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Published on April 27, 2018

The Benefits of Daily Meditation While on Vacation

The Benefits of Daily Meditation While on Vacation

Being on vacation is mainly about rest and relaxation, but what if you could get a lot more out of it?

What if during your vacation you could recharge yourself with more energy than ever before?

Are you ready for something that’s going to change your life forever?

Incorporating daily meditation into your vacation plans can really help you get the most out of your retreat. This guide will explain exactly how to do just that and outlines the many benefits you can reap from adding mindful meditation to your plans.

Why Practicing Meditation Makes Total Sense

Most people assume that meditation is about sitting cross-legged and thinking about whatever comes to mind, and that there’s no real practical purpose to it. Some would even call it a complete waste of time. Of course most of these people have never really meditated a day in their life.

The truth is that meditation can have a powerful impact on your wellbeing and overall energy.

Furthermore, it can help you deal with various unbalanced emotional states and bring them into harmony. However, in order to get maximum benefits it is important to commit to at least 30 minutes of meditation each day.

The more often you meditate, the better; but remember, start slow and gradually and work your way up to this goal. If you can meditate every day of your vacation for only a few minutes at a time, then do it.

To get started, let’s look at some of the known benefits of meditation:

1. You’ll Sleep So Much Better

One of the most important things about practicing meditation before going to bed is that you can be sure the your quality of sleep is going to be deep and highly energizing.

In some rare cases it can even prevent insomnia.

Since beginning daily meditation before bedtime, never before have I slept so well. The practice has radically improved my sleeping schedule. But don’t just take my word for it, try it out for yourself. You will be surprised by the results.

2. Your Energy Levels Will Soar

Your internal energy will gain a great boost from meditation.

In a deep state of meditation your body will recharge with energy in a powerful way. This radical shift will easily be noticed. This is one of the most useful benefits from this practice.

Once I started meditating regularly, my energy levels improved to the point where I started sleeping less and getting more things done throughout the day.

3. Your Balance Will Be On Point

Another important aspect that comes from meditation is balance.

Here I am describing both mental and emotional balance. When you practice regular meditation, your mind stabilizes and becomes organized and disciplined, while your emotional states become easier to control.

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You will no longer feel like thoughts and emotions are controlling you; it will be the other way around. You will become a sovereign of your life.

Before getting into meditation, my mind was all over the place; but, in time and with perseverance, I reached an internal balance that helped me overcome many stressful situations with relative ease.

4. You’ll Be Far Less Forgetful

When you meditate, you gradually become more aware of everything going on around you because the mind is no longer distracted.

It should come as no surprise that if you’re consciously more aware of things, your recall ability will improve greatly.

In the past I used to forget things easily; but after a few months of daily meditation I began to retain all sorts of details about what I’ve read, where I had placed things, what tasks I had left to do that day, etc.

5. You’ll Gain a Finer-Tuned Focus

Proper meditation also improves your focus because you learn to pay attention to your breath and not allow other thoughts to divide your attention.

If practiced enough, it will not only manifest while meditating but also while you’re in a regular state of consciousness. This means your focus will become laser sharp!

After practicing daily meditation for some time, I can easily focus on a task without becoming distracted.

This has helped me a great deal in every project that I’ve worked on. When your mind is totally present in the moment, it becomes an actual force. Things will get done properly and on time. There is little doubt about how useful this ability will become in time.

6. Pain Will No Longer Phase You

Whatever the cause of injury might be, meditation can help reduce your pain.

This is not to say that you will no longer feel that pain, it’s just that it will move into the background somewhere.

Through daily meditation you will learn pain control.

The more I meditated, the more I was able to control how much physical pain bothered me. The pain was still there, it just didn’t have the same effect on me as prior to my incorporating a daily meditation routine.

7. You’ll Become Enlightened

Ultimately meditation makes you realize that you’re something above a physical body. You’re not the body or emotions… or even your thoughts.

This will give you an unusual freedom.

You will no longer feel as limited as before and your entire perception of life will change. In some cases the fear of death will disappear altogether.

The exact internal states are difficult to describe, but when practicing daily meditation a feeling of superior happiness will manifest and will even make you question what happiness really is.

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Years back when I started meditating it just seemed like a boring activity at first. It took a while to fully grasp the depth of what meditation actually meant. At that stage it still seemed forced (and to be honest it was to a certain extent).

One of the most important things to keep in mind is to discipline yourself to keep going at the beginning. This is when it seems like nothing actually gets done, although eventually you’ll discover that there’s something to it, which will change you in many positive ways.

You might find many reasons to discontinue the practice, but you have to keep going if you want to see real results. Don’t give up!

