People have been practicing meditation for thousands of years and it has been widely recognized for its health benefits. Studies show that meditation reduces anxiety and depression, lowers blood pressure, increases immunity, slows down age-related atrophy, and improves mood and sleep. In addition, studies also show that meditation shrinks the amygdala which is the part of the brain responsible for the physical effects of stress, anxiety, trauma, fear, and the fight or flight reaction. I teach meditation in my practice to help clients stop panic attacks and to deal with panic/anxiety related problems.
Although sometimes people are unsure about meditation, at its core meditation is simply the mind-body practice of “focus.” Meditation helps us to train our minds to develop attention and to gain control over our thoughts.
The Bible encourages meditation. In Psalms 1:1-2 the Bible says, “Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but whose delight is in the law of the Lord and who meditates on his law day and night.” In Psalms 119:97 the Psalmist says, “Oh how I love your law! I meditate on it all day and night.”
In my practice, I teach a mindfulness-based mediation that begins by focusing on the breath and then expands to focus on other things. I use the acronym RUFF (what a dog says) to train people in meditation.
In RUFF meditation, the R stands for “relax”; the U stands for “use belly (or diaphragmatic) breathing”; and the first F stands for “focus.” I begin to teach the art of focusing by encouraging the client to focus on his or her breath. After mastering the “focus on the breath,” I teach him or her how to “focus in different areas” (the last F in RUFF). For example, I might encourage my client to create a happy place in which to focus or to focus on a word that brings peace. One could also focus on a scripture that is meaningful or the name or person of God.
Meditation is my favorite therapy resource. If you are interested in learning how to meditate, check out my three-part vlog series which will be published in the next few weeks.
I hope you will join me!
Robin is a Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor. She works from a Cognitive Behavioral orientation and is certified in Cognitive Processing Therapy, Neurolinguistic Programming, CBT- Insomnia, Anger Management, and as a Life Coach. She is also trained in EMDR and EFT and TFT tapping and holds a master’s degree in Counseling and a doctorate in Biblical Studies. She is the founder of Atonement Centered Connectivity Therapy. Follow her on Facebook at Living Imperfectly Perfect or on Instagram at living.imperfectly.perfect. Subscribe to her channel on Youtube at Living Imperfectly Perfect.