How meditation helps to reduce stress related hair loss.
We've had the pleasure of interviewing leading Meditation Teacher & Mind Coach Susan Carroll... Here's what she has to say.
How meditation is helpful to manage stress in life?
Meditation allows us to cultivate more adaptation energy, a more stable nervous system.
When we are stressed, we are more reactive and less resilient to life and situations, we have a more contracted mindset and a narrower perspective. We are more easily triggered.
Meditation practice develops a more stable nervous system, resilience and adaptability, so when a problem occurs I do not react out of emotion but out of wisdom.
When we are stressed, our mind and body, switch on to fight flight. The body produces stress hormones, we are in survival mode. These hormones, slow our digestion, so we are not absorbing nutrients vital for our health, our memory reduces, it effects our reproductive organs and all our energy is channeled to our muscles. Ready to escape the danger.
In this modern world the danger is, poor diet, digital technology overload, lack of exercise, not being able to keep up with the demands of work, partner, parent, friend, family, the household, life admin etc.
85% of mental and physical health issues is associated with aggravated stress in the nervous system. The problem is we normalise how we feel.
Stress can cause the hair follicles to go into hibernation, so they stop producing new hair, we end up with thinning or patches. I was going through a stressful period at work once and my hairdresser asked me what was going on as my hair was thinning. I did not realise it was having an effect like this. I thought I was managing it okay on a mental level. What I now know it that our mind and body is connected and what is happening in our physiology, our body does not need to put its precious energy into hair production, when it is needed elsewhere. It is a very sophisticated intelligent system. How we feel on the inside projects on the outside, when we are not comfortable with our appearance it effects our confidence and how we express ourselves. Healthy hair is one indicator of a healthy mind and body.
When we practice meditation, we sit down twice a day with our eyes closed, the technique switches on the parasympathetic nervous system. Happy chemicals are released into the body, and we allow our mind and body to rest, digest, heal and restore. We release new and old fatigue and stresses from the body. We reset the nervous system.
Through practicing daily you will have greater inner peace, feel more grounded, happier, creative, have more mental clarity, more energy, become more productive, while giving you more emotional and physical resilience and you have better sleep.
Where can a beginner start with meditation? it might be a bit overwhelming for some.
A beginner can start with conscious breathing. When we are stressed we naturally have short shallow breathing. Breathe is like a remote control to the brain. So if we breathe slowly, deeply, this informs our brain to relax.
Sitting or stand, where ever you are, take a conscious breathe in through the nose, fill your lungs, feel the air enter your body, and slowly breathe out. You can do one breathe or 5 minutes of conscious breathing.
Or just dive in and learn Vedic Meditation. Anyone with a functional nervous system can easily meditate, it is simple, effective, enjoyable and effortless. It the best investment in your time and money you can make for yourself. In 4 short session you have this tool for life.
What are the steps to meditation?
This is like, what are the steps to fitness, there are many paths you can take, which all have a variety of benefits to your health and wellbeing. There are so much different techniques now.
There is concentration techniques, mindfulness, focuses attention and transcending techniques.
From my experience, all are good, it depends on what resonates with you. The best meditation is the meditation that you do.
I have tried many and it was not until I learnt Vedic Meditation over a decade ago, that established a regular practice which truly changed my life. It is simple, effortless, enjoyable and easy to fit into our busy lifestyles. We do not meditate to be good at meditation, we meditate to be good at life.
When we meditate daily, it is 3% of the day, to naturally enhance the other 97%, making life more enjoyable, happier, creating positive change in our relationship with everything in our world. It is happiness from the inside out.
How practicing mindfulness works?
Mindfulness is living more consciously. We are very habitual creatures and it is easy to slip into the habit of eating on the run, working, having conversations, driving places, and going about daily life without actually being aware of what we are doing. We miss a lot of life. It is like moving through life with a blindfold on. Going though the motions.
Have you ever got up to start the day and from the moment the alarm went off to arriving at work, it is all on automatic and you could not recall the 50 or more things you did before you arrived?
Mindfulness is the art of conscious awareness. Living through all of our senses. Slowing down.
For example, preparing your meal with intention and appreciation, sit down to eat your food with no other distractions. Taste your food, smell your food, chew your food properly. Pause. Eat in silence. Have gratitude for the meal, its gift, and the nourishment your body and brain are receiving. This will improve your digestion and the absorption. When we have healthy digestion, we feel so much better.
Any advice or tips?
Slow down, you have time.
Take note of how you are moving through your day. It is what you are doing and how you are doing it. Both are important.
What are you consuming? The food, the news, conversation, digital media, the quality of the air, the water
How are you sleeping?
How are you feeling?
How are your relationships, with self, with others, with money, with nature, with food?
Own the day - do not let the day own you.
Where can you make changes to honour your health and wellbeing (without this we cannot truly enjoy life)
Learn Vedic Meditation and practice daily.
Seek a teacher or practitioner that can support you to let go of any limiting beliefs, negative emotions, blocks or old programming in the body or mind that no longer serves you. Imagine how you would be and feel in life if you let go of this stuff. Be free.
When things change inside you, things change around you
Life does not get better by chance, life gets better by change
Your health is your greatest wealth
No thing or person is going to make you happier. Stop chasing happiness and go within.
The world responds to not what we want, it responds to who we are being
We do not see things are they are. We see them as we are.
Whatever you are not changing, you are choosing.
Life is now.