12 ways meditation and mindfulness can increase overall wellbeing.
Having time to just chill and be, can feel absolutely amazing and it’s actually really, really good for us. But our over-scheduled, over-complicated lives make us feel guilty for taking time out.
Here are a few reasons why you can justify to yourself that mindfulness, meditation and wellness, is not just a lazy person’s sport.
Power down, embrace being tech free, look inwards, and just for a short while, disconnect from the ‘hurry’.
According to Monash University neuroscientist, Neil Bailey, the Anterior Cingulate Cortex became ‘chunkier’ in participants practising mindfulness. The Anterior Cing-thingy is the part of our brain that serves as the decision maker. Who doesn’t want a bigger one of those?!
The Hippocampus is the area of our brain in charge of memory and learning. Practising mindfulness has recently been linked to ‘growing’ that part of the brain. But as we know bigger is not always better, and a reduction in the Amygdala (the fear centre – fight of flight response) is what we’re after.
Regularly resting, meditating and/or practising mindfulness has been attributed to reducing the Amygdala and because we’re not living in caves anymore and running from Wildebeests every day, that’s a good thing.
Being always-on and contactable is exhausting. The simple act of being digitally disconnected is a precious commodity in itself. Upon arrival at 406 Collins St, you’ll be required to switch off your mobile on the balcony. The reason is NOT because we don’t want others to be disturbed, we don’t want YOU to be.
At first, being ‘off the grid’ might feel strange or even scary, but you might find it oddly liberating once you get used to it. In fact, we don’t even have any magazines in The Lounge. The Cocoon Room is a media-free, ad-free, clean space.
Relaxation quickly and effectively reduces muscle tension and mental stress. A relaxed body will, in turn, send signals of calm and control to help reduce mental tension. And because the root cause of stress stems from emotional challenges, the most effective ways to best improved by gaining insight and finding new ways to respond and behave.
When our muscles are tense, we feel pain, and when we feel pain, it makes us cranky and grumpy. Not exactly rocket science. Physically hurting also makes us feel tired and irritable. Pretty sure there has never been a ‘massage-rage’ incident involving two people leaving a spa! You can and should relax your muscles whenever you can. A simple stretch or seated body scan can have you feeling looser and better in a jiffy. Our weekly sessions serve as your self-care reminder.
Finally something that feels really really good and that’s actually good for us! Not mentioning any names … sugar, caffeine, booze …
How often do we find ourselves not remembering what we did just hours ago or where we put something? For most of us, that’s simply because we spend much of our time multi-tasking or doing a task, but thinking of other stuff while we do that task.
Learning how to be ‘in the moment’ aka, being more mindful, is a foreign concept at first and it can even feel a bit weird, prompting more internal dialogue. But once you move past that, it’s quite an empowering and beautiful feeling. You still might not always be able to find your keys, but recalling what you did, said etc should become easier over time.
After a few Cocoon Sessions, you might find that this time to yourself brings about a more content, satisfied and present person. Instead of always thinking about the next bigger or better thing…you may find a surprising newness in the old or joy in the mundane.
Doing a Cocoon Session is kind of like taking a mini luxury holiday. When we rest and relax, our body gets to have a proper turn at doing stuff it’s meant to do, like returning our blood pressure to normal and consequently producing less stress hormones.
That’s why holidays feel so good! And isn’t it interesting how when we’re on holidays, we are more likely to read a book, stare into space, notice nature, do a crossword, savour the taste of food and drinks. Have you ever bought a bottle of wine that you had on holidays, but when you got home, it didn’t taste the same? That’s probably because on holidays, your state of mind is completely different and you are generally more receptive.
The Cocoon Room Melbourne is simply providing you with a time and space to ‘fake-holiday’ – breathe more naturally, relax your muscles, disconnect digitally, appreciate the little things and just be!
Pardon? Well, a Californian study found that people who received mindfulness instruction were better at regulating their emotions than the sample of people who hadn’t undergone the training. The study group were noted as behaving more empathetically. So, unless you’re Snow White, couldn’t we all be a little bit nicer sometimes?
Even if we meditated every day with a Buddhist Monk’s skill, the world still turns and bad things still happen. Practising meditation and being more mindful unfortunately doesn’t mean life will be free of annoying people, crappy situations or bad news.
But what it can do, is offer perspective. A different perspective can change how we deal with life’s tricky times and ultimately bring about different and often better outcomes. We also become more resilient enabling us to respond to difficult challenges by taking a considered step back, rather than a rash lunge forward.
“The primary cause of unhappiness is never the situation, but your thoughts about it.”
A regular Cocoon Session might feel indulgent or selfish, but the people around you will benefit too – they might begin to notice the difference in your more positive outlook. Or they might enjoy having you more accessible and present when you’re together.
A recent Harvard Business School study found that a ‘busy person’ is perceived as more competent, ambitious and in demand. But busy minds are often disconnected minds, leaving little left for loved ones.
Tiny changes, like listening attentively, or paying a compliment every now and then can shift a relationship’s energy.
Practising meditation and mindfulness has been shown to lower blood pressure, improve digestive issues, reduce the production of stress hormones (eg Cortisol), increase blood flow to major muscles and reduce chronic pain. Pushing through and ignoring stress is ok for a short while, but over time it’s impact can accumulate. Stress related symptoms have been linked to the increased prevalence of diseases namely, cancer, depression and diabetes.
We don’t claim to cure anything at The Cocoon Room, but let’s do what we can to lessen stress on our organs and feel pretty incredible doing it.