“Nothing is more important than reconnecting with your bliss. Nothing is as rich. Nothing is more real.”
― Deepak Chopra
To meditate means to bring your awareness to the present moment by getting rid of all the unnecessary thoughts in the mind. In the modern world, a lot of people are living their lives in past resentments and future despair. Meditation is the only way to align your thoughts with your life’s purpose and live a happy and fulfilling life.
A lot of people are missing out by not practicing meditation on a daily basis. Luckily for you, there are some clear signs that can let you know whether you need to add meditation to your daily routine or not. In this post, I have discussed 5 reasons why not doing it is hindering your success in life.
Following are 5 points that will help you determine whether you need to add meditation to your daily routine or not.
1. You have no gratitude
Gratitude is the feeling of gratefulness or thankfulness for the things that you have in your life. Everyone is born with certain fortunes and misfortunes, strengths and weaknesses, wealthy or poor, etc and we have no control or choice over that. Being grateful means to be aware of your current situation and choose to look at the brighter side.
Meditation helps you be present in the moment and enables you to see the world the way it is. For instance, a lot of people return feeling renewed and reinvigorated after a weekend of meditation retreat; this feeling is very important if you want to be grateful for what you have. Most people are too busy achieving their goals or working very hard to pay their bills– which are very necessary things– but without taking strategic breaks, life can get very monotonous.
Since the year 2000, scientists have done a lot of studies on how positive emotions work. And they found that having gratitude creates a sense of well-being and brings maturity in one’s life. With recitation of positive affirmations, this sense of well-being slowly increases and we become happier and peaceful.
So, grab a piece of paper and write down five things you are grateful to have in your life. Read and repeat it every morning and start your day on a positive note.
2. You get caught up in emotions
As humans, we are evolved to respond to our emotions more than logic. This worked perfectly fine until 300 years ago. But in modern times, it’s detrimental to rely only on our emotions and feelings. A balance of emotion and rationale is needed.
Daily practice of meditation can help achieve that balance, and you can live your life without being an emotionally fragile person. Imagine, no more anger or lashing out on your loved ones, handling your clients and co-workers with ease, and no more getting angry at your current circumstances. All this is easily achievable by changing your old habits and adding meditation to your current routine.
A recent study done by Michigan Technological University suggests that just an hour of mindfulness meditation session can help reduce stress and anxiety. Dr. John J. Durocher also confirmed that anxiety in the participants was significantly less after a week of daily meditation practice.
You don’t have to meditate every day for one hour if time is of the essence; just fifteen minutes of mindfulness meditation can help you overcome the emotional blockage. Furthermore, if mindfulness does not suit your liking, there are many other types of meditation techniques available that can also help achieve the same result.
3. You don’t get much work done
Do you feel aversion towards things that need to be done? Do you put work off and distract yourself with things that don’t add much value to your life? It is natural to find ways to minimize effort as we want to use our energy conservatively. But sometimes we knowingly procrastinate and cause ourselves harm in the long run.
You can read books on productivity and how to work smarter etc., but at some point, you need to get your hands dirty and do the actual work. Not meditating can keep you permanently in the beginner phase where you are just thinking about doing something but never attempt to do it.
Meditation increases productively by calming the mind so that instead of worrying about things that can go wrong you can focus on the task at hand and see it through. It gets your attention from your mind to your body. Combined with exercises like yoga or Tai Chi, meditation can increase your productivity by ten folds.
It is best to get your mind right by meditating before work but some people prefer doing in later in the night to alleviate the damaging effects of stress.
4. You don’t sleep well
Does the continuous stream of thoughts stop you from falling asleep at night and you have to resort to coping mechanisms like overeating or binge-watching television series until you fall asleep? And I am sure as a result of staying up late at night, you must have trouble waking up in the morning as well. These are common problems faced by living a stressful and competitive life; which most of us are used to living.
Meditating just before going to bed can help you fall asleep faster. Any kind of deep breathing technique done correctly at night time will not only help you get relaxed sleep but also help you quickly get out of the bed in the morning. It’s very common to feel tired after getting up in the morning especially if you worked very hard the day before. Daily meditation practice will help you wake up in the morning well-rested and relaxed.
Progressive Muscle Relaxation (PMR) is a technique practiced very widely in western countries by people who need a quick and easy way to fall asleep. In this technique, the person suffering from insomnia is supposed to lie down in a sleeping position and focus on each of his/her muscle group by slightly tightening and relaxing them. It is based on the fact that the mind can only be calm if each part of the body is relaxed and loose. Moreover, it doesn’t take too long to be done. With this type of meditation, you can easily feel deeply relaxed after just ten minutes of doing it.
