Meditation might sound like some kind of new age mumbo-jumbo to a lot of people, but the truth is, meditation is a simple way to help relieve stress and relax during your crazy day. If you feel like stories about the benefits of meditation have been everywhere in the news lately, you’d be right!
Meditation conquers stress. A regular practice has been proven to not only make you feel less stress, but actually lowers the levels of stress hormones in your body—you feel better, and so does your body. A nice, calm meditation can be ruined in a flash by a barking dog, ringing phone, or e-mail notification. Cassie Johnston is an award-winning food writer and recipe developer living and working in Southern Indiana.
This is the official health and fitness blog of Anytime Fitness—the world's largest co-ed fitness franchise. Meditation is a tool that fights stress, improves physical health, makes you feel peaceful and calm, and helps you sleep better.  On a deeper level, meditation helps you explore the mystery of who we are.
The most difficult time in college isn’t when all the senior year exams and papers need to be completed. You know the scene: you take a break from studying and glance over social media, and all of your feeds are flooded with high school friends getting married and having babies. The grind of never-ending study and submitting assignments on time legitimately wears down college students.
People from all walks of life practice meditation as it can help you feel more grounded and allows for more patience to arise within yourself.
In the West, most people tend to be drawn to meditation so that they can quiet their inner thoughts along with reducing their stress. Sonia Choquette, a meditation teacher that has had over 35 years of experience, has said that in order for you to meditate, you have to let your guard down, energy in and escape from the stressful self-defense mode that we tend to fall into. Stress Relief – With meditation, you can learn to master your fear by overriding the areas of your brain that activate the fear mechanism. Improves Cognition – Research has found that the long-term practice of mindfulness meditation can promote the ability to sustain attention and executive functioning. Relieve Headaches – Research has discovered that practicing meditation can relieve major tension headaches. Better Performance At Work – A study has shown that your on-the-job performance can benefit from meditation. Battle Bad Eating Habits – Those who suffer from eating disorders can find help in the form of meditation. Modern society wants you to believe that if you are sitting still, you are getting nothing done and if you are getting nothing done then you have no value.
Rick Elmer is a freelance writer from Texas who enjoys learning about health and nutrition while striving to make the world a better place.
This entry was posted in Articles, Featured, Fitness, Mindset and tagged benefits of meditation to health, health advantages of meditation, health benefits of meditation, reasons to start meditating now, reasons you should meditate, reasons you should start meditating. Disclaimer: The techniques, strategies, and suggestions expressed here are intended to be used for educational purposes only.
It is imperative that before beginning any nutrition or exercise program you receive full medical clearance from a licensed physician. Drew Canole and claim no responsibility to any person or entity for any liability, loss, or damage caused or alleged to be caused directly or indirectly as a result of the use, application, or interpretation of the material presented here. I love all things health & fitness, promoting happiness and well-being through exercise and functional movement, meditation and yoga.
As it’s the first week of January, what better time to start a meditation practice than now? Come along tonight to our Meditation group, at The Move and Nourish Studio, 6 pm for a free introduction to Meditation and mindfullness, it’s the perfect class for a beginner or anyone who want’s to refresh their meditation practice! The practice of meditation is said to have been around for thousands of years -- and yet, in the last few, especially in America, it seems that everyone knows at least one person who has taken on the ancient art of de-stressing. Because it has been around for so long and because there are many different types of meditation, there are some essential truths you should know before you too take the dive into meditation or mindfulness (or both). It has become common for people to confuse mantra with the idea of an intention or specific words to live by.
Other types of meditation use things like sound, counting breaths or even just the breath itself as a similar tool.
One of the biggest misconceptions about meditation is that your mind is supposed to go blank and that you reach a super-Zen state of consciousness. The "nature of the mind to move from one thought to another is in fact the very basis of meditation," says Deepak Chopra, a meditation expert and founder of the Chopra Center for Wellbeing.
It’s very common to doze off during meditation and some believe that the brief sleep you get is actually very restorative. With meditation becoming so available to the masses, you can learn how to meditate alone, in a group, on a retreat, with your phone or even by listening to guided meditations online.
