Meditation Benefits - The Most ancient practice has loads of benefits with the potential to transform all aspects of your life: Abundance, Emotional & Physiological well-being.
Regular meditation practice offers more stability to your brain and nerves. This increases Focus, Clarity, Attention Span, and heightened perceptivity.
Inner balance and a strong nervous system bring about positive changes in Relationships and Enhance a calm internal state which can help you to Manage Stress. Meditation with the right guidance has proven to be a powerful stress management tool.
Continued regular practice of meditation can help you to access deeper states of mind which induces what is popularly known as Alpha Brain Power - a State of mind that can heal and bring about physical, mental, and emotional transformation magically.
With life span increasing, memory loss and loss of nervous coordination are considered to be the fastest-growing disease. Latest neurological studies have proven that meditation can play a vital role in the prevention of Parkinson's, Dementia, Alzheimer's. Starting the regular practice early in life is key.
In this short three-minute read I will also share documented health benefits of meditation and the benefit of mindfulness practices.
Have you ever wondered why it is very difficult to change habits, reactionary emotional patterns?
Stress Management - Preventing and Healing age-related neurodegenerative disease begins with mastering the Power of Habit.
Recurring Habits, Unconscious thoughts, and Emotional Patterns change the internal structure of the brain. The brain becomes rigid. Habits become rigid.
The rigid Internal brain structure influences repeated, unconscious behavior.
Repeated Behavior creates a rigid persona. Rigidity in personality & character creates recurrent patterns in life.
Recurring patterns create your destiny.
Habit change is fundamental for anyone who aspires However deep or compulsive your habit is, you can liberate yourself with the right practice.
Have you ever reacted with anger and then wondered why you did so? The trigger could have been from a nervous imprint.
Many habits like compulsive eating, compulsive eating originate due to unconscious reactions within the brain. The nervous system is wired to react unconsciously in a certain way when certain habits and behavior have been done repeatedly for some time.
Neuroplasticity means the ability of the nervous system to change its activity in response to stimuli. Regular meditation practice can help you to increase the ability to respond differently to the same stimuli. If you do not want to consume junk food then, regular meditation practice can help the nervous system to be calmer when exposed to junk food.
Let us take another example. Imagine a situation where a person is diagnosed with early-stage Parkinson’s disease, or a person with early symptoms of Dementia or even Alzheimer’s and the advice is to stop alcohol or reduce alcohol as liquor further affects the nerves. One on hand the person has the fear of losing memory and coordination. This causes more stress. On the other hand, his only known strategy to overcome fear – anxiety – stress is alcohol drinking. The chances of him reducing or stopping liquor are very less because if he reduces or stops alcohol, he gets more stressed. It aggravates. This is the problem of the problem.
This is the same with most lifestyle diseases. Stress is because of poor lifestyle habits. Unhealthy food, sleeping, and certain other habits. Diagnosis of disease causes more stress. Advice to stop unhealthy habits intensifies stress. So while people wish to get cured, they cannot as the brain is wired differently.
A strong mind-body-energy practice like meditation and yoga is fundamental to change debilitating habit change even for life-threatening diseases.
Stress Management is about learning the ability to perceive what is happening in the environment accurately and coming back to one's own center of balance without getting entangled with emotions, thoughts, opinions, beliefs, etc. Centering can generate an appropriate spontaneous response.
Spontaneous response is a response that is not influenced by predetermined ideas or opinions or beliefs.
Otherwise, it is an instinctual reaction based on past - self-protective - primal instinct and manifests compulsive recurring negative thoughts.
Uncontrolled thoughts are one of the main reasons for stress and anxiety. Irrespective of whether the thought is positive or negative, the more the number of unconscious thoughts more the agitation in the mind. the more the agitation, the more the stress.
With regular practice of meditation for stress and anxiety, to overcome the agitation in mind, indulgence in unhealthy strategies for coping with stress, viz excessive social media, overeating, alcohol indulgence, nicotine use, etc tend to reduce and be overcome.
Secondly, while the mind generates thoughts, the reason for stress is because we focus our attention on the thoughts.
Stress management is about learning to train the mind to focus on a consciously chosen object. When we continuously train the mind to come back from any thought to the chosen object we train ourselves and the mind to stay on the subject of focus and not on thoughts that keep coming up instinctively. This creates a calm, perceptive internal state which is one of the effects of meditation practice.
In a way, we create a space between ourselves and the thought. An individual can cope with stress through Mindfulness Meditation, one of the healthy ways to deal with stress could top the list of the top 10 ways to manage stress as it can be practiced anytime and at any place as compared to other stress management strategies. It can be practically free too.
Ability to stay focussed for long hours without being distracted by distractions, ability to remember and recall during exams, Increase Attention Span with Meditation
The most successful Business Leaders, Career growth enthusiasts, CEOs, and Founders vouch for the benefits of Regular Yoga and Meditation Practices.
