Meditation is taking over Wall Street and Silicon Valley — here’s how to start a daily habit

With the resources readily available now, it’s the perfect time to learn how to meditate.
Cindy Ord/Getty Images
  • Over the last several years, meditation has surged in popularity in Wall Street and Silicon Valley.
  • Even though it’s trendy, it’s still a scientifically proven way to alleviate stress.
  • Apps like Headspace are useful for learning the basics.
  • To develop a habit, it’s important to set aside as little as five minutes in your daily routine.
  • Going into a meditative state involves being a passive observer of thoughts, not attempting to force them to disappear.


At this point, it’s nearly impossible to escape the buzzwords “mindfulness” and “meditation.”

Silicon Valley executives like Twitter and Square CEO Jack Dorsey are going on Buddhist meditation retreats, high-end spas in big cities are installing “meditation pods,” meditation app Headspace has raised $75 million, and each year hundreds of Wall Streeters are following Bridgewater Associates founder Ray Dalio’s lead and paying almost $1,000 to learn Transcendental Meditation.

In a recent interview for Business Insider’s podcast “Success! How I Did It,” bestselling author Tim Ferriss said that nearly all of the 140 successful people he included in his latest book, “Tribe of Mentors,” had some sort of mindfulness or meditation habit.

Like any wellness trend among the wealthy and powerful, the popularity of meditation may fade, but that doesn’t mean you should dismiss the practice. There is now decades of research backed by organizations like the US federal agency the National Institutes of Health that have linked regular meditation to physical changes in the brain. These can result in improved focus and emotional control, which in turn yields lowered blood pressure, according to the American Heart Association.

And from personal experience, we can tell you that making meditation a regular habit is, at the very least, a practical way to relieve stress.

Meditation is a skill like anything else, and it takes practice. But it also may be easier than you think. You can start today with just a few steps.

Pick which kind of meditation you want to practice.

Pick which kind of meditation you want to practice.Mike Nudelman/Business Insider

The most popular forms of meditation in the US are derived from ancient Hindu and Buddhist practices that began in India and spread through Asia.

As Suhag Shukla, director of the Hindu American Foundation, explained to us in a 2016 interview, practicing secularized versions of these ancient techniques is not sacrilegious. The practice should instead be seen as a healthy exercise for body and mind.

Beginners should consider mindfulness or Zazen meditation, where breathing is the focal point, or TM, where a meaningless mantra repeated internally is the focal point.

It’s worth noting that it’s best to learn from a teacher, but that if you want to dabble you can do so on your own and without spending any money.

Try a smartphone app like Headspace.

Try a smartphone app like Headspace.Headspace

There are many quality guided meditation apps available for both Android and iOS, and they serve as great introductions to the practice.

We particularly like Headspace, which offers a variety of guided mindfulness meditations tailored toward specific topics like the alleviation of anxiety or the promotion of creativity.

If you’d like to try many different types of guided meditations or find one tailored to your faith, you can check out Insight Timer.

NOTE: This article was written by Richard Feloni, and was published on Business Insider. You can read the full article HERE.

How Meditation Can Help Protect The Body After Cancer

how meditation can help protect the body

By Carolyn Gregoire

Mindfulness meditation is known to have a positive emotional and psychological impacton cancer survivors. But some groundbreaking new research has found that meditation is also doing its work on the physical bodies of cancer survivors, with positive impacts extending down to the cellular level.

Practicing mindfulness meditation or being involved in a social support group causes positive cellular changes in breast cancer survivors, according to researchers at the Alberta Health Services and the University of Calgary.

“We already know that psychosocial interventions like mindfulness meditation will help you feel better mentally, but now for the first time we have evidence that they can also influence key aspects of your biology,” lead researcher Dr. Linda Carlson of the Tom Baker Cancer Center at Albert Health Services, said in a statement.

Publishing in the journal Cancer, Carlson and team found that telomeres (DNA sequences at the end of chromosomes) were longer among a group of breast cancer survivors who had a mindfulness practice or participated in a support group, compared to survivors who didn’t have these interventions.

Telomeres are pieces of DNA at the end of every cell’s chromosomes that protect the integrity of its genetic information. As cells divide, telomeres shed some of their length. In other words, telomeres shorten with age and are often associated with diseases such as cancer. Telomere length is also associated with breast cancer outcomes, reported the researchers, and longer telomeres are generally considered a sign of good health.

