Grieving a loss can be emotionally taxing. No matter where you are with your journey, you’re likely experiencing difficulty. People process grief differently, with some going through health issues or lack of focus on their tasks. Others may experience physical pain and a lack of sleep. Whatever the case, studies show that grief meditation can help ease many symptoms people feel as they mourn.
Many can attest to how hard it can be to overcome grief. There is a mix of emotions, and a storm of great sadness caused by loss. This sadness can transform into depression, regret, anger, and other feelings. These can prevent us from functioning properly, and can drag on for extended periods.
Everyone processes grief differently, and there isn’t a set method to move on from grief. The things we care about are different, and the intensity of our attachment to them also varies. Ultimately, grief causes us to deviate from our usual behavior, often towards a negative outcome. One can experience its many forms, and it may happen because of:
– The loss of a loved one
– The loss of a precious item
– A catastrophe or natural disaster
The loss of something meaningful creates a rift and tears open a hole inside us. Some people may require time to move on from grief, while others go day-by-day until the emotions ease.
The start of recovery often comes with a revelation. We start thinking about more positive things and good memories. After losing a loved one, we realize that they would want us to live a life free from suffering. Eventually, grief turns into a celebration of the time we had, and the thing or person we cherished.
Some people find it hard to get to that point. They feel like there is a lack of resolution to their loss. They cannot forgive themselves or the one that caused them grief. There is a lack of understanding of the source of their emotions.
Resolving grief is about understanding our emotions and accepting that we need time to process them. We’ll have to examine why there are things that are preventing us from seeing the positives in our lives. Maybe it’s about learning to forgive ourselves and others. It’s also about making a conscious effort to move beyond the emotional storm and to see the light beyond it.
Meditation can be a way to bring those conversations to light. It is a conversation with yourself, your thoughts, and memories. It can be a method to loosen that grip and move past the thorns to find your answer.
Meditation is often used as a way to relieve stress and anxiety, but it can also be helpful for people who are grieving. If you are grieving, meditation can be a powerful tool to help you heal. It can help you find peace and acceptance. It can also be a way for you to connect with the person you lost.
Meditation is a personal journey that can be approached in many different ways, but the goal should always be to create a sense of peace and calmness within oneself. It is an opportunity to learn how to be with your feelings, emotions, and memories in a way that brings you peace.
The benefits of meditation are not limited to overcoming grief. The practice can be used to promote relaxation, reduce stress, and improve overall well-being. It also helps by improving concentration and focus and by reducing the risk of certain diseases like cancer.
Meditation doesn’t change our feelings, but it can help recalibrate our perception of those feelings. Mindfulness towards your thoughts and emotions allows you to approach them with clarity.
Studies show that people who used meditation apps for eight weeks experienced fewer negative emotions. 31% experienced reduced anxiety, while 46% had reduced depression symptoms. Others also reported lowered stress levels, and they weren’t as irritable anymore.
Training your mind creates resilience even amid a loss.
Studies also show numerous other benefits that occur in the body because of meditation. These include:
– Lower cortisol levels that are responsible for general stress
– Better reaction times
– Lower blood pressure
– Higher attention levels
One thing people have to realize is that grief is an emotion that everyone experiences. We don’t have to approach it alone. Even today, people study grief and the ways to overcome it.
One of the most common ways to meditate is through the body scan technique. This technique’s goal is to help us bring more awareness to the connection between our body and mind. It doesn’t have to make any significant changes afterward. It’s all about understanding yourself.
Here’s how you can do it:
1. Find a comfortable area or chair. You can also sit down on the floor.
2. Take two deep breaths. Breathe in through the nose and out the mouth. Afterward, gently close your eyes and let your body relax.
3. While your eyes are closed, sense how your body feels. Check if you feel restless or still. Examine if any parts of your body feel light or heavy.
4. You can begin this scan from the top of your head and move your way downward. Notice the different sensations as you are examining each part.
5. You do not have to change anything. You are simplyobserving and letting your thoughts pass by. Every time you feel like you are drifting, bring your attention back to your body.
6. After you’ve scanned the bottom of your feet, gently open your eyes again.
Sounds of Rain | Nature Meditation for Relaxation | Remove ALL Negative Energy | Be PRESENT
When we’re grieving, it’s easy to forget to step back and assess our situation. By meditating, you begin observing and embracing the process. This stage of acceptance is a key part of moving forward from grief. Meditation will give your body time to relax, which will also allow it to work at a cellular level. Your body will begin to regulate its hormones and accelerate your process toward a better state of health.
Additional advances in technology have lead to an even further improved meditation process. Healium combines immersive VR meditations and neurofeedback to provide users with access to their brainwave data in realtime. The resulting agency over their brain patterns leads users to meditate for the changes they’d like to make in their lives.
To learn more about how Healium works, watch this video below!
You’ve probably heard that it takes 21 days to break a habit. However, some specialists say it can take up to several months! Unfortunately, this debate often leaves those looking to quit smoking, procrastinating, nail-biting, or any other bad habit wondering: How long will it really take to break?
While recognizing a particular habit is problematic is a great start, the process of truly breaking that habit can be quite challenging. After all, unlearning routines takes dedicated time and effort.
At Healium, we believe there is no one-size-fits-all time frame for breaking habits. Instead, breaking a habit depends on various factors, most of which change from person to person.
However, this blog will leave you with a general sense of how much time and effort breaking your habit will take, as well as offer some practical tips on speeding up the process in the most effective ways!
Dr. Maxwell Maltz — a renowned cosmetic surgeon in the country during the 1960s and 1970s — inspired the oft-cited 21-day estimate for breaking a habit. Allegedly, he noticed it would take patients around 21 days to adjust to their new faces after rhinoplasty. Similarly, patients needed about the same time during amputations to adjust to their situation.
While there might be some truth to Dr. Maltz’s approximation, he relied more on patient testimonials than scientific evidence. Notably, his subjects did not include people who wanted to break patterns. Instead, they fall under the habituation category or the process of getting accustomed to something new.
