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10 Life-changing Benefits of Meditation

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10 Life-changing Benefits of Meditation

Meditation is a mind-body exercise. The person performing it focuses on their breath and the sensations in his/her body. It has been practiced since prehistoric times. There are various different types of meditation. Mindfulness and transcendental meditation are two of the most popular types.

It’s popularity in the United States and the rest of North America has been growing steeply in the recent years. There are so many benefits of meditation that no one wants to miss out on them. Moreover, meditation gurus from India and its neighboring countries have done a great job of teaching this ancient technique to the western world.

In this post, I have listed 10 benefits of meditation that will help you deal with the harmful effects of stress and ease tension in your life.

1. Helps you live longer

10 Life-changing Benefits of Meditation

Research has proven that meditation can slow down the process of aging and help you live a lot longer than you would live otherwise. The secret lies in the sequences of DNA known as Telomeres. They are protective caps inside the chromosomes. The length of Telomeres can tell how long a person can live.

Researchers found that people become hyper-reactive when exposed to psychological stress. They also concluded that mindfulness meditation has the ability to reduce stress and promote rational thinking; which is necessary for solving life problems. In conclusion, regular practice of meditation increases the length of telomeres and helps you live longer.  

2. Increased self-awareness

10 Life-changing Benefits of Meditation

To know how meditation increases self-awareness, let’s first understand the concept of Neuroplasticity. So, neuroplasticity is the ability of the brain to change itself on exposure to a new experience. This involves the formation of new connections in the brain and also the creation of brand new neurons.

So, whenever you experience something drastic or mind-boggling, your brain rewires itself to adapt to the new reality. These changes can be measured with the help of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI).

Thus, due to an increase in grey-matter density, the practitioner becomes aware of things about themselves he/she would not have noticed before. What I am trying to say is, meditation makes you aware of your problems, unconscious habits and negative thinking patterns that might have hindered your progress in life.

3. A stress-free life

Regular practice of mindfulness meditation alters your brain chemistry in a positive way. The changes can be noticed in only a few days. Ideally, it is good to meditate twice a day. Once in the morning and then in the evening before going to bed.

Meditation has become quintessential for people with a hectic schedule. The more stressful your day, the more willpower it will take to get yourself to meditate. So, it’s best to do it early in the morning and not miss out on the benefits of meditation.

4. Improved performance and decreased need for sleep

There is scientific evidence of meditation improving performance and decreasing the need to sleep in university students. The study was done using a psychomotor vigilance task (PVT) by the University of Kentucky, USA to validate the claims that mediation affects performance and sleep of the practitioner.

Experienced and novice meditators were tested on the PVT before and after they performed a controlled activity. They concluded that meditation provided a short-term performance improvement in novice meditators and a significant decrease in total sleep time in long term experienced meditators. Hence, regardless of experience, everyone can reap the benefits of meditation.

5. Become more creative

10 Life-changing Benefits of Meditation

Every person on this planet is creative in one way or the other. But, it’s important to find what it is that you are good at. The stress and distractions created by a modern-day lifestyle can push you away from your creative core and make your life soulless and robotic. Meditation is an ancient practice which can help you rekindle your creative genius and live your life the way you were meant to live.

Research by Leiden University, Leiden, Netherlands suggests that meditation based on focused-attention (FA) and meditation based on open-monitoring (OM) mellows the mood and allows creative thinking to blossom. To further elaborate, focused-attention (FA) meditation is paying attention to one’s breath. And, open-monitoring is being aware of your thoughts and emotions while noticing the different sensations in the body. Both are a very potent form of meditation practices.

6. Have better relationships

10 Life-changing Benefits of Meditation

Family and friends are the most important people in our lives. Not spending enough quality time can lead to a feeling of despair. Most workaholics prioritize their professional life over their relationships and end up being lonely or emotionally imbalanced. Lack of empathy also hurts us in our relationships with co-workers or business partners.

Cognitively-Based Compassion Training(CBCT) is an ancient meditation technique originating from Tibet. A study by Emory University suggests that practicing CBCT can make us understand others better. The participants of this study were able to read other people faces better after undergoing CBCT training. It enabled them to communicate their needs telepathically without much need to verbalize.

7. You become more compassionate and empathetic

10 Life-changing Benefits of Meditation

Every one of us is born with compassion and empathy in our hearts. In fact, these are the two unique qualities that separate us from other animals. But, as we grow older, we tend to suppress these natural feeling and become more cold and calculative. To unlearn these dysfunctional thinking patterns, one needs to meditate and observe their thoughts and social behaviors.  

