My last blog discussed the three essentials of brain health: oxygen, proper fuel and stimulation. This week’s blog discusses something that promotes two of the three essentials: Meditation.

Countless studies assert that meditation is one of the most effective ways to support brain health. Employing both controlled breathing and brain stimulation, meditation can:

• Reduce pain, anxiety, depression, and stress;
• Strengthen the immune system;
• Preserve the brain from rapid aging;
• Help with addiction;
• Improve concentration and creativity; and
• Decrease pain and blood pressure.

What Exactly is Meditation?

Meditation can be defined as focused, contemplative time, and has been practiced by many cultures all over the world.  Its goal is to create and sustain a focused, present mental state. Usually practiced in a quiet location, meditation changes heart rate, breathing, and cortisol responses. People can meditate while lying down, sitting, or walking, as long as they can achieve a calm and positive state of mind.

Why is Meditation Important?

In today’s fast-paced world, it is important to make time for activities that allow you to relax, restore and regenerate—activities like meditation. After all, the National Institutes of Stress reports as many as 90% of all illnesses are caused directly or indirectly by stress.

Now, you may be thinking, “Meditate? I’m not a monk…I’m not even that spiritual.” Don’t worry, you don’t have to be a monk to meditate. Anyone can do it and if you haven’t already, I urge you to give it a try.

How to Get Started with Meditation

• Select a quiet place where you can relax. Sit, stand, or lie down comfortably;
• Pay attention to your environment, listen to the sounds, smell what is around you, and feel the temperature of the room;
• Focus inward. Take several deep breaths, paying attention to how your body feels as you breathe. Let your eyes close as you become more relaxed;
• Scan your body and assess how you feel. Focus your awareness on the parts of your body that are tense or in pain. Breathe deeply and acknowledge the feeling, without judging it;
• If desired, you can imagine your body becoming heavier, more anchored to the earth;
• You can also visualize a location that makes you particularly happy. That could be a natural setting, a vacation spot you remember fondly, or a place where something good happened in your life;
• Let the thoughts flow. If you have anxious or worried thoughts, let each occurrence be an opportunity to observe the thought and let it go. Rather than fighting the thoughts, imagine standing still and letting the thoughts go around you. Bring your attention back to your breath;
• If you are concerned about losing track of time, set a timer; and
• Practice mindfulness meditation before you get ready for bed. Perhaps meditate before you brush your teeth, or after shutting off your phone or computer, or as you lie in bed ready to fall asleep. Make mindfulness meditation part of your routine.

Need Help Meditating?

Can’t seem to get the hang of meditating? I’ll be honest, it took me a long time to get the hang of it, and even now there are times when I can’t keep my mind clear. That’s part of the reason I love BrainTap Technologies.

Using guided imagery, acupressure points, binaural sounds, and light frequencies to help balance the communication of the right and left brain, BrainTap makes reaching a meditative state easy, so that you can experience all of the amazing perks of regular meditation. Want to learn more about BrainTap and how it can help you? Click here. 

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