How Meditation Impacts Daily Life

How Meditation Impacts Daily Life

Stressors fill the world around us. When looking for a way to combat this, meditation is an often-overlooked solution even though its benefits have been studied in the Western World since at least the 1970s. Meditation is extremely beneficial for a person’s daily health. The surprising thing, however, is just how beneficial regular meditation really is. Meditation can be practiced a variety of ways, but however you choose to do it, meditation reduces stress, improves mental clarity, improves mood, aids in sleep, and increases a person’s ability to problem solve. When practiced regularly, it also helps to build focus, eliminate negative thoughts, and change perspectives.

Stress Reduction

Probably the best-known reason for trying meditation is a reduction of stress. While many people know that stress is not good for them, few know the real damage it can cause. High levels of stress can inhibit beneficial sleep patterns. It can lead to anxiety and depression. It can lead to increased blood pressure, as well as mental and physical fatigue. Regular meditation decreases the effects of stress. It also has the effect of lessening the symptoms of stress-related conditions. Improvements to symptoms like irritable bowel syndrome and post-traumatic stress disorder can occur through regular meditation.

Help Decrease Anxiety

When reducing stress in life, there is a concurrent reduction in anxiety. This reduction can have numerous psychological benefits. For those that suffer from anxiety-related ailments like phobias and panic attacks, mediation offers substantial benefits. When combined with a physical movement such as yoga, the reduction in anxiety is considerable.

Can Lead to Better Self -Awareness

One of the central principals of all meditation is to listen to one’s self. The theory is that when this is done, people grow into the best version of themselves. A predisposition to harmful or negative thoughts improves with mediation. Meditation can help redirect these thoughts to a more beneficial state. Gaining awareness of chronic negative thoughts leads to better control of these thoughts. Accomplishing this on a regular basis leads to daily positive effects. This change in perception and attitude can positively impact relationships with others as well.

Become More Focused

Weightlifting builds muscle and continual mediation strengthens the mind. Performing meditation regularly increases the strength and focus of the mind. This change can lead to a mind that can focus more entirely on tasks at hand. It can improve mental functions like memory and attention span. Some theories suggest that meditation can even reverse mental patterns like worrying and wandering thoughts.

Combat Memory Loss

As people age, several systems in the body begin to deteriorate slowly. The many functions of the mind is no exception to this decline. A great deal of age-related decline comes from a lack of preventative care. Practicing meditation regularly can combat this decline by focusing the mind. This continual focusing through meditation can stem the tide of memory loss due to age.

The benefits of meditation go far beyond the mental. The mind and body are thoroughly connected. Improving mental function will lead to other physical improvements.


A common problem for many people is insomnia. Insomnia is often a side-effect of a mind filled with runaway thoughts. A calmer mind leads to less of this type of thinking. The added benefit of meditation is that it leads to a more relaxed body. Combining both factors can lead to deeper and better sleep.

Meditation can also help to control pain.

Pain is often a function of the mind’s perception of the physical body. A more controlled mind can control the thought of physical pain. Many palliative care practitioners are beginning to see the benefits of incorporating meditation into their treatment plans. This can be especially beneficial for those with chronic pain. Those that meditate learn to control all the thoughts of their mind. Mediation can mitigate and lessen regular pain over time.

The regular practice of mediation has benefits that can affect every part of the mind and body.The correlation between a more focused mind and physical, mental, and emotional benefits are hard to deny. Meditation leads to a calmer daily life and a more finely tuned mind and body. The best part of all of this is that even for beginners, regular meditation leads to almost immediate results.


Written by Charles Davenport for Senior Planning. Senior Planning is an eldercare planning agency, dedicated to helping seniors apply for benefits and find the care they need.


How Meditation Affects Your Brain

More people than ever are turning to meditation for a wide variety of reasons. The habitual process of training your mind’s ability to retain attention and awareness as well as achieving a more clear, calm and stable emotional states has been a practice used for centuries. Today’s scientific research, however, is showing exactly what it does to us, more specifically, how it changes your most important organ.

Here’s a look at 6 ways Meditation affects your brain.