This in itself is a lesson when it comes to meditation and even life itself. One must develop patience in order to succeed in reaching the deeper states. In fact anything worth going after in life will require patience and determination.

Nothing happens overnight!

Take Your Daily Practice on Vacation

So, you’re on vacation and you want to get the most out of your meditations. How do you do it? It’s actually pretty simple and can easily be scheduled into your plans.

If you’re on vacation with your kids, the good thing about meditation is that anybody can do it.

No matter what age, meditation is safe for everyone–so get the kids to join in! It can be beneficial to encourage your children to meditate from an early age, but there’s no reason to insist on it if they find no pleasure in it. Then again, you never know; kids will sometimes surprise you with their curiosity and interest in trying new things!

So no matter who has come along for vacation, whether you choose to meditate solo or as a family, it’s possible to reap the benefits even when you’re away from home.

Start Reaping the Rewards of Mindfulness Today

Now that you understand the vast benefits of meditation, and that anyone can practice meditation just about anywhere, you may be wondering: what are the essential components for a successful meditation session?

1. Embrace Silence

There’s no real meditation without first finding a quiet spot.

Unless you’re an experienced practitioner who has been meditating for decades, the noise will most likely distract and even bother you during the meditation.

You can use ear plugs to cancel most external noise if a quiet place cannot be found.

Depending on where you are vacationing, consider the idea of meditating in nature. For instance, if you are on a hike or are walking through a forest and find a nice quiet place for meditation, then go for it!

2. Get In a Proper Position

Once you’ve found the right place for meditation, choosing a position to meditate in that you’re comfortable with is essential to the quality of the experience.

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If you meditate in a difficult posture that causes pain, then you can imagine that the experience will have a negative impact on you.

Be careful about meditating in bed, as it is very easy to fall asleep.

Another thing worth mentioning is that often a meditation posture is not comfortable at first; in fact, it could take months to get used to the posture so that you feel totally relaxed while in it. While on vacation, cut yourself some slack and stick to a posture that’s already easy to relax in, such as sitting comfortably.

3. Dress for Success

It is best to wear something relaxing while meditating, otherwise it will distract your internal focus to the external aspects that make your body uncomfortable.

Needless to say, the temperature of the body has to be pleasant. You don’t want to have clothing on that makes you feel too warm or too cold. If you want to meditate outside make sure that you check the weather and that you’re prepared accordingly.

Your choice of clothing can really make a big difference when it comes to the quality of your meditations.

4. Be Mindful of What You Eat (and Drink)

It’s recommendable to drink water before a meditation to have the body hydrated.

Another very important aspect is to never meditate right after you eat.

Take a break of 2-3 hours after a meal, before beginning to meditate. I’ve ignored this aspect before and it didn’t end up well. Here would be a great place to mention that meditation has a powerful and beneficial effect on digestion.

5. Destroy All Distractions

Make sure to turn off the TV, the laptop, the tablet, the phone, etc. for the period that you will be meditating.

It’s important that you will not be disturbed from your meditation by a sudden noise. Distractions such as these could make the entire experience difficult and you won’t reap as many benefits.

It’s most unpleasant to be engaged in deep meditation and suddenly be forced out of it.

6. Plan Accordingly

It would be unwise to meditate immediately after playing games, watching a movie or listening to music for a prolonged period of time.

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In all those cases the mind will become increasingly more active with various thoughts. To meditate in such a state would be a constant struggle. I remember when I used to play video games years ago and then tried to meditate after that. Those were the most unsuccessful meditations of my life.

Ready, Set, Meditate!

Take the posture that you are most comfortable in and begin by slowly breathing in through the nose and out through the mouth.

Keep on doing that for a while until you feel quite relaxed.

Being relaxed in a meditation is a very important aspect if you want to succeed in attaining deeper states of consciousness.

After that, continue to pay attention to your breath, but breathe only through the nose now.

The true mental freedom and the real appreciation of meditation will come when you will realize that empty gap between breaths and especially between your thoughts.

That pure emptiness is the true internal peace. When you’re able to maintain that state, your body will be filled with energy and the meditation will become a blessing!

It’s essential not to become frustrated or upset because you’re unable to let go at first because intrusive thoughts keep flooding into your awareness.

Acknowledge the situation and continue forward with the meditation.

Little by little you will continue making progress as long as you keep going and maintain a calm attitude. There’s no reason to try to force things.

A meditative state should come naturally, almost all on its own. You’ll need to learn to adapt to your internal states and go with the flow, while at the same time retaining awareness.

That’s it! Keep it up and reap a ton of rewards.

Mindfulness Wherever You Go

Similarly to anything else, for lasting results you will need to meditate daily for sustained periods of time. However, on vacation is the best time to start this practice and get a taste of its power.

