The Benefits Of Mindfulness Guided Meditation

The Benefits Of Mindfulness Guided Meditation

Why Guided Meditations?

Meditation is an incredibly beneficial activity. There is extensive research that highlights the benefits of mindfulness guided meditation. If you are interested you can read a review of the research on meditation.

Here are the highlights:

  • Mindfulness meditation programs show improvement in anxiety and depression.
  • There is evidence for the help of meditation in the treatment of chronic pain.
  • Meditation aids sleep as was shown in studies on insomnia and mindfulness meditation.
  • Practicing meditation can help regulate blood pressure.
  • Meditation helps managing stress.
  • Meditation helps brain function. Mindfulness meditation can slow or even reverse changes due to aging.
  • Meditation aids in emotional regulation and enhances cognitive abilities.

You can also read more in my blog about the science behind meditation!

Meditation is a Learned Skill

These are just some of the researched areas of help. For many people practicing meditation may seem like a difficult task. This is mostly because of lack of knowledge and guidance. Meditation is a learned skill. You certainly can get better at it with practice.

 

Mindfulness Guided Meditation Series

The guided mindfulness meditations I create help with developing this skill since they are a reflection practice and may be easier to follow for beginners. Experienced mediators often find them  beneficial as well.

Mindfulness Guided Meditation Video #1: From Empathy To Compassion

When we move from empathy to compassion we can follow and fullfill our desire to alleviate suffering in ourselves and in others. Compassion energizes and nourishes us.

Explore and enjoy. Like and comment.

Shirly

Mindfulness Guided Meditation Video #2: Befriending Your Fear

Learn to manage your fear rather than allowing your fear manage you. Fear and you can partner to create a way for you to be in the world with wise vigilance. You can choose thinking clearly and doing what is best for you.

Explore and enjoy. Like and comment.
Shirly

Mindfulness Guided Meditation Video #3: Returning To Balance Again And Again

We are human. Our internal environment is influenced by what takes place in our lives, in the lives of others, in the world… This reflection practice guides you into ways of returning to balance again and again as you go through your everyday life. This is exceptionally important during stressful times.

Explore and enjoy. Like and comment.
Shirly

Mindfulness Guided Meditation Video #4: Choosing The Stories We Tell Ourselves

We always have a narrative that is running in our minds. The movie that is playing sets the tone to how we feel and what actions we take. When times are challenging it is especially important to notice the stories we tell ourselves and to recognize we can change the story and with it change the feelings that guide our behaviors.

Explore and enjoy. Like and comment.
Shirly

Mindfulness Guided Meditation Video #5: The Impermanence Of Everything

We would like to think that the good things that happen to us will stay and that the bad things will quickly go away.. The truth is that nothing stays the same. Are the things you thought crucial for your happiness the same?

Explore and enjoy. Like and comment.

Shirly

Mindfulness Guided Meditation Video #6: Showing Up During Challenging Times

Challenging times can bring the best or the worst in us… How to go back again and again to the place in your heart that is all love and kindness.

explore and Enjoy. Like and comment.
Shirly

Mindfulness Guided Meditation Video #7: Connecting Emotions Thoughts And Actions

The brain functions best when it is supported by us making good choices and yet stress reduces this ability. Stress causes inflammation that disrupts the connection between the wise part of the brain and the amygdala (the “security guard”). With stress reduction connection can be restored and a healthy wise brain can take the reins again.

Reflect and Enjoy
Shirly

Mindfulness Guided Meditation Video #8: Creating The New You

We change all the time. You are not the person you were 5 years ago, 10 years ago … What if you can direct the change so you become the person you always wanted to be? How about taking charge of your mind and creating new habits of thoughts and emotions that lead to a new you?

Explore and enjoy. Like and comment.
Shirly

Mindfulness Guided Meditation Video #9: Who Is In Charge?

Who is in charge? Are you being dragged along for the ride by your past habits, experiences, thoughts and feelings? What can be done differently? How can you be the boss of your mind and body and direct the carriage where you would like it to go?

Explore and Enjoy. Like and comment.
Shirly

Mindfulness Guided Meditation Video #10: Emptying The Mind And Creating Space

Let us create space in the mind for what is truly beneficial and nourishing. Let us clear some of the old emotions and habits that are taking up room!

Explore and enjoy. Like and comment.