These processes may have similarities, but they are not the same. While habituation covers circumstances you’ve already modified or cannot control, breaking habits involves constant and persistent effort.
As mentioned earlier, the time it takes to break a habit differs for various individuals. The answer relies on several factors, including:
– How long you’ve consciously or subconsciously practiced the habit
– The level of integration the behavior has in your life
– The social, physical, or emotional rewards it offers
– Whether your lifestyle reinforces your actions or not
– Your overall level of motivation
To further illustrate thisthink , about these two real-life examples.
– A college student who started eating midnight snacks a month ago to deal with the stress associated with final exams.
– A doctor who has been late-night nibbling for six months to avoid eating or consequent bathroom breaks while working.
Assuming each individual would like to stop late-night eating, which do you think would have a harder time doing so?
More likely, the physician will have more difficulty shifting their eating patterns than the student because the former has practiced the habit longer and has a more compelling reason not to eat meals at ideal times.
Realistically speaking, while 21 days might be enough runway for certain individuals and certain situations, it is simply not enough for most people to break a habit.
A 2009 study suggests habit formation takes about ten weeks, and stopping such behavior can take anywhere between 18 to 254 days. One participant only needed 18 days to complete the process, but it took much longer for the others.
However, don’t lose hope if you want to break a bad habit!
A 2018 review of previous research suggests that an individual’s environment can positively impact habit formation. Modern day smartphones and other technologies have become game-changers for many people.
You have the power to break the habits you created. Below are practical ways to achieve your goals.
Many people fail to break bad habits because they try to do too much at once, especially at the start of a new year. If you want to succeed, give yourself ample time to quit. For instance, you can limit your daily consumption if you feel you smoke too much. You don’t have to go cold turkey immediately. Doing so will make you feel deprived.
Your success in quitting a bad habit relies heavily on staying consistent. We understand how hard it is to stop such behavior, but you should keep at it to see the desired results. However, don’t beat yourself up for a slip-up. Instead, use such circumstances as inspiration to do better next time.
One of the best ways to keep yourself from spiraling toward bad habits is to steer clear of temptations. For instance, if you want to lessen your caffeine intake, take a different route to work if you’re used to stopping by your favorite coffee shop. Also, don’t store caffeinated products in your home.
Motivation is crucial for breaking bad habits. However, if you’re only trying to break one because everyone around you says you should, no amount of physical recharging will prepare you for the task ahead. Instead, you can boost your stimulation level by looking at long-term benefits, finding replacement activities, and involving friends in your efforts.
Breaking bad habits requires mental fitness. You need focus, mindfulness, and determination to succeed. Advances in modern technology have made improving your mental fitness easier than ever. For example, Healium pairs peaceful VR meditation sessions with neurofeedback devices so users can see their brainwave data personified in real time, teaching them to become more self-aware how their breath, posture, and thoughts impact their mind.
Just because the common “21 days to break a bad habit” myth is largely inaccurate doesn’t mean there aren’t ways to speed up the process! Tools like Healium have helped people learn to self regulate their stress and insomnia which is the root cause of some bad habits.
Healium not only relieves stress levels, helps self-manage anxiety and empathy, but when combined with neurofeedback devices, it also gives you feedback about how your mind operates.
Want to learn more about how Healium works? Check out the video below!
Mindful movement is a form of movement that is focused on the present moment and being in the body. The idea is to bring awareness to your body, mind and spirit, which can be done through walking meditations, yoga, dance, or any other type of repetitive movement.
In this blog, we will explore how mindful movement helps reduce stress and promote overall health as well as explore some different types of mindful movement and walking meditations and the best ways to capitalize on their benefits.
Mindful Movement is a technique that has been used for many centuries in different cultures around the world. In recent years, it has been gaining popularity in Western countries as well. The practice of Mindful Movement can be described as an exercise that combines mindful breathing with walking at a slow pace to promote self-awareness and reduce stress levels.
Mindful movement is very similar to any yoga or mindfulness practice; this is because they are all governed by the same principle of focusing one’s mind on the present moment.
When practicing mindful movement, the focus is on how our body moves, how our breathing changes, and the position of our bodies. This increases self-awareness towards our physical and mental wellbeing, reduces stress and anxiety while also strengthening the connection between our mind and body.
There are four major types of mindful movement, including:
Doing yoga and stretches not only aids in meditation, but also releases stress and tension physically from the body. It involves gentle movements designed to raise our focus and energy while lowering our anxiety.
Breathing exercises are simple movements that we can do while sitting or laying down between work. It involves intentionally elongating or shortening our breaths and observing how our body reacts.
While often done together with seated meditation, breathing exercises are crucial to yoga and walking meditation as well.
Mindful movement can be implemented into almost any workout regimen, which is a foundational principle behind meditation for athletes. This includes aerobics, weight lifting, push-ups, pull-ups, and more.
When practicing mindfulness during exercise, the important thing is to maintain focus on what our bodies are doing and how our breath synchronizes with our movement throughout the workout. This improved sense of awareness helps trigger the flow state as well as improve focus, drive, and even contribute to the post-workout recovery period.
Walking meditation is a type of mindful movement where you focus on every step you take while walking, such as noticing how your foot moves when it hits the ground or what your hands do when they swing back and forth. It is an effective way to practice self-awareness and mindfulness, and many who practice it leave the experience feeling more grounded in the present moment.
Mindful movement can greatly improve our physical and mental health, both while practicing and long after we are done.
Some of the top benefits of mindful movement include:
Just like mindfulness meditation and yoga, mindful movement reduces stress and lowers our anxiety. In fact, mindful movement improved the stress and anxiety levels of more than 150 students at Penn State.
In turn, lower stress and anxiety can improve our physical health as well. Stress is a risk factor for a number of cardiovascular conditions, including high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and poor blood flow. Meanwhile, lower anxiety may also prevent depression and improve one’s overall outlook in life.
Walking and stretching may seem like ineffective exercises when compared to more strenuous workouts like lifting weights or cardiovascular training, but both are great forms of cardio too.
