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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 November 20, 2018

            10 Reasons Why New Year’s Resolutions Fail

            10 Reasons Why New Year’s Resolutions Fail

            A new year beautifully symbolizes a new chapter opening in the book that is your life. But while so many people like you aspire to achieve ambitious goals, only 12% of you will ever experience the taste of victory. Sound bad? It is. 156 million people (that’s 156,000,000) will probably give up on their resolution before you can say “confetti.” Keep on reading to learn why New Year’s resolutions fail (and how to succeed).

            Note: Since losing weight is the most common New Year’s resolution, I chose to focus on weight loss (but these principles can be applied to just about any goal you think of — make it work for you!).

            1. You’re treating a marathon like a sprint.

            Slow and steady habit change might not be sexy, but it’s a lot more effective than the “I want it ALL and I want it NOW!” mentality. Small changes stick better because they aren’t intimidating (if you do it right, you’ll barely even notice them!).

            If you have a lot of bad habits today, the last thing you need to do is remodel your entire life overnight. Want to lose weight? Stop it with the crash diets and excessive exercise plans. Instead of following a super restrictive plan that bans anything fun, add one positive habit per week. For example, you could start with something easy like drinking more water during your first week. The following week, you could move on to eating 3 fruits and veggies every day. And the next week, you could aim to eat a fistful of protein at every meal.

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            2. You put the cart before the horse.

            “Supplementing” a crappy diet is stupid, so don’t even think about it. Focus on the actions that produce the overwhelming amount of results. If it’s not important, don’t worry about it.

            3. You don’t believe in yourself.

            A failure to act can cripple you before you leave the starting line. If you’ve tried (and failed) to set a New Year’s resolution (or several) in the past, I know it might be hard to believe in yourself. Doubt is a nagging voice in your head that will resist personal growth with every ounce of its being. The only way to defeat doubt is to believe in yourself. Who cares if you’ve failed a time or two? This year, you can try again (but better this time).

            4. Too much thinking, not enough doing.

            The best self-help book in the world can’t save you if you fail to take action. Yes, seek inspiration and knowledge, but only as much as you can realistically apply to your life. If you can put just one thing you learn from every book or article you read into practice, you’ll be on the fast track to success.

            5. You’re in too much of a hurry.

            If it was quick-and-easy, everybody would do it, so it’s in your best interest to exercise your patience muscles.

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            6. You don’t enjoy the process.

            Is it any wonder people struggle with their weight when they see eating as a chore and exercise as a dreadful bore? The best fitness plan is one that causes the least interruption to your daily life. The goal isn’t to add stress to your life, but rather to remove it.

            The best of us couldn’t bring ourselves to do something we hate consistently, so make getting in shape fun, however you’ve gotta do it. That could be participating in a sport you love, exercising with a good friend or two, joining a group exercise class so you can meet new people, or giving yourself one “free day” per week where you forget about your training plan and exercise in any way you please.

            7. You’re trying too hard.

            Unless you want to experience some nasty cravings, don’t deprive your body of pleasure. The more you tell yourself you can’t have a food, the more you’re going to want it. As long as you’re making positive choices 80-90% of the time, don’t sweat the occasional indulgence.

            8. You don’t track your progress.

            Keeping a written record of your training progress will help you sustain an “I CAN do this” attitude. All you need is a notebook and a pen. For every workout, record what exercises you do, the number of repetitions performed, and how much weight you used if applicable. Your goal? Do better next time. Improving your best performance on a regular basis offers positive feedback that will encourage you to keep going.

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            9. You have no social support.

            It can be hard to stay motivated when you feel alone. The good news? You’re not alone: far from it. Post a status on Facebook asking your friends if anybody would like to be your gym or accountability buddy. If you know a co-worker who shares your goal, try to coordinate your lunch time and go out together so you’ll be more likely to make positive decisions. Join a support group of like-minded folks on Facebook, LinkedIn, or elsewhere on the internet. Strength in numbers is powerful, so use it to your advantage.

            10. You know your what but not your why.

            The biggest reason why most New Year’s resolutions fail: you know what you want but you not why you want it.

            Yes: you want to get fit, lose weight, or be healthy… but why is your goal important to you? For example:

            Do you want to be fit so you can be a positive example that your children can admire and look up to?

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            Do you want to lose fat so you’ll feel more confident and sexy in your body than ever before?

            Do you want to be healthy so you’ll have increased clarity, energy, and focus that would carry over into every single aspect of your life?

            Whether you’re getting in shape because you want to live longer, be a good example, boost your energy, feel confident, have an excuse to buy hot new clothes, or increase your likelihood of getting laid (hey, I’m not here to judge) is up to you. Forget about any preconceived notions and be true to yourself.

            • The more specific you can make your goal,
            • The more vivid it will be in your imagination,
            • The more encouraged you’ll be,
            • The more likely it is you will succeed (because yes, you CAN do this!).

            I hope this guide to why New Year’s resolutions fail helps you achieve your goals this year. If you found this helpful, please pass it along to some friends so they can be successful just like you. What do you hope to accomplish next year?

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