Shirly

Mindfulness Guided Meditation Video #11: Do Not Squander Your Life!

How are you living your life? Do you make a point of doing your best with this opportunity you have been given? Taking an inward journey in meditation and exploring this provides an opportunity for change and transformation.

Explore and Enjoy. Like and comment.
Shirly

Mindfulness Guided Meditation Video #12: Touring The Mind

Imagine your mind as a house. Different rooms house different emotions and experiences. As you wonder from room to room you may notice that all emotions are transient and the hallway that connects the rooms can lead to a sanctuary, a place to rest and reflect on all that you are grateful for.

Explore and Enjoy. Like and comment.

Shirly

Mindfulness Guided Meditation Video #13: Gaining A Bigger Perspective

There are times when we are all facing the same storm and yet we can have a very different experience. How can you gain perspective so you can see things differently and more clearly?
In this guided meditation we explore this.

Explore and enjoy. Like and comment.
Shirly

Mindfulness Guided Meditation Video #14: Connecting With Love

Open your heart in this Metta Meditation practice. Allow yourself to feel fully and completely the love that is already there, resting in your heart. With an open heart you can bring so much more to yourself and to the world.

Explore and enjoy, Like and comment.
Shirly

My Personal Journey With The Benefits of Mindfulness Guided Meditation

In my own life I have found that my years of meditation practice allow me to return to balance relatively quickly. I am noticing that I have time more often to respond to events, rather than react and then regret my reaction. I feel my brain works better now. I am thinking clearer. I am very thankful that this is part of my daily routine.

If you would ask me what is one of the best practices I introduced into my daily routine, the answer is simple, mindfulness guided meditation.

How To Boost Your Immune System?

How To Boost Your Immune System?

It Is Imperative To Know How To Boost Your Immune System

There is so much confusing information our there about what to do or not to do when it comes to how to boost your immune system. This topic has been an important part of my ongoing research on healthy life practices, supportive food habits and the use of supplements. Now it is relevant more than ever.

Whether you are facing the health threat of a pandemic, or simply a regular flu season, it is worth to know how to boost your immune system for maximal immune resilience.

As a clinical nutritionist and a family nurse practitioner I have always put great emphasis on obtaining information from the most current research. I appreciate the clinical knowledge and advice of clinicians in the related fields of medicine, chemistry, biology and so forth, and yet I strive to find evidence-based information to share with my clients.

You will see a list of recommended supplements below!

 

hypnotherapist Shirly Gilad, how to boost your immune system
a basket with colorful veggies, how to boost your immune system

Every Day Habits For Immune System Enhancement

I have recently published a blog that highlights the importance of your life habits in how to boost your immune system. I will share just the main points here.

  • Following guidelines and using common sense
  • Eating clean! This is crucial. Avoid sugar and processed food! And drink lots of green tea…
  • Social connection.
  • Sleep is essential
  • Movement, preferably in nature if possible
  • Prayer, meditation, spiritual practice
  • Purposeful action. Doing for others.

This is in a nutshell. You can read more about nutrition and how to eat well to support your health on every level in my other blog on nutrition. Also read on how to manage your stress when life gets out of hand…

 

Supplements Are Another Great Way To Boost Your Immune System!

The information provided here is for educational purposes and is based on current research information. If you are suffering form a health condition please consult your physician prior to adding any supplement to your daily routine.

The supplements mentioned below are in the order of importance in my humble opinion. First row most important. These are part of my own immune enhancement protocol. Supplements are required when it is difficult to achieve therapeutic levels by simply eating well.

Not all supplements are made the same.

I subscribe to organizations that test independently.

 

a small bowl with curcumin, how to boost your immune system

Curcumin

This magical plant has many health benefits. Shown to reduce inflammation and decrease viral activity. This one is a priority.

500-1000 mg twice a day for maintenance.

I use CuraMed curcumin.

quercetin, how to boost your immune system

Quercetin

This is a great supplement that often helps with allergies. It has been shown to decrease viral growth by inhibiting viral replication.

500mg twice a day if phytosome.

I use Thorne Research Quercetin

 

 

 

 

image of the plant elderberry, how to boost your immune system

Elderberry

This relatively well known herb modulates cellular defense and favors cellular attacks of viruses.

335mg once a day of a reputable source.

I use Elderberry Force by New Chapter.