Once you get hooked while on vacation, you’ll be looking for other ways to integrate meditation in your everyday life.

It was only after I had been meditating for months on a daily basis that the real benefits started to become obvious to me.

However, this shouldn’t discourage you from meditating. You don’t need to meditate daily for that long in order to see a significant change in your life. And although at this point it might seem difficult to integrate meditation in your daily life when you’re not on vacation, eventually you will find a way.

I wish you the very best on your meditation journey. If you begin a daily practice while on your vacation, it will surely be one you’ll remember for the rest of your life!

Featured photo credit: Photo by Jens Kreuter via unsplash.com

More by this author

Bogdan C.

Web Developer and Martial Artist

The Benefits of Daily Meditation While on Vacation

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Last Updated on October 17, 2018

7 Natural (And Highly Effective) Ways to Improve Memory

7 Natural (And Highly Effective) Ways to Improve Memory

How is your memory? Is your cognitive function as strong as you’d like it to be?

If not, then you’re definitely going to be interested in the memory improvement tips I’ll be sharing with you in this article.

Despite what you might think – or have been told – improving your ability to recall information is certainly possible. You just need to know the right ways to do it. (Don’t worry, as you won’t need to make any significant lifestyle changes.)

So how to improve memory? Let’s dive straight into the first of seven easy ways to improve your memory significantly.

1. Meditate

We live in a world of non-stop, 24/7 information. It’s like a waterfall that’s endlessly pouring news, data, facts and figures into our conscious minds.

Unfortunately, our brains are not designed to absorb this tremendous amount of information. It’s no wonder then, that most people struggle to remember information and recall things.

Even if you believe you have a good memory and are comfortable with multi-tasking, you’ll also be aware that there’s only so much information your brain can process at one time. And research suggests that the more information and distractions, the harder it is for you to transfer information to your long-term memory.[1]

Fortunately, meditation can help you out.

Even if you just meditate for 10 minutes per day, you’ll boost your ability to focus, which in turn, will make it easier for you to remember important facts.

If you need help in shifting into a meditative state, I recommend trying an app like Headspace – which can assist you to achieve this in a convenient and structured way.

And don’t forget, meditation doesn’t just have to be closing your eyes and sitting in a lotus position. Some people prefer to simply take a short walk in nature. This clears and calms their mind, and still provides the all-important boost to their focus.

2. Get plenty of sleep

If you’re sleep deprived or have not been sleeping well, then I’m guessing you’re not remembering well either. This is because sleep and memory are intimately connected.

If you have a busy life and regularly find yourself not getting enough sleep, then this will negatively impact your cognitive abilities – including your memory.

How much sleep should you be getting?

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Well, according to the National Sleep Foundation, you need a minimum of seven to nine hours of sleep per night. If you get this amount of sleep regularly, then within just a few days, you’ll see a tangible improvement to your ability to remember and recall things.

Now, I’ll be honest with you, maintaining a proper sleep cycle is not always easy (especially when the latest Netflix series has just been released!). But if you care about improving your short-term and long-term ability to remember things, then it’s critical that you try to get at least the recommended amount of sleep every night.

Are there ways to hack the sleep cycle?

Yes, there are.

Try these three things:

  • Have a fixed bedtime (preferably before 10pm)
  • Don’t eat too late
  • Make sure your bedroom is as dark as possible

Sleeping is a precious activity. It regenerates your body, clears your mind, and helps with the storing and retrieval of information.

However, don’t sleep just yet, as I want to tell you about another great way to increase memory…

3. Challenge your brain

When was the last time you challenged your brain?

I don’t mean challenged in the sense of overeating or undersleeping. I’m referring to stretching your mental capabilities through things like crossword puzzles, Sudoku and memory games.

To expand your memory bank, and to make your recall razor-sharp, you need to continually challenge your brain.

Feedback from Lifehack readers such as yourself, has suggested that brain training apps are a super-effective way of doing this. Used regularly, these apps can enhance your focus, attention span, problem-thinking ability and memory.

There are hundreds of these apps available (most of them for free), but I recommend starting out with one of the big three:

  • Peak (Android/iOS, free, 10 million+ downloads)
  • Lumosity (Android/iOS, free, 10 million+ downloads)
  • Elevate (Android/iOS, free, 5 million+ downloads)

If you normally spend a chunk of your week playing computer games, then instead of shooting and killing your enemies, why not let some of them live – while you put your attention into boosting your brain power!

Challenging your brain will strengthen your neural pathways and enhance your mental abilities. But don’t just take my word for it, try one of the apps above and see the positive benefits for yourself.

