This is achieved through repeating a special mantra given to you by a qualified Transcendental Meditation teacher. The mantra is repeated internally in your mind, and you place your focus solely on your breath and the sounds of the mantra. When other thoughts arise, you let them be but do not engage with them.
A healthy immune system is responsible for fighting off bacteria, viruses, and fungi among other invaders. Stress can have negative impacts on your immune system, so it is important to learn how to stay calm during times of high stress, such as a pandemic. Here’s how.
Your body is continually exposed to organisms through your nose, mouth, eyes, and skin. It is then up to the immune system to choose how to fight off these organisms. The immune system responds to illness by creating white blood cells. However, its ability to do so is suppressed when the mind and body are facing stress.
- The Impact of Stress on Your Immune System
- 1. Explore Moderate-to-Intense Forms of Movement
- 2. Introduce an Electronic Sabbath
- 3. Seek Sunshine and Nature to Stay Calm
- 4. Spend Time with Pets and Loved Ones
- 5. Explore Activities that Make You Lose Track of Time
- 6. Socialize
- 7. Develop Your Spiritual Practice
The Impact of Stress on Your Immune System
When you are met with stressful situations, your body protects you by entering into the fight-or-flight mode. During this mode, your sympathetic nervous system is activated, which causes your heart rate and blood pressure to increase, your muscles to constrict, and your digestion to take a break.
In this state, the body releases cortisol, adrenaline, noradrenaline, and a host of hormones that may decrease white blood cells. This process helps you fight or flee from any dangers that you’re encountering. However, at the same time, you can suffer if you stay in that mode for too long, or if you are constantly in and out of fight-or-flight mode.
From 1982 to 1992, psychologist Janice Kiecolt-Glaser, Ph.D., and immunologist Ronald Glaser, Ph.D., studied the role of stress on medical students. They discovered that students’ immunity was compromised during testing and examination times. They had fewer natural killer cells that are responsible for fighting tumors and viruses.
Additionally, they stopped producing immunity-boosting gamma interferon. Their T-cells had a weak response to test-tube stimulation.
Stress not only impacts the numbers of white blood cells in circulation and the quantity of antibodies in the blood, but it is also associated with changes in the functioning of immune cells. People who have undergone stressful periods have a relatively large decrease in both lymphocyte proliferation and natural killer cell activity.
The longer the period of stress, the greater decrease in the number of specific types of white blood cells.
Other functions of the body are also compromised under mental and emotional disturbances. A study by Yale found that the brain shrinks under chronic stress.
Researchers examined tissues from both people that were and were not depressed. They found that those who were depressed had fewer expressions of genes that were necessary for proper brain functioning. Lastly, stress can be a trigger for inflammation. Chronic inflammation leads your immune system to attack itself out of confusion.
This may result in autoimmune conditions, obesity, mood disorders, and chronic fatigue syndrome among other conditions.
The point of this information is not to set an expectation of never encountering stress, but rather to explore how you can practically recover from it. Ideally, you want the body to elicit the relaxation response every time it is recovering from a stressful scenario.
It is normal and inevitable for you to experience fear, worry, anger, and a host of emotions during a pandemic. At the same time, it serves you deeply to acknowledge that you can process these emotions for your mental, emotional, and physical well-being. You can elicit the relaxation response and move from the sympathetic to the parasympathetic nervous system.
The following are some ways for you to regulate your nervous system.
1. Explore Moderate-to-Intense Forms of Movement
You can try jogging, intuitive dancing, or jumping on a trampoline. There are also meditative forms of movement such as yoga, tai chi, or qi gong. Endless courses are available online, but you may want to join a group that meets live to increase your feelings of connection.
2. Introduce an Electronic Sabbath
Your nervous system becomes overstimulated from notifications and multitasking. Aim to put your phone away at least an hour before bedtime, and perhaps for 2-3 hours during the day.
3. Seek Sunshine and Nature to Stay Calm
The outdoors offers you healing through serotonin-producing sunshine, mineral-rich soil, and oxygen-producing plants. Low levels of serotonin can affect your mood and is associated with depression. In fact, studies attribute the relationship between psychiatric symptoms and seasonal variations in sunlight to changes in serotonin levels.
Another study found that spending time in a forest led to decreases in blood pressure, serum cortisol levels, and urinary adrenaline.
4. Spend Time with Pets and Loved Ones
Relationships with pets and loved ones can help you experience the most beautiful aspects of being human—love, joy, and fulfillment. It’s tricky to find the time, but with intention, you can carve out space for those who matter.