335mg once a day.

cutted lemons, oranges, limes in the shape of the letter c, how to boost your immune system

Vitamin C

It is essential to proper function of our cells. It modulates immune processes and has anti-viral properties.

The lyposomal form absorbs better

I use the Dr. Mercola 500mg per capsule, one capsule twice a day

drawing of glutathione

Glutathione

Essential for cellular health, glutathione protects cells from oxidative stress and help modulate cellular repair and defense mechanisms.

I use Jarrow Formulas Glutathione Reduced 500mg to be taken once to twice a day for maintenance

mushrooms, salmon, green beans, eggs, milk, butter, surrounding the word vitamin D

Vitamin D

This vitamin has been in the news often with research on it’s essential role in a well functioning immune system.

While you can get it from foods and from the sun, blood levels are often lower than optimal. NIH recommends blood level around 50 nmol/L

I use 5000 IU by Now Once a day

Zinc

Favorably modulate viral-induced pathological cellular processes, attachment, and replication.

The Institute of Functional Medicine recommends 30-60s mg a day in divided doses.

I only take Zinc at the onset of an illness and use Zinc picolinate by Pure Encapsulations

drawing with letter A in it symbolizing vitamin A

Vitamin A

It favorably modulates cellular defense and repair. Helps regulate cytokine production.

Caution for pregnancy! Otherwise usually safe to take around 10,000 iu a day.

I take 10,000 a day of Vitamin A by Now

displaying fruits that include resveratrol

Resveratrol

This powerful antioxidant is a great addition to immune system cellular viral response modulation. Also a wonderful anti-inflammatory substance.

Doctor’s Best Resveratol 200mg once a day.

What to choose?

It may seem like a lot! And it is… You can choose the first 5 and then add more if you are not feeling well. For viral illnesses without any available medications this is your way of helping the body fight the infection and inflammation.

 

How To Manage Your State of Mind: The BRIEF Protocol

How To Manage Your State of Mind: The BRIEF Protocol

Ongoing Stress Challenges Our Minds

You may have asked yourself how to manage your state of mind during a challenging time? When we are faced with continuous difficulty or stress, The grief of losing a loved one, or going through a divorce. The effort of being a caregiver, or being unemployed long term. Or possibly being at the grip of a pandemic whether you are very sick or not…

The mind seems to have be hijacked during such times and we no longer think clearly. We need to find ways to manage our emotions and our thoughts especially during times like this. Managing our mindset during periods of uncertainty requires some effort but the rewards are well worth it.

What happens when we are faced with a threat?

You all know the feeling of suddenly being frightened. Perhaps you stepped onto the road and a car came quickly. The heart rate goes up, the breath quickens, the body tenses and the mind goes into high alert as you jump out of the way.

This response is a beneficial one. It is designed to protect us, and soon after the threat subsides, the body and mind return to balance and we return to normal.

What happens when the threat is ongoing?

When we experience chronic stress, as the result of being faced with an ongoing threat, it has a detrimental effect on our body, mind and spirit, in fact our whole system gets affected by it.

a woman with brown curly hair, biting her fingernails out of fear, How To Manage Your State of Mind: The BRIEF Protocol
colorful computer drawing, symbolizing the mind, How To Manage Your State of Mind: The BRIEF Protocol

Thinking on a Cognitive Brain Level

On a cognitive level we do not think as clearly as we used to. The part of our brain that oversees processing information and making wise decisions gets somewhat disconnected from the part of the brain that is in charge of survival and that survival part takes over. We may find that our decision-making ability is reduced just when we need it the most.

The Story We Tell Ourselves

I often talk about the stories that we tell ourselves in our minds. We tend to focus on the negative, on what might go wrong. This tendency is designed to protect us by preparing us to deal with the coming danger. This protection mechanism becomes dysfunctional when all we can see are terrible scenarios that are yet to happen and may never happen.

This is why it is so crucial to learn how to manage our state of mind.

Our perception is stronger than any reality.

 

The B.R.I.E.F. Protocol

The B.R.I.E.F Protocol is a short process that guides you step by step on how to manage your mindset. The acronym is my creation. The steps come from different disciplines that I use in my practice.  You can watch the video below to train yourself, and use the step by step guide as you go through your day.