Walking on its own can significantly boost weight loss, improve mental health, and reduce the risk of both cardiovascular disease and depression. Mindful walking, or walking meditation, offers further heart health benefits and may even stave off cognitive decline.
Taking the time to concentrate on our breathing, how we are feeling, and how we are moving gives our minds a chance to slow down and rest. This gives our brain the chance to process what is happening within our bodies and around us.
This allows us to recharge and focus our attention on other things afterward; even a brief 10-minute guided mindful meditation boosts attention control and allows us to hone in our productivity.
Individually, both exercise and mindfulness can enhance sleep quality. Together, mindful movement can greatly ease both the mind and body, allowing us to fall asleep faster and sleep longer.
Walking meditation allows us to empty our mind of distracting thoughts and escape overstimulation. At the same time, physical movement gives us a chance to release tension and nervous energy while relaxing our muscles.
Mindful movement is a great alternative to regular mindful meditation, especially for people who are prone to falling asleep while meditating.
At its core, mindful movement only has a handful of requirements: focusing on our breathing, our mental state, and the movement of our body, especially in relation to our environment.
If you find your thoughts straying and your attention redirecting to work or other people, make sure to bring it back to these three things.
Here are a few tips to get started with walking meditation:
1. Set a convenient time and place for your walking meditation.
2. As you start walking, take notice of your breathing pattern and empty your mind of any distracting thoughts, including those concerning work, family, and life in general.
3. Use your breathing to redirect your thoughts when you get distracted. You can do this by taking a deep breath, holding it for a few seconds, and focusing on how it makes your lungs feel.
4. Keep track of how your body feels, how your muscles move, your posture, and how you carry yourself.
5. Observe your immediate surroundings, but do not dwell on them. Simply acknowledge what you see, hear, and smell — especially how it affects your body and your walk — and then move on.
6. Focus on your gait or the rhythm of your walk.
Many recommend unplugging and leaving technology behind while practicing mindfulness. This is because having our phones or gadgets in our hands can distract us from our breathing, mental state, and movement. However, this is not always the case. In much the same way that technology can distract us, it can also enhance our mindfulness.
Healium supplements the benefits of meditation with actionable data via neurofeedback. Healium gives users a better insight into how their brains respond to what they are doing, allowing them to identify what works and what doesn’t so they can fine-tune their mindful movement practices.
Ideally, users looking to improve their mindful movement sessions would view the VR meditation experiences while focusing their breathing, or choose our nature-based VR experiences that focus on moving through the environment, like the Tree of Life.
To learn more about how Healium works, watch the video below. A new VR experience is added every 60 days!
Meditation elicits states of inner peace and tranquility where the inner voice inside your mind all but fades away. The similarity between meditative states and flow during exercise often has people wondering, “Is exercise meditation?”
This blog post will explore the similarities between exercise and meditation and discuss how both benefit the physical and mental aspects of our well-being.
To examine the similarities between meditation and exercise, we should first identify the benefits of each.
Exercise is any physical activity that elevates a person’s heart rate and gets one moving and sweating. It boasts numerous benefits for physical health, including reducing the risk of chronic diseases like heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and cancer.
Exercise improves a person’s mood, reduces stress and anxiety, boosts one’s self-esteem, and improves sleep.
If you’re a regular Healium reader those might sound familiar, as every one of those positive changes are ones we champion as reasons for practicing consistent meditation as well.
Exercising releases chemicals in your brain called endorphins. Endorphins interact with the brain’s receptors and help reduce pain perception. Endorphins also make people feel good.
In addition to endorphins, exercise also releases other brain chemicals that can improve people’s moods, including dopamine and serotonin. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that controls the reward and pleasure centers in the brain, while serotonin is a neurotransmitter that affects mood, appetite, and sleep.
Exercise has also been shown to increase levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). BDNF is a protein that helps to promote the growth of new nerve cells and the development of new neural pathways in the brain, which can improve memory and make learning easier.
Meditation is the practice of turning one’s attention inward and focusing on the present moment, and meditation also boasts many of the same benefits as physical exercise. Those who meditate regularly see improved levels of hormones including melatonin, dopamine and prolactin. Additionally, meditation has proven to be effective at limiting cortisol levels in your body, the primary hormone associated with stress.
There are many types of meditation, and each one can help to improve your mental health in different ways. Some types of meditation focus on breathing, while others focus on a mantra or a certain word or phrase that one repeats. There are also guided meditations, where someone else leads a person through the practice.
Meditation improves a person’s mental fitness by reducing stress and anxiety, improving sleep, and increasing overall well-being. It can also help to improve one’s concentration and focus and reduce rumination and has even been shown to improve memory and increase gray matter in the brain.
Oftentimes when people are exercising they enter the flow state — also known as “the zone.” This is when time seems to stand still and people become one with what they’re doing. When this phenomenon occurs, it is remarkably similar to (and could be considered) a form of meditation.
In other words exercise turns into meditation when people are fully present and focused in the moment.
For example, a runner focuses on each footfall, the rhythm of their breath, and the feeling of their heart pumping. They become one with the running and are in the flow state.
When a person exercises and pays attention to their bodies’ movements at the same time, they create a strong mind-body connection. Research shows people who intentionally focus on their exercise routines end up enjoying them more and see greater improvements in their physical fitness.
This mind-body connection allows people to be more aware of their form, which can help them prevent injuries. It also allows them to focus on the muscles they’re targeting so that they can get the most out of their workout. Lastly, it enables them to connect with their bodies in a way that can be calming and therapeutic.
So, is exercise meditation?
Meditation and exercise have a lot in common despite their perceived differences. Both require people to be fully present and in the moment, and both improve one’s ability to focus. In fact, many people find that they reach a flow state more easily when they’re doing some form of physical activity.
So, what does science say? According to research, there are plenty of similarities between meditation and exercise. For example, both meditation and exercise have been shown to reduce stress, improve mood, and increase cognitive function. In addition, both can help improve one’s sense of well-being and overall health.
