Turbo Charge Your Mind

Why you might want to try some form of meditation.John

Living in such a hectic world can take its toll on your body, mind, and spirit – but the practice of meditation can help you to focus, have a clear mind, and stay centered. Meditation is a practice of learning to train your mind. There are many purposes and techniques.

What all of the techniques have in common is that they work for some benefit in your life. Meditation can help you reduce the effects of stress on your body and mind. It can help you develop a clear mission and purpose for your life. It can also help you to connect to a higher power.

If you have never meditated before, it can be hard to imagine how to get started. There is a wide range of meditation techniques. Some are simple, while others require a good deal of discipline and training. In the end, though, there is really no wrong way to do it.

As you consider beginning the practice of meditation, there are factors to consider. The first is determining in what position you will meditate. There are several options for you – choose the one that makes the most sense for you.

Getting Into Position

Determining an appropriate position for meditation can set the stage properly. You really do not have to choose one specific way to do it, but getting your body into a different position from the norm can help you to focus your mind in a more effective way.

While many people choose to use specific yoga positions for meditation, trying to get your body to hold a position which is uncomfortable can actually take away from your meditation practice. Choose a position that separates you from outside activities, but is comfortable.

young woman doing yoga exerciseThe Lotus. The lotus position is the one that most people associate with meditation. It could well take a good deal of practice before you can maintain this position comfortably. You would need to be seated on the floor; then you will bend your right leg and place your right ankle on your left thigh.

Next, you place your left ankle on your right thigh, which takes quite a bit of flexibility. Extend your arms and place your hands on your knees, palms up. You might also want to touch your thumb and index finger.

In the lotus position, it is important to maintain proper posture, so that your spine is properly aligned. You may also want to lower your head, so that your chin is touching your chest. As I say, It may take some time to be able to achieve this position comfortably.

If you are not able to achieve it comfortably, there are positions which are close, but do not require as much flexibility. These can allow you to work up to the lotus position that you eventually want to achieve.

The Half-Lotus. This position is similar to the lotus, but not as difficult. You start in the same way, by touching your right ankle to your left thigh. However, when you bend your left leg, you keep it on the floor and rest your left ankle in front of your right knee.

For this position your arm placement will be the same. This will help you to begin experiencing meditation, even if you are not quite flexible enough to achieve a full lotus. Many people who want to practice meditation in the lotus position begin with this pose.

Crossed Legs. If you’re not ready to perform the lotus, you can also sit with your legs crossed on the floor. Make sure to sit straight up and have proper posture. This position is more comfortable if you are not flexible and will still allow you to meditate.

Lying Down. There are also positions for meditating where you lie on the floor. Lying down can help you to relax your body and separate yourself from your regular daily life. It can be very comfortable, does not require flexibility and keeps your body supported.

When it comes to meditation positions, the most important consideration is your comfort. While meditation positions can help you to focus your mind, an uncomfortable position can actually take away from your experience.

If you are new to meditation, you do not need to spend all your time focusing on your body position and trying to contort your body into an uncomfortable pose. Instead, focus on finding a pose where you can relax and focus on what is important.

Breathing for RelaxationMindfulness

In addition to finding an appropriate position, meditation requires that you pay attention to your breathing. Breathing is an automatic function you perform thousands of times each day without much thought.

Most people breathe using muscles from their chest and upper body. These breaths are often pretty shallow. In order to breathe properly, for the purposes of good health and meditation, it is wise to focus on breathing a different way.

For meditation, we use diaphragmatic breathing. This is breathing that comes from the belly area of the body. As you breathe, think of pushing your belly button out as you inhale and pulling it in as you exhale. This will allow you to take deep, relaxing breaths.

You may also want to try counting when you breathe, so that you have consistent, rhythmic breathing which leads to relaxation. Try using a count of five. Breathe in for a count of five and exhale a count of five.

Just as it is with your meditation position, you should make sure that your breathing is comfortable. If you are uncomfortable, you will not be able to free your mind for meditation. If you are distracted, then you are not acheiving the relaxed focus necessary.

The Third Eye

When it comes to meditation, some of us find the concept of the third eye important. The idea is that when you meditate you can open a ‘third eye’, which connects you to a spiritual force. Many people meditate with the goal of opening this third eye.

By opening the third eye, you may find that you feel more spiritually connected to the universe. You may also find that your intuition is keener and that you have more psychic sensitivities. It may take time in order to become this connected, so do not be discouraged if your meditation does not produce the desired effect straight away.

