Advertising
Advertising

Enrich Your Life: Learn How to Meditate

Enrich Your Life: Learn How to Meditate

Meditation has been a part of my life for a couple of years, and it is now safe to say that there has been visible progress in both my productivity and relaxation. I’ve tried my best to make it a daily habit as I feel that is the only way for anyone to experience all of the benefits.

The benefits of meditation are quite extensive. Although it is most commonly perceived as a relaxation technique, in my experience that is only a very lovable plus. The benefits, being numerous, range from reducing high blood pressure and relieving symptoms of depression and similar mental illnesses to alleviating pain and even increasing creativity and overall sharpness.

Before I started practicing meditation, somehow I instinctively knew that it would be good for me, but I didn’t really understand how deep it could go until I did it myself. I am not a religious man by nature, nor did I have a guru or a spiritual leader, I just liked the idea of being alone with my thoughts and emotions. Truthfully, once you get the hang of it, you will learn more about yourself than ever before.

What do you need to meditate?

meditation-what-do-you-need

    One of the perks of meditating is that it requires few to no accessories, but there are certain prerequisites you need to keep in mind.

    Advertising

    Time

    Clear your schedule for meditation. It doesn’t require a lot of time, but you should devote a certain part of the day where you are going to fit the time for meditation. It is important to distinguish this in such a manner that you are aware that the time is especially there for you.

    Noiseless space

    There is quite a lot of meditation music on the market, but I have concluded that nothing beats the powerful sound of silence. I believe there is something awe-inspiring in silence and that our minds and ears have grown overly accustomed to noise, so it feels really great to treat them with silence once in a while.

    Something to sit on

    It is true that meditation does not require sitting, but it is by far the easiest way to achieve calmness. I would recommend beginners to use a chair because it will help them keep their backs straight, but once you have passed that, a meditating cushion is a perfect choice.

    Timer

    The timer is basically the only physical thing you need to meditate, but even a timer is not essential. Individual meditations are timed to prevent you from rushing it, so a timer is mostly recommended for beginners. If you want to, you can buy a purpose timer for meditation, but I simply use the one on my smartphone.

    Before you start meditating

    Advertising

    meditation-exercise

      Over the years, I have developed an appropriate ritual before the actual meditating that helps to get into that state of mind. It isn’t always easy, especially if your mind is troubled, but I feel that this ritual has become equally as important for me.

      Exercises

      Lightweight exercises, regular stretching, or, most preferably, yoga exercises are the best in keeping your muscles relaxed and your blood circulating. I believe I have never missed a warm-up and stretch before meditating as it gives me that finely tuned edge.

      Get rid of distractions

      Meditation is all about uniting with your inner self, so you might imagine that having a phone buzzing amidst it all is a bit of a nuisance. I devote a quiet little place in the corner of the room with every non-essential appliance in my house turned off while I am meditating.

      Don’t overthink it

      Clearing your mind sounds like an overly used phrase, but it is kind of a prerequisite. When I started meditating, I had the problem of not being able to focus because I was constantly thinking about every little thing.

      Feel free to focus on simply relaxing for the first few meditation sessions as the journey part will come naturally after a few times. Clearing your mind can seem hard at the beginning, but that’s the trick — when you master it, you’ll start gaining the benefits of meditation.

      Advertising

      Meditation

      meditation

        As you have probably thus far concluded, there are only a few rules set in stone when it comes to meditation. The point is to have some alone time with the person that is buried beneath all those layers of work-related problems and daily tasks — the real you. Keeping that in mind, there are a few tips that are going to help you achieve that level of thought.

        Breathing

        Taking deep breaths beforehand is recommended as it will help you relax and set the right mood for meditation. However, during the meditation you shouldn’t give too much attention to breathing; just try to do it normally. You can use the deep breathing technique in those moments when you feel like you’ve lost the momentum simply to bring back the right rhythm.