The researchers tested a group of 88 breast cancer survivors, at an average age of 55 years old, who had completed their treatment a minimum of three months earlier (although most had been in recovery for two years). All women who took part in the study were experiencing significant emotional distress.

The group that took part in Mindfulness-Based Cancer Recovery attended eight 90-minute weekly sessions with instruction in meditation and gentle yoga, and were asked to practice 45 minutes of meditation and yoga at home each day. The Supportive Expressive Therapy group participated in 12 90-minute weekly group support classes, in which they were encouraged to share their emotions freely and seek support from other women. The control group attended one six-hour stress management seminar.

All participants had their blood analyzed and telomeres measured before and after the interventions, and participants in both the mindfulness and support group interventions were found to have longer telomeres. Carlson says that it was surprising to see any changes at all in telomeres after such a short test period.

While there was no statistically significant difference in telomere length between participants in the mindfulness and the support group interventions, mindfulness training had more extensive psychological benefits, which Carlson and colleagues reported on in a 2013 paper.

So how is it that psychosocial practices can have physical benefits that extend down to the cellular level? Carlson explains that mental and emotional states have an effect on the body’s biomarkers, particularly signs of stress.

“We have known for a long time that psychological states affect biomarkers in the body,” Carlson said in an email to The Huffington Post. “For example, depression is associated with inflammation in the immune system and heart disease, and stress results in activation of cortisol and other stress hormones, and increases susceptibility to the common cold and other viruses. How exactly this makes its way specifically down to the telomeres in the cells is currently unknown, however. It is a topic of much interest for researchers in this area.”

Previous research on the physical impacts of mindfulness practices have also found that meditation can limit the expression of genes associated with inflammation.

Carlson’s new study joins a growing body of research which has demonstrated mindfulness practices to have significant positive impacts for cancer patients and survivors. Meditation has been found to lessen some symptoms associated with cancer in teenagers, and it may reduce pain among children with cancer. Among survivors of breast cancer specifically, mindfulness meditation has been found to improve physical and emotional well-being.

This original article can be found in its entirety when you follow this link-http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/11/05/mindfulness-meditation-cancer_n_6101130.html.

The Effects of Meditation on the Brain

The Effects of Meditation on the Brain

What happens in the brain during meditation? originally appeared on Quora: the place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world.

Answer by Headspace, The meditation and mindfulness app, on Quora:

The practice of meditation has been around for thousands of years, but we’re only beginning to unravel the science behind how this seemingly simple practice can bring about significant changes in both our bodies and minds. Just like physical exercise, the more often you work out, the more benefits you’ll see and the longer they will last.

Meditation is the same – it is not the act of sitting idly, trying hard to do nothing. It generally involves focusing on a particular object, often the breath, observing the mind wandering, and returning it to that object. Through meditation, we get better acquainted with the behavior of our minds, and we enhance our ability to regulate our experience of our environment, rather than letting our environment dictate how we experience life. With recent neuroscientific findings, meditation as a practice has been shown to literally rewire brain circuits that boost both mind and body health. These benefits of meditation have surfaced alongside the revelation that the brain can be deeply transformed through experience – a quality known as “neuroplasticity.

The amazing thing about meditating is that, on top of affecting brain functioning, it can have both short-term and long-term benefits in both brain and body. A Harvard study showed that eliciting the body’s relaxation response could even affect our genes – in just minutes. They found that meditating (even just once) could dampen the genes involved in the inflammatory response, and promote those genes associated with DNA stability (hello longevity!) Other short-term benefits include reducing stress and blood pressure and improving attention. It may even help us make smarter choices. It’s fairly clear that in establishing a consistent practice we can experience enduring health benefits. For instance, the short-term benefits described above are typically enhanced with regular practice. Other studies are beginning to shed light on the long-term benefits of consistent practice. Researchers have found denser gray matter in brain areas related to memory and emotional processing in expert meditators. Additionally, having a regular practice is associated with benefits to social aspects of our health, like boosting our mindfulness, empathy and resilience. It can also help us regulate our thoughts so that we’re not so quick to judge, diminishing the potentially detrimental effects of stereotypes.

In one study it was even suggested that meditation could make us kinder individuals, boosting our levels of compassion. (By the way, this study used the Headspace app as their intervention.) While mounting scientific evidence suggests meditation physically alters our minds and bodies, sometimes the proof is in the pudding. Our beginner’s course, Take10, is completely free and offers daily 10-minute meditations for 10 days. That’s enough time to see if you like it, and maybe experience some of these benefits for yourself.

