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9 Ways To Meditate Anywhere And Anytime You Want

9 Ways To Meditate Anywhere And Anytime You Want

Meditation means more than sitting in a room and repeating “Om.” It’s easy to find yourself mindfully aware of the present, which is, in a sense, what meditation is. With these 9 tips you can meditate anywhere and anytime you want.

1. Meditate on your commute

Sometimes the most banal parts of your day are best for meditation. This is when your mind normally drifts into daydreams, so refocus and use your attention for good. Put yourself in perspective as one of hundreds who are on the train or the highway or the streets, as just another person living and working. Understanding your cosmic insignificance is a great way to begin or end your day.

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2. Meditate while you exercise

Your body is a beautiful machine. Maintaining its function is crucial to living a long, healthy life. While doing cardiovascular exercise, think of your legs moving and your heart pumping. While lifting weights, focus on each contraction and the blood that flows into your muscles as a result. You’re alive.

3. Meditate at work

Hopefully you spend your days doing something that you love. Even if you don’t, your work can be a crucial part of a company that helps people, even in the simplest ways. This is a great segue into focusing on doing the best job you can.

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4. Meditate on the sky

You don’t have to be looking at the sky to meditate on it. Too often in our age of information we find distractions. But focusing on the mental image of a blue sky with cottony puff-clouds can help clear and relax the mind. Train yourself to imagine the stress-free moments of staring at the sky from your youth. That way, when you recall blue sky, you can recall those blissful times.

5. Meditate on a fixed point

To observers it will look like you’re daydreaming, but if you focus on a point on the wall, the table or the floor, and feel mindful of your body, that counts as meditation. When you feel your mind wandering, bring it back to the object in focus. It’s just you and that thing.

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6. Meditate on your mind

This is a more advanced technique. Close your eyes and think about things, but don’t get involved in the thoughts of them. Pretend your mind is a movie and you are watching it play. Whenever you do find yourself becoming involved, hit pause, remove yourself again and prepare to distance yourself again before you hit play.

7. Meditate on your breath

Sit erect and breathe in through your mouth and out through your nose. Keep your eyes open or you may risk losing concentration; just soften your gaze and focus on one point. After three breaths you will be more aware of your body and your life. Start over from one. This way, ‘one’ is your mantra, and a key word to prevent your mind wandering.

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8. Meditate on silence

In a quiet place it’s easy to think about your body and awareness. But even in a louder area you can find silence. Isolate each element of noise and separate it from the other noises around you. This will allow you to see the parts within the whole.

9. Meditate on time

Time is like a river, except it can’t be dammed. While meditating, think about how long this meditation will last, and consider that the interval of thirty seconds or thirty minutes you spent focused is a mere part of your life that may be repeated a hundred thousand times before you die, and will be repeated ad infinitum until the end of the universe. This period of meditation is a tiny fraction of time in your life and in the history of time. Heady, huh?

Featured photo credit: Byodo-in Temple, Center of Meditation via Bigstock Photos

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12 Best Brain Foods that Improve Memory

12 Best Brain Foods that Improve Memory

Nutrition plays a vital role in brain function and staying sharp into the golden years. Personally, my husband is going through medical school, which is like a daily mental marathon. Like any good wife, I am always looking for things that will boost his memory fortitude so he does his best in school.

But you don’t have to be a med student to appreciate better brainiac brilliance. If you combine certain foods with good hydration, proper sleep and exercise, you may just rival Einstein and have a great memory in no time.

I’m going to reveal the list of foods coming out of the kitchen that can improve your memory and make you smarter.

Here are 12 best brain foods that improve memory:

1. Nuts

The American Journal of Epidemiology published a study linking higher intakes of vitamin E with the prevention on cognitive decline.[1]

Nuts like walnuts and almonds (along with other great foods like avocados) are a great source of vitamin E.

Cashews and sunflower seeds also contain an amino acid that reduces stress by boosting serotonin levels.

Walnuts even resemble the brain, just in case you forget the correlation, and are a great source of omega 3 fatty acids, which also improve your mental magnitude.

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2. Blueberries

Shown in studies at Tuffs University to benefit both short-term memory and coordination, blueberries pack quite a punch in a tiny blue package.[2]

When compared to other fruits and veggies, blueberries were found to have the highest amount of antioxidants (especially flavonoids), but strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries are also full of brain benefits.