Reduces Brain Aging
Promising research conducted by the Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences at the UCLA School of Medicine suggest regular meditation increases the anti-inflammatory glucocorticoid receptor which can help lessen age stress in the brain. Looking at meditators vs non-mediators also suggested that meditation can improve voluntary regulation of mental activity, shifting focus and attention, as well as a reduction in rumination. In addition, when examining the brains of meditators versus non-meditators, those who meditated had brains that appeared several years younger than those who didn’t.

Eases Addiction Receptibility
1 in 7 people ages twelve and older reportedly have a substance abuse problem. Commonly prescribed in addiction recovery programs, meditation alters the way the brain functions by changing thought patterns. Studies show that just eight weeks of meditation decreases amygdala response to upsetting stimuli even people aren’t currently meditating which is a key competent in drug addiction. Meditation also strengthens a person’s awareness of cravings and allows them to address them more effectively.

Rewires for Outward Thinking
The brain’s default mode seems to be a mind-wandering state which is correlated with unhappiness along with self-referential processing. A 2011 investigation looking at the brain activity of meditators found that main nodes in the medial prefrontal and posterior cingulate cortices (the me-center) were less active than non-meditators. Furthermore, stronger coupling between the posterior cingulate, dorsal anterior cingulate, and dorsolateral prefrontal cortices were found which is the region of your brain that deals with self-monitoring and cognitive control – giving meditators a stronger ability to understand and navigate situations outside themselves.

Reduces Depression, Anxiety and Pain
Like in addiction plans, meditation is regularly part of treatment plans for numerous mental and physical stressors. “Anxiety, depression, and stress/distress are different components of negative affect. When we combined each component of negative affect, we saw a small and consistent signal that any domain of negative affect is improved in mindfulness programs,” writes Madhav Goyal, MD, MPH of the Department of Medicine at The Johns Hopkins University. The active training of the mind has been shown to have powerful effects in managing the unpleasant symptoms associated with depression, anxiety and even pain.

Improves Attention Span
Paying attention can be something everyone struggles with at some point in their daily life. A clinical study looking at sixty participants sent thirty people on a three-month meditation retreat while the other thirty acted as the control group and waited for the other group to finish. At three points participants on the retreat had their visual attention tested as well as their ability to make fine visual distinctions. Participants on the retreat showed continued improvement in perception that led to a longer sustained attention span – which was retained a whopping 5 months after the meditation retreat had concluded.

Children Can Benefit Even More
The incredible neuroplasticity of a young developing brain could benefit even more with daily meditation. The brain is quicker to rewire itself making it easier to improve different thought processes. Studies suggest utilizing mindfulness programs may be an effective way of building resilience and could be used in the treatment of disorders in clinical populations. Further studies looking to bring mediation in Elementary school classrooms found that adding a regular mindfulness program as part of the curriculum improved attention and may improve overall classroom behavior and academic performance.

Meditation is something anyone can do to improve their emotional and mental health. With a great variety of styles that can be done almost anywhere and with so much known benefits – meditation daily just might be one of the best things you can do for your brain.

By Guest Blogger: Alex Schaffer

Plant Medicines

Thank you Ayahuasca.

Today I want to give homage to my most beloved sacred plant teacher, Ayahuasca.

I’ve been off the grid with my dedication to this medicine and in hiding for too long. Yet, there are many all over the world that are speaking about this powerful plant and now I feel safe to speak my truth.

She’s been my main non-human teacher since 2009. She chose me to work with her through a series of incredible sychronicities that led me to Peru on 1/1/11 to work for 3 months with 7 shamans at the Temple of the Way of Light. Check out that numerology! I experienced a kundalini awakening that altered my entire universe and flipped my perspective upside down.

In 2012, I began receiving Light Language codes, the language of sacred geometry . “Light Language is higher dimensional frequencies that ‘speak’ directly to your DNA and energy field, finding a resonance that activates and balances you on profound and practical levels – its an initiate of ascension (Valerie Ester).”

Since then, I’ve been on a healing path serving the her teachings as best I can through my work, and bow humbly to this path. I’ve helped hundreds upon hundreds of individuals on this same path of Awakening. I learned how to offer transformative healings and to hold impeccable space as a result.