5. Explore Activities that Make You Lose Track of Time
This can be activities such as reading, painting, or watching a movie. Excuse yourself from your to-do list, and let yourself spend some time without an agenda.
Consider starting a book club, spiritual group study, or virtual game night. Keep in touch with old friends and develop new relationships with people who share similar interests as you.
7. Develop Your Spiritual Practice
Meditation, Reiki healing, journaling, and prayer are tools to connect with the love and light that is your truest essence. With consistency, you will build a reserve of faith and hope.
For your optimal health, the quality of your mental and emotional state is as important as your vitamins, hand sanitizers, and masks. Your immune system’s vitality largely depends on the functioning of the nervous and endocrine systems.
While various studies demonstrate the effects of stress on white blood cells, the adrenal glands, hormones, and brain function, you do have the ability to move out of the fight-or-flight response. Lifestyle shifts, from exercise to spending time with others, can help you navigate this pandemic with more ease in mind and body.
Make your time a quality one. Stay calm and avoid stress. Thes tips here will help you stay calm amidst the turmoil. It keeps you grounded. When you stay calm, everything else falls into place. Make your life stress-free. Stay calm and feel calm at all times.
Original article by Parita Shah, Reiki Practitioner and Energy Healer.
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6 Steps To Meditate For Better Brain Health
6 Steps To Meditate For Better Brain Health
What exactly is the right way to meditate? Well, in truth, there’s no right or wrong way to meditate. While it can be intimidating to do meditation the “right” way, it’s actually a personal practice, meaning that you learn as you go.
In addition, most people will think that it’s hard to meditate, due to their thoughts interfering with their concentration. However, thinking is part of the process, meaning that a perfectionist mindset simply won’t suffice.
Like running, the body is about training and practice, regardless if your mind is calm or hyperactive. And, like going to the gym, meditation is a routine that you’ll get used to after a while. Just keep in mind, like regular exercise, don’t push yourself too hard – take baby steps.
In this article, we’ll introduce you to the 6 simple steps on how you can meditate to the best of your ability, and how you can keep practicing it to where you’ll have better brain health.
Find A Quiet Place
“First, it’s important to find a quiet and comfortable environment to meditate in,” says Michael Lackey, a lifestyle blogger at Australian Help and Essay Roo. “Once you’ve found a good place to meditate, then be sure to eliminate any disruptions. That means putting away any electronics that may distract you. And, you should dim the lights, if you can.”
Plus, make sure that when you sit on the floor or on chair, your feet are on the ground and that your back is straight. Or, if you want to lie down, then you can.
Closing your eyes allows you to get into the mood, and to prep yourself for relaxing. Once you close your eyes, relax your body by staying still and make yourself loose and less tense.
Once you relax, start focusing on breath. As you focus on breathing, feel the sensation of doing so. Take notice on your inhales and exhales. Inhale and exhale deeply, and feel the sensation of the air going in and out of you – inhale through the nose, and then exhale through the mouth.
Once you have a good rhythm from breathing, pay attention to your chest. Notice how your chest expands and contracts as you breathe.
Don’t Silence Your Thoughts
When you start meditating, it’s normal for your brain to stir. In other words, you may hear a lot of “chatter” going on in your head. But the truth is, racing thoughts are part of the process, because you’re not used to having a calm mind in the real world. And now that you’re meditating, it’s time to get everything back in order.
But with that said, don’t try to stop thinking, or else you’ll waste time quieting your mind when you should be calming yourself while meditating. Therefore, let your thoughts flow through your mind. Just acknowledge your thoughts being there, but don’t try to engage with them.
The important part is to focus on breath. Whenever you find yourself drifting away in your thoughts, just return and find your breath.
Stay Calm And Focus
“There are two simple ways to stay calm and focused, as you meditate,” says James Margolin, a content writer at State of Writing and Paper Fellows. “You can either continue to focus on your breath, or you can use a mantra or a prayer that you’re familiar with. Focus on either or, and be sure to be calm as you do so.”
While the recommended time to meditate is normally a minimum of 15 minutes, according to most meditation experts and gurus, in actuality, you can spend as much as you want meditating. However, if you do so in less than 15 minutes, then that’s okay too.
Plus, it’s normal to struggle with this routine at first; but as you set some time to meditate each week (and each day, if desired), you’ll soon make it a habit to do this. The goal here is to be consistent in your meditating, and then you’ll feel the results (i.e. a clear and relaxed mind).