Some meditation exercises are aimed at one goal, like helping to ease anxiety or helping people who have trouble sleeping.
Meditation can help boost the immune system, reduce stress and anxiety, improve concentration, decrease blood pressure, improve your sleep, increase your happiness, and has even helped people deal with alcohol or smoking addictions.
Researchers have not only looked at the brains of meditators and non-meditators to study the differences, but they have also started looking at a group of brains before and after eight weeks of mindfulness meditation.
Those who participated in an eight week mindfulness program also showed signs of a shrinking of the amygdala (the brain’s "fight or flight" center) as well as a thickening of the pre-frontal cortex, which handles brain functions like concentration and awareness.

So does Paul McCartney, Jerry Seinfeld, Howard Stern, Lena Dunham, Barbara Walters, Arianna Huffington and Kobe Bryant. The two are talked about in conjunction often because one form of meditation is called mindfulness meditation. Mindfulness meditation is referred to most often when experts talk about the health benefits of meditation.
While some formal meditation practices call for 20 minutes, twice a day, many other meditation exercises can be as short as five or 10 minutes. Another way to think about incorporating meditation into your daily routine is likening it to brushing your teeth. Many meditation teachers encourage you to assess your progress by noticing how you feel in between meditations -- not while you’re sitting down practicing one. Quite literally, sustained meditation leads to something called neuroplasticity, which is defined as the brain's ability to change, structurally and functionally, on the basis of environmental input. For much of the last century, scientists believed that the brain essentially stopped changing after adulthood. But research by University of Wisconsin neuroscientist Richard Davidson has shown that experienced meditators exhibit high levels of gamma wave activity and display an ability -- continuing after the meditation session has attended -- to not get stuck on a particular stimulus. With a new meditation studio opening just a couple blocks from campus, it’s time to take the plunge.
However, there have been numerous scientific studies and experiments conducted that suggest the multitude of benefits meditation can offer. As Neuroscience News reports, a study conducted by UCLA researchers suggests that meditation actually preserves the gray matter of the brain, which means that meditation slows down the aging process of the brain, which begins in your mid-twenties.
It is also important to note that there are different types of meditation, with different purposes and intentions. Before meditation made its way to the West, it was a primarily Indian practice, which is where it is believed to have originated. But like so many things, meditation has to be done, not just read about. Keep in mind that it takes practice.
It’s about focusing your attention, narrowing your gaze, and being in control of your mind. It may difficult getting started and it will take some practice, but remember it is an investment to ultimately reach a transcendent state, which seems pretty worth it.
There have been numerous recent studies that have proven both the physical and emotional benefits of a meditation practice. Researchers at UC Santa Barbara found that a regular meditation practice actually helped students’ cognitive function over time.
Because your fit brain is able to process emotions better, it also means your fit brain is able to shut off when it needs to more easily. Sure, there isn’t a cure for the common cold, but research has shown that a regular meditation practice can actually help lessen the frequency and severity of the cold in practitioners.
It can be intimidating when you see images in the media of people sitting cross-legged in nature looking peaceful for hours and hours.
Eventually, your brain will be trained enough to do this without a crutch, but in the beginning, meditation prompts are a great way to get started. Begin with a slow, deep inhale through your nose and imagine your body an empty vessel that is filling up with white, positive light from your toes up through to the top of your head. Her work has been feature in national publications such as Gourmet Magazine and The Huffington Post. Meanwhile, you still spend your Thursday nights with your dog binge-watching Supernatural on Netflix.
Your academic success is closely aligned with how you organize and plan to meet test dates and deadlines. It is often seen as the simple act of sitting still while quietly focusing on your breathing or a mantra (certain phrase or word). The reasons that people meditate are just as varied as the endless ways there are to do it.
Meditation has definitely been proven to reduce stress, but it also has many other hidden benefits for you to take advantage of! When you are in fear, the stress hormone cortisol is released and can cause a list of health issues.
The effects of short-term mindfulness meditation has not yet been fully studied, but are definitely in the works.
I should mention though that the research was from a study that involved both medication and meditation.
In the study, office workers who practiced meditation were able to improve their memory and performance of tasks they were working on as well as their emotional state and awareness.