This question originally appeared on Quora – the place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world. You can follow Quora on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+.

You can read the original article at this link-https://www.forbes.com/sites/quora/2017/05/15/the-effects-of-meditation-on-the-brain/#79538d6a2ddb.

 

Meditating for Better Health

The Effects of Meditation on the Brain

Meditating for better health is now a more common recommendation that doctors make to their patients.

This is because doctors know that those who have more peace of mind heal much faster, and they also tend to get sick less often.

Ideally, doctors want to see patients when they are the most sick, not for every ache and pain they have. The idea that you need to call the doctor every time you have a sneeze or even a cough isn’t conducive to financial health.

Meditating to reduce your level of stress will ultimately result in a healthier you. Along with better health and fewer instances of illness it is possible for you to be more at peace and to get more done at work and at home.

Yoga has long been revered as the way to get calm, and it works but it does so much more than get you calm. A relaxed state and better health can ultimately improve the memory too.

Today, I’ll share some interesting data that has come from independent medical studies, and what it proves to be true about meditation and how it can improve health.

A Study Proves that Meditating for Better Health is Possible

Okay, so you want to meditate?

As it turns out, meditation and better health do go together. Meditating for better health is now a common recommendation among those doctors who see patients with a significant amount of stress in their lives.

Studies show that the patients who participate in meditation on a regular basis are getting much more than they bargained for with their sessions of quiet.

A study performed at the University of California Los Angeles, proves that meditation improved visual, spatial, and verbal memory, along with lower depression rates.

This is great news for those who are feeling blah and want to get better faster.

In fact, the patients in this study that used yoga proved to get better results than those with MET or Memory Enhancement Training.

When doctors see these types of results, they often take a step back and begin to see how awesome it is that these results can occur without medicine or other drastic measures.

The results of brain scans done via MRI, certainly showed that this was true as well. Everything in these studies was done fairly and all medial parameters used were the same for both groups.

It is amazing that yoga is such a powerful tool and practice for reducing stress and helping individuals feel more calm and to prevent illness or feel better as the result of an alternative therapy.

Is meditating for better health right for you?

Meditating for Better Health is Right for Everyone

Meditation is a great prescription because it can be used by everyone.

It is amazing that more individuals do not meditate on a regular basis, even if they approach it as something that they can use to reduce stress.

Stress can play a major role in your overall health and without reducing stress it can impact your health negatively. “Mediating for better health” is right for everyone!

The Science of Trauma, Mindfulness, and PTSD

science of trauma
How the brain responds to traumatic events, and what science says about how mindfulness meditation helps people process trauma and decrease suffering.

By

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If we were able to prove that individuals suffering from PTSD are experiencing reversible neurological changes, would that help to alleviate any taboo associated with trauma, so sufferers are able to get the treatment they need? New treatment protocols for PTSD that integrate mindfulness techniques may make that a possibility in the near future.

Mindfulness based techniques in this context have recently gained traction with the support of more empirical findings. Overall, there is a lot of evidence supporting mindfulness as a treatment approach for adults with PTSD, and a recent burgeoning literature corroborating positive neurological changes is following suit.

First, I want to define trauma and PTSD.

Trauma Defined:

Trauma is a broad term, and according to the American Psychological Association (APA), it is an emotional response to a terrible event. Unfortunately, said terrible event can constitute a plethora of possibilities, including combat, rape, natural disasters, and assaults. There are other potentially traumatic events, and though less talked about, are no less palpable. Ultimately, any event might be considered traumatic if you have experienced and/or witnessed a threat to your life, your body, your moral integrity, or had a close encounter with violence or death.

Usually, when we are faced with danger, we go into fight-or-flight mode, during which our bodies release hormones to help us act faster, to either fight or flee. Trauma inhibits this very normal and evolutionary response to danger. What trauma does, instead, is elicit a profound sense of helplessness, during which one feels paralyzed from doing anything to be relieved from the circumstance.

PTSD Defined:

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD, is described as a severe response to trauma, and it is most powerfully characterized by three prominent symptoms, which include:

  1. Re-experiencing the event
  2. Avoiding any reminders of the event, or feeling emotionally numb
  3. Hyper-arousal, which consists of a very sensitive startle response

In addition to these three expressions of symptoms, PTSD causes a huge deal of distress and severely limits functioning in many different domains of life. As its name implies, PTSD is technically a “disorder”, and it is listed in the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5).