If you identify yourself as an emotionless person, compassion training can help you become more altruistic. This study proves that it is possible to systematically cultivate compassion for others with training. Furthermore, by understanding the emotional state of others, you can also communicate with them effectively. You can meet them where they are and not where you want them to be.

8. Reduces blood pressure

Blood pressure is a major indicator of a person’s overall health. In a healthy adult, normal blood pressure should be 120/80 mmHg. Anything more than that indicates the inevitability of heart problems.

One of the benefits of meditation is that it regulates blood pressure by relaxing the mind and body. There are studies proving the effectiveness and validity of this holistic approach.

9. Reduces the risk of heart diseases

Each year, about 735,000 Americans suffer from a heart attack. Out of those, 610,000 people die. Heart disease is the cause of 1 in every 4 deaths. Yet, people don’t take their heart health seriously. Along with the consumption of unhealthy junk food, mental stress has been a huge reason behind heart disease.

Recent research suggests that meditation can help you delay or avoid the occurrence of a heart stroke or a premature death from it. Robert Schneider, lead author on the study published in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes has said that techniques like mind-body meditation can have a major impact on cardiovascular functions.

10. Become a social butterfly

10 Life-changing Benefits of Meditation

Emotional connection with other like-minded people is a basic human need. For millions of years, humans have evolved in tribes and communities. But, due to rapid societal changes, the modern human has found himself isolated and alienated from other human beings. Researchers are trying to figure out alternate ways to make people feel social and connected.  

In this study, researchers have tested loving-kindness meditation on participants to find out whether it can help them self-generate good emotions. They concluded that loving-kindness meditation exercise does help people who feel lonely and alone. Just after a few minutes of practicing this technique, participants felt warm and social.

Meditation is by no means a magic pill to all your life problems. It is simply a good habit that you can integrate into your daily routine. I know it’s not easy to switch gears from a life of stress and anxiety to suddenly being calm. But by making it a priority, you can experience the complete benefits of meditation.  

Health

How to Protect Your Mental Health During Covid-19?

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stay healthy

Feelings of anxiety, depression, fear, and concern that many people may have when it comes to coronavirus (COVID-19) are quite restraining. This virus carries with it the possibility of death and that is exactly one of the reasons for our fear. That is why we offer you the following tips to help you deal with it.

Try to Keep Perspective

While it is reasonable for people to be concerned about a pandemic outbreak, try to remember that public health professionals around the world are working hard to fight the virus, treat the infected, and develop a vaccine as quickly as possible.

Find a Healthy Balance in Following Media

Exposure to large amounts of negative information can increase feelings of anxiety. While it is important to be informed, it may be helpful to limit their input if it upsets you or your family and you have trouble calming down and resuming regular activities after watching and hearing such news.

Find Quality Information

Get information from reliable sources but be moderate in that as well. It is recommended to reduce the search for new information to a minimum, so instead of checking and looking for new information often during the day, do it in the morning and, less often, in the evening. In the second case, you may have trouble falling asleep because your brain will be processing what you read instead of ‘letting’ you fall asleep. 

In general, this item, which is related to finding quality information, will essentially help you keep your perspective and be more controlled.

Try to Keep a Calm Approach to Everything

Widespread panic can complicate efforts to effectively manage the pandemic on a personal level. Do your best to stay calm and follow only official advice, especially regarding respecting proper hygiene habits and keeping your distance.

Maintaining Mental Health During Self-Isolation or Quarantine

There are several ways to maintain your mental health during periods of self-isolation or quarantine:

  • Remember that this is a temporary period of isolation to slow down the spread of the virus.
  • Remember that your efforts help others in the community to avoid the coronavirus.
  • Stay connected with friends, family, and colleagues via email, social media, messaging or calling.
  • Engage in healthy activities that you enjoy and relax. Moderate betting at bookmakers with the best deposit bonuses gathered on bookmaker-expert.com/bonus/deposit/ is one of the options.
  • Stick to a regular sleep routine and eat healthy foods.
  • Seek help in teas and tinctures.
  • Try to maintain physical activity.
  • Establish routines as best you can and try to look upon that period as a new experience that can benefit your health.
  • For those who work from home, try to maintain a healthy balance by setting certain working hours, regular breaks and, if possible, establishing a dedicated workspace.
  • Avoid news and social networks if that bothers you.