Since meditation is all about self-discovery, it’s okay for your mind to wander. But eventually, you’ll be able to keep your thoughts in order, as you focus on being calm and on breathing. Remember: focus on the experience, not your brain.
Kristin Herman is a writer and editor at UK Writings and Academized. She writes articles for online publications, such as Boom Essays. As a tech enthusiast, she blogs about the latest trends in technology and meditative practices. And, as a project manager, she has overseen many writing projects nationwide.
5 Natural Ways To Relax & Get Centered
5 Natural ways to relax and get centered.Yes, there are plenty of ways you can de-stress, unwind, enjoy time with your self and get centered. Getting centered, it sounds a little offbeat to those of you who don’t meditate or practice other self-awareness rituals. Maybe the word mindfulness is better. Either way, hear me out.
We all have a busy and hectic life, throw in kids and it gets even crazier. So how do you destress? I know you have a girls night or even guys night out to unwind and blow off steam. Aren’t their ways to do this without the potential use of alcohol and a hangover? The next morning is never any fun.
No need to be wary this doesn’t require guru knowledge on meditation, yoga just open-mindedness. Being centered merely means being at peace with who you are, in every moment. Stillness and quiet are what that means for me. To thine own self be true.
These five things will help you to de-stress and allow you to exhale. The key is to be in the moment and let your feelings, energy and mind flow in all of these exercises.
5 Natural Ways to Relax and De-Stress
First, let’s discuss journaling. Yes, we are going back to the “dear diary” days but a more grown-up version. Pick out a journal or notebook, whatever you like. You may ask “what do I write once I open the notebook (love that movie BTW, the book was even better)?”
To start, looking at a blank page can be intimidating if you’ve never journaled before. The first thing I like to do is start by writing the date at the top of the page. On days you have a lot of feelings to get out just start writing. You’re not getting graded on these entries so don’t worry about how to properly get started and use correct punctuation and grammar. Just let yourself flow.
Start with “I feel…” and go from there. The entries can be short or long. I’ve written pages upon pages before and then only a single page other times. Really allow yourself to be in the moment and let your emotions flow. Something happens during this process that is therapeutic. You’re able to self reflect and analyze a situation better, step back and see things differently. Read how to do automatic writing or journaling here.
You can do this at the end of my day, or when the mood strikes you. I believe getting emotions out and not holding them in helps to heal your spirit. At the very least, it helps you to be calm and learn about yourself.
So pick up a pen and notebook and start de-stressing. Journaling is for your personal use only. No one ever has to read it or see it, unless you want them to. Over the years I’ve used many different kinds of journals. I’m currently using this moleskin journal. I love the feel of the paper and smooth writing.
Walking in Nature
Nature is an all-encompassing cure for feeding the soul. A simple walk in nature can alleviate stress, calm you down through exercise, and feed your soul. Listening to birds chirping, wind rustling through the leaves of tall pine trees, water gently waving in the lake as the reflection of the sun bounces off the water.
That my friend is relaxing and total de-stresses the best of us. Nature almost forces you to be still and quiet. Listen to the sounds around you and lookup. Oh my gosh, the joy of just looking up! We don’t take the time to just look up and observe.
Look at the trees swaying in the wind, geese flying over information, clouds moving pass. Do this and take a breathe and exhale. The simple things we don’t pay attention to because we look down, at our devices. Busy rushing through from one stop to the next.
Take that walk in the park, listen to the sounds, and breathe. Breathe and walk with intention. It’s more of a stroll rather than a timed fast walk. Try not to have your headphones in the entire time. It’s tempting, and some days I do it myself. Or I listen to audible but nonetheless I’m still observing nature and taking it in. If you live in a busy loud city then turn on calming music.
Taking the time to do this a couple of times of a week or more, if you can, helps bring you back to being centered. Quiet on the inside to where you can hear your true self. Not the restless chatter that you hear all day. Give yourself a break and take a walk.
There are so many different types of meditation from mindfulness, transcendental, guided, sound and the list goes on and on. I’ve tried a lot of these, read about it here, to see if there was one that worked best for me or that I connected to most.
As I mention throughout my blog, no two people are the same therefore no two people will meditate or do anything for that matter the same. We will all have different experiences with meditation. Trying different types will help you not only learn what you like but also allow you to practice meditation itself.
I have found that mindfulness of breath meditation is best for me. It is bringing awareness to your breath. I prefer to be in a quiet room where I will not be interrupted, hard to find these days with 2 little shadows. Don’t be surprised if you catch me in the closet trying to get some meditation time in, just sayin’ do whatcha gotta do.