Therefore, people will benefit from mixing up their routine and adding some exercise into their meditation practices.
After all, exercise can be a form of meditation in and of itself. To combat stress, a person might engage in an exercise session of running or jogging while meditating on their breath. People will find that it’s the perfect way to clear their minds and center themselves. This will enhance their love for exercising even more.
We’ve all heard power naps are great for rejuvenating the body and refreshing the mind, but how long should a power nap be for optimal results? What’s going on inside your brain while you take a power nap to begin with? This blog post will explore the science behind napping, sleep cycles, REM sleep, and why specific nap lengths are better than others.
So, whether you’re looking to improve your sleep quality or just wanting to know how long is ideal for a power nap, read on.
Usually shorter than a nap on a lazy Saturday afternoon, a power nap’s trademark difference lies within the intention to take it. Those who take power naps do so to sharpen their cognitive function. The scientifically sound association between power naps and their resultant heightened awareness, logical decision-making, and enhanced memory is undeniable. Cornell University social psychologist James Maas coined the term in his 1998 book, “Power Sleep.”
So, how long is a power nap? The optimal nap time for a power nap depends on what you want to achieve from the nap. For example, if you want to improve your alertness and cognitive function, the optimal length for a power nap is 20-30 minutes. This nap length will allow you to enter the first sleep stage, known as light sleep or NREM-I. During this sleep stage, your brainwave activity slows down, and your body starts to relax.
If you are looking for a longer nap that will improve your memory and creativity levels, then the optimal length for a power nap is 60 minutes. This nap length will allow you to enter the second stage of sleep, known as deep sleep or stage NREM-II. During this sleep stage, your body temperature decreases, and your heart rate slows down.
Have you ever wondered what is happening in your brain when you nap? When you nap, your brain goes through different sleep cycles. The first stage of your sleep cycle is light sleep. This is when you are in between being awake and asleep. After that, your eyes move slowly, and muscle activity decreases.
The second stage of your sleep cycle is deep sleep. This is when your breathing becomes regular, and your heart rate slows down. You will not be able to wake up quickly during deep sleep.
The third stage of your sleep cycle is REM sleep. This is when you dream. Again, your eyes move quickly because your brain is active.
The optimal nap time depends on what stage of sleep you are in. A short nap (20-30 minutes) will be most beneficial if you are in light sleep. A longer nap (60-90 minutes) will be most beneficial if you are in a deep sleep.
It’s relevant to take note of the length of time you sleep because napping for too long can leave you feeling groggy and disoriented. This is why it’s optimal to keep your nap short – 20-30 minutes – so that you can reap the benefits of a refreshed mindset without the adverse side effects of oversleeping.
The science behind why longer naps often leave you feeling worse can be explained by sleep cycles. When you sleep, you cycle through different stages of sleep: light sleep, deep sleep, and REM. Waking up in the middle of a deep sleep cycle can leave you feeling disoriented because your brain is not fully rested. To avoid this, waking up after a light sleep cycle is best. You will feel refreshed and alert after doing so.
One of the most common benefits of napping is improving your mood. One study found that people who took a nap were in a better mood and were more capable in dealing with frustration than those who did not take a nap. This is because napping, or even just lying down and resting, can reduce stress and fatigue.
Napping can also reduce stress. People who took a naps routinely show lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol than those who did not. This is because napping can help to restore your energy levels and improve your mood.
If you are feeling tired, a nap can be a great way to boost your energy levels. One study found that people who took a nap had higher levels of alertness and performance than those who did not take a nap. This is because naps help your brain recharge to feel more awake and alert.
Napping can also help your brain to learn. Naps can improve memory and help you to consolidate memories and store them for long-term recall. A study found that napping after learning a new task helped people to retain the information better than if they had stayed awake. During sleep, your brain “replays” the experience of learning a new task, which helps to embed the new memories.
Meditation has long been touted as an effective way to reduce stress and improve sleep. Healium takes the successes of sleep meditation to the next level by combining meditation with immersive new technologies like virtual reality and neurofeedback.
Neurofeedback is a type of biofeedback that uses sensors to monitor brain activity in real-time. When paired with meditation, users are granted agency over the electrical patterns in their brain. This powerful combination means users can actively work to self-drive improvement, decrease their stress levels, and even meditate to sleep.
For more information on how Healium works, check out the video below!
Regular meditation is a great way to tap into your drive, strength, and focus as well as find relief from anxiety and stress. But, despite general awareness of the benefits of meditation, many still find it difficult to make time for it! While the best time to meditate is oftentimes “whenever you can!” we’ve put this blog together to help you find the best meditation times to maximize its benefits.
You should meditate whenever it fits into your schedule, but there are ideal times to meditate when you may gain more advantages:
Starting the day with some quiet reflection in meditation can be a good way to create a positive mood. As simple as it sounds, sometimes the quiet of the early morning is the best time to meditate because there are fewer distractions.
Meditation’s benefits can be felt immediately, even after only five minutes, so setting aside some time each morning is a good idea. Improved memory, focus, and emotional control are just some benefits linked to regular, brief meditation sessions. Morning meditation can help you keep a calm and optimistic outlook, which will serve you well as you face the challenges of the day.
Even though morning and evening are the most common times for meditators to practice, taking a few minutes to relax and reflect around lunch can be extremely beneficial. Meditating at midday is a great way to relax and recharge, whether at the office, school, or home. In addition, it helps stretch out the muscles you use at your desk. Even short breaks during the day can have a positive impact.
Meditation is a great way to unwind and refresh after a long day, so much so that some people wait until they get home after work to do it. It’s an excellent technique to calm the mind and body after a long day on the job, whether it be mental or physical stress.
Also, when you meditate after work, you establish a distinct line between your busy professional life and your quiet personal one. Having dedicated “me” time on a regular basis allows you to disconnect from work and devote more energy to the people and activities that truly matter to you.
