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Why Meditation Is More Essential Than Ever

Why Meditation Is More Essential Than Ever

We are living in crazy times. In the midst of all this madness, there has never been a better moment than now for you to learn how meditation could help you put a bit of balance back into the world.

Meditation is a bit of a funny topic. Everybody knows what it is, in theory, but in reality they may not really understand it all that well at all. The great thing is, that despite what some people might want to tell you, it really is the easiest thing in the world to bring into your life.

Here is a quick look at five reasons why you should start thinking about working meditation into your routine, today.

1. It’s Free

When I was in New York recently, I was very surprised just how heavily meditation was being “sold” on the subway. I don’t have any further information about the advertisements I saw all along the L train stops, but it did strike me as probably being some form of manipulation of what meditation really is. It also further reinforced my belief that a lot of people will take up this kind of commodified form of meditation because they are just not really sure about what meditation is.

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In my personal opinion one of the main beauties of meditation is that it is so simple and involves nothing more than a quiet space and a little bit of your time. If you have never done it before, there are lots of free guides at the click of a switch on a Google search, or right here on You Tube.

The meditation time itself, for me, should always be free and one that is 100% personal. If you are interested in learning about some of the methods of how best to get into meditation techniques, I’d suggest buying a book on the subject rather than paying for a led course.

2. Meditation Is Not Religion

One big myth that needs debunking is the one that meditation is some form of religion. Meditation is all about you, not any way of praying to Buddha or any other form of God. If you are religious then, meditation should in no way run into conflict with any existing practices.

Whereas religion most often looks towards an external deity, meditation is all about taking some time out and learning to feel better within. If your religion already does that for you anyway, that’s brilliant. It also doesn’t mean that meditation might not be helpful for you in other ways, too.

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Meditation is of course very often tied in with spirituality, but it need not be. I believe this is one of the things that scares some people away from it. Meditation can be spiritual, if that is what you are looking for. Meditation can also not involve any use of that word at all. Meditation should at the start be about nothing more than finding some peace and equilibrium in your life.

3. Meditation Can Improve Your Health

A lot of people don’t realise just how damaging stress is to our health. Whether this comes from work or personal situations, it is something that everybody reading this will have to some degree in their lives.

Meditation is the ideal way to take ownership of the stress that is so harmful to our day to day existence. By simply sitting in silence for a little while each day, you will be taking a proactive step to combating stress. Not only will you be taking a huge step to combating stress by meditating, but you will also be creating a brand new dynamic in your life. You are taking back control.

Meditation in and of itself is a brilliant way for you to start improving your health, but in my opinion it is also a gateway to a more mindful way of living. By introducing meditation into my life, I then started to think more about the food I ate, how to eradicate some of my bad habits, and even about the things I read each day. I also started to implement a daily exercise programme into my routine that complements my meditation.

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4. Meditation Can Help You At Work

As mentioned above, stress is a big killer, and the majority of it in your life probably comes from work. In some ways this is almost certainly true. When looked at another way, it could also be said that the real stress you feel there is being magnified by the over importance that you attach to it.

Meditation allows you to take a step back from the stress in your work life and put things into perspective. In terms of your job, this can mean that meditation allows you to approach previously stressful situations or people in a brand new, much more positive way. Meditation will not turn you into a Zen master overnight, but it can help you listen to others more, feel more empathy, and feel in control.

Think for a second about how positive an impact introducing some of the above qualities into your workplace could be. Give it a try and you’ll start to see how meditation could potentially revolutionise your 9-to-5.

5. Meditation Makes You Happy

Ok, this may be a little bit of an exaggeration. Meditation cannot guarantee to make you happy and fall back into unconditional love with this mad world. It will, however, almost certainly make you, by some degrees, a happier person. I know this is true as I benefit from it myself everyday, but you don’t just have to take my word for it.

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Meditation has been proven to improve the behaviour of children in previously troubled schools, and it has also been used successfully in prisons too. Meditation does this by allowing you to reconnect with yourself. It puts you back in touch with your emotions and it can literally bring a smile to your face for no reason at all.

In our very unstable world, which seems a particularly angry and conflicted painful place at the moment, there is no better way to start making things better outside by starting to feel more positive and happy within your own skin.

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Last Updated on November 20, 2020

Kickstart Your Morning Workout With These 10 Simple Habits

Kickstart Your Morning Workout With These 10 Simple Habits

Benjamin Franklin said it like this: “Early to bed, early to rise, will make a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.” He knew from his own experiences and watching others that the ones who got up early were healthier and more successful. That’s why a morning workout can be so important.

One 2017 study found that:[1]

“after controlling for such factors as age, sex, smoking habits, and others…night owls, were found to have a 10 percent greater risk of dying from any cause compared to morning types.”