You can use an eye mask, to make it dark, I find this helps me to relax and focus. You’ll have to try again and again before you learn to really quiet the mind.
This is a learning process so please keep on the path and don’t give up. Start with a few minutes at a time and build up from there. You’ll notice over time you can meditate a little longer each time, and it becomes easier to get into that state.
Everyone should practice yoga, at least once. You have to try it to know if you like it. My yoga journey started around 16 years ago or more. I will admit that I haven’t done it continuously during those 16 years. There were some years that I didn’t practice at all. Other times I would attend a yoga class 4-5 times a week. Currently, I practice yoga in my bedroom with my favorite yoga youtube channels.
Just like meditation, there are many types of yoga styles. As a result, I’ve tried many of them and learned which ones I like best. You do the same.
Yoga has many physical benefits such as increased flexibility, muscle strengthening, lower blood pressure, reduce stress and the list goes on. As far as de-stressing, well this helps with that too.
You don’t even have to leave your own home to try, especially if classes aren’t your thing. With that yoga classes have a different environment than other “gym” type classes. Everyone is focused on themselves and their own practice. There isn’t that feeling of everyone is watching me.
The flow of the poses is very soothing once you learn the salutations or sequences. That word mindfulness comes in again. It’s hard to not be during yoga. You become very focused on your pose and breathe that this, in turn, becomes its own meditation. It never ceases to amaze me how quiet the mind gets when you are practicing yoga. It’s almost effortless.
5 – HTP
5–Hydroxytryptophan (5–HTP) is an amino acid that your body already produces. It’s derived from an African plant known as Griffonia simplicifolia. It helps to increase the serotonin levels in your body thus boosting your mood. Allowing you to be more mindful and less stressed and preoccupied.
It’s a natural supplement that offers numerous benefits including a calming effect. To learn more about 5-HTP as a natural stress reliever read the article that goes into more depth.
There you have it 5 natural ways to relax and take a moment for your self. Self-care is a buzz word that we’re hearing everywhere right now. Don’t think its not for you or you don’t have time. Making time will only improve your daily life and mental health.
Being mindful during any of these activities will bring you to a more relaxed state and bring you into alignment. Find what works best for you and continue to develop your own self-care routine.
This article is republished by https://inspirehealthandspirit.com/ under Creative Commons license. Read the original.
Total Meditation: Your Positive Emotions in a New Light
Your positive emotions matter…
The wellness movement has been taking hold for more than a decade. By increments, certain aspects of people’s lives have improved, while in others it hasn’t. Smoking is down, for example, but millions of people are stressed. Insomnia, overweight, anxiety, and depression remain at a troubling high level.
The 3 Obstacles to Positive Emotions
With this spotty record of success in mind, let’s ask what has gone wrong. There are three major things that haven’t worked out well.
- Thinking in terms of risks.
Standard prevention is based on reducing your risk of illness, which sounds reasonable. But the motivation behind risk prevention is the fear of something going wrong, and fear is a bad motivator.
When they forget to be fearful or grow tired of seeing life thorough anxious eyes, people stop complying with what they know is good for them.
A piecemeal approach.
There are so many parts to a wellness program that you could spend the whole day attending simply to diet and exercise for yourself and your family while attending to the demands of work and everyday duties.
Millions of people race against the clock every day and are lucky if they can squeeze in time for yoga, meditation, relaxation, and finding a source of enjoyment that feels fulfilling.
Once wellness becomes complicated, it is hard to adopt the right priorities—there is too much to choose from. Between trying to do the right thing and backsliding, countless people turn to pharmaceutical drugs for sleeplessness, worry, and depression. Fast-food chains continue to thrive, as do packaged-and-processed convenience foods at the supermarket.
This picture of a lifestyle rife with confusion and fragmentation can be turned around, beginning with a new starting point. If you see yourself first as infinite consciousness expressing itself as a mind, body, and spirit, you are in a new position.
You can base wellness on the totality of your awareness. From this starting point, practical benefits derive not by struggling to lead the “perfect” lifestyle but by discovering for yourself that consciousness can take care of you.
Embracing Infinite Consciousness
Right now, you may believe your mind is taking care of you, but your mind isn’t the same as consciousness. The mind is filled with activity while consciousness is unmoving and unchanging.
The mind experiences good and bad ideas, emotions, memories, and desires. Consciousness simply is. The mind is personal, shaped to fit your story and no one else’s. Consciousness is universal. It allows you to be free of your story and all the problems it has created, which include many kinds of limitations.
