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Meditation and balanced chakras may help break bad habits

chakra
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Habits are difficult to break because they’re ingrained in us, but also because we are often not even aware of them. A recent study sheds light on how meditation can help control automatic responses through two styles of practice.

Alternatively, re-balancing chakras may also help achieve a sense of control over mindless habits. These are different types of energy that concentrate in specific areas of the body and can be accessed by focusing on them.

Turning off autopilot

Meditation may help people overcome automatic responses, or habits by giving them greater control over their attention. This was the result of a study titled “Overcoming Automaticity Through Meditation” and was conducted by Dr. Thomas Maran and his colleagues at the University of Innsbruck.

The study looked at how two styles of meditation: focused attention and open monitoring, helped different groups of adults overcome automaticity.  These are the behaviors that allow us to execute basic tasks everyday without wasting too much cognitive energy. The problem is that these behaviors can also prevent us from adjusting to new situations or environments.

The adults were separated into four separate groups. One group practiced open monitoring meditation in which there is no focus on any one stimulus. Rather, the meditator remains attentive to whatever sound, thought, or feeling may arise.

Two groups practiced focused attention meditation, during which they were instructed to focus either on their breath or on a candle flame. In this type of practice, subjects are encouraged to return their attention to the focus of their meditation whenever their mind wanders.

The final group did not undergo any meditation intervention until after the study was concluded. Afterwards, each group underwent several exercises where they developed habits by pressing keyboard keys repeatedly. They were tested on how well they were able to override their learned responses. Similarly, in a separate exercise, they had to refrain from performing certain automatic responses.

Overcoming bad habits with meditation

The study found that the groups who had practiced either type of meditation style were better able to control their automatic responses. Notably, those who practiced open monitoring meditation were able to question their automatic behaviors.

This shows that meditation can help people overcome the habits so deeply ingrained in them.

“When open monitoring practitioners are confronted with a cognitive conflict,” the study said, “their improved monitoring ability should make them less prone to allow a repeatedly executed response to dominate other options and to select the appropriate response in its place.”

One thing to point out in this study is that meditation is a practice, and has to be practiced daily in order to achieve the desired results. But habits may go deeper than attention and automaticity.

The energy in our bodies may also be an important key to controlling our most ingrained responses.

Unblocking chakras can lead to balance

The traditional idea of chakras is that the human body has several points of energy, typically along the spine. These energies are associated with different colors representing concepts associated with a specific part of the body.

The common view is that there are seven principal chakras:

The Root chakra is the color red and sits at the base of the spine representing stability and security. The Sacral chakra is orange and near the groin and represents creativity and sexuality. The Solar Plexus chakra is yellow and is above the stomach, this chakra represents confidence and self-esteem.

The Heart chakra is green and lies at the heart, representing empathy, compassion, and love. Next is the Throat chakra at the throat which is the chakra of communication and self-expression and is the color blue. At the center of our forehead above the eyes is the Third Eye chakra which stands for intuition and its color is indigo.

Finally, above our heads is the Crown chakra in purple which represents our link to the universe.

How to unblock chakras

Our chakras can become blocked for several reasons, leading to symptoms which may include physical as well as psychological sensations.

For example, feeling financially unstable or dealing with an identity crisis may mean the red Root chakra is blocked. Similarly, low libido or a creativity block could be results of a blocked Sacral chakra.

In learning how to unblock a chakra, it’s first necessary to identify which one is blocked. This can be done by visualizing a line down the spine with each glowing color representing the chakras. One might notice some chakras dimmer than others, in which case it’s important to examine that part of the body and what the chakra is associated with.

In the example of the blocked Sacral chakra, one exercise might be to recite affirmations such as “I am a creative force,” or “my sexual energy is abundant.” Another way might be to wear the color orange, therefore enforcing the orange energy inside.

Whether it’s through balancing the chakras or any type of meditation, breaking bad habits begins with a deeper connection with the body.

Story by Fernando Acevedo


augusta free press
augusta free press
augusta free press

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