You may be wondering how you will know if you open your third eye. People who have achieved this type of spiritual awakening report seeing colors and hearing sounds. The idea is that you are connected to the ultimate source in the universe.

In order to open your third eye, you will need to be completely relaxed and in a meditative state where your mind is totally at peace. Rather than focusing on issues in your life, you will need to actually not be thinking consciously. This can take a lot of practice.

If you get too focused on trying to open your third eye and achieve a new level of meditation, you can actually make it more difficult. It is important to free your mind and body and not put pressure on yourself to meditate in a specific way.

Meditation and Religion

Meditation can sometimes be associated with religion, although it doesn’t have to be religious. People of most faiths have some sort of meditation. For some religions such as Buddhism and Hinduism, meditation is actually a formal practice.

In other religions it is less formal. In fact, prayer in Judeo-Christian religions is a form of mediation where you become connected to source. For some people, meditation is more about spirituality than actual religion.

You will need to look at meditation in your own life and decide how it fits your personal religious and spiritual beliefs. Remember that there really are no rules when it comes to meditation – it needs to be right for you.

Guided Meditation

When you’re new to meditation, it can be difficult to really know how to get started. Guided meditation will help you to get started on your meditation journey. While there are many meditation centers where you can participate in guided meditation, you may want to start out in private.

You willll be able to find many different types of guided meditation audio recordings which will help you to get started. These meditations will cover everything from positions to breathing. They may also help you with specific chants, to enhance your meditation and free your mind.

In addition, they may have background music which will be designed to help you relax. Music can be a very powerful addition to your meditation practice. When you find music that speaks to you, you will discover that time spent in meditation goes quickly.

You may also want to read books which give suggestions for guided meditation. Guided meditation is a tool that can help you to get more out of your meditation time. The more you practice, the easier it will become and you may find that you do not need guided help anymore.

Finding Space to Meditate

When life is busy and you have a family, it can be difficult just to find a space to meditate. It is important that you find a place where you can have a few minutes of uninterrupted time to meditate. It is im[pssible to free your mind, when someone is talking to you and distracting you.

Any space can be turned into a meditation space if you prepare. You may want to use your bedroom; make sure to tell the members of your household that you will be meditating and that you need some private time to do this.

Some people choose to use an office area or gym, to perform their meditation. Still others find that a large closet can provide a quiet, private space to meditate. Have you ever felt like the bathroom is the only place where you can be alone?

It may sound crazy, but many people convert their bathrooms into spiritual places when they need just a few moments alone, to refocus and renew their spirit. There is no right or wrong space, as long as it is a place where you can relax and clear your mind.

Carving Out Time for Meditation

The people who are most in need of meditating and relaxing are often those who have the busiest and most demanding lives. It can be hard to think that adding one more thing to your schedule can have benefits, but meditation will give you many benefits.

Do not feel that you have to spend hours meditating each day, in order to achieve a benefit from it. In fact, even taking just a minute or two to breathe deeply and clear your mind can be of tremendous value to you.

If you have more time, then you can always meditate more. But if you only have a few minutes, make the most of them. Building meditation into your schedule is the easiest way to build consistency.

For example, you may want to make it a practice to meditate each morning before you get going for the day. This can help you to face the day with greater focus and purpose. You will feel more connected to the world in which you live.

For others, meditating before bed can give the relaxation needed, before trying to get a good night’s sleep. When the stress of the day has piled onto your shoulders, meditation can help you to relax, unwind and clear your mind.

Have you ever gone to bed with your mind racing about all of your experiences and all the things on your to do list for tomorrow? Meditation can free you from this cycle, which can disrupt your sleep patterns and leave you feeling weary.

But you can also build meditation into your day at any time. If you have a lunch break, you could take five minutes to clear your mind and feel more refreshed by meditating. Even just taking one minute throughout the day to breathe deeply and refocus can have great benefits.

Benefits of Meditation

While there can be obvious spiritual benefits of meditation, there are many benefits that may not be so obvious for adopting this practice. Take a look at some of the benefits you may receive from adding this simple practice to your life.

· Lowers your heart rate
· Lowers your blood pressure
· Increases your ability to sleep through the night and wake feeling rested
· Relieves tension headaches
· Prevents migraine headaches
· Can help with hormonal balance and achieving an appropriate weight
· Reduces anxiety
· Alleviates depression
· Reduces muscle tension and relieves muscle pain
· Adds greater feeling of peace

Meditation can provide many physical and spiritual benefits, when you add it to your life. It helps to take small steps in the beginning and to increase the amount of meditation, and your goals for meditation, as you become more experienced.