Meditating at the end of the day is a great way to unwind and get ready for a restful slumber. If you have difficulties sleeping or lie awake at night thinking about the day’s events, sleep meditation may help. Ten to twenty minutes of meditation before bedtime can make a difference. You can also try listening to a guided meditation or focusing on deep breathing to help you unwind and nod off.
Whenever you find the time is the best time for meditating. Although there may be ideal periods for meditation, what’s most important is to establish a routine that suits you and stick to it.
It takes patience and perseverance to form a new habit. Choosing a convenient time can help you stay on track. If you know that mornings are a bad time for you to meditate, try doing it during your lunch break or right before bed. A new routine is more likely to stick if you give it more time.
If you find it challenging to meditate in the comfort of your own home, listening to some meditative sounds while you commute to work helps you focus your attention and calm your mind. You may also find 10-minute meditations on Healium’s iPhone app and Android mobile app that you can practice whenever and wherever you like.
It’s crucial to lay a solid groundwork before venturing into unfamiliar territory, such as learning how to meditate. Knowing the best time to meditate is essential, as is learning how to meditate.
Here are a few meditation guidelines to get you started on the right foot:
– Find a quiet place for reflection: For beginners, it is important that you meditate in a quiet environment without any distractions. Turn off your phone, computer, and other electronic devices that can disturb your peace of mind once you’ve settled into your designated peaceful area.
– Fix your body posture: While there may not be any rules on how to meditate, the right posture is crucial. Put your feet flat on the floor, sit straight on the edge of a chair or bed, or get a meditation cushion so your energy can flow freely up your spine.
– Take it easy for a while: In time, you will become more skilled at meditation. Intense feelings of unease and restlessness are common among beginners. Eventually, you’ll develop the ability to control these emotions and prevent them from dominating your thoughts. The key is to take things slowly at first and gradually increase the time spent on the activity as your comfort level increases.
– Maintain a daily meditation schedule: Put aside time in your schedule at roughly the same time every day and give yourself a firm commitment to actually doing the meditation.
– Meditate while walking: Take a walk while meditating as your practice improves. Begin by going for a 15-minute stroll. Pay attention to your breathing, the sound of your footsteps, and the environment. If you find your thoughts drifting, pick one of these sensations to bring your attention back. Doing so will help you regain balance.
– Utilize new meditation advances: Meditation is a practice that spans thousands of years, and we’re finding more and more ways to maximize its benefits. One such advance is the advent of immersive media and virtual reality, which fully immerses you into the peaceful experience. Furthermore, tracking your brainwave data with neurofeedback devices grants you agency to tailor your meditations to drive certain improvements with your brainwave patterns.
Learn more about how neurofeedback and meditation intersect here!
Stress and anxiety have become a normal part of our everyday lives, so knowing how to stay calm under pressure is more important than ever. When we encounter stressful situations in work, school, or in our personal lives, we can tend to feel panicked or feel overwhelmed. During this time, our bodies go through a process known as fight or flight to help us cope with our current circumstances.
This blog will dive deep into this stress response and help you find the best ways to navigate it.
The fight or flight response is an acute stress response or survival response that refers to a physiological reaction our bodies go through when we are face-to-face with something that is either physically or mentally terrifying.
While it does have other bodily manifestations, the stress response always begins in the brain. When a triggering event occurs, our senses send information to our amygdala — the part of our brain that’s responsible for emotional processing.
Our amygdala then interprets the images we see and the sounds that we hear. When it perceives that we are in danger, it will automatically send a distress signal to our hypothalamus (also known as the command center of our brain).
Once the hypothalamus recognizes the danger, it will communicate to the rest of our bodies what we need to do — either we fight or we flee.
Our fight-or-flight response takes place when the hypothalamus activates our sympathetic nervous system. It does so by sending specific signals to the adrenal glands through our automatic nerves. Once our adrenal glands receive these signals, they will respond by releasing a hormone called epinephrine (more commonly known as adrenaline) into our bloodstream.
As adrenaline circulates through our system, it gives rise to numerous physiological changes that we commonly associate with being stressed. Our hearts will beat faster than normal, muscles tense, pupils dilate, skin becomes pale, and blood pressure goes up.
When we feel these changes, we may start to breathe more rapidly. In doing so, we can inhale more oxygen, which can increase our alertness and make our senses of sight, hearing, and touch much sharper.
At the same time, the adrenaline will trigger the release of fats and glucose (blood sugar) into the body through the bloodstream to supply energy. This energy will help us take action if ever our bodies decide to fight or flee.
It may seem like so many things are happening to our bodies when we go through fight or flight, but all these changes happen in quick succession! Before we even realize what’s happening, our bodies would have already adapted to the changes.
Because of this, it’s important to recognize the early signs of stress in our daily life, whether it be faster heart rate, more rapid breathing, or trembling. When these signals appear, we need to start to look for ways to calm down and relax our bodies.
Although the fight or flight response is a natural bodily reaction to dangerous situations or environments, it is not healthy to be in this state for long periods. If we allow ourselves to be constantly in a state of stress, our bodies can trigger the release of ACTH (adrenocorticotropic hormone). This will travel back to our adrenal glands and prompt the release of cortisol.
When we attain high cortisol levels due to stress, we can encounter numerous physical or psychological problems. Long-term or chronic stress will often result in insomnia, anxiety, depression, gastrointestinal issues, and substance dependence.
In some cases, our stress can lead to eating disorders and the development of certain health conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, asthma, strokes, heart attacks, and even Alzheimer’s disease.
To avoid reaching this extreme, it’s imperative to learn how to stay calm under pressure and stress and seek out tools that interrupt the stress response.
Staying calm and reducing stress can be a challenging feat, but with these techniques in mind, we can learn how to better manage our responses and keep stress at bay.
One of the ways to manage our fight or flight response is to participate in physical activity. Exercise can help reduce the build-up of stress in many ways. For example, if we decide to take a walk when faced with a tense or nerve-wracking situation, we deepen our breathing and relieve the muscle tension in our bodies.
In addition, movement therapies like mindful movement meditations, tai chi, yoga, and pilates can combine physical exercise with mental focus to help both our minds and bodies to remain calm.
