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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 March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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