Meditation and your brain waves – what really happens

The practice of meditation is known to have some pretty amazing effects.John

What exactly is going on in your brain, during your effortless and relaxing meditation sessions?

One thing we know about the brain, is that it is constantly producing electro-magnetic energy, in the form of waves, which can be detected and measured with the appropriate scientific instruments.

When these ‘brain waves’ are analysed, it can be seen that there are many different sizes (or frequencies) produced at any one time. You could see a similar effect if you drop a number of different sized pebbles and rocks into a pond, then observed the various wave sizes.

However, the reality is that in different states, the brain produces a higher proportion of one size of wave, this being the dominant frequency at that time. To go back to our pond, it is as if sixty or seventy percent of the pebbles are all of one size, dropped in the same area.

During our waking hours, the dominant brain wave pattern is produced by what are known as ‘beta’ waves.
These have a frequency of approximately 14hz to 24hz and are thought of as our normal, busy brain. When illustrated graphically, they look somewhat chaotic and fragmented.

Words illustration of a person doing meditation in white background.

When we start to relax mentally, we begin producing more waves in the ‘alpha’ part of the spectrum, usually between approximately 8hz and 13hz. This can sometimes be experienced during those moments between sleep and wakefullness; usually quite pleasant and sometimes bringing creative thoughts.

When alpha wave dominance can be produced at will, many people find it greatly aids concentration and creativity.

As we relax more deeply, we move down to the ‘theta’ waves, between 4hz and 7hz. During these periods, we experience visionary, or dream states. This is more usually experiences during REM (rapid eye movement) sleep and some of us regularly remember dreams, while others do not.

Again, when theta can be experienced deliberately, increased creativity has been reported.

During the deepest form of relaxation, we are usually in profound sleep and totally unaware of our surroundings. This is when the brain waves are predominantly in the ‘delta’ range of 0.5hz to 4hz.
This is vital for our brain rejuvenation, but most of us know little of what is happening.

To the majority of people, brain waves just happen; to an experienced meditator, there are exciting possibilities, with ‘journeys’ through the various wave patterns bringing pleasure and fascination.

Hurry up and wait

by John Vine
by John Vine

Most people’s lives are hectic at times.

Sometimes even downright stressful.

At times like these I like to remember a quote from Bob Proctor – “You do not need to slow down, you need to calm down”.

Easier said than done? Yes, but believe it or not, this is something which can learned and then put into practice.

Once you can effectively ‘calm down’ at will, life becomes much easier to handle and hence a whole lot more enjoyable.

I have found that there two secrets to being able to ‘calm down’. First, make sure to be getting enough good quality sleep. I do not think it can be emphasized too much, just how important this is.

Secondly, research and learn one of the many relaxation/meditation techniques, which are readily available.

meditation-wordcloud

My own experience of this started when I discovered transcendental meditation (TM) and learned to meditate effectively using a personal mantra. This particular method would be difficult to learn properly without individual, personal instruction, but I found the effort of attending classes worthwhile.

For those unable, or unwilling to seek out formal meditation training, there are many excellent opportunities available, as audio lessons and courses online.

Some time ago, Oprah joined forces with Deepack Chopra to produce a series, which I thought was particularly worthwhile.

I really would urge anyone, who wants to live a happier healthier life, to find a relaxation method which suits them and make it a regular part of their routine.

Eating Well and Staying Happy

by John Vine
by John Vine

That these two ideas are very closely linked should be obvious.

Unfortunately, mistakes in your diet can sometimes take a long time to do any damage which is noticeable.

In contrast, too much sugar taken in too quickly soon makes its presence felt. Similarly, if your diet does not contain enough of the right type of fibre, your bowels will not move as frequently as is necessary to keep you healthy.

I believe statistics show us that the problems caused by too little fibre are far more common than would be expected; the effects of retaining waste in the body longer than necessary can be serious as well as unpleasant.

Those are just two examples of why it is wise to educate yourself about what you eat.

For those with the most common of all dietary problems – excess weight – a multi billion industry is there to take advantage.

There is probably more mis-information and downright deception about how to lose weight than just about any subject on earth.

One only has to see the unfortunates in the fast food queue, waddling back to their tables with double burgers, fries etc., along with a ‘diet drink’. Many of them could probably give you a long explanation of how their hormone problems cause them to gain weight.

Some of them are stupid, yes, but the food industry giants are so clever, with their marketing of near-worthless food-like substances, many can hardly be blamed for being taken in.