Children and Younger People

Families and caregivers of children and young people should talk openly with them about the coronavirus and the pandemic. Try to connect the facts without causing panic in a way that is appropriate for their age and temper. It is important to listen to any questions they have that will let them know that they are safe and that it is normal for them to feel anxious.

If the media or news is too much for them, encourage children to limit their exposure to them.

Health Workers

Healthcare workers may feel additional stress during the Covid-19 pandemic. This is a normal reaction of the body in these unseen circumstances. Coronavirus arouses such feelings. They are not a sign of weakness and it is important to acknowledge that. 

There are practical ways to manage mental health during this time, including:

  • Enough rest during working hours and between shifts.
  • Eating healthy food and engaging in physical activity.
  • Keeping in touch with colleagues, family, and friends by phone or apps.
  • Being aware that you can access mental health support at work. If you are a manager, try to create mentally healthy work habits.

It is important that the public recognizes the pressure that health workers are under and takes steps to support them wherever possible. Following government advice in their countries on ways individuals can help slow the spread of the virus will support health workers who save lives and keep people safe.

Seek Support

It is normal to feel scared or stressed while listening about the Covid-19 pandemic. We encourage people who have had mental health problems in the past to:

  • Activate the support network.
  • Acknowledge the feeling of anxiety immediately.
  • Seek professional support if they have difficulty.

Instead of conclusion… Guys, like every pandemic throughout history, this one will pass, too. Stay strong!

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Health

Five Things to Remember for a Healthy 2021

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Using masks? Check. Stocked up on handwash and sanitizer? Ages ago. Practicing social distancing and buying groceries in bulk? Like lives depend on it.

The Covid-19 pandemic has made all of us realize the necessity of prioritizing our well-being, be it mental, physical, or emotional. Navigating the realm of health has become quite the challenge with all sorts of information (and misinformation!) from different sources floating about. Here we have put together a handy list of things that you absolutely cannot overlook when it comes to staying healthy this year, so read on!

Don’t skip meals

The advent of the New Year sees people everywhere making resolutions, the most common of which is related to weight loss. While it’s great if you want to lose weight or meet other fitness goals, it is important to take care of your nutrition as well. Skipping meals, especially breakfast, and drastically cutting calories have a greater negative impact on your health than you might expect. Instead, choose foods that are nutrient-dense and high in protein, healthy fats, and fiber. Incorporating natural immunity boosting foods and anti-inflammatories like ginger and turmeric are also great options to consider.

Also, Read Benefits of Doing Yoga Regularly

Prioritize Exercise

Don’t just bank upon dieting to meet your health goals and instead also exercise regularly during the week. Switch it up by alternating between light cardio, bodyweight-based strength training, aerobics, pilates, and yoga— all while staying home of course. If you live in a low-risk area, you could even consider early morning brisk walks.

Screen time and sleep

It is very easy to neglect the harmful effects of long exposure to digital screens, which have become an inalienable part of life in lockdown. In addition to causing eye strain and lowing attention span, laptops, smartphones, and TV screens are also known to produce harmful blue light. This has been scientifically proven to accelerate the degeneration of retinal cells which ultimately causes loss of vision, and it has also been linked to irregular sleep cycles. We suggest staying away from screens for at least a full hour before going to bed to ensure sound sleep. That said, it is also crucial that you get a solid 8 hours of sleep at night to keep those grey cells running smoothly.

Mental Health

It goes without saying that this pandemic has been unprecedented in most of our lives. Alienated and isolated from everybody else, the lockdown woes have crept up on all of us at some point, so you must stay vigilant about your mental health. Engage yourself in an interesting hobby, reconnect with family and friends, equip yourself to deal with stress, or practice mindfulness and meditation to keep the blues at bay.  

Emotional well-being

This turbulent time has also left us grappling with a spectrum of emotions from good to bad. With the beginning of a new year and a new time, it is important to process, validate, and talk about all these emotions, maintain a positive outlook and connect to people with enthusiasm and optimism.

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Health

The Good Side of The COVID Crisis

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I know you must be feeling skeptical about this; I mean, what can be good about anything that has to do with the COVID-19 pandemic, which brought the world to a halt? 

But there are some silver linings and corners of positivity in this whole scenario. Here we will list out all the good things that have happened or are happening right now due to the crisis we are facing!

Nature is Thriving

With less human activity and reduced water traffic, the waters in the canals of Venice are becoming clearer by the day. Fleets of white swan were spotted in the waters, a rare visitor over the last several years. 