3. Tomatoes

Tomatoes are packed full of the antioxidant lycopene, which has shown to help protect against free-radical damage most notably seen in dementia patients.

4. Broccoli

While all green veggies are important and rich in antioxidants and vitamin C, broccoli is a superfood even among these healthy choices.

Since your brain uses so much fuel (it’s only 3% of your body weight but uses up to 17% of your energy), it is more vulnerable to free-radical damage and antioxidants help eliminate this threat.

Broccoli is packed full of antioxidants, is well-known as a powerful cancer fighter and is also full of vitamin K, which is known to enhance cognitive function.

5. Foods Rich in Essential Fatty Acids

Your brain is the fattest organ (not counting the skin) in the human body, and is composed of 60% fat. That means that your brain needs essential fatty acids like DHA and EPA to repair and build up synapses associated with memory.

The body does not naturally produce essential fatty acids so we must get them in our diet.

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Eggs, flax, and oily fish like salmon, sardines, mackerel and herring are great natural sources of these powerful fatty acids. Eggs also contain choline, which is a necessary building block for the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, to help you recall information and concentrate.

6. Soy

Soy, along with many other whole foods mentioned here, are full of proteins that trigger neurotransmitters associated with memory.

Soy protein isolate is a concentrated form of the protein that can be found in powder, liquid, or supplement form.

Soy is valuable for improving memory and mental flexibility, so pour soy milk over your cereal and enjoy the benefits.

7. Dark chocolate

When it comes to chocolate, the darker the better. Try to aim for at least 70% cocoa. This yummy desert is rich in flavanol antioxidants which increase blood flow to the brain and shield brain cells from aging.

Take a look at this article if you want to know more benefits of dark chocolate:

15 Surprising and Science-Backed Health Effects of Dark Chocolate

8. Foods Rich in Vitamins: B vitamins, Folic Acid, Iron

Some great foods to obtain brain-boosting B vitamins, folic acid and iron are kale, chard, spinach and other dark leafy greens.

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B6, B12 and folic acid can reduce levels of homocysteine in the blood. Homocysteine increases are found in patients with cognitive impairment like Alzheimer’s, and high risk of stroke.

Studies showed when a group of elderly patients with mild cognitive impairment were given high doses of B6, B12, and folic acid, there was significant reduction in brain shrinkage compared to a similar placebo group.[3]

Other sources of B vitamins are liver, eggs, soybeans, lentils and green beans. Iron also helps accelerate brain function by carrying oxygen. If your brain doesn’t get enough oxygen, it can slow down and people can experience difficulty concentrating, diminished intellect, and a shorter attention span.

To get more iron in your diet, eat lean meats, beans, and iron-fortified cereals. Vitamin C helps in iron absorption, so don’t forget the fruits!

9. Foods Rich in Zinc

Zinc has constantly demonstrated its importance as a powerful nutrient in memory building and thinking. This mineral regulates communications between neurons and the hippocampus.

Zinc is deposited within nerve cells, with the highest concentrations found in the hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for higher learning function and memory.

Some great sources of zinc are pumpkin seeds, liver, nuts, and peas.

10. Gingko biloba

This herb has been utilized for centuries in eastern culture and is best known for its memory boosting brawn.

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It can increase blood flow in the brain by dilating vessels, increasing oxygen supply and removing free radicals.

However, don’t expect results overnight: this may take a few weeks to build up in your system before you see improvements.

11. Green and black tea

Studies have shown that both green and black tea prevent the breakdown of acetylcholine—a key chemical involved in memory and lacking in Alzheimer’s patients.

Both teas appear to have the same affect on Alzheimer’s disease as many drugs utilized to combat the illness, but green tea wins out as its affects last a full week versus black tea which only lasts the day.

Find out more about green tea here:

11 Health Benefits of Green Tea (+ How to Drink It for Maximum Benefits)

12. Sage and Rosemary

Both of these powerful herbs have been shown to increase memory and mental clarity, and alleviate mental fatigue in studies.

Try to enjoy these savory herbs in your favorite dishes.

When it comes to mental magnitude, eating smart can really make you smarter. Try to implement more of these readily available nutrients and see just how brainy you can be!

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

Reference

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