the Buddha know about addiction? July 9, Vimalasara 3 Comments. What does addiction mean to you?

A Buddhist Approach to Mental Illness

What does Recovery mean to you? Share your personal story of addiction from the perspective of what was it that got you clean and thinking about the spiritual path When you read the Buddha was in recovery what thoughts arise? What would it mean if you were to wake up from your present life? The Buddha taught the middle way — what would the middle way look like in your life? Practically, there is no limitation to when or for how long we can meditate. Understanding what your mind and body needs can be the first step for choosing a meditation time and robustly beating the sleep epidemic.

Many researchers today argue that the effect of meditation on stress might be overrated. The relaxation technique that Herbert proposed helped in regulating the hormones epinephrine and norepinephrine, that ultimately could reduce the blood pressure and stabilize the upsurges that the stress brought. The relaxation response became famous as a supportive adjunct in counseling and medical treatments and slowly gained massive popularity owing to its severe impact on stress reduction and management.

Following his line of research, here is a brief outline of how meditation helps in reducing stress:. The way our brain responds to stress and anxiety can change with daily meditation practice. A study on a large sample of individuals above 70 years showed that those who showed symptoms of depression had weaker episodic and photographic memory than others in the group.

Depression and mood disorders, coupled with anxiety, can be detrimental for our overall health and well-being. And it is incredible to know the power of meditation in dealing with these mind demons. John W. Studies suggest that meditation functions on specific parts of the brain that are known to create depression, anxiety, and stress responses.

As a result, we experience more negative feelings about ourselves and keep sabotaging our self-esteem cluelessly. As a result, we are more insightful and regain the power to ignore the negative feelings, and can successfully overcome depression and emotional lability. The endocrine system undergoes a massive spike during pregnancy, and the effect lingers for a few months after delivery. Pregnant women often find it challenging to cope with their emotions or talk about it. Despite being aware of the unreasonableness, they fail to control the automatic thoughts and get overwhelmed by the recurrent mood fluctuations.

Work-life balance and personal happiness start going downhill.

Cultivating Compassion as Depression Therapy

Meditation and mindfulness promote a healthy pregnancy and early parenthood like nothing else. Here are some of the positive impacts of meditation for pregnant women that you might be intrigued to know:. Our skin is a great communicator of our feelings and mental state. It mirrors extreme emotions such as stress, anxiety, depression, excitement, and happiness, and has a unique way of responding to pressure.

For example, our cheeks turn pink as we blush, and our ears feel hot and red when we feel embarrassed and humiliated. Fear makes the skin look pale, and sadness can often bring dullness and unwanted crinkles in the skin. Together with blood circulation and hormonal ups and downs, the skin is an excellent indicator of our emotions and science has gone an extra mile proving it. Recent research by Dr. Anthony Bewley, a popular dermatologist, proved that self-healing practices like meditation, breath control, and mindfulness, have profound benefits on skin conditions like eczema, acne, dry skin, and psoriasis.

This branch of study, popularly called psychodermatology, explores how the skin reacts to internal stress and how stress-reduction through meditation impacts it. Some studies revealed that when individuals with psoriasis attended guided meditation sessions or listened to soothing pieces of music, they healed a lot faster than others with the same condition.

The Science of Emotions

Besides the direct impact, meditation also adds glow and youthfulness to the skin by curing allied health conditions. For example, gastric ulcers, insomnia, regular headache or migraine, hypertension or low blood pressure, and chronic pain are common issues that negatively reflect on our skin tone. Daily meditation helps in reducing these anomalies and subsequently helps in slowing down the aging process of the skin, making us look younger and brighter naturally. The explicit goal of mindful meditation is to reorient our focus to the present and make the most of our sense organs to stay connected to this very moment.

MBSR is mostly used in corporate set-ups to reduce work-induced stress in employees and leaders. Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction is a wholesome arrangement of meditation, mindful body scan, and thought journaling, that help the participants reinvent themselves and combat the burnout.

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Dalai Lama Has the Antidote to Destructive Emotions

Loving-kindness or self-compassion meditation is a benevolent method filled with care and kindness. It is a source of healing the soul and making ourselves feel loved and looked after. This variation of meditation improves emotional health mainly, making us feel more in charge of our lives. Retreats are usually intense meditation sessions conducted at specific places and may last from a few hours to a few days.

Studies indicate that individuals who attend retreat sessions have lower heart rate, indicating a calmer state of mind, and are noticeably indifferent to stress and anxiety. We all have our different reasons for choosing meditation and our unique ways of committing to daily practice. To understand which meditation practice is most suitable, ask yourself three questions:.

An early morning meditation practice can bring unexpected changes in the way our brain and body works. Early morning meditators stay energized for the full day without solely relying on caffeine, and this is the reason behind it. Starting the day with a minute meditation practice activates the parasympathetic nervous system and releases energy-boosting endorphins that spring us up, making us more enthusiastic and fresh all day long.

When we are in a low mood or feel negative, we often crave for unhealthy or comfort food that pleases the mind temporarily. Studies have shown that after developing solid morning meditation habits, it becomes easier to cut off the extra sugar and fatty foods from our diet.

The positive energy and insight that those few moments of awareness provides speeds up metabolism and cleanses the gut, which is why we feel more satiated and are less attracted toward unhealthy dietary options. Meditating in the morning is a point-blank defense to stress and burnout. Meditation activates the pituitary gland in the brain that discharge endorphins, or happy hormones.

Blog: Rachel Gordon, MA, MED: Buddhist Psychotherapist Castle Rock, CO

Eventually, it wards off apathy and reboots the storehouse for happiness, creativity, and peace. Researchers agree that people who start their work every morning after a brief meditation session felt more in-tune with themselves and could ward off stress easily. At any point in time, we have thousands of stimuli around us to perceive. Meditation, especially in the morning, when the mind is fresh from a sound sleep and relatively clear of distractions, activates the mental spam filter. As a result, we can stay more focused and mindful throughout the day and accomplish errands with greater efficacy.

Morning meditation brings an overall state of calmness in mind and brings a total sense of well-being, that consistently stays throughout the day. Meditation is your practice, and there is no right or wrong way of doing it. To decide how much we need to invest in meditating, we need to immerse ourselves into the practice, and there are two things we have to be sure about:.

For example, if you are a beginner, meditating every day for half an hour would be practically impossible for you.

The Meaning Of Suffering in Buddhist Psychology

The amount of sustained attention we need to develop for longer meditation sessions comes with time and practice. On the other hand, if you aim to eliminate stress by meditating, a weekend retreat might not be as helpful for you as daily practices. The frequency of meditation is mostly dependent on the level we are practicing beginner, intermediate, or proficient , and the result of the meditation practice as we see it.

But as most agree, daily practice is most helpful holistically; however, the duration of training may vary from person to person. Here is a rough guide on the amount and length of meditation that might help you.


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