Mindfulness and Meditation at SweatHouz
Meditation is a skill that takes practice.
Meditation can be defined as training your attention to achieve a mental state of calm concentration and positive emotions. Importantly though, rather than trying to ‘turn off’ your thoughts and feelings during meditation, the goal is to observe them without judgment. When practiced consistently, this ability to zone into how you’re feeling in the moment can bring perspective and may even improve your psychological well-being.
The most common form of meditation is based around the principle of mindfulness. Think of mindfulness as the ability to be present and wholly engaged with whatever you’re doing in the moment. Mindfulness meditation has two main components:
And, just like most other health behavior skills, mindfulness meditation takes purposeful practice and repetition. In other words, you may feel great after just one meditation session, but in order to see the longer-term health benefits, you have to stick with it!
Health Benefits of Meditation.
While meditation has received zealous attention in the social media world over the last few years, researchers and psychologists have been investigating the health benefits of meditation through clinical studies for quite some time. And there’s some pretty solid evidence to support its efficacy for improving symptoms of anxiety and depression, as well as promoting better sleep.
For instance, a study published in late 2022 found that a mindfulness meditation program worked as well as a standard drug for treating anxiety in adults. Researchers randomly assigned 276 adults with anxiety into one of two treatment groups: 8-week mindfulness meditation program or 8-weeks of a drug. Anxiety symptoms, as measured via survey responses, decreased by about 30% in both groups over the 2-month period, and symptoms continued to lessen in severity thereafter.
This study result was consistent with the findings from a 2013 meta-analysis – a study of studies – which looked at a total of 209 mindfulness-based therapy studies (and 12,145 total participants). Authors concluded that mindfulness based therapy was an effective treatment for a variety of psychological problems, especially for reducing symptoms of anxiety, depression, and stress.
Meditation may also improve sleep quality, according to a 2019 systematic review and meta-analysis that looked at results from 18 studies (and over 1,600 participants). Researchers found that participants who practiced mindfulness meditation had significantly improved sleep quality compared to those in control groups, concluding that mindfulness meditation can be effective in treating some aspects of sleep disturbances.
Build your meditation practice at SweatHouz
If starting a mediation practice is on your radar, try one of the following practical tips during your next appointment at SweatHouz:
At SweatHouz, you can enjoy up to 45 minutes in the infrared sauna private suite, and this dedicated alone time may be a perfect place to practice mindfulness meditation. Even a 5 minute meditation session can have benefits, like lowering your heart rate and creating a sense of presence. Try listening to basic guided meditations when getting started, as instructions from an experienced coach may help remind you to come back to the present moment, letting go of distracting thoughts.
The Core by Hyperice is an immersive meditation experience that pairs the Core Trainer with guided meditations, breath training, and soundscapes in the Core App. Soft vibrations and lights on the Core Trainer guide your breathing and help ground you, while ECG biosensors measure your heart rate and provide feedback on how your body responds to the meditation practice. Members can access the Core App using our en-suite iPad in the Recovery Room.
Body scanning is a form of mindfulness meditation that involves paying attention to parts of the body and physical sensations. By mentally scanning yourself from head to toe, you bring awareness to every single part of your body, noticing any aches, pains, tightness, or general discomfort. The goal is not to relieve the tension completely, but rather to get to know and learn from it so you can better manage it. Body scanning may help reduce feelings of physical stress and may be a great way to start or enhance your meditation practice.
Breath manipulation is a form of mindfulness meditation that brings your awareness back to the present moment and can help you focus on the task at hand. We recommend trying box breathing – 4 second inhale, 4 second hold, 4 second exhale, 4 second hold – before and during your cold plunge. After just two cycles of box breathing, you’re already 30-seconds into the plunge!