It works. It is quick and simple. The more you use it, the easier it becomes!!

blue box with white lettering, How To Manage Your State of Mind: The BRIEF Protocol

B: Body Awareness

The body is your best cue to the first sign of dys-ease. It all starts with the body. When you learn to notice the cues from your body you will find out that it is the first-responder. Notice any tension, pressure, constriction.

.

R: Rein Your Attention

Directing the attention to the breath. Deep slow breaths. A count of 4 in and 4 out. If the breath is not comfortable bring the attention to the feet on the ground or where your body connects with the surface on which you are sitting or lying.

I: Imagine Yourself In a Positive State

Take your mind to something that is very soothing for you. A wonderful memory of spending time with someone you care about, a scene from a beautiful vacation or even an imaginary place that you find soothing and calming.

E: Enhance The Positive State

Make it come alive in your mind! The more detail the stronger the effect. Think of the sounds, the smells, the temperature, the details of the scene and notice the positive feelings, and the thoughts that accompany them.

F: Feel and notice the change.

Now check in again with the body and see how much better it feels. Your body and mind are in constant communication. Mind better, body improves. Body more comfortable, mind improve. Maintain the feeling.

Repeat as needed.

How To Manage Your State Of Mind?

Be kind to yourself and others as you practice the tools available to you.

Find what works for you and get better at it.

Remember it is an ongoing process. You do not get cured! But you do get more and more skilled at managing your emotions, your thoughts, and your actions. It takes less and less time to return to balance and you move from being more reactive to actually choosing your responses.

Social Distancing: Coping With Separation

Social Distancing: Coping With Separation

Social Distancing

This new term that has come into our lives, social distancing, it means keeping a safe space from one another, fighting together to keep ourselves and each other healthy.

We are social creatures, we crave contact. In fact human babies that are raised without sufficient human contact and loving care do not develop well both physically and emotionally. Social distancing is not natural to us.

young girl is looking out of the window, enjoying the nature, social distancing

And us as adults? We took for granted a hug, a handshake, an embrace… What a strange reality to wake up to every day. Keeping our distance. Not being able to give or receive hugs and touch. Literally staying away from one another!

How does it feel in the body, in the heart, in the mind to not have the contact that is essential to our well-being? How does social distancing show itself in your life?

It is very difficult. In fact it is a completely new paradigm of how to maintain connection with one another in a manner that supports both ourselves and those around us.

 

a young woman with long red hair in front of her laptop, taking a selfie, social distancing

What Can You Do?

I invite you to become creative in how you stay in touch.

We may complain about technology and how it took over our lives, how kids are constantly on their devices, but now we are faced with a time when technology has incredible benefits.

  • If you think of someone, call them.
  • If they have a smart phone, use the video feature.
  • If you have a service you can offer online, make it happen.

You can even go old school: How about sending real letters? Why not?

Maybe this is the time to connect with people you have not talked to for a while…

Possibly re-kindle friendships that you neglected because of lack of time, and how life happened, because of a silly argument…

Notice Your Internal Conversation Regarding Social Distancing

What is it that you are feeling during this difficult time?

Is there a voice in your head that tells you that people do not care?

Attaching to the Negative

Make sure to remind yourself that in times like this the mind tends to attach to the negative. It means well. It want to protect you from harm and yet this way of thinking is not what you want or need at this time.

Protecting Ourselves

We know it is much more than just the social distancing issue. There is a threat on our health and on our way of life. This is very challenging. Our system: mind, body, spirit goes into a protective mode. Notice that and remind yourself to take good care of you.

 

red fresh rose in vase, social distancing

How do you further support yourself?

For each of us it may look differently….

  • For some dancing is the way to connect to their happy place.
  • Others turn to art.
  • The practice of meditation, a reflection practice, has been for me the guiding light to a good place in my heart.
  • Walking the dogs.
  • A beautiful flower arrangement
  • Sitting outside if possible….
Holiday Stress: 5 Ways To Cope By Implementing Mindfulness Practices

Holiday Stress: 5 Ways To Cope By Implementing Mindfulness Practices

dog and cat underneath the Christmas tree, symbolizing how holiday stress can be managed with mindfulnessThe holiday season is upon us. If you are struggling at times and feel holiday stress, you are not alone. The practice of mindfulness can greatly alleviate the hurdles that stand in the way of a happy, hopeful, and cheerful holiday season.

Learn how to tackle and overcome holiday stress with the help of top mindfulness practices. Here is a wonderful way to start the year on the right foot.

(more…)