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Is Meditation Really Beneficial for Your Mind and Body?

Is Meditation Really Beneficial for Your Mind and Body?

What is meditation? Considered by many to be the golden way to refresh your mind, body and soul, meditation is a door to figuring out your feelings and connecting to the source of all energy and presence. Meditation offers you deep rest within as little as five minutes, and it’s amazing to see how setting aside just a small part of your daily routine for meditation can render a clear and calm mind, rejuvenate the body and soul, and improve your communication skills and inner strength.

Meditation has been performed by sages, monks and yogis for centuries. However, today everyone is stressed and to overcome that and have peace of mind, you need to tap into the power of meditation.

How does meditation work?

When you experience stress, eventually it causes damage to every part of the body. Meditation works when you sit in a relaxed position without any tension in your mind. You have to focus either on a sound, for example, “Om” or “Ahhhh.” If you meditate for longer periods, you will receive more benefits, but make sure you are meditating in a peaceful setting. If performed regularly, meditation is believed to work on physical and psychological functioning. Meditation allows you to develop a brighter mind and a much healthier body.

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How does your brain work when you meditate?

Research has shown that meditation plays a great role in improved sleep, intelligence and concentration. Concentrating on a single thought while meditating helps reduce tension and you will find the activity as effective as resting. What’s more, performing meditation every day can help lessen your stress and benefit your brain. Below you can see images of how your brain functions when you meditate.

Brain on Meditation

    Parts of the brain affected by meditation include:

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    1. The frontal lobe

    An important component of our body responsible for retaining long-term memories, the frontal lobe is one of the four main lobes in the brain. It is used to determine differences between things or events, and is responsible for self-conscious awareness. The prefrontal cortex goes into a sort of offline mode when you meditate.

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    Frontal Lobe
      2. The parietal lobe

      Located behind the frontal lobe, the parietal lobe plays a great role in processing sensory information from different parts of the body. While meditating, the functioning of the parietal lobe slows down.

      Parietal Lobe
        3. The thalamus

        The thalamus is involved in controlling sleep and the regulation of motor functions. It rests on top of the brain stem, among the midbrain and cerebral cortex. Meditation decreases the flow of incoming data to the thalamus to a trickle.

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        Thalamus
          4. Reticular formation

          Scattered throughout the brain stem, reticular formation comprises 100 small neural networks with various functions.

          How meditation affects you

          Meditation is a holy practice that many people have been doing since almost the start of humanity. It can make your life smoother and more pleasurable in the following ways:

          • Stress can cause several diseases like heart disease, chronic fatigue, cancer, anxiety, high blood pressure and depression. To counteract this, meditation sessions will not only reduce your stress but make your life more delightful generally.
          • With a daily practice of meditation, you can attain peace of mind and even sharpen your mind through not being distracted by worries and tension. Moreover, it ensures that your inner feelings rather than external pressures determine your contentment.
          • Meditation calms you down whenever you feel low, distressed and emotionally shut down.
          • With the adoption of meditation into daily life, your perception evolves and your focus on insignificant disturbances soon disappears.
            Meditation Classes
              Enhance your life! Relish an invigorating few minutes of meditation every day. For tips and advice, you can also seek out good yoga courses nearby or try a yoga retreat amid calm surroundings and without the clutter of contemporary amenities.

            Featured photo credit: About Meditation via aboutmeditation.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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