        Sitting position

        It is a common misconception that you have to sit in a particular way in order to meditate. The truth is that any position will work as long as it feels comfortable. The famous Lotus position is frequently connected with meditation, but it is not exclusive. Keep your back straight, your arms relaxed, and your eyes closed — meditation comes from your mind, not your body.

        Length

        When I started meditating daily, I had the time and patience to meditate for five minutes at best. It is not necessarily a bad thing since any time spent meditating is better than none. Not only is it difficult to envision one sitting for hours like a monk, but it is also not necessary. I truly noticed results (increased overall energy and productivity) when I started meditating for around 25 minutes each day.

        Advertising

        Focus on the goal

        meditation-focus

          The purpose of any meditation is to clear your mind and assert your presence by distancing yourself from the material world that surrounds you. Spoken in plain English, the goal is to create a habit of taming your own thoughts and emotions.

          Sometimes you’ll get bored, at times you’ll even be frustrated, and that is alright, just don’t get discouraged. As it is with any exercise, mastering meditation takes time and commitment, just have in mind that you are doing it for yourself.

          Meditation can and will enrich your life and is one of the best weapons in our mind’s arsenal for fighting everyday modern stress.

          More by this author

          Dejan Kvrgic

          Blogger, Writer

          Haircare 101: Hairstyling Tricks for Both Men and Women 30 Excellent Slow Cooker Recipes For Lazy People 5 Things You Must Know to Find the Best Headphones Bedroom Makeover 101: Enhancing The Most Important Place In Your Home 8 Fun Ways to Make Your Wedding Truly Memorable

          Trending in Brain

          1 10 Best Brain Power Supplements That Will Supercharge Your Mind 2 Science Says Silence Is Much More Important To Our Brains Than We Think 3 How to Improve Your Memory: 7 Natural (And Highly Effective) Ways 4 What Causes Brain Fog? (7 Things You Can Do to Prevent and Stop It) 5 How to Improve Your Brain Memory Naturally: Foods to Eat And Skip

          Read Next

          Advertising
          Advertising
          Advertising

          Last Updated on July 11, 2019

          10 Best Brain Power Supplements That Will Supercharge Your Mind

          10 Best Brain Power Supplements That Will Supercharge Your Mind

          If you have watched movies like Limitless[1] (both the movie and television series) and Lucy,[2] then you have likely come across smart drugs or nootropics. In the movie Limitless, you are introduced to NZT-48 (known as MDT-48 in the book The Dark Fields), which grants heightened intellectual abilities allowing one to pattern-match at lighting speed.

          In the movie Lucy, you are introduced to the drug CPH4, which is actually based on a molecule that a pregnant woman produces after six weeks of pregnancy. The director of Lucy, Luc Besson, remarked,[3]

          “But it’s totally real, and it’s true that the power of this product for a baby is the power of an atomic bomb. It’s real. It’s totally real. So its not a drug in fact, it’s a natural molecule that pregnant women produce.”

          NZT-48 is fictional and CPH4 is a fictional drug based on a real substance. So, are there any real life smart drugs or brain boosters similar to either fictional drug? The answer is no. But powerful cognitive enhancing drugs do exist. And they are Nootropics.

          Nootropics

          Nootropics was coined by Romanian psychologist Corneliu E. Giurgea in 1972. The etymology of the word is nous or mind and trepein or to bend.[4] According to Smart Drug Smarts, nootropics is an umbrella term for a class of chemicals, some naturally-occurring and some man-made, that give cognitive benefits to the human brain. To be a nootropic, Giurgea found that the substance must meet five specific criteria:[5]

          1. Enhance memory and ability to learn.
          2. Help the brain function under disruptive conditions.
          3. Protect the brain from chemical and physical assaults.
          4. Increase the efficacy of neuronal firing control mechanisms.
          5. Possess few or no side effects and be virtually non-toxic.

          Let’s now examine the 10 best brain power supplements that will supercharge your mind and 4 bonus tips (in no particular order – meaning #1 is not better than #2 nor #10). Very few of the brain boosters listed can be purchased in a local brick and mortar store.