Reduces Emotional fluctuations, improves happiness levels, reduces levels of stress & anxiety. Prevents immunocompromised diseases.
Home-making and taking care of others is a stressful job. Seven minutes a day can help you revitalize and rejuvenate yourself. Your time - Your space.
Very few know that one of the fastest-growing diseases is degenerative diseases of the brain – Memory loss and loss of nervous-muscular-mind coordination in form of Alzheimer’s, Dementia, Parkinson’s.
Do you know that neurological degeneration starts many years before signs of early Alzheimer’s shows up?
Aging is supposed to be the cause of these diseases. When we talk of memory loss and degeneration in Dementia and lack of coordination in Parkinson’s disease, we refer to certain debilitating effects of not being able to remember even one’s own name and the inability to button one’s shirt.
Yoga and Meditation have given many positive effects on such conditions. There are many documented evidence-based scientific reports on this.
Increased attention Span is also one of the key advantages of meditation for students. Yes, meditation improves concentration, clarity of thought, control of impulsive behavior, and reduces stress. In the current context need for stress management practices is important to help students love academics and succeed. Regular practice of stress reduction exercises, that include mind-body-breath workouts viz., yoga, Tai Chi, Qigong, Yoga for mindfulness, etc will help students improve memory power, reduce exam related stress; this increases confidence and emotional strength to handle the pressure of exams.
When I first studied brain development twenty-five years back, I was told that intelligence and cognitive ability decreases with age as the number of neural connections in the brain do not increase after the age of 12-14.
Yet today there is good news. Latest neuroscience studies have shown that the main meditation benefits for the brain are that it helps to increase neural connections in the nervous system at any age. With modern medical interventions life span in constantly increasing. So, aging healthy, with a healthy nervous system, healthy organs is important. This is one reason I would say that mediation is like a recurring deposit. You keep doing it. So that you can prevent senile degeneration of the brain that manifests as mental-intellectual-cognitive health challenges.
Neural rewiring, Increase in the plasticity of the brain are some of the key meditation effects on the brain can keep your neural system healthy and vibrant. Neural connections are the basis on which fundamental actions like moving, thinking, coordination, sensing, etc. are Increase in the number of Neural connections is directly linked to creativity, intelligence, memory, and emotional balance
Meditation and Yoga are closely related. They together offer various types of stress management tools. In addition, when integrated together they offer excellent ways to create and sustain positive internal emotional states. By yoga here I mean hatha yoga where we work with the body; physical movements coordinated with breathwork. When the body is worked on systematically it becomes easy to sense the movement of breath in the lungs and the body. This makes pranayama or learning to be with the subtler aspects of breath easy. After pranayama, the subtle body is also sufficiently prepared to practice meditative practice. Thus, Hatha Yoga is in a way a preparation for Meditation.
Yoga for meditation is slightly different where the focus is for advancing in meditative practices. When we design Yoga for meditation, we include one’s social – personal – professional goals; physical and psychological predisposition, as a function of subtle anatomy. The combined benefits of yoga and meditation are manifold.
Mediation: Stimulates Alpha wave pattern
Today being focused and relaxed at the same time is difficult because brain is functioning from an unconducive state.
Focus and Attention lead to a state of stress and rigidity.
Relaxation is related to an unfocused, unproductive state.
The alpha wave pattern is a state when the brain is relaxed and attentive at the same time. In the alpha wave state, the unconscious activity is less as compared to other higher wave patterns. This reduces stress-fear-anxiety levels. When the brain is more relaxed the body is more relaxed. The hormonal system is more relaxed. Alpha wave state is a healing state. Unconscious emotional blocks can heal naturally when this state can be accessed.
Can you reflect and think about how much time you just stay doing nothing, i.e., not involving in any activity mentally (not even thinking about something), physically (behaviorally) during your wakeful hours.
Even when having food, one tends to talk or watch a favorite show or do something else. Is it not?
While on one hand, we may be thinking that we are multi-tasking while in reality, we are not multi-tasking. We are shifting from one point of attention to the other every moment. By doing so we are losing the ability to stay with one object – one task – one thought consciously for more than even seven seconds. We become mechanically involved.
For example, in the above example, We eat mechanically while the mind is shifting from one thought to the other based on the underlying emotion. Since we are conditioned to identify with thoughts and emotions it becomes easy to keep moving from one thought to other. This leads to a short attention span.
Whatever be the current stage or role in life, if one must evolve into leadership roles in career and life; manager, parent, etc attention span is a critical factor for success. If the job or higher roles require a longer attention span, and if one does not have that life and career stagnate. One may not even know this.
Benefits of Mindfulness meditation thus include increased attention span which brings about focus and clarity.