Another great way to keep stress at bay is to confide in friends, relatives, spouses, co-workers, and even professionals. Each of them can provide a support system and build a social net where we can safely share our worries and concerns without any prejudices.
While there’s not a lot of concrete medical explanation for why surrounding ourselves with people can help alleviate stress, many believe that when we do, we get the emotional support we need to keep calm and level-headed in times of crisis or chronic stress.
Besides these options, a great technique that can help us during stressful times is mindfulness and meditation. Mental exercises like tranquil visualizations, repetitive prayers, affirmations, or a combination of all three can counter stress responses effectively.
In an interview, Harvard neuroscientist Sara Lazar said that meditation and mindfulness do not only reduce stress but also change our brains.
In her studies, she found that people who meditated for at least eight weeks showed thicker posterior cingulate, an area of the brain which is primarily involved in self-relevance and mind wandering. Moreover, the same individuals also developed their left hippocampus, temporoparietal junction, and pons.
The left hippocampus is responsible for learning, memory, cognition, and emotional regulation. The temporoparietal junction is associated with empathy, compassion, and perspective-taking. The pons is an area of the brainstem where many regulatory neurotransmitters are created.
Lazar concluded that by meditating and practicing mindfulness, these critical areas of the brain become more developed, which in turn allows the person to react to pressure and stressful events more calmly.
It is possible to further enhance the effectiveness of mindfulness and meditation by using VR and neurofeedback. More specifically, Healium VR combines meditation exercises and EEG headbands to see how brain waves change in real time.
After every session, users receive a score and see their overall performance. With continuous usage, users familiarize themselves with the makeup of the electrical activity in their brain, which can help them self-manage stressful fight or flight situations as they arise.
For more information on how Healium works, check out the video below!
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Electrical impulses fired off by the cells in your brain are identified as brainwaves. Scientists measure patterns in this electrical activity and classify them into different types of brainwaves based on their range of frequencies.
Different brainwave frequencies are associated with different mood states. Theta brainwaves in particular are associated with creativity, intuition, and memory & are often most dominant just befor falling asleep when the mind is relaxed and drifting.
In this blog post, we’ll dive deeper into theta brainwaves, explore when they’re most dominant, and explain the best ways to balance the theta activity within your own brain.
Your brain never truly shuts down, even when you’re asleep. At any given moment, your brain is firing off electrical signals that are generally classified under five categories.
Naturally, these categories can be further broken down (and it’s worth mentioning that the frequency ranges for each brainwave can sometimes differ), but at Healium we classify the different types of brainwaves as follows:
– Delta brainwaves: 0 – 2.75 Hz
– Theta brainwaves: 3.5 – 6.75 Hz
– Alpha brainwaves: 7.5 – 11.75 Hz
– Beta brainwaves: 13 – 29.75 Hz
– Gamma brainwaves: 31 – 49.75 Hz
Theta brainwaves are present in all stages of life, but they are most dominant during childhood.
As we age, theta waves become less dominant and are replaced by alpha and beta waves.
However, theta waves are still dominant in adults during moments of creativity, daydreaming, or when we are in a state of deep relaxation.
Theta brainwaves are associated with dreaming, creativity, and intuitive insights and have been linked to several mood states, including the flow state, which is characterized by feeling fully immersed in an activity where everything else seems to fall away from conscious thought.
Theta brainwaves are frequencies that are between 3.5 – 6.75 Hz. This state is normally only present during sleep or deep meditation. When a person is in the theta state, they are in a very deep state of relaxation. The theta state is associated with dreaming, creativity, and intuitive insights.
The theta state is one that we commonly experience when we are in a very deep meditative state. This is the state where we can achieve some of the deepest and most profound insights.
Below are other associations of the theta brainwave state:
The theta brainwave state is associated with the feeling of being asleep and dreaming. This is because when we’re in the theta brainwave state, our conscious awareness starts to fade, and we become more relaxed.
The theta brainwave state is also a state that we can access during the day. This happens when we are in a deeply relaxed state, such as when we are daydreaming, or when we are meditating.
When we are in the theta brainwave state, we can be very creative and our imaginations run wild. We can also access this state when doing things like yoga, pilates, or any other type of mindfulness practice.
The theta brainwave state is also a state that we can access when we’re in the flow state. This is a state where we are completely focused on the task at hand and everything else just falls away. When we are in the flow state, we can achieve some of our best work as all of our energy is focused on the present moment.
The theta brainwave state also helps us to tap into our creative side. This is because the theta brainwave state is very relaxed.
When we are in this state, our minds are free to wander. We can access this state when we are doing things like art or music, as these activities help quiet the mind and allow us to focus on the present moment.
The theta brainwave state is also associated with intuition. This is because when we are in the theta brainwave state, we are more open to new ideas and we can tap into our subconscious mind.
This part of the mind holds all of our memories, experiences, and knowledge. When we are in the theta brainwave state, we can access this part of the mind more easily and we can get in touch with our intuition.
Lastly, the theta brainwave state is also associated with empathy. This is because when we are in the theta brainwave state, we are more open to the emotions of others. We can feel what they are feeling and we can understand their point of view. This can be a very powerful tool for helping us to connect with others on a deeper level.
If theta brainwave activity falls outside your range of normalcy, it can lead to problems with memory, concentration, and sleep.
Abnormal theta activity has also been associated with mood disorders such as depression, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia.
There are several ways to help return theta brainwaves to normal levels through self-guided practices. However, if you’re experiencing more severe symptoms it’s also important to inform your healthcare provider, or seek out clinical neurofeedback therapy.
Meditation is one of the most effective methods of increasing your theta levels if you find that they are too low, as it can help to calm the mind and focus the attention. Specific types of meditation that focus on the breath or on a mantra can be particularly helpful in restoring the balance of theta waves.
Meditation is a great way to help the body and mind relax. There are many types of meditation, so find one that works for you. For instance, guided meditation can be helpful if you need someone to lead you through the process. Mindfulness meditation practices involve focusing on the present moment and being aware of your thoughts and emotions without judgment.