As many whom have worked with this medicine know, she’s been weaving her dynamic web through the World to awaken the collective human consciousness and lightworkers are uniting to raise the vibration of the planet. She’s asking for Balance – to Save this Beloved Planet – and to Remember Love again.

Oddly enough. I parted ways with this medicine for a while to integrate after 10 solid years of service and apprenticeship. She still works with me on a spiritual level every single day and I feel her guidance always and everywhere.

In my last ceremony, she offered me a near death experience – a choice – to stay or go. I chose a resounding “YES” to stay on Earth with my son. She gave me no choice really it was a stern ask because all I could feel was terror vs the light that I would have expected. This was one of many Ego Deaths I recognized later. My ego was unable to fully surrender to what could and may have been the Light on the other side.

My integration has shown me that she took me to the depths of my own fear to clear it because it is what exists in me and most of us on this planet at our root. I still had layers and levels to work through into fully TRUSTING the Divine. And what resulted in the last 2 years has been some of the most profoundly deep healing I’ve had to date.

She continues to support and guide me from a deep place within. I am eternally grateful for all the blessings she has offered me, even though sometimes they came packaged in fear. She still guides me in what I offer my clients and deep healing takes place as she holds space with me, as me and through me.

What she showed me is that my life’s path at this moment I’m to offer the teachings of the medicine using completely holistic methodologies like breathwork, energy medicine, coaching, yoga, etc. so that people who are unable/unwilling to work with this plant medicine could find the same outcomes of Remembrance, hence creating the empowerment coaching + intuitive healing programs that I offer individually and with Alan at The Sacred Valley Spiritual Retreat.

The Grandmother and I co-created the title, “Unleash the Priestess Within + Thrive” to service women into self-realization, or awakening to their own Divine Union with God, as God Within. To me, its all about Remembering Who We Really Are and seeing ourselves with Loving Eyes and a Powerful Humble Heart. I want women to Love themselves pure and simple and to have long term, sustainable practices and community that keep them on their path.

Every day as I coach my clients and do healing work, I hear the stories that have suppressed women from our power and the belief systems that are in place. I know that there is a Divine Path that brings us back home when we learn to heal, forgive, surrender and take responsibility for our lives.

I desire for you to live in JOY, CELEBRATION, TRUTH, ABUNDANCE and more. As we bring this Earth back into balance in the feminine way and create global feminine systems and businesses that are nourishing and in harmony with Nature, we create community with our gifts, share and love again. We can bring this world into Global Peace when we heal, create and relate from a place of Love vs Fear.


How to Move From Your Head to Your Heart

It is said that the longest distance you will ever travel is the 18 inches from your head to your heart.

As an integrative coach and healer, I witness this challenge daily.

Let me tell you a story about one of my clients.

She is a high level corporate executive running a very financially successful business, she is in her head analyzing, computing and strategizing everything (including her personal relationships) with her masculine logic.

It was hard for her to de-stress and get her into her body. She was challenged by allowing her emotions to flow. It was difficult for her to feel. It was hard for her to receive the feminine ways of nurturing, love, and support for herself.

I brought her to the best healer, Nature. (Mama Gaia, feminine energy).

After hugging a few trees, meditation in front of a waterfall, hiking and lying on the celestial body of Pachamama, this connection with Nature started to help her unwind.

We also did other powerful self-care practices like intuitive energy healing, breathwork and coaching…then she started to feel all the things she was hiding from in her life by living in her head.

It took a few sessions but she finally gave herself permission to admit the scary parts she was avoiding.

We practiced forgiveness of her lineage patterns she was perpetuating.

She started to accept and appreciate herself and understand the ways she was operating from a place of compassion.

She was able to relax enough to connect with the little girl inside that was screaming for attention.

It is through relaxation that we can let go of our grief, shame, sadness and guilt that we hold in our bodies and our hearts.

When we live in our minds and heads we muscle our way through life re-creating the very things we are fearing in the first place.

It was in slowing down and connecting with heart that she had real honest breakthroughs and was able to see was stopping her in her life and relationships.

She was finally able to connect the dots and create a compassionate and truthful focus toward her self-healing path.

How beautiful this was to see her drop into her feminine essence.