I respect the need to classify something as a disorder in order for rigorous assessment of specific symptoms that can lead to a comprehensive and individually-tailored treatment plan. Yet, I believe, that there’s nothing truly disordered about having a reaction to seeing atrocities and tragedies beyond our mind’s ability to fathom. To hear more about this point of view, listen to this poignant, sensitive and informative interview with Barry Boyce, editor-in-chief of Mindful magazine.

There’s nothing truly disordered about having a reaction to seeing atrocities and tragedies beyond our mind’s ability to fathom.

The Brain and PTSD

In order to understand the neurological implications of PTSD, it is important to quickly parse the concept of neuroplasticity. For many hundreds of years scientists thought that, like physical development, once the brain reached maturity, it ceased to grow and develop in any way.

The modern view is antithetical to this, given research that continues to show ways in which the human brain is in a constant state of change. In this way, it is believed, new experiences actually impact our neural circuitry; that over the course of a life, our brain map reflects new and changing pathways. This idea is expressed eloquently and through case example in one of my favorite books, The Brain that Changes Itself, by Norman Doidge, MD.

Most of us view this notion of a neuroplastic brain through a rose-colored lens. Yes, neuroplasticity affords the brain an opportunity to heal from injury. Let’s not forget, though, that experience can also negatively change someone’s neuro-profile. So, in sync with neuroplastic principles, when trauma is encountered, the brain changes in response to the event in order to cope and adapt to the situation. These brain changes often don’t serve us going forward. While our brain adapts to develop a psychological defense against further trauma, it is not a brain that thrives long-term.

Neurological Components of PTSD

Neuro-imaging techniques, such as MRI and FMRI, have allowed scientists to examine brains of patients suffering from PTSD. Three of the areas impacted by trauma include the

  1. Amygdala
  2. Hippocampus
  3. Pre-frontal cortex (PFC)

The amygdala is a structure in the brain’s limbic system (known as the emotional seat of the brain) that helps determine whether or not a threat is approaching, and if so, sends out a danger signal, initiates the fight-or-flight response, and then helps indicate when the threat is gone. When one has experienced trauma, the amygdala remains hyper-alert to even non-threatening stimuli, and activates the fight-or-flight response system despite being safe. While experiencing PTSD, the brain can get caught up in a highly alert and activated loop during which it looks for and perceives threat everywhere.

While experiencing PTSD, the brain can get caught up in a highly alert and activated loop during which it looks for and perceives threat everywhere.

The hyperactive amygdala is constantly interacting with the hippocampus, the area of brain that plays a role in memory function. Brain scans have found smaller hippocampi in those with PTSD, perhaps reflecting the impaired memory experienced post trauma. Usually, the hippocampus works to connect and organize different aspects of memory, and is responsible for locating the memory of an event in its proper time, place and context. When experiencing PTSD, memory becomes fragmented, and the hippocampus has trouble coherently piecing together memory, from discriminating from past or present, and from integrating memory of experiences with feelings and factual knowledge. This is an extraordinarily distressing component of PTSD and manifests in the form of intrusive memories and flashbacks. Triggering memories provoke the amygdala, maintaining its hyper-activity.

The third area of the brain affected by trauma is the frontal lobe; specifically, the PFC. This area of the brain is involved in regulating behaviors, impulses, emotions, and fear responses. In those with PTSD, the PFC is notably less active and less able to override the hippocampus as it flashes fragments of memory, nor to signal the amygdala that the danger is not real.

As the above research suggests, the neuroplastic brain indeed responds to trauma. As certain areas of the brain become hyperactive, and others deregulated, throwing off the fine-tuned and exquisite orchestration that usually works to keep someone safe from real threats—PTSD is cultivated.

What are the positive benefits of mindfulness for adult patients suffering from PTSD in relation to the brain?

Mindfulness and the Brain:

There is a significant amount of data supporting mindfulness as a treatment approach for patients with PTSD. Much of the literature, however, doesn’t speak to the neurological changes that occur during the mindfulness process. Research regarding mindfulness mediation’s impact upon the brain in general points to changes in brain structure and function that could account for the reduction of symptoms of PTSD.

