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Breaking Down Stigmas: How Society Views Disabled Individuals

How Does Society See The Disabled Community:
Redefining Stereotypes


Disabled individuals have long been subjected to negative stereotypes and discrimination within our society. These stigmas have often led to exclusion, isolation, and limited opportunities for people with disabilities. It's truly time to challenge these harmful attitudes and work together toward creating a more inclusive world for all individuals, regardless of their abilities.


Understanding the Stigmas


The stigmas surrounding disability are deeply ingrained within our society and manifest in a number of different ways. Individuals with disabilities are often viewed as less capable, less intelligent, and generally less valuable than those individuals without a disability. Sadly they also may be subjected to pity, infantilization, or even outright hostility. These mistaken perspectives can lead to exclusion from social, educational, and employment opportunities, as well as limited access to healthcare and other very essential services. We are all individuals with a wide range of ways in which we contribute to the world. Instead of looking for a person's limitations, let’s begin to see the individual as uniquely capable of contributing in ways that able-bodied people may never have thought of! It is important to recognize and address these harmful attitudes if we aspire to create a more inclusive and equitable society for ALL individuals.


Invisible Disabilities


It is often assumed that if one has a disability they will always be in need of a wheelchair, when in fact roughly ten percent of disabled Americans have invisible or hidden disabilities. This can be especially difficult for able-bodied individuals to understand and often there is an assumption that one is "faking" or "not truly disabled". Invisible or hidden disabilities generally refer to disabilities that are not immediately obvious. Some individuals have a varying level of symptoms or energy and may need a mobility aid one day and none the next. Many will be unable to do any activities on some days and light activities on other days. Changing our society's perspective of what living with a disability can look like is an important step in breaking down the stigmatization.


Inclusive Environments.


Creating more inclusive spaces is another essential way towards breaking down stigmas. This can simply involve making physical spaces more accessible, providing accommodations for individuals with disabilities, and promoting diversity and inclusion across all aspects of society. It is equally important to educate others about the experiences and perspectives of disabled individuals, and to challenge ableist attitudes and behaviors when they arise.


Advocating for Rights


Advocating for disability rights and representation is another crucial step towards breaking down stereotypes surrounding disability. This can involve supporting disability rights organizations, advocating for policies that promote accessibility and inclusion, and promoting the voices and perspectives of disabled individuals in media and other public forums. It's important to recognize that disability is a natural part of human diversity, and that individuals living with a disability make valuable contributions to our society.


Celebrating Individual Abilities


Disabled individuals have many unique abilities and talents that should be celebrated and recognized. They have to overcome immense adversity to live their lives each day. It is important to shift the focus from what disabled individuals are not able to do to what they are able to do. By highlighting their strengths and abilities, we can break down stigmas and promote a more inclusive society. This can involve showcasing disabled individuals in media and advertising, creating job opportunities that cater to their individual strengths, and providing accessible spaces for them to showcase their talents. Let's celebrate the incredible abilities of disabled individuals and create a world where EVERYONE is valued and included.

How Quickly Can I Feel The Benefits Of Meditation?


How Long Does it Take to Feel Benefits of Meditation?

From lowering stress levels to boosting your focus, learn how quickly you can start to feel the benefits of meditation in this comprehensive guide! Meditation has a variety of physical and mental health benefits according to research. Examples include: reducing stress and anxiety levels, improving concentration, a lessening of physical pain, and an overall happier state of mind. But just how long does it take to start feeling these incredible effects? In this short guide, we'll explore how quickly you can begin to feel the positive effects of meditation.

Conscious Breathing

One of the quickest ways to start feeling the benefits of meditation is to use mindful breathing techniques. Mindful breathing can help you gain greater self-awareness, improve your focus, and even lower your stress and anxiety levels almost instantly. Start by taking a few deep breaths and paying attention to extending your exhales longer than your inhales. This will begin to tell your brain and body to feel more relaxed in just a few minutes, allowing you to start reaping the rewards that meditation has to offer immediately!


Be Present in The Moment

In order to reap the full rewards of meditation, it’s important to make time to be still and present in the moment. Setting aside 5-10 minutes each day for meditation is a great way to start seeing the benefits very quickly. A few minutes every day can go a long way towards helping you find peace and balance in your life. The brain becomes better at dropping into a relaxation state with consistent practice. If you don’t have time for a long session, even just 1-5 minutes of
mindful breathing can make a noticeable difference!

