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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 January 21, 2020

            The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

            The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

            Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

            your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

              Why You Need a Vision

              Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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              How to Create Your Life Vision

              Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

              What Do You Want?

              The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

              It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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              Some tips to guide you:

              • Remember to ask why you want certain things
              • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
              • Give yourself permission to dream.
              • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
              • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

              Some questions to start your exploration:

              • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
              • What would you like to have more of in your life?
              • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
              • What are your secret passions and dreams?
              • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
              • What do you want your relationships to be like?
              • What qualities would you like to develop?
              • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
              • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
              • What would you most like to accomplish?
              • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

              It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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              What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

              Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

              A few prompts to get you started:

              • What will you have accomplished already?
              • How will you feel about yourself?
              • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
              • What does your ideal day look like?
              • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
              • What would you be doing?
              • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
              • How are you dressed?
              • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
              • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
              • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

              It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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              Plan Backwards

              It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

              • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
              • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
              • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
              • What important actions would you have had to take?
              • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
              • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
              • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
              • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
              • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

              Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

              It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

              Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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