Changes in Brain Structure:

As I mentioned earlier, deregulation of the brain areas associated with emotional regulation and memory are key contributors to the symptoms associated with PTSD in addition to the over activity of the fear center, the amygdala. Mindfulness reverses these patterns by increasing prefrontal and hippocampal activity, and toning down the amygdala.

In fact, brain scans confirm that mindfulness meditation is correlated with an increase in gray matter in the hippocampus, a decrease of gray matter in the amygdala, and neuroimaging studies have found that mindfulness meditation also helps to activate the PFC.

Impact on Brain Function:

A recent study looking at the neural functional impact of mindfulness meditation on those with PTSD implicates the interaction of two “opposing” brain networks in mediating beneficial outcomes.

In this study, 23 male veterans who served in Afghanistan and Iraq were divided into different treatment groups, one of which included mindfulness-based exposure treatment (MBET).

Results indicated that while each treatment group showed promise, the men in the group receiving Mindfulness-Based Exposure Therapy (MBET) experienced actual post-treatment brain changes that indicate mechanisms by which mindfulness could potentially help in the treatment of PTSD.

Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) indicated that at the start of the study, the veterans showed increased activity in regions associated with perceived external threats. After receiving MBET, fMRI showed increased activity in what is known as the brain’s default mode network (DMN). The DMN consists of interacting brain regions associated with internally focused meandering and wandering thought. Additionally, fMRI also showed that the DMN increased its connections with what’s known as the Executive Network, associated with the purposeful shifting of attention.

Both these networks were working in sync, providing insight into how mindfulness can help people train themselves to get unstuck from a vicious cycle of negative thinking, often a cornerstone of trauma.

…Mindfulness can help people train themselves to get unstuck from a vicious cycle of negative thinking, often a cornerstone of trauma.

The small sample size, the gender bias of the group, and the inclusion of only veterans means that there is room for much more extensive empirical exploration with regards to mindfulness as applied specifically to those with PTSD.

Mindfulness and PTSD:

Overall, these neural correlates of symptom reduction can potentially shed light on the therapeutic possibility of mindfulness-based treatments going forward. There is, without a doubt, great potential for these treatments in helping people better process trauma, and hopefully decrease a lot of potential suffering.

Yet, a caveat worth heeding: Given the precarious nature of the symptoms of PTSD, the most efficient and safe treatment should only be obtained by a professional. It is my opinion that mindfulness, as an integrative approach under professional supervision, is the most prudent.

In honor of PTSD awareness month, I invite you to learn more about the various aspects of PTSD as it relates to gender, relationships with others, chronic pain, heart health, and brain injury.

Please click here to download my free resource packet on PTSD. Inside you will also find helpful quotes and resources related to trauma and PTSD, and NEW this year, I have included an additional post on an oft forgotten element of trauma: Post Traumatic Growth.

Download Dr. Wolkin’s BrainCurves: PTSD Reference Packet here.

The original article was found at this link-https://www.mindful.org/the-science-of-trauma-mindfulness-ptsd/

5 Techniques for Effective Meditation

techniques for effective meditation

Successful meditation begins with understanding some proper techniques for effective meditation.

What are these?

Meditation has been around since the beginning of time, and generally, this practice is associated with Easter culture.

Many folks use meditation for calm and to enhance their focus and concentration in multiple areas of their lives. Understanding how to meditate effectively will optimize your experience with meditation.

Today, I’ll share some of the most important principles I’ve learned about meditation, and the proper techniques for effective meditation.

The Most Critical Techniques for Effective Meditation

Meditation is like physical exercise for the body, only it is good for your brain, focus, stress level, and above all it helps you focus on breathing better.

Breathing can actually have a tremendous impact on your life because there is a right and a wrong way to do it to increase your oxygen level.

Here are some tips on basic techniques for effective meditation.

