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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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            Meditation Is Meditation Really Beneficial for Your Mind and Body?

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            Last Updated on December 9, 2019

            5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

            5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

            Everyone experiences mental stress at one time or another. Maybe you’re starting a new career, job, or business, or you feel incredibly overwhelmed between work, parenting, and your love life (or a lack of it). It could even be that you simply feel that you have way too much to do and not enough time to do it,  plus, on top of everything, nothing seems to be going the way it should!

            Yup, we all experience mental stress from time-to-time, and that’s okay as long as you have the tools, techniques and knowledge that allow you to fully relieve it once it comes.

            Here are 5 tips for relieving mental stress when it comes so you can function at your best while feeling good (and doing well) in work, love, or life:

            1. Get Rationally Optimistic

            Mental stress starts with your perception of your experiences. For instance, most people get stressed out when they perceive their reality as “being wrong” in some way. Essentially, they have a set idea of how things “should be” at any given moment, and when reality ends up being different (not even necessarily bad), they get stressed.

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            This process is simply a result of perception and can be easily “fixed” by recognizing that although life might not always be going as YOU think it should, it’s still going as it should—for your own benefit.

            In fact, once you fully recognize that everything in your life ultimately happens for your own growth, progress, and development—so you can achieve your goals and dreams—your perception works in your favor. You soon process and respond to your experience of life differently, for your advantage. That’s the essence of becoming “rationally optimistic.”

            The result: no more mental stress.

            2. Unplug

            Just like you might need to unplug your computer when it starts acting all crazy, you should also “unplug” your mind.

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            How on earth do you unplug your mind? Simple: just meditate.

            It isn’t nearly difficult or complicated as some people think, so, if you don’t already meditate, give it a try. Whether you meditate for 5 minutes, 30 minutes, or 2 hours, this is a surefire way to reduce mental stress.

            Meditation has been scientifically proven to relax your body (resulting in less mental stress), while also reducing anxiety and high blood pressure.

            3. Easy on the Caffeine

            Yes, we know, we know—everyone loves a nice java buzz, and that’s okay, but there’s a fine line between a small caffeine pick-me-up and a racing heart and mind that throws you into a frenzy of mental stress.

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            Try giving up caffeine for a while and see how you feel. And, if that’s completely out of the question for you, at least try to minimize it. You might find that lots of your mental stress mysteriously “disappears” as your caffeine intake goes down.

            4. Attack Mental Stress Via the Back Door

            That’s right: your body and mind are part of the whole being, and are constantly influencing and affecting each other. If you’re experiencing a lot of mental stress, try to reduce it by calming your body down—a calm body equals a calmer mind.

            How do you calm your body down and reduce physical stress? A  great way to reduce physical stress (thereby reducing mental stress) is to take natural supplements that are proven to reduce stress and anxiety while lifting your mood. Three good ones to look into are kava-kava, St John’s wort, and rhodiola rosea:

            • Kava-kava is a natural plant known to have mild sedative properties, and you should be able to find it at your natural health food store or vitamin store. It’s available in capsules or liquid extract form.
            • St John’s wort is a natural flower used to treat depression. Again, it’s found at your local health store in capsules or liquid. Because it uplifts mood (enabling you to see the brighter side of all experiences) it helps relieve mental stress as well.
            • Rhodiola rosea is a natural plant shown to reduce stress and uplift mood, and Russian athletes have been using it forever. Like the other two supplements mentioned, rhodiola rosea can be found at your natural health store in capsule or liquid form.

            While these supplements are all natural and can be very helpful for most people, always check with your health care provider first as they can cause side-effects depending on your current health situation etc.

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            5. Good Old-Fashioned Exercise

            This tip has been around forever because it works. Nothing relieves mental stress like running, kickboxing—you name it. Anything super-physical will wipe out most of your mental stresses once the exercise endorphins (happy chemicals) are released into your brain.

            The result: mental stress will be gone!

            So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed or just plain stressed, try using some of the above tips. You can even print this out or save it to refer to regularly.

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            Featured photo credit: Radu Florin via unsplash.com

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