Try Guided Audio Meditations Or In-Person Classes

Joining a
guided meditation class or working with an experienced meditation instructor, can be beneficial in accelerating your progress. Their experienced guidance and personalized attention can help keep you focused, answer any questions you may have, and ensure that you’re practicing correctly. Whether it’s in-person or online, there are so many ways to gain access to the insurmountable advantages of practicing meditation!

Keep A Meditation Journal

Documenting your journey is a great way to track your progress and reflect on what has been working for you (as well as what is not). Not only does it help keep track of your
daily meditation practice, but reflecting back on our experiences also gives us insight as to what needs to be adjusted or applied differently in order to achieve our desired results. 

How To Meditate For A Calmer Mind And Body

A Guide To Meditation To Calm The Mind And Body

It's normal to feel overwhelmed, stressed, and anxious at times. In today's fast-paced world, we often struggle to find a moment of peace and quiet, leaving our minds cluttered and exhausted. Fortunately, meditation can provide the space that we need to clear our minds from unnecessary distractions, and bring focus back into our lives. With the simple techniques outlined below, you'll learn how to meditate effectively for a calmer mind, body and ideally a healthier, happier life.

What is Meditation?

Meditation is a practice that involves training the mind to focus on a specific thought, object, or activity to achieve a state of mental clarity and emotional calmness. The goal of meditation is to cultivate awareness, concentration, and inner peace, which have been shown to improve overall well-being. There are different types of meditation techniques, that vary in their approach and purpose, but they all share the common goal of quieting the mind and promoting relaxation. Meditation is not a lack of thinking or a cessation of your thoughts. It allows us space from our thoughts, as we observe the thoughts and emotions come and go completely on their own. We learn to not engage or follow those thoughts, allowing us more time to decide what thoughts we would actually like to engage, and which we would prefer to let go of and reframe in a more productive way.

Meditation is a Practice that Helps the Mind to Focus and Settle in Order to Achieve Mental Calmness, Relaxation, and Inner Peace.

Meditation is a simple yet effective practice for gaining space from your thoughts, as you allow your thoughts to come and go without engaging or following them. This enables us to have more agency over what thoughts we choose to act upon, and which we reframe and let go of. Otherwise, we are constantly subjected to following every desire or thought being completely controlled by our subconscious. Meditation involves finding a quiet and comfortable space, closing your eyes, and focusing on your breath or a specific point of attention such as your body or a mantra/prayer. The only goal is to allow your mind to settle and the thoughts to come and go, ultimately achieving a state of deep relaxation. With regular practice, meditation can help reduce stress, reduce pain, improve focus, increase self-awareness, and promote better sleep. It is generally suggested to begin with short sessions and gradually increase the time as you become more comfortable with the practice. But, there is no right or wrong way to meditate, so listen to your own intuition and what feels right for you personally.

Focus on Your Breath.

One of the most effective and simplistic types of meditation is focusing on the breath. Breathing deeply and slowly (focusing on long exhales) can help you relax, release tension, lessen pain, and improve overall well-being. Once you are in a comfortable space, close your eyes and bring your attention to your breath. Notice how it moves in and out of your body without any need to control it. If you find that your mind starts to wander, gently guide yourself back to focusing on the breath. The breath is a beautiful gift that we are given the moment that we enter this world, and it is with us always. It is the connection between our mind and our body and using the breath one can calm themselves even when they are feeling pain or discomfort. This practice of being aware of thoughts, but not reacting to them, helps cultivate mindfulness and mental clarity. As you continue to meditate regularly, you will likely find it easier to stay focused for longer periods of time.

How To Meditate For Beginners

A Starter Guide To Meditation

Meditation is an ancient practice that can bring about a sense of peace and relaxation to the mind and body. This guide will provide the basics for new meditators, so that you can begin to experience the calming benefits of meditation for yourself today!

Prepare:

Before beginning, make sure you have a comfortable place to sit or lie down. It’s important that your posture is relaxed, but also in a position in which the body is supported with a blanket or cushion if needed. It is not required that you be sitting upright in a cross legged position. Do what feels best in your body to start. You can also set the mood by diffusing an essential oil, lighting a candle, or taking some time outdoors and sitting in nature. Whatever you desire to create an environment that best supports your own personal relaxation.