To get down to particulars, a wellness strategy based on the totality of consciousness puts its highest priority on being conscious. I’ve devoted a forthcoming book, Total Meditation, to this issue. The main thesis is that if you are aligned with the infinite field of pure awareness, life will begin to display the most important values that have their origin in pure awareness, namely:
- Creativity Intelligence
- Inner peace
- Personal evolution
By putting these values first in your life, you will be coming closer to your source.
The secret of total well-being is to live as close to your source as possible. This represents a major change of direction in almost everyone’s life. Constantly immersed in mental activity, a typical life attempts two impossible things: First, to create wholeness out of bits and pieces. The state of fragmentation and separation cannot be cobbled together into wholeness.
Second, people attempt to find fulfillment by thinking and desiring. Thoughts and desires are constant companions. They come and go, having no stability that you can place your trust in.
You can, however, place your trust in consciousness. In everyone’s life, there are glimpses of consciousness through the values just mentioned, beginning with love, compassion, and beauty.
But a large quotient of your days may be spent in unconscious living. You are bound up in habits; conditioning; fixed beliefs; self-defeating attitudes; the practice of avoidance, delay, and denial; and the struggle to get ahead. Well-being consists of reversing the quotient so that your daily life is more conscious than unconscious.
How to Cultivate Total Meditation
To achieve this reversal, it helps to set time aside for meditation, but that alone isn’t enough. A hit-and-miss approach to meditation provides a small oasis of calm during the day, but that’s not your real goal.
Your real goal is to be present, aware, alert, and restful without stress. In that light, I am recommending something new: total meditation. Its basic principle is that the mind wants to be calm, centered, open, alert, present, and free of stress.
Therefore, your daily life should be focused on noticing whenever you are distracted, stressed, fatigued, worried, or in any way displaced from a sense of feeling centered and content. This new focus represents a big change, but there’s an axiom to keep in mind: You cannot change what you aren’t aware of.
Awareness brings you back to yourself with calm clarity. Being centered is possible at any moment. You simply sit by yourself quietly, close your eyes, and take a few deep breaths. Place your attention in the center of your chest and relax. Usually, this centering exercise works in a few minutes.
Repetition is critical. You need to center yourself as soon as you notice that you have lapsed into unconsciousness. Each time you center yourself, you are calling upon pure awareness to rebalance the whole mind-body system. In essence, you are reminding yourself, and all your cells, that you are first and foremost a conscious being.
In time, this will become your truth more and more. Total well-being is possible only through total awareness, yet every moment of waking up has its short-term benefit, too. That’s the beauty and promise of wellness as a total project that anyone can undertake here and now.
You can think of positive thoughts and make positive emotions rule your life. Having positive emotions will give you the wellness you deserve. Let your positive emotions shine and be the light. Others will see these positive emotions. Once you exude these, you’ll become an inspiration to all.
Original article by Deepak Chopra™, M.D.
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How Daily Meditation Renews Your Body and Brain
If you are looking to renew your vitality, reset your focus, and recharge your body, daily meditation is the tried and true path that will lead you to the fulfillment of these goals. Here’s how.
For the vast majority of people, 2020 has been filled with unexpected challenges. Pandemic-induced health concerns, career turbulence, loss of routines, and future uncertainties have left many individuals with a generalized sense of unease.
Fortunately, stepping into a space of renewal does not require a retreat center stay nor an elaborately planned vacation. Meditation can provide the necessary escape that will allow you to hit your reset button.
Consciously resting in stillness while releasing resistance to the present moment is a powerfully accessible tool, which research has shown can reduce the effects of stress and equip you to better handle whatever experiences lie around the corner.
For some people, meditation may conjure images of Buddhist monks sitting in lotus posture for hours. However, modern practice looks much more like business executives pausing for five mindful minutes prior to meetings or parents coming into the present moment before responding to a child.
Whether you are meditating in a forest or an office, for hours or minutes, using mantra or mindfulness, the practice of meditation has been linked to potent physical and neurological benefits. The following is a small sampling of the myriad ways that meditation can renew your body and brain.
Decreases the Risk of Chronic Disease
The first notable effect of meditation is that the parasympathetic nervous system (PNS), which is sometimes called the “rest and digest” system, is activated. This system begins in the brain and sends messages to the body that tell it to lower the heart rate, decrease blood pressure, improve digestion, reduce stress hormones, bolster immunity, and relax muscles.