In Mumbai’s Marine Drive, schools of dolphins were seen playing around, as the ports were closed, and barely any water traffic and pollution were there to keep them away. Unusual sightings of dolphins have also been reported from the ports of Cagliari, Sardinia. Devoid of ships, as seen on a typical busy day, the marine lives thrive and have relief in the peaceful, calm, human-less waters!

Herds of deer were seen roaming around in Japan’s streets. With no crowds or traffic, the animals were seen having a gala time exploring the usually busy and bustling city streets.

More than 70,000 Olive Ridley sea turtles were seen nesting on an empty beach in Odisha, located along the eastern coast of India. These beaches, usually abuzz with human activity in the tourist seasons, were deserted because of the nation-wide lockdown in place, and thus left at peace for these turtles. While in Brazil, 97 Hawksbill sea turtles, a critically endangered species, hatched on a deserted beach. Moreover, a similar occurrence has been reported in Florida, where a high number of Leatherback turtles have surfaced on the shores. 

In Canada, orcas have been spotted swimming further into regions where they were not seen venturing before. In fact, dolphins, seals, and other marine animals have been spotted in areas where they have not been seen for decades!

In Llandudno, North Wales, usually shy mountain goats came down from the higher altitudes and were seen freely roaming the streets of the town. Meanwhile, wild boars were seen exploring Barcelona’s city streets, an incredible sight in the bustling and one of the busiest parts of Spain. 

In San Francisco, packs of coyotes were sighted roaming on the streets, whereas in Nara Japan, Sika deer were seen exploring empty streets and subway stations. 

In South Africa, wild penguins were spotted roaming the streets, and in Argentina, sea lions were seen chilling out near storefronts!

Cleaner Air

With less number of vehicles, shutting down of factories and industries, the air has become cleaner in unprecedented ways. Recently, residents in Jalandhar, India, were able to see the Himalayas’ Dhauladhar range from their houses due to cleaner air. 

Moreover, Delhi, the country’s capital and one of the most polluted metros on Earth, recorded good air quality index levels for the first time in several years. Other big cities like New York, São Paulo, London, Bogota, and others have also recorded better air quality due to lower pollution levels. 

In Italy, air pollution levels have dropped by 40%, whereas China has also seen a dramatic drop in its pollution levels. According to NASA, the nitrogen dioxide levels in busy cities of China have dropped by 10-30%. The current crisis is also leading to the largest ever decline in annual carbon emission levels. This has led to some reversal of greenhouse effects caused by human activities in recent years. 

Social Bonding

Adults and children are all locked inside homes due to the forceful timeout created by the virus. Although it leads to occasional struggles, overall, it has given people a chance to reconnect better with their families. 

We have been consumed so much by our busy lives and technology craving habits, that our family ties and socialization had taken a back seat over the years. The pandemic has given all of us the time to connect with our friends, families, and dear ones.

From doing household chores to bringing down forgotten board games, families are bonding in all kinds of wonderful ways. 

Community Bonding

For the first time in life, we as a generation are facing a common enemy. Everyone around the globe has never been united like this with such a singular yet massive cause.

The love, support, and prayers for each other across communities have brought a remarkable sense of unity and keeps reminding everyone in the crisis that we are in this together!

Self-Development

Now is the time when you can finally focus on yourself. From learning new skills to completing courses, reading, writing, or simply enjoying me-time, or indulging in your long-forgotten hobbies, the quarantine can be your long path of self-discovery!

Community Heroes

This crisis has brought out some of the best of people into the frontline. From doctors and nurses striving daily, there have been thousands of volunteers worldwide who are helping vulnerable people with food, money, sanitization, and other necessities. 

Many people have come forward to feed and care for strays and animals going without food after being abandoned by their humans or running out of their daily source of meals due to closed shops, fewer people, and empty roads.

Final Words

It is a tough time where everything seems uncertain. But you have to search for positivity and keep your hopes up. Believe that there is a light even in the darkest corners. 

Keep adding more such good things happening around the world, in nature, and amongst people. Look at the silver lining, keep hoping, stay positive, and spread that positivity all around you every day. Finally let me finish off with a wonderful quote that Buddha said, 

“Let us rise up and be thankful, for if we didn’t learn a lot today, at least we learned a little, and if we didn’t learn a little, at least we didn’t get sick, and if we got sick, at least we didn’t die; so let us all be thankful.”

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