Set an Intention:

A great way to strengthen your meditation practice is by setting an intention (or purpose in mind) before beginning. Start by thinking of what you are desiring most in your life at the moment. For example, you may want to feel more connected to your body, let go of intrusive thoughts, find clarity about a situation in your life, or foster courage to take action. Next, word the desired outcome as if it has already occurred. In the above example of wanting to feel more connected to your body, a potential intention would be, "I feel connected to my own body and mind". Take a few breaths and create an intention that feels right for you. Focus on that intention as you begin your meditation practice, and at the end of practice repeat the intention.

Relax Your Body:

Settling into your meditation posture (however that looks for you), start closing the eyes or softening the gaze. Mentally relax any tension you are holding in your body. As you allow your body to begin to relax, focus your attention on your breath. Feeling the gentle expansion and contraction of your belly like a balloon filling with air, as you take each breath in and each breath out. See if you can follow an entire breath from the start of the inhale all the way through your exhale. Doing this for even just a few minutes will begin to bring a sense of calm and relaxation to both your body and mind.

Focus on your Breath:

As your body becomes more relaxed, keep focusing on your breath and the sensation of the breath moving throughout your body. The coolness of the breath as it flows in, and the warmth of the breath as it flows out. The gentle wave of the breath moving through your body without any effort or control on your part. Rather than trying to control or alter your breath, simply observe the natural flow of each in-breath and out-breath. Each time your mind wanders away from your breath, gently bring yourself back to your breath. Allow yourself the permission to let everything else go.

Practice Gentle Acceptance:

It’s important to become comfortable with your meditation practice and to allow yourself to be in all of the ways that you are without judgement, embarrassment or shame. As you observe your breath, gently accept whatever thoughts and emotions come up and watch as they pass through your mind. Do not try to stop thinking, as this is impossible. Meditation is not a lack of thinking. It is just a space from constantly following our thoughts, allowing us the time to choose which thoughts to follow and engage in.

How To Yoga Nidra

Yoga Nidra Made Easy

Yoga Nidra Meditation , or “yogic sleep”, is a meditative practice that has been used for centuries in India to promote physical and mental wellbeing. It involves relaxing the body completely while focusing on a single point of awareness (such as the breath or the body), allowing students to reach deep levels of restorative states of relaxation.

Understand the Basics of Yoga Nidra.

It’s important to understand the basics of yoga nidra before you get started. During your practice, you may be guided through a series of postures, breathwork, and/or visualization exercises that help prepare your body for meditation. This helps build awareness, creating a strong foundation from which to allow the body to restore, repair, regenerate and most importantly rest deeply.

Find a Quiet Place to Practice.

Before you start your Yoga Nidra journey, it’s important to find a quiet, dimly lit place where you can practice. This could be your bedroom, living room, or any other place that is free from distractions. Make sure the temperature is comfortable, and you have plenty of support for your body (such as a cushion, blanket, or bolster). Once you’ve found the perfect spot, take some time to get very comfortable, supported and ready to begin. Be sure to let anyone else around you not to disturb you, and perhaps consider putting a reminder note on your door to avoid being startled by any unexpeted interruption. Finally, turn all electronic devices to silent and set an alarm if you are worried about falling asleep and missing something important afterward.

Get Comfortable and Create and Intention.

Once settled and cozy, it’s time to begin considering your intention (or sankalpa in Sanskrit) for the practice. To do this, close your eyes and focus on one intention that will guide you during your practice. An intention is a positive, forward focused statement. If you were trying to make healhier eating choices and stop consuming junk food for example, one could have the intntion, "I only eat foods that are nourishing to my body" but would be advised to use something similar such as "I want to stop eating junk food". In the first example we assume that we have already made the change we are desiring to make. The second only reminds us of something we are already ashamed of. Often, Yoga Nidra instructors will also offer a specific intention for your practice. Visualize this phrase in your body until it resonates deeply with you. Take a few more deep breaths before starting the nidra practice itself. And, try to bring it back into your awareness throughout your practice.

Relaxing the Body Through Rotation of Awareness.

Continuing on from the visualization of your intention, the practce generally will begin to move your awareness throughout each body part. Mentally rotating your awareness until you have moved from the crown of your head to the tips of your toes. Take your time and allow your body to respond to the guidance without judgement or comment.

Prepare for Conscious Deep Sleep

As you move from your rotation of the body deeper into relaxation, let yourself drift away. When you come back into awareness listen for the guidance. Focus on your breath and feel the subtle energy shifts in your body calming down as you start sinking deeper into your own mind and body. Observe your thoughts coming and going completely on their own, as you rest deeply. Allow any emotions that arise to pass through without attaching yourself to them. Breath slowing down, body becomes heavier allowing for complete rest.

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