          For most, you will have to place an order online. However, be extremely cautious and diligently research each prior to ordering.

          For a more detailed breakdown of each brain booster in the form of a wiki, I recommend visiting the website BrainTropic[6]. I will provide a summary for each smart drug below. Summaries will be from BrainTropic unless otherwise stated. In addition, visit my website (you can find the link in my bio) as I regularly write and provide advice on nootropics.

          *Some of the supplements listed require a prescription and could be harmful. Consult with your doctor before consumption.

          1. Qualia Mind

          Qualia Mind is an extremely powerful smart drug created by Neurohacker packed with a variety of nootropics. It is a multi-nootropic leading to potential neurochemical and physiological enhancements.

          Qualia Mind is specifically designed to lift brain fog, amplify willpower, upgrade energy, heighten creativity, and promote mental clarity. No prescription is required.

          Advertising

          Side effects: headaches, sleep disturbance, muscle tightness, and upset stomach.

          Summary
          • Type: Multi-Nootropic (crucial ingredients include: Acetyl-L-Carnitine, DL-Phenylalanine, N-Acetyl L-Tyrosine, Taurine, L-Theanine, Alpha GPC, Citicoline, Anhydrous Caffeine, Huperzine A, and more)
          • Good for: Energy, Focus, Learning, Memory, Motivation, and Physical Performance
          • Typical Dose: 7 capsules per day (maximum of 12)
          • Half-life: 4-6 hours

          You can learn more about Qualia Mind in Neurohacker.

          2. Modafinil

          Modafinil is a stimulant to treat narcolepsy and has been shown to enhance our cognitive functions. Sold under the names Vigil, Nuvigil or Provigil, has became one of the most popular cognitive enhancing drugs on the market.

          Bio-hacker and founder of Bulletproof Coffee, Dave Asprey, is just one of many advocating the drug. Some think Modafinil inspired the movie Limitless. For more on this discussion, read I Spent a Week on Nuvigil, the Drug From ‘Limitless’ and Modafinil: My Experience with the Real Life Limitless Pill by Joen Rude Falsner. Falsner remarked about Modafinil, it’s “Sort of like a real life pop-up blocker…”

          In the US, Modafinil is classified as Schedule IV Controlled Substance and a prescription is required for it. Potential side effects: headache, dizziness, nausea, diarrhea, nervousness, and trouble sleeping.

          Bonus Tip: Top Modafinil researchers have found that Modafinil combined with coffee can create a powerful combination.[7]

          Summary
          • Type: Stimulant
          • Good for: Energy, Focus, Learning, Memory, Motivation, and Physical Performance
          • Typical Dose: 50-200mg
          • Half-life: 15 hours

          3. Adrafinil

          Adrafinil is a stimulant that can increase energy and prevent fatigue. It is metabolized and converted into Modafinil. In fact, the effects are similar to Modafinil; however, it is not as strong. No prescription is required for Adrafinil in the US, Canada, or the UK.

          Potential side effects: headache, dizziness, nausea, diarrhea, nervousness, and trouble sleeping.

          Summary
          • Type: Stimulant
          • Good for: Energy, Focus, Learning, Memory, Motivation, and Physical Performance
          • Typical Dose: 150-600mg
          • Half-life: 1 hour

          4. Noopept

          According to braintropic.com, Noopept is a powerful synthetic nootropic with cognitive enhancement and neuroprotective properties. It was developed in Russia in the mid-1990s and is used as a prescription treatment for cognitive impairments. Researchers found that, in animal studies, Noopept has been shown to stimulate the expression of two chemicals: Nerve Growth Factor (NGF) and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF).[8]

          Potential side effects: headaches, restlessness, dizziness, and irritability.