  1. Find a quiet place to meditate. Meditation can be difficult when you have a busy lifestyle, especially with children. Even if you are married without children you’ll still want to find a quiet place to meditate and be alone. The best practice for meditation comes when you are not distracted, and when you are able to focus on your breathing and be in the moment. Loud noises and interruption would ruin your session and make it difficult for you to get the most out of your meditation.
  2. Get comfortable and focus on posture. Everyone is comfortable in different ways, but sitting in a chair or sitting in cross-legged pose on the floor on a yoga mat or a meditation pillow can help you get comfortable. Again, meditating without distraction is a big deal, so do what you can ahead of time to make sure you are comfortable before you start.
  3. Be self-aware of your mind. It is easy for your mind begin to wonder as you meditate, so be aware of this before you start. When you meditate for the first time, you’ll begin to see how challenging this is. The mind is doing what it usually does, so meditation will bring your mind back into focus. When you discover that your mind is wandering, bring it back to focus as soon as possible and get back to focusing on your breathing.
  4. Set a meditation time. The only rule of meditation is whatever happens, happens. This is because of the mind and your tolerance. Those who have not meditated before may struggle to stay focused, or they may fall back asleep. Don’t beat yourself up about this. Again, it is a way of training your mind and body, so just get back to it. Remain focused in meditation for as long as you can, and then open your eyes. Ten minutes is a good time to aim for but that doesn’t always happen. The more experienced you are at meditation the longer your sessions will be.

There is no right or wrong way to meditate in the beginning, and over time you’ll learn more as you go. You’ll learn more about yourself as well as how you respond to meditation.

If you are struggling with meditation, just refer back to these effective techniques for meditation as a guideline.

How Mindfulness Meditation Can Reduce Stress for College Students

mindfulness meditation

Mindfulness Meditation May Help Students Combat High Levels of Stress, Depression

by Susan Donaldson James

When Rob Stephens, a 22-year-old senior, walks into the Mindfulness Room at Carnegie Mellon University, he leaves his homework and stress at the door.

He is surrounded by a waterfall wall, plants, lots of natural light and an open space with cushions on the floor — a 24/7 space is set aside for meditation or just peaceful thinking.

“I definitely think it helps to de-stress,” said Stephens, a global studies major from Atlanta, Georgia. “It’s the time I spend making sure I am OK.”

Mindfulness is as popular at colleges nationwide as it is now at CMU.

“It’s someone giving themselves uninterrupted mental space,” said Stephens. “Some focus on themselves or others. It’s a time to stop and refocus your purpose.”

Studies show the practice may be an antidote to the high levels of stress and depression seen on college campuses.

The American College Health Association found in a 2015 study that more than 85 percent said they “felt overwhelmed” by the demands of college. And a third of all student said stress had a negative effect on their overall academic performance.

Recently, Stephens enjoyed playing with therapy dogs in the mindfulness room.

Some use the time to take a nap, “to reset their brain,” he said. For others it might include meditation, or focused time at the gym or in yoga.

“People can do a lot of mindful things,” Stephens said. “For me, it was time to be with another creature. It doesn’t necessarily have to be in a [yoga] child’s pose.”

‘They have the tools in their pocket’

Mindfulness is also part of a wellness program at Indiana University in Bloomington. In a space at the student union, the health center offers yoga, aromatherapy, massage and guided meditation.

About 8,000 students a year tap into the programs, according to Cathleen Hardy Hansen, Indiana’s director of health and wellness services and an adjunct professor in its school of public health.

“Mindfulness is so vital,” she told NBC News. “It’s being right there in the moment. It helps you be successful in everything you do.”

“College students are under a lot of stress — that’s been a given forever,” she said. “Now, they have the tools in their pocket.”

At the University of Vermont, a popular brain science class begins and ends with mindful meditation.

The class is part of the Wellness Environment (WE) program, where nearly 500 students live in a substance-free dorm with access to yoga and nutrition coaches as well as meditation. Next year UVM expects that number to double.

“Mindfulness can take many forms — meditation, mindful eating, mindful walking, mindful relationships,” said Dr. James Hudziak, chief of child psychiatry at the UVM College of Medicine and program founder.

It can help regulate aggression and impulsivity, as well as improve attention and performance on academic tests.

“It’s weightlifting for the brain,” he told NBC News.

And research backs this up.

‘Meditation training might foster resilience’

A 2016 study published in Biological Psychiatry showed for the first time that mindfulness meditation can actually change the brain, even reducing inflammatory disease risk.

The randomized study recruited unemployed adults and took them to a three-day retreat. Half the group got skill training and did mindful meditation and the other half had a relaxing group activity.

Researchers took brain scans before and after the retreat.

“We know that unemployment is a massive stressor for folks and we wanted to see if mindful meditation could manage that,” said lead author J. David Creswell, who is an associate professor of psychology and the director of the Health and Human Performance Laboratory at Carnegie Mellon University.

The researchers did brain scans before and after the experience.

“The folks in both programs loved it,” Creswell told NBC News. “But what we found were changes in how the resting brain was wired in the mindfulness group.”

