Nitamo Montecucco, professor of psychosomatics at the University of Milano said at the recent Psychosomatic Convention in Lucca, on “Consciousness and the Molecules of Emotion” , “Positive emotion is a lifestyle that we can obtain through the ancient technique of meditation. “ Meditation affects neurotransmitters and stabilizes our immune system, fights inflammation and in general, gives us a sense of peace. “
Many of you know that I teach meditation for a cardiac study at Yale University. There is growing research that meditation protects the heart, in addition to the other benefits cited by Dr. Montecucco. Most people, however, feel they don’t have the “time” to meditate. I know we all live busy lives, but living more “all’italiana” means slowing down, and of course you can find the time to pause for five minutes to simply be still, and give your emotions and body time to drain the tension and recharge with good energy. You don’t need a whole hour. If you have the time to brush your teeth, you have time to give the gift of serenity and better health to yourself .
Here is how to begin:
- Choose a time when there will be no distracters (no phone ringing, no dog barking, no kids knocking on your door,e tc). I like first think in the morning, but one of my students does this during his lunch hour to center himself at work. The beauty of a short meditation is that you can do it often and anywhere.
- Sit up with straight spine (not stiff)
- Inhale slowly through your nose. Hold for a few seconds. Exhale slowly through your mouth. Repeat several of these cycles then let your breathing come to normal.
- Choose a meditation word (mantra) to mentally pronounce repeatedly. I like a beautiful Italian word, like “bello”, or “pace” (peace) or “amore” (love) or “mare” (ocean).
- Repeat that word in your mind concentrating on the sound, as you breathe normally. If your mind wanders, bring it back to that beautiful Italian word. Let your worries and thoughts just float away as you bring your mind back to your word. Continue for about five minutes or longer if you wish.
- Slowly bring your consciousness back to the room. Gently open your eyes. Take a gentle stretch, SMILE, then begin your day.
Do this without fail for the next four weeks and notice the difference it can make in your life. Remember, repeated action = habit, and habit become your lifestyle. I want MY lifestyle to consist of happiness and positive emotions, don’t you?
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