Meditation Increase Receptivity, Activity Sensitivity — Why That’s a Good Thing
Many turn to meditation to induce a sense of calm and balance within their hectic lives. However, would you believe meditation may actually increase your sensitivity?
For those who are already highly sensitive, the thought of adding to their peceptual intensity and feelings may not sound appealing. With these heightened sensory experiences, meditation increases the body’s response to stimuli and helps you to handle it head-on. Increased Sensitivy can result in decreased stress and inflammation, for example.
By Beth Rush
[Disclaimer: Always seek the advice of your health care practitioners when experiencing pain or other medical issues.]
3 Ways Meditation Can Beneficially Increase Sensitivity
Meditation affects the body in many ways, but the results are typically amazing. Although feeling your feelings more intensely may not be something you look forward to, increased sensitivity is nothing to worry about.
Essentially, sensitivity is how your body responds to external stimuli. The good news is meditation can help you make better sense of the experience. Here are three ways meditation and sensitivity go together.
1. Boosts Brain Activity
Meditation stimulates the prefrontal cortex of the brain. It is the part responsible for memory, problem-solving, planning, information processing and social behaviors .
This type of sensitivity enhances your ability to focus and process what is happening around you, from objects to people to your surroundings. For example, you might have stronger taste buds, or notice subtle movements or changes in your environment.
2. Decreases Stress and Inflammation
The best way to increase your body’s mobility is by decreasing inflammation in your joints and muscles . Meditation can induce this effect by reducing stress and increasing sensitivity in the nervous system.
Just 10 minutes of daily meditation can lower cortisol levels, which is your stress hormone . This regulates overactive parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous systems — or the vagal tone. The vagal tone pertains to your sensory reaction to the physical and emotional stimuli in your surroundings .
3. Raises Awareness of Thoughts and Feelings
Of course, a state of calm raises your awareness of thoughts, emotions and physical sensations more than before you started meditating. Some highly sensitive people might be most wary of this effect. Yet, you might learn to appreciate who you really are.
Self-awareness opens doors to self-compassion, acceptance and growth. It encourages you to live authentically .
How to Handle Increased Sensitivity
Certainly, there are benefits of heightened sensitivity as a result of meditation. For instance, awareness allows you to appreciate simple pleasures and the present moment. At the same time, taking care of yourself is critical when stimuli feel like it’s weighing you down.
Interestingly enough, meditation can help ground you and calm your mind again in these moments. Conversely, you could take a break from meditation or whatever is triggering you if necessary.
When you need a break, shift gears to another grounding, relaxing activity like painting, journaling or walking. Talking to someone about your feelings can also help you make sense of your physical, mental and emotional responses to your environment.
Sensitivity Is a Strength
Meditation can increase receptivity and sensitivity, but you can change your perception to make sense of your feelings. Rather than feeling overwhelmed, start viewing sensitivity as a strength. If anything, meditation will create enough of a calm space for you to gain better control of stimuli.
 IV Elements
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Author | Buddha Weekly
Beth Rush is the Managing Editor and content manager at Body+Mind. She is a well-respected writer in the personal wellness space and shares knowledge on a variety of topics related to nutrition, holistic health, and mental health. You can find Beth on Twitter @bodymindmag.