You may have heard of meditation and its potential health benefits by now. Meditation has come into the spotlight in the last few years with people looking to find ways to get rid of the stress in their lives. Personal issues, problems at work, lack of sleep and many more factors have toe lead to the rise in stress and diseases related to it. So is meditation the solution to it? And is it feasible for the common person to follow regularly? The answer to both this questions is yes. Meditation with its relaxing and tranquilizing effects on the mind has been proven to be effective in reducing stress and leading a peaceful life.
Mental and physical stress is known to increase the levels of the stress hormone cortisol in the body, which produces many of the damaging effects of the stress. These effects then cause anxiety and depression, increase blood pressure, affect sleep and lead to brain fog and fatigue.
How Meditation Can Be Your Key
Research has shown that those who practice meditation regularly experience changes in their response to stress that helps them to recover from stressful situations more easily and experience reduced stress from the challenges they face in life.
Other research has found changes that are associated with a decreased reactivity towards stress in the brains of people practicing meditation regularly. So now that we have got the research-backed benefits of meditation, let’s move on to how you can incorporate meditation into your daily life.
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Foods to Eat Before a Meditation Session
There are some foods which can help you in boosting your meditation efforts.
Dark chocolate, fresh fruits, and green juices are known to help in meditation, but the most effective food or beverage that you can consume to boost your meditation is matcha green tea. It has been the preferred drink consumed by Buddhist Zen monks before beginning a long phase of meditation.
Meditation Can Be Done Anywhere
There are many different types of meditation, most of which don’t require any special space or equipment to perform. You just need to take out a few minutes every day in preferably a silent setting, so that you don’t get distracted easily.
There are two major styles of meditation:
1) Concentrative or Focused-attention meditation
2) Contemplative or Open-monitoring meditation.
We are going to focus on the first one here.
Concentrative meditation involves concentrating your attention on a single thought, sound, object or visualization. You may start by sitting in a comfortable posture, it can be any kind of posture unless you don’t fall asleep in it.
Once you are in a comfortable position, start settling your mind and detaching yourself from all the things going on in your life. Take a few deep breaths and bring your awareness towards your breath, noticing the inhalation and exhalation of each passing breath.
Feel your breath passing through your body, filling up your lungs and then releasing through your throat and your mouth. Start to lengthen and deepen each breath as time passes. Deep breaths help in settling and relaxing the mind and the body. Practice this for the entire duration of your meditation session, gradually increasing your time.
For starters, you can begin with 10 minutes or whatever time you manage to focus for. Other than your breath, you can also focus on a mantra or a calming sound. So start doing meditation regularly and move towards a stress-free and happiness-filled life.