5. You consume too much caffeine
Do you start your day with a cup of coffee? Can you go without having coffee for a week? How will it affect your day? Most people who habitually drink coffee or any other caffeinated beverage to get their day started will find it almost impossible to quit. Caffeine definitely provides a quick burst of energy upon its immediate consumption but the effects are very short term and also harmful if the intake is unregulated.
Moreover, the sudden crash after the effect of caffeine wears off is unbearable for most people and it makes them crave more caffeine. This is a very common side-effect of most of the spot-fixes that seem to help for a while but are detrimental in the long run.
Meditation can help you become free from the dependence on coffee to get things done. As you will be naturally feeling fresh and energetic, you will feel less need for things like coffee, cigarettes, soft drinks, etc.
To summarize this post, meditation is definitely not the be all and end all solution to all these 5 problems. But with meditation, you can gain enough consciousness to resolve them with a calm and composed mind. Meditation can be performed for 20 minutes in the morning or at night before going to bed, or even both times.
How Reading can impact your Day to Day Life?
Reading is a healthy habit, which, if practiced daily, can change your entire life around. Do you want to know why? Through Reading, one can not only gain knowledge but also stay acquainted with the outside as well as the inside world. The best thing about reading daily is to have an isolated place for yourself in your mind, where you can run off to. Most people don’t have the patience or intention to read, and that too, daily. Though this is a habit that takes time to settle in but trust me, once it does, you would never regret it. So, here is a list of reasons why you should read daily?
Why should you read daily?
- To gain knowledge
Once you start reading daily, and by Reading, it can be anything – you can read few pages of a novel, or a magazine, or newspaper, or even poetry – you would notice within weeks how much your knowledge regarding the outer world has improved. Through Reading, one can have clear information regarding the current affairs, and hence, stay updated.
- To improve your vocabulary
Through Reading, you can definitely learn new words and hence, improve your vocabulary. Most people make it a habit to learn a new word from the dictionary every day, but if you read daily, you are bound to get new words and make a list of them on a notebook with their meanings, which is definitely going to be helpful for you.
- To have a make-believe world
The most beautiful consequence of Reading is having one’s own imaginary world, where one can live a life full of magic. This is the extraordinary superpower one acquires while reading. In this busy daily life of ours, we all look for a secluded place where we can feel the essence of peace. Reading can fly you off to the imaginary land of sunflowers, daisies, and cats who can indeed talk.
- To become more attentive
Most people lack patience nowadays. Being impatient and restless has become a severe problem in today’s world. Here, Reading can help you calm your mind and improve your observation skills. It works like meditation. In no time, you would find your mind focusing on details and becoming more attentive to events, which used to go unnoticed.
- To reduce stress
Reading is similar to meditation, and hence, it definitely helps to reduce your stress. Books always have a calming effect on one’s mind. It takes you away from daily problems and stressful situations and helps your mind to gain stability. Not only it helps in reducing stress, but it also helps to decrease the anxiety levels of a person.
Everyone should make reading a daily habit. One should switch off the mobile phones, turn off the television and take some time out to read. It works wonders on one’s day-to-day life and changes one person’s entire personality. Though it can be hard at first, with time, you would cherish the moments alone, reading in a corner while your mind is flying off to Narnia.
How Does Meditation Help You?
Meditation has the power to heal you in unprecedented ways. When you meditate properly, you can connect with your soul and inner voice. Sometimes the noise of our everyday life makes it challenging to listen to our own hearts. Especially in today’s time and age, when a sense of uncertainty has gripped the world, we need to calm ourselves down more than ever.
Reconnecting with ourselves helps us understand what we need to do for our self-growth and development as well. Meditation lets you do this and more. In a state of complete silence, all you can hear is your breathing and heartbeat. As you count them slowly, you feel attuned to the vibrational energy of a different kind.
According to ancient mythologies, meditation levitated the soul to realms of the divine. I don’t know anything about that, but it is definitely true that you can free yourself through meditation. Take, for example, right now, this moment.
Many of us around the world are locked in our homes because of the virus. It’s a sensation of imprisonment within the confines of the four walls, isn’t it? Well, not exactly if you let the power of meditation wash you over. When you focus within and connect to your soul, you free yourself from the anxieties, worries, and stress of day to day life. In that moment of truth, you are free, free from your inner bindings, and heaviness pulling you down.
So, the point is you can achieve freedom right where you are through a meditative state of mind. Calming your mind down lets you accomplish complicated tasks with relative ease. Even the work that looks daunting can be solved when you put a clear, peaceful mind at work.