When the PNS is turned on, the body allocates its resources to removing damaged cells, neutralizing toxins, and destroying free radicals. Unfortunately, most people live with mild-to-moderate stress that turns off the PNS, compromises immune function, and contributes to chronic diseases.
By regularly entering a state of physical and mental relaxation via meditation, you can support your body’s natural health processes, and thereby mitigate the risk of disease.
Dr. Ilya Monosov, Ph.D., of the Departments of Neuroscience and Biomedical Engineering at Washington University in St. Louis, MO, discovered that anxiety is highly linked with uncertainty.
When you know something unpleasant is going to occur, you are actually better able to neurologically adapt than when you do not know for certain. Meditation can help to calm the anxiety that bubbles to the surface when presented with life’s uncontrollable factors.
Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid, or GABA, is a naturally occurring amino acid that is increased through meditation. GABA attaches to receptors in the brain to produce a calming effect that tones down the effects of stress and anxiety.
In addition to increasing GABA, meditation reduces anxiety by decreasing activity in the amygdala, the part of the brain responsible for activating fear, anxiety, and stress responses. In one Harvard study, researchers found that meditation decreased activity in the amygdala, thereby pacifying anxiety response patterns.
Daily Meditation Improves Sleep
Meditation prior to sleep naturally increases levels of melatonin, a hormone that regulates the sleep-wake cycle and contributes to refreshing rest. In addition to promoting sounder sleep, melatonin is credited with enhancing immune function and lowering blood pressure. Recent research even suggests that melatonin may protect against the neurodegeneration seen in Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases.
Maintains a Youthful Brain
A study from UCLA found that long-term meditators maintained more youthful brains than their non-meditating counterparts. A more youthful brain equates to quicker recall, increased focus, easier learning, more enthusiasm, greater adaptability, and better problem-solving skills. By slowing age-related gray matter loss, meditators were able to halt the aging process within their brains.
Calms Activity in the Default Mode Network (DMN)
In a study from Yale University, researchers found that meditation helped to quiet down the incessant mental chatter that is typically associated with decreased happiness.
By settling activity in the DMN, meditators were able to stop dwelling on past and future thoughts and be present more often. And even when their mind did wander, the new neural pathways created through meditation helped individuals to come back to the present moment more quickly.
Increases Life Span
Dehydroepiandrosterone, or DHEA, is a hormone that counteracts the damaging effects of the stress hormone cortisol, as well as provides building blocks for estrogen and testosterone production. A 12-year study found that DHEA levels were significantly correlated with mortality in men over the age of 50. The less DHEA measured in the test subject’s blood, the shorter their life span was.
Fortunately, DHEA is naturally increased through the practice of meditation. In simple terms, that means that meditation helps you live longer.
Leads to Feelings of Renewal in Two Months of Practice
You may be thinking that you would have to practice meditation for a long time in order to reap all of its benefits. But Harvard University researchers found that the structure of the brain can actually be changed with just eight weeks of meditation.
Harvard professor Sara Lazar discovered that the hippocampus, the part of the brain that controls memory, learning, and self-regulation, becomes significantly thicker with just two months of mindfulness practice. That means that in just eight weeks you can create changes in your body and brain that will enliven your physical, mental, and emotional well-being.
If you are looking to renew your vitality, reset your focus, and recharge your body, meditation is the tried and true path that will lead you to the fulfillment of those goals. You don’t have to go anywhere or spend any money.
In fact, you can begin by simply deepening your very next breath. Then when you finish reading this article, close your eyes, and continue those full, nourishing breaths for 10 breath cycles. Notice how just a few minutes of mindful breathing can initiate the renewal process. It really is as simple as that.
Let daily meditation guide you to a better body and brain. If you do daily meditation, you’ll feel your body will change. Daily meditation lightens the burden of everyday struggles. Let these steps on daily meditation be your every day guide to make yourself feel better.
Original article by Erin Easterly.
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How to Do Chakra Cleansing and Free Your Energy
When you feel your energy is low, learn these chakra cleansing techniques and get your energy on track.
If you’ve been feeling less vital and energetic or in an emotional funk, it’s possible that you have a chakra that is clogged or stuck. Contrary to popular belief, chakras are not the newest fad in the yoga world, but rather an ancient system for understanding your body’s energy.
The chakras are located in the central channel of the energetic spine, sometimes referred to as the sushumna. This major route of energy flow (nadi) starts at the base of the spine and runs up to the crown of the head.
What exactly are each of the chakra meanings, where are the chakras located and how would you know if you were stuck?
