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4 Things Meditation Does To Your Mind And Body

4 Things Meditation Does To Your Mind And Body

Science has some compelling evidence that shows meditation can have some profoundly useful effects on some of the important areas of your life, including mind and soul. It could actually save one’s life.

1. Your Brainpower Will Be Boosted

Studies at UCLA showed that people who meditate have more ‘folding’ of the brain’s cortex, which is believed to promote and enhance neural processing. And the longer you meditate, the more the brain develops in this way, researchers at UCLA revealed. Long-term meditation could, therefore, make you improve your decision-making and increase your concentration.

The research suggested that meditation was also likely to help with better judgement, emotional control, self-regulation and even pain control. And for those who are into self-improvement, meditation could also help you become kinder and more compassionate.

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2. You’ll Have A Healthier Heart

Studies have consistently shown that people who meditate have better heart health, and now there is proof that meditation could cut the risk of death from cardiovascular problems by almost half.

A study at the Maharishi University of Management showed that people who had heart disease were 48 percent less likely to suffer a heart attack, stroke or death if they practiced Transcendental Meditation. And over the course of five years, those who meditated were also a 25 percent less likely to have to be hospitalized because of their condition.

Compared to the control group, who were simply given information about heart-healthy exercise and diet, those who meditated achieved an astonishing 4.9 mmHg drop in blood pressure, and also reported feeling less angry.

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3. You’ll Become More Productive

Researchers at the Universities of Washington and Arizona conducted another study, and found that eight weeks of Mindfulness Meditation training enabled managers to multi-task without feeling as much stress or fatigue. In the same study, other workers were given either no training or instruction on how to relax the body, and neither of these groups felt as calm or as energized as the Mindfulness meditators did after demanding tasks.

More benefits that the meditators experienced included a better memory for details, and they were less likely to stop and start tasks, preferring to focus all their attention on a particular duty until.

4. You’ll Be More Resourceful

Speaking of personal development, certain types of meditation have also been found to help improve problem-solving in specific ways. Researchers at Leiden University carried out a study comparing two types of meditation to see how they improved the meditaters’ ability to come up with solutions.

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People who were asked to practice Open-Monitoring Meditation, whereby you allow yourself to be open to all internal and external sensations, showed a dramatic improvement in divergent thinking. This meant they were better at brainstorming, coming up with novel solutions and thinking ‘outside of the box.’

The other group of people were asked to practice Focused-Attention Meditation, which involves concentrating exclusively on one object or sensation, such as the breath. The Focus-Attention Meditation group showed a slight improvement in convergent thinking and performed better on tests that rely on speed, accuracy and logic.

Meditation Is All-Good

And if the life-saving, stress-reducing, brain-boosting, mind-training benefits of meditation are not enough for you, the University of Leiden study showed that no matter which meditation participants did, they reported an improved mood.

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Featured photo credit: Sebastien Wiertz via flickr.com

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Last Updated on August 4, 2020

8 Benefits of a Minimalist Lifestyle That Get You to Live With Less

8 Benefits of a Minimalist Lifestyle That Get You to Live With Less

Minimalism is a way to put a stop to the gluttony of the world around us. It’s the opposite of every advertisement we see plastered on the radio and TV. We live in a society that prides itself on the accumulation of stuff; we eat up consumerism, material possessions, clutter, debt, distractions and noise.

What we don’t seem to have is any meaning left in our world.

By adopting a minimalist lifestyle, you can throw out what you don’t need in order to focus on what you do need.

I know first hand how little we actually need to survive. I was fortunate enough to live in a van for four months while traveling throughout Australia. This experience taught me valuable lessons about what really matters and how little we really need all this stuff we surround ourselves with.

Less is more.

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Living a minimalist lifestyle is reducing.There are a few obvious benefits of minimalism such as less cleaning and stress, a more organized household and more money to be found, but there are also a few deep, life-changing benefits.

What we don’t usually realize is that when we reduce, we reduce a lot more than just stuff.

Consider just some of the benefits of living with fewer possessions:

1. Create Room for What’s Important

When we purge our junk drawers and closets we create space and peace. We lose that claustrophobic feeling and we can actually breathe again. Create the room to fill up our lives with meaning instead of stuff.

2. More Freedom

The accumulation of stuff is like an anchor, it ties us down. We are always terrified of losing all our ‘stuff’. Let it go and you will experience a freedom like never before: a freedom from greed, debt, obsession and overworking.

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3. Focus on Health and Hobbies

When you spend less time at Home Depot trying unsuccessfully to keep up with the Joneses, you create an opening to do the things you love, things that you never seem to have time for.

Everyone is always saying they don’t have enough time, but how many people really stop and look at what they are spending their time doing?

You could be enjoying a day with your kids, hitting up the gym, practicing yoga, reading a good book or traveling. Whatever it is that you love you could be doing, but instead you are stuck at Sears shopping for more stuff.

4. Less Focus on Material Possessions

All the stuff we surround ourselves with is merely a distraction, we are filling a void. Money can’t buy happiness, but it can buy comfort. After the initial comfort is satisfied, that’s where our obsession with money should end.

We are bombarded by the media presenting promises of happiness through materialistic measures. It’s no wonder we struggle everyday. Resist those urges. It’s an empty path, it won’t make you happy.

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It’s hard not to get roped into the consumerism trap. I need constant reminders that it’s a false sense of happiness. I enjoy stuff, but I also recognize that I don’t need it.

5. More Peace of Mind

When we cling onto material possessions we create stress because we are always afraid of losing these things. By simplifying your life you can lose your attachment to these things and ultimately create a calm, peaceful mind.

The less things you have to worry about, the more peace you have, and it’s as simple as that.

6. More Happiness

When de-cluttering your life, happiness naturally comes because you gravitate towards the things that matter most. You see clearly the false promises in all the clutter, it’s like a broken shield against life’s true essence.

You will also find happiness in being more efficient, you will find concentration by having refocused your priorities, you will find joy by enjoying slowing down.

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7. Less Fear of Failure

When you look at Buddhist monks, they have no fear, and they have no fear because they don’t have anything to lose.

In whatever you wish to pursue doing you can excel, if you aren’t plagued with the fear of losing all your worldly possessions. Obviously you need to take the appropriate steps to put a roof over your head, but also know that you have little to fear except fear itself.

8. More Confidence

The entire minimalist lifestyle promotes individuality and self reliance. This will make you more confident in your pursuit of happiness.

What’s Next? Go Minimalism.

If you’re ready to start living a minimalist lifestyle, these articles can help you to kickstart:

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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