Yoga is another great way to help the body and mind relax. Yoga involves physical postures, breathing exercises, and meditation. It is a great way to stretch the body and release tension.
Pilates is also a great way to help the body and mind relax. Pilates involves physical exercises, breathing exercises, and meditation. It is a great way to strengthen the body and get rid of tension.
Theta brainwaves are a normal part of the human experience. They are associated with the flow state, creativity, intuition, and empathy. However, they can also be associated with abnormal activity if they are experienced for prolonged periods or if we are experiencing intense emotions. If you’re experiencing theta brainwaves for prolonged periods or experiencing intense emotions, you can try using Healium.
Healium is a mental fitness tool that offers a new and active approach to meditation that’s powered by your body’s electricity. Using real-time data, it makes you more self aware of your brain patterns and breathing so you can learn to self-manage your anxiety, focus more intently, and sleep better. Healium is not a replacement for psychotropic medication or professional counseling . It’s an exercise that as part of a healthly lifestyle can help you meet your mental wellness goals. The best part is that it only takes a few minutes a day to see results! So, if you’re looking for a way to reduce stress and improve your overall well-being, give Healium a try and immerse yourself in a new reality
Beta brainwaves are one of the five types of brainwaves that our brains produce, ranging in frequency between 13 Hz and around 30 Hz.
Science has shown that beta brainwaves are most dominant during the daytime, when people are wide awake and actively engaged in mental activities.
It’s also worth noting that every type of brainwave is present within the brain at any given time; however, certain types of brainwaves will become more active, or “dominant”, under certain conditions.
In this blog post, we’ll detail the importance of beta brainwaves, what benefits they bring to you in terms of your mental fitness, and explain the best ways to bring your beta brainwaves back into balance in the event their relative activity levels are thrown off.
Our brains are always active, even when we’re asleep, and that electrical activity is generally classified under five different categories of brainwaves.
Naturally, for scientific purposes these categories can be further broken down into more specific subsections, but for general purposes those five categories are as follows:
– Delta brainwaves: 0 – 2.75 Hz
– Theta brainwaves: 3.5 – 6.75 Hz
– Alpha brainwaves: 7.5 – 11.75 Hz
– Beta brainwaves: 13 – 29.75 Hz
– Gamma brainwaves: 31 – 49.75 Hz
Note: general consensus differs in terms of the exact frequency range values for each brainwave. The above figures represent the ranges we acknowledge at Healium.
Each type of brainwave has a different frequency range. Beta brainwaves have some of the highest frequencies of all the types of brainwaves (except for the ultra-fast gamma waves), and they are dominant in most people during the daytime.
Beta brainwaves are also associated with alertness and cognitive activity, often seen during stress or mental effort. However, too much beta activity relative to your normal beta activity levels can also be detrimental, leading to anxiety and restlessness.
While beta waves fall in the frequency range of 13-30 Hz, they can be further divided into three beta subcategories:
– Low beta waves (12-15 Hz): Low beta waves are associated with focus, introspection, and calm.
– Medium beta waves (15-20 Hz): Medium beta waves or “beta two” are seen in times of increased energy, stress, and performance.
– High beta waves (18 Hz and up): High beta waves are associated with high anxiety, agitation, and restlessness levels.
Beta brainwaves are associated with several benefits, including:
Beta brainwaves are present when we are mentally alert and focused. This state is necessary for clear thinking and analytical problem-solving. For this reason, beta brainwaves are often seen during times of mental effort, such as studying for an exam or working on a challenging project.
Beta brainwaves are also associated with increased energy levels. This is why they are often seen during physical exertion. Beta waves have been shown to increase stamina and endurance. They can also help fight fatigue, making it easier to stay energized throughout the day.
Beta brainwaves can also help enhance motivation since they are closely associated with the fight-or-flight response. This natural survival instinct allows us to take action in times of danger.
When faced with a challenging situation, beta brainwaves can help us summon the energy and courage needed to overcome it.
While beta brainwaves are necessary for optimal mental function, too much beta activity relative to your brain’s normal range of activity can lead to problems such as:
A common problem associated with excessive beta activity is an inability to relax. This can be because beta waves are constantly stimulating the mind, making it difficult to wind down at night or during times of leisure. This can lead to problems such as insomnia and anxiety, which may cause further beta activity, creating a vicious cycle that can be difficult to break out of.
For those who suffer from insomnia, balancing their brainwave activity through sleep meditation is an excellent self-managed option that may help.
Mental fatigue, poor concentration, and brain fog are common problems associated with beta activity. Beta waves can interfere with our ability to focus and think clearly. When beta activity is excessive, it can be challenging to pay attention or to remember important information. This can lead to problems at work or school and in everyday life.
Beta activity is also closely linked to anxiety. High beta waves are often seen in those who suffer from panic attacks or generalized anxiety disorder. Excessive beta activity can make us tense, nervous, and on edge. It can also cause physical symptoms such as a racing heart and sweaty palms.
There are several ways to reduce beta activity. Some standard methods include:
– Meditation: Meditation is a great way to calm the mind and reduce beta activity. There are many different types of meditation, but those focusing on breath work or visualization tend to be most effective for reducing beta waves.
Combining meditation practice with new technology makes it easier than ever to target and balance specific brainwaves. At Healium, we combine virtual reality with neurofeedback to present users with their brainwave data in real time as they meditate. Through operant conditioning, users can learn to self-manage stress, anxiety, and sleep.
– Yoga: Yoga is another excellent option for those looking to reduce beta activity, especially yoga routines that place their focus on mindfulness. The combination of physical movement and deep breathing can help calm the mind and ease anxiety.
– Exercise: Exercise is also a great way to reduce stress and tension, feel more alert and mindful, and even release dopamine and serotonin, all of which can help improve your brain’s health and normalize your brainwave activity levels.