In those who meditated, scans showed more connections in the stress regulatory areas of the prefrontal cortex, the part of the brain that manages emotions and attention.

“It suggests how meditation training might foster resilience,” he said.

But are those changes permanent? Scientists don’t know, said Creswell, but a four-month study follow-up suggests, “there is some lasting benefit.”

“Like any other type of behavior, it has a benefit over time, but won’t persist, if we don’t do it,” he said.

But CMU senior Rob Stephens says that for him, he hopes mindfulness will be a lifelong practice.

“You have this one body and this one life to live,” he said. “Especially at a place as rigorous as CMU, we often don’t check in with ourselves. I always make sure to take a moment to see how how I am doing with life.”

“Less stressful people are more successful because they lead more fulfilling lives.”

This article was written and published at the following link-http://www.nbcnews.com/feature/college-game-plan/mindfulness-meditation-may-help-students-combat-high-levels-stress-depression-n759971.

 

 

Meditation in 21 Days for Weight Loss

Looking for an interesting option for weight loss? This program uses meditation to induce weight loss. 

This meditation for weight loss program can be found on Jon Gabriel’s website at this link-http://www.thegabrielmethod.com/21-day-weight-loss-meditation-optin/

JON GABRIEL
Best-Selling Author & Weight Loss Coach

In 2001 Jon Gabriel weighed 409 pounds. He’d tried almost every diet available without success. Overweight, overworked, and unhappy, Jon was ready to give up.

Then on September 11, 2001, Jon received a wake-up call, when pure chance kept him off of United Airlines Flight 93, which crashed in Pennsylvania. This made Jon realize that life was a precious opportunity not to be wasted. Over the next two and a half years, Jon dropped more than half his weight without dieting, pills, or surgery. By discovering that we each have unique FAT Triggers which keep us holding onto weight, Jon has helped thousands of people sustainably & permanently lose unwanted weight through The Gabriel Method.

 

Carol Look is a success and abundance coach in the energy psychology field. With over 20 years of experience in the mental health field, Carol has helped thousands of people reduce their anxiety, fear, and stress through traditional talk therapy, trancework, EFT/ Meridian Tapping and meditation skills.

Her specialty is inspiring clients to attract abundance into their lives by using EFT/ Meridian Tapping and the Law of Attraction to clear limiting beliefs, release resistance and build “prosperity consciousness.” With a distinguished background in traditional psychotherapy, Carol discovered that combining energy healing methods with her classic training brought incredible results to her clients and unlimited success to her practice.

Meditating for Weight Loss

Meditating for weight loss is a wonderful and beneficial practice, and now ranks among the first choice for those who desire to lose weight.

This isn’t because of some brain magic but it’s because meditation helps you center on what your brain wants to focus on.

Meditation is generally about centering and focusing on your breathing, but you can also choose to focus on other things.

While meditation has been effective for many things, weight loss is a newer concept when it comes to conditions or things you can meditate for.

If you have any doubt about this, please read this article all the way through, and you’ll see that meditation can be a viable way to help you lose weight.

Why Meditation for Weight Loss?

Losing weight is important for those who have been long overweight, or for those who have been struggling with medical conditions related to being overweight.

It all comes down to your personal health and the choices you make. There is plenty of evidence that meditation for weight loss is effective, and there are plenty of reasons to use meditation to assist with weight loss.

  1. Meditation increases focus. Focus in breathing amongst other things is important. Meditation is vital to being centered. When you can breathe and clear your mind, you’ll be able to focus on the task at hand. What is your greatest priority? Whatever it is, meditation can help you clear your mind and bring focus to your being, your life, and your goals.
  2. Meditation brings calm. Many find that weight loss is a struggle, and it can be stressful. Our society places a lot of focus on the physical appearance and weight, so it’s no surprise that with our society comes a lot of undue stress and anxiety over how we look. Meditation is a calming practice and it’s something you can do in the privacy of your own home.
  3. Meditation can help you bring your mind and body under control. Focus means that you are thinking about one thing at a time, but meditation can help you bring your mind and body under control. This means that you can gain control of how you think about food and the choices you make each day. This is not mind control, but rather a key to unlock your appetite control.  The lack of appetite control is what prevents many individuals from gaining the mental power they need to overcome their food addictions.

If you want to control your weight, you’ll need to learn how to control your mind and how you view food and what it means to you.

Do you view food as fuel?