Signs of Blocked Energy at Each Chakra
1st Chakra: Being depleted of first chakra energy feels like a survival crisis. You can’t get grounded because you are stuck in your head. By contrast, if you have too much energy at the root, you can become greedy or excessive in behaviors. These are misguided attempts to get grounded.
2nd Chakra: When someone is stuck in their sacral chakra, they struggle with being ruled by their emotions or the opposite of this, which is feeling numb or out of touch. There’s also a correlation to sexual desire (or the lack thereof) at this level. Creativity and pleasure are both found at this energetic level.
3rd Chakra: This chakra is often considered the power center, and when out of balance, self-esteem may be low and decision-making can feel out of control. Temper flare-ups are also common when energy isn’t flowing well here.
4th Chakra: The heart chakra, when flowing with energy, feels filled with love, compassion, forgiveness, and acceptance. When there’s a blockage at this energy level, anger, jealousy, grief, or self-hatred can be more prominent.
5th Chakra: This chakra is the source of speaking your most authentic truth. When energy is blocked or low here, fear of not being accepted or of being judged becomes a problem. You might also feel out of touch with your opinions and desires and have challenge in making choices.
6th Chakra: The word Ajna means “beyond wisdom,” and when this chakra is open, you experience expanded imagination, clairvoyance, and intuition. When there is a blockage at this level, there can be a tendency to be over-involved in fantasy or imagination. Lack of focus or clouded judgment can also occur.
7th Chakra: The crown chakra connects you to the wider universal energy, so when this area has a block, isolation or emotional distress can occur. This may present as an inability to set or follow through on goals or an overall lack of direction and feelings of disconnection.
How to do Chakra Cleansing & Get Energy Flowing
When energy is stuck in a particular chakra, help get it flowing again through these tips:
1st Chakra (Root)
- Element: The root chakra is associated with earth, so walking barefoot in the sand, grass, or dirt can be beneficial. Any time spent in nature is helpful for this chakra.
- Nutrition: Eat healthy red foods like tomatoes, beets, berries, and apples.
- Wear and Decorate: Use accents of red and wear red jewelry, clothing, or shoes.
- Sound: lam
2nd Chakra (Sacral)
- Element: The sacral chakra is associated with water, which means swimming or spending time by bodies of water like lakes and oceans is beneficial.
- Nutrition: Eat orange foods like carrots, oranges, melons, or mangoes.
- Wear and Decorate: Surround yourself with orange accessories or tones.
- Sound: vam
3rd Chakra (Solar Plexus)
- Element: The solar plexus chakra is associated with the element of fire, so enjoy sitting around a bonfire or soak up bright sunlight.
- Nutrition: Eat yellow foods like bananas, ginger, turmeric, pineapple, and corn.
- Wear and Decorate: Wearing yellow clothing, jewelry, and accessories would be beneficial.
- Sound: ram
4th Chakra (Heart)
- Elements: The heart chakra is associated with air, so breathing deeply will help to clear the energy at this level. Drive with the windows open, fly a kite, or take a boat ride.
- Nutrition: Eat green foods including broccoli, avocado, and leafy greens like kale or spinach.
- Wear and Decorate: Accent your life with all shades of green.
- Sound: yum
5th Chakra (Throat)
- Element: The throat chakra is associated with ether (similar to spirit), so sitting in an open space under a clear sky is a fabulous way to get this energy flowing appropriately.
- Nutrition: Eat blue foods like blueberries, currants, dragon fruit, and kelp.
- Wear and Decorate: Use all blue tones.
- Sound: ham
6th Chakra (Third Eye)
- Element: The third eye chakra is associated with light. To balance and open this chakra, sit in stillness in the sunlight or relax in a window as the sun pours in.
- Nutrition: Eat indigo foods including purple kale, grapes, and blackberries.
- Wear and Decorate: Wearing indigo clothing or jewelry and decorating with accents of this color will be useful.
- Sound: sham
7th Chakra (Crown)
- Element: The crown chakra is affiliated with all the elements, so connecting with your wholeness rather than a single element is the recommended practice. Spend time in meditation, chanting, or prayer.
- Nutrition: At this level, the nutrition is no longer for the physical body. This chakra is not nourished with food, but with spiritual practices. Practice self-reflection and curiosity.
- Wear and Decorate: Wearing violet clothing or jewelry and decorating with accents of this color will be useful.
