Meditation. We’ve all heard of it. Many of us have tried it. But few are able to stick with it.
By now, most of us know that meditating regularly has positive effects on our physical and mental state of being.
In fact, just 10-20 minutes per day of meditation has been scientifically proven to have numerous benefits, which I’ll list a bit later.
First let’s look at some of the reasons why we don’t meditate. Perhaps you’ll relate to some of these myths and maybe even re-think your daily practice.
– Meditation Doesn’t do Anything – most of us expect magical results when we meditate. We would like our problems and stresses to disappear immediately. While there can be rapid relaxation results, most benefits come from long-term and continual practice.
– You’ll Stop Thinking – The myth is that we will enter into a blissful state and stop all negative thoughts. In fact, it is very difficult if not impossible to “stop” our thoughts. Instead the goal should be to “catch” our thoughts and then to gently let them go while focusing back on our mantra or breath. Expecting to stop thoughts is a sure way to sabotage your meditation practice.
– We may Become Spacey and Ungrounded – Many people worry that they’ll lose all motivation and drive if they meditate regularly. In fact, the opposite is true. Successful business people from all walks of life, all over the world, meditate daily. They are convinced that much of their success is due to their daily practice.
Now, as promised, here are just some of the numerous benefits:
– Studies have shown that those who meditate regularly have lower levels of stress, anxiety, and depression.
– Meditation opens you up to new realms of possibility. Your intuition begins to play a bigger role in your life. You will be more easily be able to listen to that quiet voice and make better decisions day to day.
– Meditation has been shown on MRI’s to increase certain grey areas of the brain that are related to the memory and attention span.
– Meditation has been shown to positively affect the “fight or flight” response, making us more calm, and relaxed.
– Taking regular time to meditate has also been shown to improve immune function creating a stronger resistance to infections.
– Creating a morning practice of meditation even just for a short period, increases levels of self-love and love for others. It literally helps the heart to bloom open, making you more in touch with emotions as well as helping you to forgive others more easily.
The best way to begin your meditation practice is to start with small, achievable goals. Begin with 5 minutes per day. Simply find your favorite place in your home to sit quietly. Close your eyes and focus on your breath. When your thoughts wander, bring them back to your breath. Set a timer if you’d like and ensure no interruptions. Gradually up your practice by 1 minute per day until you reach 20 minutes.
You can also download a free meditation app on your smartphone such as CALM or OMG. I can Meditate! Perhaps light a candle, play soft music, and do your best to create the same time frame every day for your practice.
You can also look into Transcendental meditation or TM classes near you. In these classes, you’ll learn more about meditation and they’ll give you a personal mantra to focus on while you’re meditating.
The most challenging part of meditating is beginning. Why not make THIS THE YEAR that you commit to this important and life-changing practice and see first-hand how it will benefit you and those around you.
Jay Bradley is an anti-aging, wellness & lifestyle coach living in Los Angeles.
He is the author of LIVE LOOK FEEL, The 12-Week Guide to Live Longer, Look Younger & Feel Better!
Spices, herbs, and natural flavoring may not just enhance our taste buds. Recent studies are showing that spicing up your mealtime may in fact lower your risk of certain diseases and may also help to reduce inflammation in your body.
Often nature has many of the answers that we’ve been searching for and herbs and spices are a great example of this.
Here is a small list of my favorite spices and how they’ve been shown to enhance your overall health:
Black Pepper – Black pepper is rich in piperine which has been shown to slow, reduce or even kill certain types of cancer cells relating to breast, prostate, colon, lung, liver, stomach, and cervix. Piperine has also exhibited anti-inflammatory effects and may help reduce the pain relating to Arthritis and gout.
Turmeric – This bright orange spice has been used in Ayurvedic traditions for thousands of years. It has shown great promise in lowering the risk of Alzheimer’s, certain cancers, and even heart disease. The active ingredient curcumin is a powerful anti-inflammatory and is often recommended by doctors to help fight the symptoms or Arthritis and sports injuries.
Oregano – Oregano has potent anti-microbial properties and is incredibly effective during cold and flu season. Using oil of oregano drops under the tongue along with fresh oregano in your cooking has been shown to boost immunity and ward off certain infections.
Pink Himalayan Sea Salt – Salt has had a bad rap. For those with high blood pressure, it is wise to minimize sodium intake but tests have shown that pink Himalayan sea salt contains 80 + trace minerals and may help to alkalize the body.
Basil – Fragrant basil is packed with Vitamin K which helps our bodies to better absorb Vitamin D3. Vitamin K also promotes proper blood clotting, and supports our bones. Basil may also offer DNA protection and has antibacterial properties to help fight off infections.
Sage – According to the Journal of Psychopharmacology, sage has been shown to benefit people’s memory. Sage supplements have also been studied for their power to reduce anxiety symptoms.
Garlic – Garlic contains the sulphur compound called allicin which has numerous health benefits. Garlic is known to reduce bad cholesterol, lower blood pressure, inhibit the common cold and flu, and may even fight cancerous cells.
Rosemary – Rosemary also has anti-inflammatory effects and supports healthy eye health. Rosemary also positively affects the brain and may even lower the risk of certain cancers including breast and blood.
Curry – Various colors of curry are often used in Thai and Indian cuisine. Curry has long been researched to reduce inflammation in the body, and to fight harmful free radicals from attacking our cells. Curry may also support proper liver health and detoxification.
Ginger – Ginger tea has been used as a remedy for digestive issues, nausea, and motion sickness for thousands of years. It also has immune-boosting properties, and has been shown to reduce overall inflammation in the body.
Cinnamon – Cinnamon has antifungal and antibacterial properties and has been researched for its benefits in lowering blood sugar in the body. It has anti-inflammatory effects and is considered a superfood because of its high antioxidant content.
There are numerous studies worldwide that show the positive health benefits of herbs and spices.
This week why not experiment with your cooking? The next time you’re at the supermarket look for fresh, organic herbs and try something new. Not only will your taste buds thank you but you’ll definitely be doing your health and your body some good!
* Always check with your doctor to ensure that specific herbs and spices won’t interact with your current medications or pre-existing health issues.
Jay Bradley is an Anti-aging, Wellness & Lifestyle Coach living in Los Angeles.
He is the Author of LIVE LOOK FEEL, The 12-Week Guide to Live Longer, Look Younger & Feel Better!