– Diet: Eating a healthy diet is also important for reducing beta activity. Certain foods, such as caffeine and sugar, can increase beta activity. Avoiding them, or avoiding them at night especially in order to maintain proper sleep, will also help to regulate beta waves.
If you believe you are struggling with excessive beta activity, talk to a doctor or seek clinical neurofeedback therapy.
Healium is powered by your body’s electricity and uses real-time data to train your brain. Our unique, active approach to meditation grants you the ability to self-manage anxiety, improve focus and concentration, and get better sleep.
Wondering how Healium works? Check out our comprehensive guide or simply watch the video below!
“Train your brain” is a phrase you’ll find repeated often, especially on our own website, and we firmly believe treating your brain like a muscle is a foundational aspect of our mental fitness.
But is the brain actually a muscle?
Well, anatomically speaking, no, the brain is actually an organ.
However, this blog will explore several facets of the brain that make it unique from other organs in the body, as well as discuss why it’s so important to exercise your brain and preserve your mental fitness at large.
According to PubMed, human brains are nearly 60% fat. These fatty acids are what dictate the integrity and the ability of the human brain to perform its complex functions.
The brain is also composed of water, minerals, vitamins, carbohydrates, and proteins. It also contains neurons which are the messengers of the nervous system and glial cells that support the neurons, making sure that they function properly.
The electrical activity found within the brain is called brainwaves, which are classified into different bands or frequencies.
The brain controls most of our body’s functions and, just like any other organ in our body, it needs to be taken care of.
While it is true that the brain is not muscle and is mostly made out of fats, the arteries and arterioles that bring blood to the brain contain smooth muscle cells and elastic tissues.
These two are important in maintaining blood pressure and flow to the brain.
The smooth muscle cells are also responsible for constricting and dilating the arteries to make sure that the brain receives the right amount of blood and oxygen.
While the brain isn’t a muscle, this doesn’t mean that we can’t exercise it!
Just like any other organ in our body, the brain needs to be taken care of so that it can function properly. There are many ways to exercise our brain which can lead to a sharper and healthier mind.
Whenever you perform physical exercise, your heart rate also increases, which means an increase in blood flow to your brain. This translates to an increased exposure to oxygen and nutrients, as well as the beneficial proteins that promote the growth and health of your brain’s neurons.
Researchers at the University of British Columbia have even found that routine aerobic exercise contributes to growth in the hippocampus region of the brain, which is responsible for memory and learning.
Similar to traditional physical fitness, when improving your mental fitness it’s also important to have a balanced diet to achieve optimum brain health. By diet, we don’t just mean what you put in your mouth to eat, but your digital diet as well!
What you consume with your eyes in the news or on your social media feed also impacts your mind, the hormones you release, and your stress levels as a whole.
Here are some of the ways you can exercise your brain, aside from the benefits of physical exercise:
Crossword puzzles, solitaire, chess, and other similar games can help improve your memory, problem-solving skills, and critical thinking.
Studies have shown that puzzles can also help delay the onset of dementia. Other games that focus on math, logic, word, and pattern recognition can also help keep your mind sharp.
Think of reading like food for your brain! Whenever you read, you’re exercising areas of your brain that work to identify language and interpret its meaning. Books can also help improve your empathy and social skills, improve your knowledge and understanding of the world, and give you boosts of inspiration and creative energy.
It’s never too late to learn something new! Fostering a sense of joy towards the act of learning will not only enrich your life, it’ll also enrich your brain. In fact, studies have shown learning new skills helps improve your memory and cognitive skills. It also helps keep your mind active and alert.
So whether you’re learning to play a musical instrument, a new sport, or a new language, you’re also helping keep your brain healthy and sharp.
Stress has been labeled as the crisis of the 21st century, which means however busy our day may be, it’s vitally important to dedicate time to relax and unwind.
Meditation has been shown to help improve focus, concentration, and memory. It can also help reduce stress and anxiety. Additionally, advances in technology such as virtual reality have improved upon the effectiveness of meditation by fully immersing the user in relaxing experiences, resulting in positive effects on the user’s mental health.
Replace your calculator with your brain as often as you can! Math requires both abstract and concrete thinking, which makes its practice an excellent brain workout. Regularly practicing math also develops neural pathways that strengthen the brain, strengthens logical thinking, and increase your confidence in solving complex problems.
Talking to someone doesn’t just mean exchanging pleasantries. A good conversation requires both parties to be engaged and interested in what the other has to say. This will not only improve your listening and social skills, but it’ll also give your memory a nice work out.
Naturally, when talking about the neuroscience of conversations, the context of those conversations matter a great deal. Happy conversations will often flood your brain with dopamine, endorphins, and other “feel-good” biochemicals, while negative conversations tend to elicit the opposite.
Mental exercise is just as important as physical exercise. A sedentary lifestyle not only predisposes us to physical health problems but also mental health problems. One study has even suggested that our cognitive functions start to slow down as early as age 30!
When you don’t challenge your brain enough, your memory, speed in processing new information, your ability to multitask and focus, as well as your ability to think abstractly are all cognitive skills that start to decline.
Do you know that our brains shrink when we are constantly exposed to chronic stress? Areas, where functions such as emotions, metabolism, and memory are regulated, get smaller. The risk of developing neuropsychiatric disorders such as depression and dementia also goes up when we’re stressed.
Our brain is what makes us who we are. It’s vitally important to take care of our brain and keep it healthy.
Finding effective ways to work out your brain and lower your stress levels has never been more important. Healthy brain habits include eating the right food, minding your digital media diet, getting enough sleep, staying active, and challenging our brains with mental exercises.
Additionally, innovative new approaches to healthy habits like meditation have increased the benefits they elicit in your brain. At Healium, we’ve combined immersive meditation experiences with virtual reality and neurofeedback or biofeedback to offer users a way to simultaneously immerse themselves in peaceful experiences and see their brainwave data in realtime.
This unique combination grants users the ability to not only improve their meditation practice but see their own brainwaves themselves!
Find out more about how Healium works by reading our comprehensive post here, or simply watch the video below!