          Summary
          • Type: Peptide
          • Good for: Anxiety, Energy, Focus, Learning and Memory
          • Typical Dose: 10-20 mg
          • Half-life: 30-60 minutes

          5. Adderall

          Adderall is a stimulant used to treat those with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Adderall primarily increases the release to two specific neurotransmitters involved with ADHD: dopamine and norepinephrine.

          Advertising

          For an interesting read on what Adderall does to the brain – to include a good discussion of the benefits and side effects of the drug – read What adderall does to your brain by Daniela Hernandez. Similar to Modafinil, some think the movie Limitless was inspired by Adderall.

          For more on this discussion, read Limitless: The Brain-Doping Movie We All Know Was Inspired by Adderall and The Drug From Limitless Is Available for Purchase on Your College Campus.

          Adderall is considered a Schedule II Controlled Substance and a prescription is required for it. This means anyone caught in possession of it without a prescription could face criminal charges. Potential side effects: irregular heartbeat, paranoia, headaches, restlessness, dizziness, lack of appetite, high risk of dependency, and irritability.

          Summary[9]
          • Type: Stimulant
          • Good for: Energy, Focus, Learning, Memory, Motivation, and Physical Performance
          • Typical Dose: 5-40 mg (Adderall XR is 5-60 mg)
          • Half-life: 4-6 hours (Adderall XR is 6-8 hours)

          6. Oxiracetam

          Oxiracetam was developed in the 1970s and is a synthetic derivative of the original nootropic – Piracetam. However, according to braintropic.com, Oxiracetam is more potent than Piracetam. Oxiracetam has been studied for treatment with those suffering from Alzheimer’s or memory.[10] No prescription is required for Oxiracetam.

          Potential side effects: no serious side effects – the most commonly reported side effect is headache.

          Summary
          • Type: Ampakine and Racetam
          • Good for: Energy, Focus, Learning and Memory
          • Typical Dose: 400-2400 mg
          • Half-life: 8 hours

          7. Bulletproof Coffee

          Dave Asprey (also an advocate for Modafinil) is the creator of Bulletproof Coffee. Asprey contends that Bulletproof Coffee is clean and tested for toxins.

          However, when you first read about Bulletproof Coffee, you hear about the combination of Butter – Oil – Coffee. That can’t be a good combination, right?

          Wrong. It is.

          Bulletproof Coffee has been found to help with weight loss, boost cognitive functioning, maintain mental clarity, and decrease brain fog. For more on Bulletproof Coffee, read What It’s Like To Drink Bulletproof Coffee Every Morning For Two Weeks by Chris Gayomali. Potential side effects: restlessness, anxiety, insomnia, and rapid heart rate.

          Summary[11]
          • Type: Stimulant
          • Good for: Mental Clarity, Decrease Brain Fog, and Weight Loss
          • Typical Dose: Varies by type of coffee (e.g. Coffee Pods or Brew)
          • Half-life: Varies

          8. Cellucor C4 Ultimate

          Cellucor C4 Ultimate is a powerful pre workout supplement. It provides an instant cognitive boost so that you can not only get the most out of your exercise training sessions, but also maximize your ability to learn (even during exercise).

          C4 Ultimate should be consumed 20-30 minutes prior to training. No prescription is required for C4 Ultimate.

          Advertising

          Potential side effects: insomnia, diarrhea, dehydration, headaches, high blood pressure, and tingly or prickly sensations. To counter these side effects, read Pre-Workout Supplements: 6 Side Effects and How To Avoid Them by Matt Weik.

          Summary[12]
          • Type: Pre Workout (crucial ingredients include: Vitamin C, Vitamins B6 and B12, Niacin, Citrulline Malate, Caffeine Anhydrous, Taurine, Beta-Alanine, Creatine Nitrate, and N-Acetyl L-Tyrosine)
          • Good for: Energy, Pumps, Endurance, and Physical Performance
          • Typical Dose: 1 scoop with water
          • Half-life: Varies

          You can get Cellucor C4 Ultimate at Cellucor.