A study has shown that meditation can lead to cutting back on binge eating and also emotional eating. This seems a bit harsh in my books as it is always good to slow down and breathe, if even for a minute, to help relieve the stress of everyday life.
If you can realize that meditation is a form of self-improvement, then you will come to know how truly powerful it can be.
He is passionate about music, meditation, art, traveling the world and helping those around him. FitLife.TV is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.

Everyone has a different learning style and there are plenty of options out there to fit individual needs.
One popular mindfulness meditation technique, loving-kindness meditation, promotes the positive act of wishing ourselves or others happiness. Many, when not in a state of meditation, had brain image results that looked more like the images of a regular person's brain while meditating.
Oprah teams up with Deepak Chopra for 21-day online meditation experiences that anyone can join, anywhere.
Mindfulness is defined most loosely as cultivating a present awareness in your everyday life.
We easily spend that amount of time flipping through Netflix or liking things on Instagram. You might not do it at the exact same time each morning, but you always make sure you brush your teeth before you leave the house for the day. It’s not uncommon to feel bored, distracted, frustrated or even discouraged some days while meditating. There are so many stressful things about college and New York, and meditation can ease the stresses we all feel every day.
Meditation can sound “hippie-dippie,” and you might claim that it creates some illusion of happiness, a happiness that exists under false pretenses. It’s difficult to trace the exact history of mediation, but Buddha is often recognized as an icon of meditation. Meditation now is not only used in a religious sense, but as a tool to gain focus and concentration as well as for relaxation. While it is true that the practice of meditation has been progressively streamlined, it should not be treated as just another trend.
It is about transcending the noise and what surrounds you— the endless homework of the semester, the busy and crowded streets, the constant sense of urgency and the exciting, anxiety-injected life of a New Yorker. You can start a meditation practice with only five minutes a day using no special equipment!
When your inhale is done (and your body is full), pause for a beat, then exhale through your mouth, letting the light recede as your breath empties.
Cassie’s a big fan of strenuous hikes, cheese, watching sports, Brussels sprouts, and craft beer, and she’ll talk your ear off about her love of local food and seasonal eating. There is no ‘correct’ way of practicing meditation though, as there are countless ways to accomplish it. It anchors your mind as you meditate and can be what you come back to when your thoughts (inevitably) wander. It's important to keep in mind that you don’t have to try to clear thoughts from your brain during meditation. That’s not possible anyway." Depending on the type of meditation you learn, there are tools for gently bringing your focus back to your meditation practice. Other practices might give tricks on how to stay more alert if you fall asleep (check out No. However, if you don't have a specific goal in mind, you can still reap the benefits of the practice. Scientists noted everything from "changes in grey matter volume to reduced activity in the 'me' centers of the brain to enhanced connectivity between brain regions," Forbes reported earlier this year.
In other words, the experienced meditator's brain is remarkably different than the non-meditator's brain.
One way to do this is through meditation -- but not all meditation practices necessarily focus on mindfulness. For some, it’s setting the morning alarm 10 minutes earlier or getting off email a few minutes before dinner to practice. For those who start to see the benefits of daily meditation, it becomes a non-negotiable part of your routine.
Its effects are timeless, and it can help with emotional regulation, which seems pretty relevant to college students especially (avoid that Bobst breakdown!). Alternatively, some types of meditation actually emphasize being present and mindful to thoughts as they arise as part of the practice. It is best not to lie down unless you’re doing a body scan meditation or meditation for sleep.
Time’s February 2014 cover story was devoted to "the mindful revolution" and many big companies, such as Google, Apple, Nike and HBO, have started promoting meditation at work with free classes and new meditation rooms. You don’t expect a six-pack after one day of exercise, so think of meditation the same way. As you become more aware of your self and your practice, you’ll begin to recognize what days you might need a bit more relaxation time, and days when you can get by with just a few minutes.
In our experience, the relaxation that can come from meditation is a wonderful thing -- and if that means a mini-snooze, so be it. Mantras can be used in meditation as a tool to help your mind enter (or stay in) your meditation practice.
As your brain grows more accustomed to this workout, you’ll find it strays less and less.

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