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MEDITATION SERVICE: THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS

MEDITATION SERVICE: THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS

Millions of people the world over live a stressful life, especially in the United States. With the hectic pace and many challenges faced in our world today, most of us feel stressed and tired. Time is often too short to complete everything in a single day, and we often feel unhappy and depressed whenever we fail to accomplish what we originally set out to do. Most of the time, we are so busy that we hardly make the time to meditate or balance out our centre.

If you are looking to live a healthier life, then you should consider meditation.

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It helps calm your nerves, overcome stress, and increase your concentration. With meditation, we can transform our mind from unhappy to happy. One of the best ways of developing a successful meditation habit is by finding the perfect kind of meditation that works best for you. In order to know the right fit, visit a professional who can help choose the one that feels the most comfortable.

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Why Learn to Meditate

The benefits of meditation cannot be over emphasized. When practiced daily, you will feel more balanced, active, and positive- even in the most difficult of times! The reason why most people meditate is to help make their mind calmer and more peaceful. Once our mind is relaxed, we can focus, as well as mentally stabilize our intentions to execute our daily goals. Having control over our mind is one of the most difficult things to do. Our mind is always influenced by external circumstances. We become excited when things are rosy, but if things go bad, we feel irritated. By practicing meditation regularly, we are able to control our mindset regardless of the external circumstances.

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How to Meditate

Meditation helps improve health, sleep, and can make you feel happier. Mediation helps us discover who we truly are. However, when trying to incorporate meditation, many people find it difficult to control their thoughts in the initial process. The following are some simple tips on how to help you meditate efficiently:

  • Your sitting posture determines the effectiveness of the meditation on the body. Make sure you sit upright with your head up as this will help you stay focused.
  • Keep your eyes open with a soft gaze so you don’t get lost in thought. This tip will also help you feel more present.
  • Keep your breath as natural as possible. Do not try to regulate it.
  • If your mind is still troubled, you can resort to counting your breath from one to four as you inhale and exhale. This will help you gain concentration.
  • If you are struggling with emotions, do not try to stop them. Just focus your attention on your breath, body, and feelings.
  • Keep calm and steady throughout your meditation. Focus your gaze on a small inanimate object, for example, you may use a lit candle placed in front of you.
  • After meditating, reflect on the experience in a journal.

Benefits of Meditation

A good number of scientific research has shown that meditation offers some powerful holistic health benefits. Meditation is one of the best ways to combat stress and living a healthy lifestyle; you will have better control over your thoughts, and help yourself find inner peace. Meditation is also recommended for those who are looking to improve all aspects of their life. Some of the major benefits of meditation include the following:

  • Reduction in anxiety, stress, and depression
  • Improvement in abilities to stay focused
  • Help in getting you quality sleep
  • An aid to efficient critical thinking
  • A remedy to breaking unhealthy habits
  • Encouragement towards a healthier lifestyle
  • A boost for the grey matter in various parts of your brain

Featured photo credit: Meditation by Moyan Brenn via flickr.com

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Last Updated on December 9, 2019

5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

Everyone experiences mental stress at one time or another. Maybe you’re starting a new career, job, or business, or you feel incredibly overwhelmed between work, parenting, and your love life (or a lack of it). It could even be that you simply feel that you have way too much to do and not enough time to do it,  plus, on top of everything, nothing seems to be going the way it should!

Yup, we all experience mental stress from time-to-time, and that’s okay as long as you have the tools, techniques and knowledge that allow you to fully relieve it once it comes.

Here are 5 tips for relieving mental stress when it comes so you can function at your best while feeling good (and doing well) in work, love, or life:

1. Get Rationally Optimistic

Mental stress starts with your perception of your experiences. For instance, most people get stressed out when they perceive their reality as “being wrong” in some way. Essentially, they have a set idea of how things “should be” at any given moment, and when reality ends up being different (not even necessarily bad), they get stressed.

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This process is simply a result of perception and can be easily “fixed” by recognizing that although life might not always be going as YOU think it should, it’s still going as it should—for your own benefit.

In fact, once you fully recognize that everything in your life ultimately happens for your own growth, progress, and development—so you can achieve your goals and dreams—your perception works in your favor. You soon process and respond to your experience of life differently, for your advantage. That’s the essence of becoming “rationally optimistic.”

The result: no more mental stress.

2. Unplug

Just like you might need to unplug your computer when it starts acting all crazy, you should also “unplug” your mind.

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How on earth do you unplug your mind? Simple: just meditate.

It isn’t nearly difficult or complicated as some people think, so, if you don’t already meditate, give it a try. Whether you meditate for 5 minutes, 30 minutes, or 2 hours, this is a surefire way to reduce mental stress.

Meditation has been scientifically proven to relax your body (resulting in less mental stress), while also reducing anxiety and high blood pressure.

3. Easy on the Caffeine

Yes, we know, we know—everyone loves a nice java buzz, and that’s okay, but there’s a fine line between a small caffeine pick-me-up and a racing heart and mind that throws you into a frenzy of mental stress.

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Try giving up caffeine for a while and see how you feel. And, if that’s completely out of the question for you, at least try to minimize it. You might find that lots of your mental stress mysteriously “disappears” as your caffeine intake goes down.

4. Attack Mental Stress Via the Back Door

That’s right: your body and mind are part of the whole being, and are constantly influencing and affecting each other. If you’re experiencing a lot of mental stress, try to reduce it by calming your body down—a calm body equals a calmer mind.

How do you calm your body down and reduce physical stress? A  great way to reduce physical stress (thereby reducing mental stress) is to take natural supplements that are proven to reduce stress and anxiety while lifting your mood. Three good ones to look into are kava-kava, St John’s wort, and rhodiola rosea:

  • Kava-kava is a natural plant known to have mild sedative properties, and you should be able to find it at your natural health food store or vitamin store. It’s available in capsules or liquid extract form.
  • St John’s wort is a natural flower used to treat depression. Again, it’s found at your local health store in capsules or liquid. Because it uplifts mood (enabling you to see the brighter side of all experiences) it helps relieve mental stress as well.
  • Rhodiola rosea is a natural plant shown to reduce stress and uplift mood, and Russian athletes have been using it forever. Like the other two supplements mentioned, rhodiola rosea can be found at your natural health store in capsule or liquid form.

While these supplements are all natural and can be very helpful for most people, always check with your health care provider first as they can cause side-effects depending on your current health situation etc.

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5. Good Old-Fashioned Exercise

This tip has been around forever because it works. Nothing relieves mental stress like running, kickboxing—you name it. Anything super-physical will wipe out most of your mental stresses once the exercise endorphins (happy chemicals) are released into your brain.

The result: mental stress will be gone!

So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed or just plain stressed, try using some of the above tips. You can even print this out or save it to refer to regularly.

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Featured photo credit: Radu Florin via unsplash.com

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