          9. Piracetam

          Piracetam is the first synthetic smart drug developed and is the compound that inspired the term nootropic. It was invented by the same individual who coined the term nootropic – Dr. Giurgea.

          According to Brain Tropic, Piracetam works by improving blood flow in the brain, boosts the production of crucial brain chemicals, and increases synaptic plasticity.[13] It requires a prescription in the UK and Australia and cannot be legally marketed in the US as a dietary supplement.

          Potential side effects: no serious side effects – the most commonly reported side effect is headache.

          Summary
          • Type: Ampakine and Racetam
          • Good for: Learning and Memory
          • Typical Dose: 1600-4800 mg
          • Half-life: 4-5 hours

          10. Qualia Focus

          Qualia Focus is another product offered by Neurohacker. It too is a multi-nootropic with powerful cognitive enhancements. While it is not as strong as Qualia Mind, it still upgrades your energy, heightens creativity, and promotes mental clarity at a lower cost than Qualia Mind. No prescription is required.

          Side effects: headaches, sleep disturbance, muscle tightness, and upset stomach.

          Summary
          • Type: Multi-Nootropic (crucial ingredients include: Acetyl-L-Carnitine, DL-Phenylalanine, N-Acetyl L-Tyrosine, Taurine, L-Theanine, Alpha GPC, Citicoline, Coffeeberry Energy, Ginko Biloba Leaf Extract, Huperzine A, and more)
          • Good for: Focus and Concentration, Memory, and Energy
          • Typical Dose: 5 capsules per day (maximum of 9)
          • Half-life: 4-6 hours

          You can learn more about Qualia Focus in Neurohacker.

          While the brain boosters listed above are not the smart drugs in Limitless or Lucy, they still provide you phenomenal results. To find out which of the 10 are the best for you, I suggest you do the following:

          1. Research each one diligently
          2. Test them out for yourself
          3. Try the following Bonus Tips along with your brain booster. In doing so, you will discover a pop-up blocker for your brain!

          Bonus Tips

          1. Take antacids to increase potency

          To increase the potency of a brain booster, ingest alkaline substances like antacids such as Tums or Alka-Seltzer. Read A Brief Guide to Non-medical Psychostimulant Use for more information.

          You should consult with your doctor as there could be serious side effects.

          Advertising

          2. Take on an empty stomach

          You should take your brain booster on an empty stomach as this will further potentiate both the duration and effect of the drug. The exceptions are Qualia Mind and Focus. I recommend taking both with food as this will cause an upset stomach.

          However, you should consult with your doctor prior to taking any of the brain boosters listed and to identify the proper way to take each.

          3. Adderall alarm clock

          There is an interesting definition in the crowd-sourced online dictionary Urban Dictionary:[14]

          The Adderall Alarm Clock is defined as setting an alarm for an hour before you have to get up; upon waking, roll over and take your prescription stimulant of choice and go back to sleep. In about an hour, you wake up naturally with a smile on your face and a spring in your step.

          This actually works. Choose one of your brain boosters and try this out.

          However, you should consult with your doctor prior to attempting this as there could be serious side effects.

          4. Exercise sparks neurogenesis

          Exercise alone will provide similar benefits and could be substituted for any of the brain boosters listed. Exercise plus brain boosters provide even more cognitive enhancing benefits.

          One of the most powerful benefits exercise provides is that it sparks the production of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) which brings about neurogenesis. Neurogenesis is the process by which new neurons are formed in the brain.[15]

          Dr. John Ratey discusses both neurogenesis and BDNF at length in his book Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain. Ratey dubbed BDNF the master molecule and refers to it as “Miracle-Gro for the brain”. Linda Gabriel writes about BDNF in BDNF – Miracle-Gro for the Brain, “BDNF binds to receptors in the synapses between neurons, increasing voltage (yes your brain is electric!), and improving signal strength.”

          Featured photo credit: Josh Riemer via unsplash.com

          Reference

          Read Next