In honor of the heart and the divine feminine we honor this energy for our emotional healing.

I received these beautiful gifts from her on Mother’s Day!




































Find out how you might be hiding so you can live in your heart! Set up a Priestess Power Session if its time to find the right path for you!

“Unleash the Priestess Within + Thrive” is a highly customized integrative online coaching and personal healing program that combines the ancient wisdom teachings of yoga, shamanism, reiki, and empowerment coaching for a full body-mind-spirit transformation.

Breakthrough your limiting beliefs, unleash your priestess power and share your healing gifts with the world!!!!


What to Do if You’ve Just Received a Chronic Pain Diagnosis

A diagnosis of a condition that causes chronic pain can be a truly life-altering experience. It’s shocking. It’s scary. It’s often confusing. The most important thing for you to know right now is that it is manageable. No matter how apprehensive you are about your future at this very moment, you will learn how to cope and things will get better. Here’s what you can do right now.

Take a breath and let the shock subside.

Your first challenge is to overcome the shock of the initial diagnosis. This is easier said than done, but if you allow yourself to feel — really feel — the wide range of emotions that come with it, you can begin to move on.

“You may feel you’re on a roller coaster of emotion — accepting one day, and angry the next. It may help to remind yourself that these feelings are normal, and will likely ease with time,” says the American Psychological Association. It’s okay to feel mad, scared, and even numb. Your plan of action can commence when you hit the acceptance phase of your emotional journey.

Start by creating a peaceful, stress-free home environment.

It’s hard to manage chronic pain in a hectic, cluttered, disorganized, stressful home. Since you spend the majority of your time in your home, it’s vital that you make it as peaceful as possible.

First, take some time to declutter, organize, and in some cases, downsize. Get rid of (or donate) items that you simply don’t use. Go through your closets and pare down your clothing collection by donating anything that you haven’t worn in a calendar year. Organize the clutter that rests on your tables and floor with organizational aids like stylish buckets, bins, wall cubes, and chests (more on that here). Check out this guide on great ways to make your home stress-free.

And once you’ve de-cluttered, you’ll have room in your home for a meditation space. notes that meditation is a tried and true method of coping with chronic pain. It may not actually reduce the pain you’re feeling, but it will teach you how to better cope with it. Your response to your pain is what you can control. Fill this meditation space with calming things – visuals, smells, and textures. Pro tip: make your meditative space one that’s filled with natural light.

Then move on to lifestyle changes.

There are many chronic pain sufferers who are able to manage their pain with prescription medication, and there are some who cannot. Even if you use medication to help deal with your pain, you can’t rely on it alone. You must make some lifestyle changes if you want to manage your condition in a healthy manner.

The first step is to limit the use of the big three: nicotine, alcohol, and caffeine. Smoking and excessive drinking exacerbate the symptoms of most chronic pain-causing conditions, and caffeine has also been shown to do the same (it can increase inflammation as well as interfere with restful sleep). During this time, many people also look for natural ways to help decrease inflammation, and some have found success with CBD oil. What’s more, cannabidiol can help alleviate feelings of anxiety, which often tend to accompany chronic pain. Of course, talk to your doctor before you begin taking CBD oil, and do plenty of research to find the best type of oil.

Another natural remedy for pain and anxiety is yoga. This ancient practice gives you an opportunity to connect with your mind and body. It also offers gentle stretching for your muscles, which can go a long way toward easing discomfort. When accompanied by meditation, yoga is a powerful and effective weapon against your own reaction to pain, and boosts your ability to control your feelings toward it. For even more relief, consider Reiki healing, which involves moving energy throughout the body to promote emotional and physical healing.

Next — and this is a lifelong commitment — is to focus on a healthy diet. This should be one that’s mostly whole foods (unprocessed), with a limit on red meat, dairy, and sugar and an emphasis on anti-inflammatory foods like fish and vegetables.

This is how you get started on dealing with chronic pain – something that you may have for years or even a lifetime. It’s not a sentence. It’s hard, but in the end, it can be an opportunity to refocus your life on being healthy, mindful, and stress-free.

By Guest Blogger: Jackie Waters
Photo by Vladislav Muslakov on Unsplash