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8 Reasons Why You Need To Start Meditating (And Stick To It)

8 Reasons Why You Need To Start Meditating (And Stick To It)

Meditation is becoming increasingly popular in the western world as we begin to wake up to the many benefits that is has to offer.

I have meditated daily for years and I will share with you some of the biggest benefits to meditation as well as a short meditative exercise that you can perform by yourself at almost any time.

1. Meditation lowers stress.

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There can be no doubt that meditation lowers stress. It reduces your heart rate and lowers production of cortisol which is the hormone responsible for the stressful feelings.

2. Meditation quiets your conscious thoughts.

If you have an over-active mind at night, or during the day, you know how frustrating it can be. One unimportant event can run through your head over and over, branching off into “what ifs” and “what ifs” of those “what ifs”. This can lead to mental fatigue.

When you meditate though you are focusing on just one thing. Your mind may slip at times but you can bring it back to that singular focus. With regular meditation you will begin to develop a quiet mind and inner peace.

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3. Meditation helps you sleep.

I used to have great difficulty sleeping until I began to meditate shortly before bedtime. Not only does meditation help you to fall asleep quicker but it also improves the quality of your sleep. If you sometimes wake up feeling more tired than when you went to bed that meditation is something you need to try.

For more tips on getting a better sleep, click here.

4.Meditation regulates your emotions.

Meditation, focusing on mindfulness in particular, is a great help at regulating emotions. If you’re someone who often feels over or under emotional then meditation will help keep you on an even keel. You will being to express your emotions in a much more healthy way.

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5. Meditation improves focus.

The entire point of meditation is to focus your mind on one thing. It stands to reason that this single-minded focus will carry over to your daily life. This can be a HUGE help in your work life or if you’re in education.

6. Meditation has anti-ageing effects.

Thanks to a combination of the previous benefits as well as “physically” affecting the brain, meditation can help you fight ageing and remain youthful beyond your years. So rather than inject yourself with toxins, why not spend 15 minutes a day meditation instead?

7. Meditation protects your mental health.

Evidence also shows the meditation can protect you against depression, addictions and other issues. While you should always seek professional advice in these matters, anything that makes the battle easier is undoubtedly a good thing.

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8. The effects of meditation last beyond the time spent meditating.

As great as all these benefits of meditation are, they wouldn’t be all that useful if they just lasted the time you spent meditating. Thankfully though the effects last outside the meditative state as long as you meditate regularly. Just 10 to 15 minutes of meditating daily can bring you all these benefits and way more (including lower blood pressure and an actual positive physical effect on the brain).

An Easy Meditation Exercise

Now you know what meditation can do for you I’m sure you’re eager to start meditating yourself. Well here’s a quick meditative exercise that anyone can do. Please read it all first before you begin so you don’t miss anything.

  • Make sure you’re in a room where you won’t be disturbed.
  • Get yourself in a comfortable position. This could be seated or laying down flat. Make sure your legs aren’t crossed so you don’t end up with pins and needles or cramp.
  • Close your eyes and begin to breath deeply through your nose.
  • Breath using your diaphragm so that your belly rises as you inhale, and lowers as you exhale.
  • Allow all tension to leave your body.
  • Focus on the air entering and leaving your body.
  • Notice how the air feels cold inside your nostrils as you inhale, and warm as you exhale.
  • Feel how it energizes you each and every time you inhale.
  • If you’re having trouble with losing focus, trying mentally repeating commands to “breath in” and “breath out”.
  • Continue focusing on your breathing in this manner for as long as you wish.

Meditation works best when it is performed regularly so try to find a regular time when you can perform the above exercise daily. Eventually you will want to move on to different, more complicated meditations.

Enjoy the journey.

Featured photo credit: Meditation by Cornelia Kopp via flickr.com

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Last Updated on September 20, 2018

How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

Being in a hurry all the time drains your energy. Your work and routine life make you feel overwhelmed. Getting caught up in things beyond your control stresses you out…

If you’d like to stay calm and cool in stressful situations, put the following 8 steps into practice:

1. Breathe

The next time you’re faced with a stressful situation that makes you want to hurry, stop what you’re doing for one minute and perform the following steps:

  • Take five deep breaths in and out (your belly should come forward with each inhale).
  • Imagine all that stress leaving your body with each exhale.
  • Smile. Fake it if you have to. It’s pretty hard to stay grumpy with a goofy grin on your face.

Feel free to repeat the above steps every few hours at work or home if you need to.

2. Loosen up

After your breathing session, perform a quick body scan to identify any areas that are tight or tense. Clenched jaw? Rounded shoulders? Anything else that isn’t at ease?

Gently touch or massage any of your body parts that are under tension to encourage total relaxation. It might help to imagine you’re in a place that calms you: a beach, hot tub, or nature trail, for example.

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3. Chew slowly

Slow down at the dinner table if you want to learn to be patient and lose weight. Shoveling your food down as fast as you can is a surefire way to eat more than you need to (and find yourself with a bellyache).

Be a mindful eater who pays attention to the taste, texture, and aroma of every dish. Chew slowly while you try to guess all of the ingredients that were used to prepare your dish.

Chewing slowly will also reduce those dreadful late-night cravings that sneak up on you after work.

4. Let go

Cliche as it sounds, it’s very effective.

The thing that seems like the end of the world right now?

It’s not. Promise.

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Stressing and worrying about the situation you’re in won’t do any good because you’re already in it, so just let it go.

Letting go isn’t easy, so here’s a guide to help you:

21 Things To Do When You Find It Hard To Let Go

5. Enjoy the journey

Focusing on the end result can quickly become exhausting. Chasing a bold, audacious goal that’s going to require a lot of time and patience? Split it into several mini-goals so you’ll have several causes for celebration.

Stop focusing on the negative thoughts. Giving yourself consistent positive feedback will help you grow patience, stay encouraged, and find more joy in the process of achieving your goals.

6. Look at the big picture

The next time you find your stress level skyrocketing, take a deep breath, and ask yourself:

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Will this matter to me…

  • Next week?
  • Next month?
  • Next year?
  • In 10 years?

Hint: No, it won’t.

I bet most of the stuff that stresses you wouldn’t matter the next week, maybe not even the next day.

Stop agonizing over things you can’t control because you’re only hurting yourself.

7. Stop demanding perfection of yourself

You’re not perfect and that’s okay. Show me a person who claims to be perfect and I’ll show you a dirty liar.

Demanding perfection of yourself (or anybody else) will only stress you out because it just isn’t possible.

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8. Practice patience every day

Below are a few easy ways you can practice patience every day, increasing your ability to remain calm and cool in times of stress:

  • The next time you go to the grocery store, get in the longest line.
  • Instead of going through the drive-thru at your bank, go inside.
  • Take a long walk through a secluded park or trail.

Final thoughts

Staying calm in stressful situations is possible, all you need is some daily practice.

Taking deep breaths and eat mindfully are some simple ways to train your brain to be more patient. But changing the way you think of a situation and staying positive are most important in keeping cool whenever you feel overwhelmed and stressful.

Featured photo credit: Brooke Cagle via unsplash.com

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