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4. Take more breaks

When I think back to my days as a budding entrepreneur, I distinctively remember working all the hours under the sun – and many under the moon too!

At that time, I believed that breaks were for the weak, and to become wealthy and successful, I needed to shed blood, sweat and tears.

However, I was wrong.

Taking regular breaks is the best way to keep yourself productive, creative and alive to opportunities. It’s also the best way to learn new information.

Let me explain.

Typically, when studying lots of new information, most people will spend hours reading it – in an attempt to learn and remember the content as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, they’ve overlooked something.

Namely, extended study sessions are rarely a good thing, as your ability to retain information naturally declines after a certain period of time.

It’s similar to physical exercise. You wouldn’t attempt to train vigorously for four hours in a row. Instead, you’d take regular breaks to give your lungs, heart and muscles adequate time to recover. Failing to do this will result in muscle cramps and overexertion.

It’s the same with your brain. If you overload it with information, you’ll suffer from mental fatigue.

What’s the answer?

Make sure you take regular breaks when learning new information. I recommend at least a 10-minute break every hour. (You may also want to take a look at the Pomodoro Method.)

If you don’t want to be as regimented as that, then take breaks as soon as you find yourself losing the ability to focus on the new material. Your brain will thank you – and your learning aptitude will move up a level.

5. Learn a new skill

I love this quote, as it’s 100% true – but frequently overlooked:

“Learning never exhausts the mind.” – Leonardo da Vinci

From my experience of helping to develop the careers of dozens of Lifehack employees, I can definitively say that participating in meaningful and purposeful activities stimulates the mind. It also reduces stress and enhances health and well-being.

Let me give you an example of this:

Imagine you work for a global financial institution in one of their call centers. You take over 100 calls a day – many of them complaints. When you started the job a few months back, you were excited to be in full-time employment and working for a household name.

Unfortunately, your initial enthusiasm quickly turned into frustration.

The endless complaint calls began to take their toll on you. And the supervisors irritated you too, as they were far too interested in micro-managing you – rather than letting you work in your own way.

Now, in the story above, the ending could be that you put up with a job you didn’t like, and led a dull and frustrated working life for years and years. However, an alternative ending is this: you channeled your dissatisfaction in to learning a new skill (computer coding). It took you a year or two to get up to speed, but it allowed you to successfully upgrade your career – and the ongoing learning made the call centre job much more bearable.

Clearly, learning new skills gives you impetus, focus and something to aim for. Your brain loves to learn, and you should tap into this by always seeking our new information. And when learning becomes a habit, you’ll find your ability to remember and recall things effortlessly, becomes a habit too.

6. Start working out

If you’re not already working out regularly, then here’s another reason to do so:

Exercising for 20-30 minutes three times a week will improve your long-term memory.

Regular exercise increases blood flow in your body and supplies the brain with extra oxygen and nutrients. And a well-nourished brain is a well-functioning brain!

“But I just don’t have the time?,” I hear you say.

Not a problem.

A research has shown that a daily burst of 60 seconds of high-intensity exercise, offered many of the benefits of the longer exercise routines.[2] So, if you’re short on time – now you know what to do.

Interested in getting started?

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Here are five different ways that will help you work out:

  • Join a gym
  • Join a sports team
  • Buy a bike
  • Take up hiking
  • Dance to your favorite music

7. Eat healthier foods

I’m sure you’ve heard the expression: “You are what you eat.”

This applies to your brain too.

The food that you eat helps determine your brain’s capacity to store and recall information. A poor diet (think junk food + soda!) harms not just your physical health, but your mental health too.

Fortunately, there are several foods that are especially good for your brain and your memory. These include: blueberries, celery and dark chocolate. But anything high in antioxidants will have a positive effect on your brain and memory.

Conversely, highly-processed foods and those loaded with sugar will have a negative impact on your memory. This is due to them providing insufficient nutrients for your brain – leading you to easily suffer from mental fatigue.

Want to be mentally healthy? Then eat and drink an abundance of these for brain health:

  • Turmeric – helps new brain cells grown
  • Broccoli – protects the brain against damage
  • Nuts – improves memory
  • Green tea – enhances brain performance, memory and focus[3]
  • Fish oilfish oil supplements can increase your brain power

Here’re more brain food options that improve memory!

Final thoughts

I sincerely hope these seven memory boosting ways that I’ve covered in this article will be of help to you.

You don’t need to implement them all. I suggest just trying the ones that appeal to you.

But, if you’re serious about dramatically improving your memory, then make a start right now on adopting one or more of the ways I’ve suggested. I’m confident you won’t regret it.

Featured photo credit: Eric Ward via unsplash.com

Reference

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