There is probably no such thing as the perfect diet. All we can do is educate ourselves to the degree

thpost-itsat we can use our food intake to stay fit and healthy, while doing as little damage as possible.

In these days of widely available information, this should be something which is within the capabilities of any moderately well educated person.

Here at healthy happy in later life, our mission is to make available some of the latest thinking, along with timeless wisdom passed down through generations.

Keeping the ‘food leg’ of our table in balance will give us all the opportunity to live long happy lives.

The hidden magic of simply going for a walk

by John Vine
by John Vine

It would be difficult to count all the benefits of this, the simplest and most easily accessible form of taking some exercise.

Doctors and fitness experts can all wax lyrical, about how regular brisk walking will improve and maintain so many aspects of our physical health.

What is less obvious, are the difficult-to-quantify advantages, which walking provides, courtesy of the almost magical mind-body connection.

For those who are fortunate like me, walking in the immediate neighbourhood brings close proximity with nature. Woodlands, birds and small animals etc. present many and varied views and experiences, throughout the four seasons.

Being a part of this beautiful and wondrous creation, can only pour positive effects onto whatever personal situation I might find myself in.

When countryside is not readily accessible, most towns and cities can offer some areas and times of relative peace, in which to get away from the day’s hurly-burly.

happy-hikingIn the course of half an hour or so, good days can easily turn into great ones, while bad days certainly improve – sometimes becoming good ones before I have even realised.

There has even been research which shows that those who are prone to unhappiness, through depression and anxiety, can relieve their symptoms significantly – and thus feel much better, with regular walking.

An appropriate amount of exercise is a vital part of keeping our healthy life in balance. I suggest that you use any opportunity to include relaxing walks in your schedule – particularly if you believe you are ‘too busy’ to do so!

Stay healthy longer with regular restful sleep

by John Vine
by John Vine

Healthy Aging needs a good night’s sleep – every night!

As we grow older, we need to stay active to keep our bodies and system in shape. The older a person gets the less our bodies seem to want to function, so keeping it in shape is very important for all of us.

Sleeping well is very important to all of us as we are aging. Aging brings on a different sleep patterns and we need to learn how to control it, so when it is time to sleep we sleep well. It is normal as we age that it becomes harder to get a good night’s sleep and feel rested when we wake up. Sleeping is every bit as important as our diet and exercise activities.

Did you know that it can be more difficult for woman to sleep, more so than men in their aging years?In general, women have more tendencies to feel stressed out and they sometimes are just too busy to get themselves into an effective exercise routine.

If you do not get enough sleep at night, it will reduce your alertness during the day, because you are tired. Long periods of sleepless nights can cause high blood pressure and is not good for the heart either.

There are many reasons why some people can’t achieve a restful night’s sleep. Sometimes you might sleep, but it is only a light sleep and we do need to have some deep restful sleep. Sometimes you may awaken during the night from pain, perhaps caused by arthritis. Sometimes you may experience heartburn, which causes you to get less sleep.

Snoring or feeling depressed sometimes can also cause you to lose sleep. You may have a stressful day followed by the lack of sleep. Muscles spasms can also cause a person to lose sleep.

Some ways to reduce the problems that cause you to lose sleep.

Caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine can cause us to lose sleep. Try drinking less in the couple of hours before bed, and stop smoking. Smoking not only harmful to sleep-wordcloudyour body but it can cause you to lose sleep.

Excessive noise in the house, the TV or radio in the bedroom are some more reasons that can keep us from sleeping properly. Don’t try to go to bed and watch TV or listen to the radio – this could well keep you awake longer.

You can learn to enjoy exercises to reduce muscles spasms and/or arthritic symptoms. You should also reduce eating unhealthy foods that cause heartburn, or drinking caffeine-based substances before you go to bed, to improve your sleeping pattern.

Do you have a pet that sleeps with you? Even though you think they are giving you comfort, it could cause you to lose that precious sleep you need. You may not realize it but every time your pet moves,maybe snores, you can hear this while sleeping. Maybe you might have to get your pet a bed and let him sleep on the floor next to you. If you have allergies, your pet may be the cause, which can make you lose sleep as well.

Napping during the day can be a good idea, but too long a sleep can disrupt your pattern and make it more difficult to get to sleep at bed time. Before you lie down to rest, you could also consider drinking a small warm glass of milk. Studies have shown that warm milk can help a person to relax.

Whatever it takes, make sure you get the best sleep you can – the effort will really pay off.

Success Is a Choice – What Are You Going to Do?

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