We are trusting everyone has somewhat surrendered to the change of pace in life and seeing some of the positives we can grasp from within. Personally I have seen so much kindness amongst the community, people going out of their ways to help others with shopping, cooking, delivering foods ect. I hope these efforts and generosity are continued well after the “restricted” time frame.
Obviously, this time does come with its challenges. We are surrounded by uncertainties including job loss, industry closures, financial burden, lack of social and physical contact with family and friends and social isolation. All these sudden changes and unknowns undoubtedly increase our levels of stress which have a huge impact on our physical health.
As humans our need for connection is greater than we realise. Despite having highly sophisticated technologies such as mobile devices using texts, social media, video calls and other online connections nothing compares to face to face, or body to body energetic connections.
Personal contact releases a whole cascade of neurotransmitters which amazingly protect us now and into the future. So simply shaking hands, giving somebody a high-five or a big hug is enough to release oxytocin which increases levels of trust, love and appreciation and it lowers cortisol levels, therefore lowering the greatest stress hormone we produce.
Social interaction also releases dopamine which gives us a little high, and can remarkably reduce both physical and emotional pain, it is often referred to as our natural morphine.
So………what now? You are probably thinking how do I reduce my cortisol levels and increase my dopamine and serotonin levels whilst social distancing and stage 3 lockdown?
The answer isn’t far from within. We can increase our own levels of dopamine, oxytocin and serotonin by incorporating 10-15 minutes a day of meditation.
Meditation lowers cortisol and adrenaline levels and can normalise blood pressure and heart rate. It’s the antidote to the stresses of today’s climate! Meditation releases those “feel good” hormones like serotonin and oxytocin. Serotonin is responsible for maintaining mood balance and is commonly used in many of the antidepressants available. But our bodies actually manufacture this hormone on their own when we meditate.
Oxytocin also known as the love hormone, increases our bonding, romantic attachments, and levels of empathy. Therefore, meditation allows you to feel more love and relate better to the people in your life.
The other neurotransmitter we would always like to have in abundance is Dopamine. Dopamine helps control the brain’s reward and pleasure centre. It acts like an information filter that can help our brains get ready for peak performance. Dopamine also improves memory, attention, and our ability to solve problems.
Building up a small meditation practise is initially a matter of self discipline and commitment, however once it becomes a daily exercise, it is so greatly desired and appreciated.
It honestly doesn’t take much to dedicate a small window of time for such transformational health benefits. We must also remember, we are not meditating to “fix” ourselves, we are practising self care and self love and this is where change within our biology, chemistry and physiology will occur.