Introducing meditation as part of your routine has huge physical, mental and emotional benefits, and is a scientifically recommended way to manage stress.
How to meditate
Meditation is a simple, straightforward practice, which anyone can do anywhere, at any time.
Here's how to prepare:
Make sure you are sitting or lying down comfortably, with no electronic distractions.
You can be inside or outside.
If you're practicing meditation at night before sleep, lying down is best.
Prepare by closing your eyes and resting the tip of your tongue behind your top front teeth.
If listening to a guided meditation, simply allow yourself to relax and be led through the sequence, returning your awareness to your breath if you find your mind wandering.
Benefits of meditation
Thousands of studies have demonstrated that meditation has multiple positive benefits to both physical and emotional health. It can help improve sleep, manage weight, reduce stress, improve relationships and alter your experience of pain - all of which can positively influence your egg freezing experience.
Here's some of the evidence for and mechanisms behind how meditation works:
1/ For Egg Health
Stress reduction: Feeling stressed out day to day is linked to altered levels of reproductive hormones and with ovulation problems. Stress may also impact fertility. One study, for instance, showed that as levels of alpha-amylase (a marker of perceived psychosocial stress) rose, women’s chances of getting pregnant decreased. Meditation relaxes the nerve signals that coordinate the “fight or “fight or flight” response.
Reduces inflammation: Meditation can decrease levels of inflammatory chemicals called cytokines, which are released in the body in response to stress.
Helps fight addictions and compulsive behaviours: Meditation changes both the function and structure of the brain to support self-control. People who regularly meditate develop more gray matter in the prefrontal cortex (the “executive functioning” area of the brain).
2/ For Emotional Health
Bonus: even meditating over a short period of time may have benefits
Positive affirmations challenge negative or unhelpful thoughts leading to a brighter, calmer you. Neuroscientific research has shown changes in neural pathways in the brain when people practice self-affirmation.
This type of meditating can help you develop a mindful awareness of physical sensations, an understanding of and connection with your own body and to release tension you might not even realize you're experiencing.
Neuroscientist researchers have found that using mantras have many benefits, including improving your ability to deal with life's stressors, deactivating your brain's "default mode" and calming your nervous system.
Proven benefits include relieving stress, increasing energy, improving digestion, relieving muscular tension, lowering blood pressure, improving sleep quality and even slowing down the appearance of aging!
Meditation helps manage anxiety (as well as depression and pain) according to meta-analyses of scientific research, even reprogramming neural pathways in the brain to help you better regulate emotion.
A relaxing way to enjoy meditative time, similarly to story-led meditation - these can help you switch off and wind down after a long, busy day.