While the benefits of living in a fast-paced world ruled by the internet and technology are endless, most of us would agree that rapid urbanization has significantly impacted our mental health. Humans are inherently social beings; they require movement, Mother Nature, and social support to thrive. The practice of spending a significant chunk of our days in front of screens secluded in one spot has negatively impacted both our physical and emotional well-being. And while we cannot eliminate technology from routines entirely, we can learn to create a balanced lifestyle that nourishes both the body and the soul.
William Schantz’s Take on Meditation:
Schantz believes that a straightforward activity that can help boost serotonin levels and combat anxiety and depression is meditation. Mediation is the art of training your mind to focus and redirect your thoughts. The practice helps nurture self-discipline and concentration and reduces stress. If you are someone struggling to better your mental health, here are three different types of meditations Schantz recommends you try.
Also called the loving-kindness meditation focuses on redirecting the mind to develop a positive attitude filled with love towards all aspects of one’s life, the good and the bad. While breathing in deeply, practitioners practice opening their body and soul to receiving positive energy from the world around them. In contrast, while breathing out, they further these loving vibes to their surroundings and loved ones.
With each breath they take and release, they repeat this message, slowly training the mind to focus on one thing only, love and happiness. This type of meditation is known to help those coping with feelings of anger, resentment, and frustration.
Also called progressive relaxation meditation, it focuses on self-awareness. The practitioner works to scan their body and identify the part harboring the most tension and then release it. They usually begin at their feet and gradually move upwards, scanning parts of the body one by one.
While some forms of scan meditation encourage people to physically tense and relax muscles, others ask practitioners to visualize waves of ease passing over their bodies.
William Schantz recommends this type of meditation for those suffering from chronic pain as it promotes general calmness through the body. Psychologists also prescribe it for patients with insomnia.
This type of meditation encourages practitioners to focus on being present within the current moment. Instead of dwelling on the past or worrying about the future, mindfulness helps individuals feel alive in the present and become aware of their existing surroundings. A crucial aspect of mindfulness is the lack of judgment. Practitioners learn to endure time without rushing or judging rather than getting annoyed and frustrated by the long wait. You can practice mindfulness anywhere at any time. For instance, consider waiting in a doctor’s office for your appointment. Avoid letting your mind wander and bring yourself into the moment by calmly noting your surroundings, the sights, smells, and even the people. Schantz considers mindfulness one of the most potent forms of meditation as it reminds us, humans, that there is nothing except what we have in the present right now. Fixating on the past or the future does nothing but burden the mind.
The Bottom Line:
The more research scientists do on meditation, the more baffled they get by the numerous benefits a simple practice can hold. William Schantzbelieves that those who struggle with anxious thoughts, stress, and constant mood swings can learn to gain emotional control and stabilize their mood by indulging in meditation regularly. It is a simple and time-friendly practice that can train the mind to develop a positive outlook on life.