Do you turn to food when you are bored or having a bad day?

When you feel full, do you have a difficult time turning off the switch to say no to another handful of snacks?

You are not alone, but meditation for this can be really helpful. If you are considering taking back your health this year, I would suggest trying meditating for weight loss to help you overcome the barriers and reach your goals!

Meditation for Inner Strength

The practice of meditation is becoming more popular, but meditation for inner strength is still very much needed in the world. Take just a moment to reflect on the most difficult times that you have faced in your life.

Go ahead, close your eyes and think for just a moment. Go ahead and do it, I’ll wait.

Now, how do you feel? Chances are you kept your eyes closed for quite awhile, and there is no doubt that your emotions put you in that place. When you close your eyes it’s difficult not to feel at peace; at least in most cases.

There is no replacement for the present moment, and no doubt that you wish that you could go back and change things at a very specific moment in your life. It’s easy to be anxious about the future. I get that.

While the foundation for my life is based in Scripture, and God is my rock, there is no doubt that meditation is a gift from God. God wants you to be at peace, and scripture tells us that He wants us to be in control of our thought and our emotions.

Why is it then, that so many are struggling with the idea that meditation is godly?

There are numerous ways to meditate, and there are numerous religions that teach various ways to meditate. Today, I’m going to share with you how you can practice meditation for inner strength, and the results that you can expect once you commit to this practice.

Meditation for Inner Strength and Total Peace

The key to meditation is the ability to keep the mind still.

With all that has been going on in the world, it seems that it would be difficult for anyone to settle the mind. It’s critical that you understand that keeping peace within yourself and with your family and friends means keeping your mind unclouded.

Your thought life has everything to do with the outcome of the rest of your life, and it’s imperative that you understand this now before it’s too late. You cannot place demands on the heart or the mind, and it’s important to remember that God is where you should place your trust.

So, with that in mind, the only right way to meditate for inner strength and total peace is to do so with God’s Word and through prayer. This takes some simple steps and a basic strategy.

Here it is.

  1. Start with prayer. It has been said that prayer is a form of meditation, and that is accurate. Prayer isn’t just about conversation, although God wants that with us. However, prayer is also a state of mind. Prayer is also a state of worship, and above all it’s a whole combination of things that make prayer one of the foremost forms of meditation. This is especially true when it comes to inner strength and inner peace and it’s easy to achieve when you come into prayer on a regular basis. The key for a Christian to achieve this ideal state of meditation is to view it as a way of life. Meditation for the Christian should never disconnect from the Word of God or the relationship with Him. While I do not practice Eastern meditation, there are folks I know and love in my life that do. I can tell you that this is just not the way I choose to meditate, and therefore I’m sharing the Christian way to do so.
  2. Practice looking for God in everything. There are so many things that fight for our attention in this life, and this is why meditation is such an amazing option. Look for God in nature every day, and choose to see God in every aspect of your life. Meditate on how He is working, and how He is moving behind the scenes to bring about a greater good. God already knows that He is in everything, but it’s up to you to choose to see it. Once you begin practicing this on a daily basis, you’ll begin to see how your life changes. Choose to be present in the moment, and you can do so when you approach it in this way.
  3. Speak peace and act in peace. There is so much that you can see when you walk into a room, or even into a situation with individuals that you don’t know. You have most likely heard someone say that they can “feel the tension” when they walk into the room. The same is true when you speak peace and act in peace in all you do. You may not be able to control what others say, how they act, or what they do, but as long as you speak peace to others and you act in peace, you can influence the outcome. Remember, you can only control what you do, and therefore the outcome is most likely to be the one you wanted if you do your part.

Meditate for Inner Strength in All Situations

Can you influence situations in the lives of others? You can if you are committed to practicing meditation, kindness, and even taking care of others. Your life can truly impact others and how they see the world, but you need to be consistent with your approach.

Commit to meditating on God’s Word, and commit to speaking peace to others and praying over them. If you pray God’s Word back to Him, you cannot lose. In fact, the more you speak to God about Him and you want to know more about who He is, you’ll see that your life becomes more peaceful as you become more like Him.

There are many situations you could find yourself in, but keeping control of your thoughts, and how you react to things will make a huge difference. Could it be that God has more in store for you?

If you could be at total peace, would you have more of what you want in your life?

If you will commit to this practice, and meditate for inner strength, you will be able to win over in peace in all situations no matter how bad they may seem at the time.