This is a great reason to tap into some morning motivation and get your morning workout done.

Circadian Rhythm for morning workout

    As you can see in the above graph, your blood pressure begins to rise between 6 and 7 in the morning[2]. That means this is a great time to get your body moving and your heart pumping, even if it’s just for 20 minutes of exercise in the morning. 

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    Here are some tips on how to find the motivation for a morning workout.

    1. Remember Your Why

    It starts with remembering why you want to get up for a morning workout. If you don’t set a goal and establish your reasons for accomplishing a health and fitness goal, then you definitely won’t get up early.

    Getting up early isn’t easy. If it were, everyone would do it, right? Your goal for your health and fitness must be so strong, and the WHY behind it must be so powerful, that nothing will stop you from accomplishing that goal.

    2. Go to Bed Early

    If you want to get up early for a morning workout, it’s going to be important to get to bed earlier. Falling asleep at midnight and trying to get up at six just won’t work in your favor.

    This will likely be very difficult for a few days while you adjust your sleeping habits. However, as you get into an exercise routine in the morning, this will naturally make it easier to fall asleep earlier and faster at night.

    3. Make a Commitment

    I sometimes tell my Facebook community of my plans to work out, and we all keep each other motivated by posting our runs, our workouts, etc. This is a way to develop accountability. By publicly announcing your intentions, you increase your chances of actually carrying out your plans.

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    Another way to do this is to find an accountability partner who has similar goals for morning workouts. You can check in with each other to make sure you’re sticking to your plans. If that doesn’t work, hire a personal trainer for a few weeks to get you started.  

    You can learn how to find a good accountability partner here.

    4. Find a Friend

    If you can find a friend that is motivated like you are, and you can hold each other accountable daily to working out, then you will accomplish your fitness goals. Many people prefer working out with friends to working out alone. Whether it’s a chat while hitting the treadmill at the gym, or having someone to spot you while weightlifting, working out with friends is sometimes just more enjoyable.

    Texting each other the night before with a simple statement is best. Don’t ask: “Are we still working out in the morning?” With this kind of question, if they were thinking about not working out, you just gave them an opt out.

    Make a statement instead: “Can’t wait to see you in the morning!” This implies that they will be there, and they will feel more obligated to show up.

    5. Treat Yourself

    We all have to treat ourselves every now and then. After a morning workout, plan to treat yourself with a colorful, healthy breakfast or a delicious morning smoothie. This will help you look forward to something and push through to the end of your workout.

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    You can learn more on rewards and punishments here.

    6. Change your Mindset

    Many people throw away the idea of a morning workout by simply saying, “I’m not a morning person.”  Instead of using this excuse, decide to try to become a morning person by shifting your mindset.

    When you look into the benefits of waking up early and getting some exercise in before your day starts, you’ll feel more positive about your life overall.

    7. Plan Your Day

    You know you’re going to be busy. Try time blocking to plan all the things you need to do on a given day, and make sure you add in your morning workout[3]. If you have a plan laid out, you’ll be more likely to follow it and get done everything on your list done.

    Time blocking

      8. Reflect on How You’ll Feel After

      Starting a morning workout is hard, but visualizing how you’ll feel after can help you find motivation. Think about the extra energy you’ll have and how proud you’ll feel knowing that you were already so productive. No matter what you do the rest of the day, at least you squeezed in your exercise!

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      For me, I live in an area where there are a lot of runners. When I am heading home in the evening or sitting out on the patio at one of my favorite restaurants, and I see the runners go by, it makes me feel so accomplished that I got mine in that morning and I can enjoy the evening.

      9. Lay out Your Workout Clothes

      Setting out your workout clothes the night before makes it impossible for you to start to run late because you couldn’t find something to wear. Tap into the determination you have before bed in order to convince your less-than-motivated morning self that you need to get up and get your morning workout in. When you wake up and see your outfit laid out next to you, it’ll push you to get up and get moving.

      10.  Set Multiple Alarms

      Many people miss their morning workout simply because they hit the snooze button so many times. In order to make this more difficult for yourself, set a series of alarms. That way, if you keep hitting snooze, you’ll have three or four alarms going off every ten minutes, which will be annoying enough to get you out of bed.

      Also, put one alarm at least a few feet from your bed so that you’re forced to get up to turn it off.

      Final Thoughts

      About three years ago I went from being the person that says I will never be an early riser to a person that loves to get the day started as soon as possible. Without the distractions that begin to come around 8 or 9 in the morning, you’ll find that you’re more productive and more likely to squeeze in that morning workout.

      Take some of the actions above and find the best morning workout routine to start your day and feel good.

      More Tips on Morning Exercises

      Featured photo credit: Tomasz Woźniak via unsplash.com

      Reference

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