There are innumerable benefits of meditating regularly. These benefits not only include alleviating some of the symptoms of physical ailments but also mental health problems. Especially when it comes to depression, stress, and anxiety, or associated disorders, there is limited dialogue, and the issues often remain unaddressed.
For a generation thriving under tremendous pressure, the competition rat race to succeed mental health problems has become a new normal. Meditation comes in as a beneficial yet noninvasive therapy route and has shown marked differences towards a positive lifestyle.
Let us look at some of the holistic benefits of meditation in terms of clinical conditions.
With regular practice of meditation, it has been seen that anxiety decreases, improvement of emotional stability occurs, increases in clarity and peace of mind, mental agility, memory, and retention power rises. A significant increase in dopamine levels has also been observed after an hour of meditation, which increases your happiness levels!
Moreover, meditation also lowers high blood pressure, lowers the levels of blood lactate, reduces anxiety attacks, reduces headaches, ulcers, insomnia, muscle, and joint problems, increases serotonin production, and improves mood and behavior of the immune system, and increases energy levels.
A study conducted by UCLA also found that meditation slows down the process of aging in your brain. Now that’s interesting! Older meditators practicing for years had less profound loss of grey matter areas compared to their non-meditating counterparts. This directly affects memory, cognitive abilities, and decision-making powers that decline with the process of aging. Studies have also shown that the default mode network (DMN), the brain network responsible for mind-wandering and self-referential thought processes, decreases through meditating. This brings a ruminating mind under control and increases a person’s ability to focus. According to Harvard scientist Sara Lazar and her team, “Eight weeks of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) was seen to raise the cortical thickness in the hippocampus, which governs the learning and memory functions. Moreover, in certain areas of the brain that plays regulatory roles in emotion and self-referential processing. There were also significant decreases in brain cell volume of the amygdala, which is the center responsible for fear, anxiety, and stress – and these changes matched the participants’ self-reports of their stress levels, indicating that meditation not only changes the brain, but it changes our subjective perception and feelings as well.”
Studies have also shown that you can increase your concentration and attention span through meditation quite effectively. Moreover, according to a research group from the University of Kentucky, “Meditation provides at least a short-term performance improvement even in novice meditators.In long term meditators, multiple hours spent in meditation are associated with a significant decrease in total sleep time compared with age and sex-matched controls who did not meditate. Whether meditation can replace a portion of sleep or pay-off sleep debt is under further investigation.”
So, I hope by now, you are at least partially convinced about the unlimited potential of mediation. There are many options to bring in some well-being into your life, and meditation is one of them. The best part is it’s free and entirely up to you.
Now that you hold the key, are you ready to give it a try and see some positive effects yourself?
Why Do Animals Make Better Friends Than Humans?
Animals are the pure, raw souls that need little to be genuinely happy. In a world continually chasing after materialistic bliss and happiness, your furry friends find fulfillment in a bit of touch, a bit of affection, and a dollop of kindness.
There are no layers or hidden agendas, it’s just a beautiful bond of simplicity, or as popularly known as love. Somehow, for this generation, the meaning of the word love has been lost in translation. We are always after something, something better, something newer.
Our fast-paced approach has derailed basic human emotions and its purity. Friendships for many people is less of a bond, and more of an unsigned “give and take” policy. However, if you look into your dog’s crystal-clear eyes, nothing but love and deep affection reflect back.
That’s the beauty of building relations with animals; they want nothing but some warmth and your time. It’s a sense of fulfillment that makes you believe that being you is enough, along with an odd satisfying sense of acceptance when your four-legged buddy comes running up like there is no tomorrow.
Like a true friend, they listen to you and give you comfort in the most unprecedented ways. We may not share the same language, but some words can be understood even when unspoken.
We all look for hope and belief to be alive. Sometimes, it just needs a kind pair of eyes to stare at you with honest attention, without any judgment, to find that hope. I also believe honesty is a magically powerful language found in abundance in our furry friends.
But this is not only about pets; all animals in this world have something profound to offer. Their sense of affection, love, and gratitude is like a lighthouse in a deep dark sea.
All around the globe, you can find various instances of animals and their bonds with fellow humans developing in unimaginable ways, simply because of their beautiful, unspoiled souls. They are more precious than us, I think, by being able to portray love in the most natural and pure way.
If you have found it, always hold on to this feeling, because it is fulfilling and heart-touching to witness true love in their eyes, and eyes are thought to be the window of souls. At the end of the day, we are lucky to share this world with them, because they truly teach us how to be loved in this crazy, big world.
So try to do your part to save them and provide for them, because your act of kindness can go a long way!
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