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Mindfulness

Why Do Animals Make Better Friends Than Humans?

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pets

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. 

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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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Mindfulness

How Does Meditation Help You?

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Meditation

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? 

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Mindfulness

The Impact of Deep Melody

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Music is a form of art that has the power to touch your soul. Through this universal language, countless emotions have been depicted over the ages. The human mind grasps music differently under different circumstances. Even the same tune can be interpreted variedly from person to person. 

From Beethoven to Bach, Mozart to Yo Yo Ma, Einaudi to Mischka, the depth of soulful music is beyond the power of perception. The music created by these artists resonates deep within our souls through every note, every beat. 

If you close your eyes and listen to Yo Yo Ma’s rendition of the Prelude, irrespective of your mood, you will get absorbed into a moment of tranquil hard to describe in words. Or take, for example, Einaudi’s composition called “Waterways,” the sense of a pristine aura that lasts long after he finishes the piece, is simply beautiful.

Every note, chord, and tune affects your brain in a way you can’t even imagine. So here, we will try to explore some of the powers of music and the impacts of deep melodies.

Memory 

Since the 20th century numerous studies have been conducted to research the power of music over memory functioning of the human brain. Certain music can take your mind back decades in an instant. 

In a study conducted with dementia patients, it was found that music improves general well being, mood, orientation, and episodic memory recalls. It was shown to have an overall positive effect on life.

Stress Relief

Music can lower the cortisol levels in your body and can alleviate the symptoms of stress. 

According to the American Psychological Society, “In a trial conducted by University of Alberta, with 42 children aged between 3-11, it was found that while getting an IV inserted, patients who listened to relaxing music reported significantly less pain, and some demonstrated significantly less distress, compared with patients who did not listen to music.”

Alleviation of Pain 

Martin Luther King had famously said, “My heart, which is so full to overflowing, has often been solaced and refreshed by music when sick and weary.”

This statement, in fact, is quite true to an extent, as researchers now believe that listening to music triggers the release of opioids in our body. The same chemical comes into action when the body is in pain, acting as a natural antidote.  

Seizures

Christine Charyton, of the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, said that “Persons with epilepsy synchronize before a seizure. By listening to music, many patients reported that they felt relaxed.” 

Concluding Words

Music has the power to heal. It reaches the deepest corners of our soul and affects us in unprecedented ways. However, the depth of melody is without any boundaries of prefixed notes and scales. It is an eternal journey of understanding and perception beyond our senses.

“Music… will help dissolve your perplexities and purify your character and sensibilities, and in time of care and sorrow, will keep a fountain of joy alive in you.” ― Dietrich Bonhoeffer

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Health

4 Benefits of Doing Yoga Regularly

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Yoga is an excellent place to start a healthy lifestyle if your life has been quite a bit sedentary for some time. Even with health conditions like arthritis or osteoporosis, you can safely practice Yoga. With multiple types and forms of Yoga to choose from, you have the freedom to practice whatever suits you. Regular Yoga can help you become more robust and flexible by making it easier for you to do other exercises like dancing, walking, or swimming.

Moreover, it is also a great way to stay energetic and flexible. Your general alertness increases, and there is also a profound positive impact on mental health with Yoga. 

With regular practice, you will gradually notice overall well-being and a deep sense of inner peace. Yoga frees you of all the worry, stress, anxiety that bogs you down and lets you proceed towards a more holistic and spiritually fulfilling self-development.

Let’s take a look at four of the obvious benefits that come from practicing Yoga.

Cardiovascular

  • Improves poor blood circulation
  • Reduces high blood pressure
  • Reduces oxidative stress
  • Reduces body-wide inflammation, contributing to healthier hearts

Orthopedic

  • Improves mobility in people with lower back pain
  • Reduces risk for injury
  • Allows better coping with arthritis
  • Can slow down the advent of osteoporosis
  • Improves the condition of people with limited mobility

Stress-Anxiety-Depression

  • Reduces headaches
  • Helps you to have better control over tension or stress
  • Reduces anxiety levels and depression
  • Can help you get better sleep, improves insomnia
  • Relaxes your body
  • Increases overall mental and physical stability

Lung

  • Improves breathing patterns
  • Increases lung capacity
  • Improves lung output and pulse rates
  • Helps people with asthma, to control definitive symptoms

Final Comments

Yoga is an excellent way to heal your body, both physically and mentally. It allows you to have the perfect blend of de-stressing and exercise in a simple yet effective way.

A healthy body makes a healthy mind. Regular Yoga can help you achieve health and fitness. Moreover, daily practice brings in more discipline to your everyday life. Especially during these testing times of the COVID-19 pandemic, when we are all trapped in our homes, a regular fitness regime that is easy to follow is especially necessary.

The best part is that Yoga is trendy, and you can always find guidelines for the correct postures. With many materials and videos available online, you can start your fulfilling Yoga journey any moment you wish. So what’s stopping you today?

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