Emotional healing from past trauma or events in one’s life is no straight road. Many people spend years putting up walls so they don’t have to confront what happened to them.
In many cases, emotional strain is simply the result of the buildup of too many negative incidents and people.
A mental detox is not as easy as it sounds but meditation and its various techniques are one of the best ways to overcome inner struggles.
Traveling Back To The Past
Emotional healing cannot happen unless the individual is ready to face the incidents of their past and process them in a healthy way such as through meditation.
Negative and painful feelings and events have a lesser known physical impact, just like they affect one’s mental stability. In psychotherapy, the concept of the past leaving imprints in the body in the way of reflexes or symptoms such as headaches and fast breathing is well documented.
Hormones And Neurotransmitters
The ‘fear and flight’ response is a common reaction when studying human development and evolution but it is also pivotal in trauma. Trauma is not simply a painful phenomenon to live through; it can restructure neural pathways and change behavior and personality patterns over the long term.
Epinephrine is a neurotransmitter which is activated in such instances but it continues to secrete long after the traumatic event is over, causing the individual to relive the painful moment. This is seen in anxiety disorders, depression, and panic attacks.
Cortisol And Its Opposites
Cortisol and other stress hormones also behave in a similar fashion and can continue to be found in the body in large amounts if emotional healing does not take place. For this, psychotherapists and professional healers make use of meditative techniques to lessen the body’s production of these hormones.
Dopamine and Norepinephrine are the opposite promoting happiness and calm and a willingness to be mindful and open to new experiences and learning. Meditation acts by increasing the body’s production of these two neurotransmitters, which is why people appear renewed after a session.
This is the body’s own natural relaxant and anti-anxiety neurotransmitter. It is produced in the cell membranes and contains the receptors CB1 and CB2 which aid in pain relief in the body.
Meditation is known to release Anandamide and impact its production positively in the short term. This works by employing any well-structured meditation technique such as Tranquility meditation (Samatha).
These are the most effective happy hormones which are activated by the body in several instances such as through exercise, yoga, and meditation.
They are released by the central nervous system and they regulate pain signals and promote a relaxed and calm state. They also curb the production of stress hormones.
Meditation And Building Emotional Stamina
Good and bad is a part of life but the ability to withstand the blows is what makes all the difference. The key principle behind most meditative methods is to instill an acceptance of what has passed and also what is to come. This is the beginning of a kind of emotional stamina which makes you tough in the face of obstacles.
Even taking as little as ten minutes out of your day to study how stress is impacting your body can go lengths in helping you to reduce anxiety levels. As earlier mentioned, a lot of your present emotional problems are a result of a pre-existing strain and damage.
Healing Through The Basics
While there are many methods and techniques of practicing meditation, they usually fall under two main categories, namely mindfulness meditation and concentrative meditation.
Meditation is essentially about paying attention. The different kinds of techniques that exist usually differ on the basis of what or who they pay attention to.
In this form of meditation, your therapist or guide will develop your attention span so it is tailored towards a specific object or idea. This can be a sound, a picture or even a mantra that is repeated periodically to enhance its effect.
A sub-type of this form of meditation called transcendental meditation calls for developing quietness in the mind by outwardly repeating a chosen phrase. It works like reverse psychology.
Usually, our minds go back and forth in a conversation between thoughts so by eliminating that possibility and setting a standard phrase, you can get in tune with what is really going on.
In other methods under concentrative meditation, you may be asked to focus on any chosen external object be it a spoon or a chair.
This is useful for emotional healing because it cuts through the clutter and gets to the heart of the problem. You can then choose to address the problem or issues that surface in any way your therapist or meditation specialist recommends.
This is also known as insight meditation or Vipassana. Mindfulness meditation is easier than its counterpart to practice without a guide and there are plenty of online resources which can teach you step-by-step.
Breathing and its regulation is the first step so that focus is shifted from external stimulus to the conflict within.
Techniques that fall under this kind of meditation mostly emphasize understanding the temporary nature of the world. The premise is that if everything around us is transient including ourselves then each breath is vital and should not be wasted in worry or anger.
Once breathing with mindfulness is mastered, one can move to focusing on an object. Although mindfulness meditation is known to have emerged from Buddhist practices, it remains an important component of emotional healing practices worldwide.
While meditation is globally practiced even in simplistic forms such as through apps and YouTube videos, there is much that an experienced meditator can teach you.
You can sign up for classes or go away to a meditation retreat in an exotic location such as Peru. The change of scenery not only detaches you from your current life which may be unhappy and unfulfilled, but it also gives you a chance to reinvent yourself in the best possible way.
Meditation retreats usually have packages incorporating a wide variety of activities such as yoga, Ayahuasca (countries along the Amazon), cleansing ceremonies and so on depending on the culture you visit.
You also get access to experienced professionals and meditators than can address specific concerns. Retreats also attend to all personal comforts such as providing nutritious food.
Silent Meditation Retreats
Take it a step further and opt for a silent meditation retreat as it can develop all kinds of skills which you would not normally have a chance to invest in.
These retreats tend to focus on holistic health, connecting like-minded individuals, developing listening skills, complete social detoxing and transformative mental experiences.
The Meditation Retreat Peru is a silent retreat in an island in the middle of Lake Titicaca and they specialize in both spiritual tours and meditative techniques.
An Elaborate Placebo Effect
The brain is instrumental in controlling our biology which is how an understanding of the placebo effect came about. If the brain believes in the effects of any substance or medicine, the body responds similarly by bringing about physical manifestations.
The benefits of meditation are scientifically proven but a part of its impact can also be linked to the placebo effect. Meditation works on addressing pain and injury within, this in turns affects hormones and that leads to both physical and mental wellness.