Category : Meditation

How Meditation Can Help With Weight Loss

It has long been known that mediation is good for the body and mind.

There are reported benefits that include lowered blood pressure and a sense of inner calm.

But did you know that meditation can also be used as a tool for losing weight?

Thanks to the awesome power of this mind-clearing practice you can actually use your meditation sessions to boost your diet efforts.

So just how can meditation help with weight loss?

A single focus

Mediation is all about the ability to focus.

It is a form of mindfulness although there is some distinction between the two.

However the common ground between them is that you are encouraged to be present in the moment, with no focus on the past or present.

By embracing this skill as part of your meditation practice, you will be learning a new diet trick that really works.

When we diet we put pressure on ourselves.

We judge our progress on past endeavours or focus on a party coming up in a few weeks and start to panic and sabotage our efforts.

If on the other hand we can come to see food as a present thing, we focus only on what happens at each meal.

We can focus on these singular events, pick good food, stop eating when we are full, and generally slow the eating process down.

We do not compare the previous bad meal, but simply live in the moment.

We make more conscious choices as to the food we choose to eat.

Mindfully being aware of how and when we eat and what we actually consume.

This has been shown to lead to a higher number of good days and considerably fewer days where we eat badly or overindulge.

A purpose

Another great benefit of meditation generally is the sense of purpose we can find.

Rather than rush from task to task cramming in as much as we can to our day, we slow down.

Setting aside the time to meditate helps us create purpose in the events that follow and we stop fretting about the things that really do not matter.

Things that may once have seemed significant and colossal stop being problems.

This purpose and positive state of mind can help us to approach dieting with a calm undertone that is less panic-stricken than our previous hectic selves.

Now we have the power to calmly assess the situation and understand the driving factor to overeat.

For some people that is stress, for others it is anger, any emotion good or bad can send us reaching for food.

We are comforting or celebrating with ourselves.

Being more purposeful means we are better placed to see that we do not need the food we have previously used and instead can calmly find another outlet to support our negative state of mind or indeed to celebrate with us when things go right.

Meditation also lowers the cortisol levels in the brain which make us stressed.

Feeling calmer instantly makes dieting seem easier.

The Scientific Benefits Of Meditation

Many still view the art of meditation as something of a hippy pastime, only to be practised by people who lead unorthodox or unconventional lifestyles.

Others see meditation as a strange and foreign practice that’s only used by monks and priests in faraway countries and whilst it may be interesting, it surely doesn’t have any benefits in the material world which us westerners live.

This couldn’t be any more wrong.

The truth is that there’s an abundance of benefits to be enjoyed by those who delve into this often-misunderstood art form.

These aren’t just fanciful impressions derived from personal experiences either; serious, fact-based scientific study has proved how amazing meditation can be for you over recent years.

Read on to find out some of the benefits of this ancient art form, backed up by science.

Reduced stress

Are family issues keeping you on edge?

Do you feel overwhelmed by work life?

You might want to try meditation.

Studies prove that aside from significantly reducing stress over a period of three months, meditation reduces the density of brain tissue associated with anxiety and worrying.

What’s more conclusive than an actual physical change in the brain?

Enhanced immune system

Meditation is so powerful it can actually boost your body’s immune system, enabling you to stave off pesky colds and persistent illnesses.

The reason meditation can do this is because your immune system reacts to positive and negative thoughts and, through mindfulness, you can create a positive mental environment which will have a beneficial effect on your immune system.

Studies also show that meditation reduces the amount of pro-inflammatory genes in older adults, as well as a slowdown in the reduction of CD-4 cell count.

CD-4 cells are essentially the cells in your body which prevent a virus from propagating, so if you’re finding yourself under the weather more often than you’d like then meditation might be the cure you’re looking for.

Improved decisiveness

Millions of people around the world suffer from being indecisive about everything from important work-related choices to simple things such as where to go out to eat.

Meditation has been proven to quash indecisiveness thanks to its ability to enable us to make rational decisions and remove emotion from the equation.

People who meditate are proven to be able to better consider the present moment and clear their minds of other thoughts that may affect their choices, resulting in clearer, better-thought-out decisions for practitioners of this wonderful art form.

Why Some Schools Are Replacing Detention With Meditation

The effectiveness of the traditional school detention has long been a subject of debate.

How is forcing unruly children to stay at school after all their friends have gone home, completing mundane tasks such as writing lines, going to give them a greater affinity with their schoolwork and teachers?

Surely it’s only going to simply make them resent education more?

Some visionary teachers considered this point and replaced this old-school method of punishment with meditation to see how children would react.

The results were astonishing.

Instead of sending its children to boring after-school detention classes or to the principal’s office, students at Robert W.Coleman Elementary school in Baltimore are sent to the Mindful Moment Room.

Instead of the traditional desk with a pen and paper to write lines on, the Mindful Moment Room is kitted out with lamps, pillows and decorations in order to foster a calming environment for children to relax and re-centre.

The benefit of this is that children can separate their minds from whatever caused them to misbehave, flushing out negative thoughts and emotions through simply being in the moment rather than dwelling on the situation which made them angry or upset.

Once calmed, children at Robert W.Coleman Elementary are encourage to talk through the situation and analyse what happened and why they became upset from a more rational and relaxed viewpoint.

Afterwards they’re able to return to the classroom without holding any grudges about why they were dismissed.

This enhanced clarity then results in less disruption and more time spent learning, boosting the attainment of the pupils and, ultimately, their life chances.

The school didn’t see a single suspension for the whole of 2015 as a result of meditation.

Across the pond in the UK, too, the Mindfulness in Schools charity is working to incorporate meditation into school curriculums to boost attainment and reduce poor behaviour.

But why else are schools turning to meditation?

Increased empathy

Meditation imbues people with greater empathy and understanding for others, and allows them to consider the viewpoints and circumstances of others with greater clarity and thoughtfulness.

This is hugely beneficial in a school environment as it can help pupils get along with each other better and lead more happy, positive lifestyles.

Reduce anxiety

In a world where children as young as 4 are suffering from anxiety, panic attacks and depression, it’s easy to see why fantastic charities such as Mindfulness in Schools have been created.

Meditation is proven to affect physical changes in our brains that reduce anxiety, meaning that the cure for the anxiety epidemic in UK schoolchildren could lie in this amazing art form.