- Sound: om
The best way to free your energy is learn chakra cleansing. You need to do chakra cleansing in order to re-focus your senses. Once you do chakra cleansing, you think straight and it lightens up your mood.
Original article by Tamara Lechner.
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5 Ways To A Meditative Mind You Need to Know About
Find ways to have a meditative mind right now…
Meditation has come a long way since it first became popular in the West during the 1960s. Some of the most popular and effective methods are now backed by scientific evidence, showcasing the benefits meditation has on the body and our mental health. While meditation has been around for ages, only recently has it become a part of popular Western culture.
Currently in the modern world, there are five meditation practices that have stood the test of time. The reason for this is that they provide the most successful results, some of which can be felt after only one session.
In this article, you’ll learn what these five methods are and how you can benefit from practicing them. Each of the techniques should be practiced for at least 20 minutes to have maximum impact.
Mindfulness was developed to help us place our attention fully in the present moment. It doesn’t have a focus on spirituality; its sole purpose is to teach the student awareness of presence.
What are the benefits of this? When we learn to become fully present, we can see our thoughts as separate from us, meaning we don’t have to engage with every one of them. Learning to watch negative thoughts come and go without harming us is one of the foundational principles of mindfulness.
Popularized by Jon Kabat-Zinn, mindfulness teaches us to avoid secondary suffering. Secondary suffering is where we enhance our own pain by thinking about something negative that’s happened to us and then replaying it like a mental movie over and over again.
Through developing mind awareness, we can learn to tune out secondary suffering and most negative thoughts, helping us to live in a happier, lighter and healthier state of being.
Transcendental Meditation was popularized by the Maharishi in the 1960s when he met The Beatles and taught it to them. The purpose of this method is to silence the mind and transcend to the source of all present-moment awareness.
After a while has passed, you will find your mind activity is very quiet and peaceful, and you will have transcended to the core of your being.
This is the purpose of this technique. A certified Transcendental Meditation teacher is the only person qualified to teach you this method, as he or she knows what mantra is right for you and how to show you the process in its latest form with complete precision.
Walking meditation is a fast-growing meditation method that provides a unique experience to most other techniques. Typically, it involves slow, mindful walking in nature, where the student can use her surroundings to anchor herself in the present moment.
This technique can be great for beginners to meditation as the grounding apparatus is very influential because your senses are far more active. You feel the wind and air passing across your face and the contact between your feet and the ground.
This method is typically practiced on nature walks; however, you can use it wherever you wish as long as you feel comfortable in your environment. Meditation teaches us that anything can be used as an anchor into the present moment; therefore, this particular technique could even be used in a busy city center!
Mantra Meditation To A Meditative Mind
Similar to Transcendental Meditation, mantra meditation uses a word or series of words repeated over and over again to quiet the mind. Mantras can be repeated aloud or internally depending on your environment and how comfortable you are with chanting out loud. There are hundreds of different mantras all with different meanings.
Mantra meditation is typically practiced while sitting in a meditative pose, using slow relaxing breaths. The same principle applies as for most meditation methods where you allow everything to be just as it is in the moment.
Thoughts and distractions will arise, but the trick is to know that that’s okay. Let everything be as it is, and simply focus on your mantra. You’ll find that if you concentrate on the process of mantra meditation, all distractions will melt away naturally over time.
Mala Bead Meditation
This meditation method involves using mala beads. Mala beads are usually made out of wood but can also come in the form of precious gemstones. An authentic mala bead necklace has 108 beads. The student is supposed to count each bead using a mantra.
The entire mantra is repeated on each single bead, meaning the mantra is stated in its entirety 108 times. Mala meditation should be done slowly with deep breaths. Once you reach the end of the beads on the necklace, you’ll find that your mind activity has decreased and you’re in a state of peacefulness and contentment.
Overall, these five methods have proven themselves to be the kings of the world of meditation. You can learn more details about each of them online via YouTube videos, blogs, and other sources.
After learning more about these techniques online, you may wish to take things further and deepen your meditational practices. The best way to do so is to seek out a teacher who’s experienced in your chosen method and learn directly from him or her.
Meditation helps in your well-being. Having a meditative mind can be achieved with these meditation practices. When you have a meditative mind, you’ll be able to have a fair decision in life. Be open to change and create a meditative mind at all times.
A meditative mind makes you calm. A meditative mind makes you stronger. You can see more with a meditative mind.
Original articleby Diamond, a keen meditator whose favorite methods are mindfulness and transcendental meditation. She enjoys developing awareness by helping others find the right kinds of meditation to suit their needs and personality types.
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