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The Benefits of Meditation

Feeling stressed? Whether you're no longer furloughed and feeling the pressure of getting back to some kind of normality, or the daily headlines are getting you down, meditation may help you take some time out to tackle whatever worries you're facing.

But why meditate in the first place? As well as helping to relax your mind, meditation offers a host of science-backed benefits. This article on the Forbes site says meditation is so effective, in fact, that it can actually change the brain.

'The meditation-and-the-brain research has been rolling in steadily for a number of years now, with new studies coming out just about every week to illustrate some new benefit of meditation.' states the piece.

Meditation, continues the Forbes article, 'seems to have an amazing variety of neurological benefits – from changes in grey matter volume to reduced activity in the “me” centers of the brain to enhanced connectivity between brain regions.'

According to the site, meditation may help in the following ways:

  • It can preserve the ageing brain
  • It can halt 'mind-wandering' thoughts and feelings
  • It can reduce anxiety and depression
  • It can improve concentration and attention
  • and lots more.

So, should you try meditation too? We believe that anything that can help relax your mind and body - especially during high times of stress - certainly won't harm.

How do you start meditating?

The Mindful site has some basic advice for beginners - just take a look.  The site suggests you should start by getting into a comfortable position.

Then, sit still for a few minutes and focus on your own natural inhalation and exhalation of breath.

Work out where you feel your breath most - in your belly, in your nose etc. Then, try to keep your attention on your inhale and exhale.

Follow your breath for two minutes by taking a deep inhale and expanding your belly, before exhaling slowly. You should elongate the out-breath as your belly contracts.

'Welcome back. What happened?' asks Mindful.

'How long was it before your mind wandered away from your breath? Did you notice how busy your mind was even without consciously directing it to think about anything in particular?'

Ask yourself these questions and more and work up to more complex meditation techniques when you're ready.

Consider a meditation app, which may make indulging in the practice that bit easier. Headspace is a popular mobile app, which may help you find a moment's calm in an otherwise busy day.

But you don't need to use an app. You can head to YouTube and type in 'meditation for beginners' in the search bar, finding a tutorial that works for you.

Of course, meditation may not be everyone's idea of a relaxing activity - and that's fine too. You have to do what works for you.

You could consider combining mediation with another hobby - such as yoga. Yoga and mediation can go hand in hand, as breathing techniques are vital while doing yoga for relaxation.

We recommend the Yoga with Adrienne channel on YouTube. It's completely free and perfect for beginners or improvers.

Will you be trying mediation or yoga during lockdown? Let us know in the comments below.

Until next time...

Disclaimer: If you are allergic to any of the ingredients listed in the products mentioned, do not consume them. Always check with your doctor before trying a new medication or regime, and if irritation or allergy occurs stop using the product or medication immediately.

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