Meditation – Morning Routine – Human Performance

Meditation - Morning Routine - Human Performance
This post is part 2 of 7 in the series Maximising Human Performance & Abilities
5 MIN READ

Years ago if someone would tell me that I am going to meditate I would probably laugh. That time I thought meditation is such a waste of time. Why would you just do nothing for 15, 20 or 30 minutes? Now I know why and today I would like to share with you a little bit more about meditation from my own experiences. 

Many studies have shown that meditation positively impacts our body and mind. I am always interested in studies, in a scientific way of explaining certain aspects. The same with meditation, I want to really know what is happening in our brain during meditation. It is proof that meditation rewrites areas of our brain by enhancing positive traits such as making decision process or focus, and it also diminishes negative ones such as anxiety, stress or fear. It basically means that we can rewrite our brain by daily mediation, simply like that. For me it is fascinating, we can influence our body by something abstract as mediation.  

Types of meditations

I am not an expert here but I would like to share with you what I know. 

  • Guided meditation. It is my favourite one, I like when the voice leads me through the meditation with some relaxing music in the background. Insight Timer has many of these, you can filter by category such as spiritual, productivity, health and also by length of meditation.  
  • Mindfulness meditation. It is meditation to keep you grounded, to let you enjoy the present moment. It increases awareness and acceptance.  
  • Mantra meditation. I like to listen to it while working out. I can keep focused on repeating sentences and ignore distractions. 
  • Yoga. It can also be a form of meditation. Many times meditation is part of yoga practice. The postures and breathing helps to control the mind and make it calm. Yoga moreover requires focus on the present moment. 

Do you know any more kinds of meditations? Please share with me in the comments below or via Instagram @zanetabarancom

Benefits of mediation 

Meditations have many many benefits. As I mentioned at the beginning, before I thought it was just a waste of the time, but not today. I know it is such an investment in myself. Let me show you only a few examples of meditation benefits. 

Improving sleep

It is shown that people who meditate can stay asleep longer, which totally doesn’t surprise me. Meditation helps with my insomnia, it helps my brain to stop working and just relax before going to sleep.

Reducing stress and gaining new perspective to stressful situations

The studies have shown that mindfulness meditation reduces the inflammatory response caused by stress. I can see it in my everyday life. Recently my work has been extremely stressful and I noticed that daily meditation helps me to reduce my panic feelings and I can deal with problems without so much stress. 

Increasing focus and memory

The study has shown that people who were meditating during a task, improved attention and concentrations while completing it. Moreover meditation can reverse the pattern in our brain that is related to poor attention and worrying. That is just fascinating! It is proved that only 13min of meditation daily can improve your attention and memory after just 8 weeks. People who have experienced age related memory loss showed improvements in neuropsychological tests after regular meditations. 

Developing skills to deal with pain

People who meditate and who don’t meditate experience the same cause of the pain but those who meditate show better coping with the pain itself and they even show decrease of the pain sensations. We need to remember that our pain is connected with the state of our mind, in this case it makes total sense.

Increasing tolerance and patience 

Since I meditate regularly I noticed I can much easily control my emotions and I can tolerate much more. I am also more patient with our puppy 😉 

Helps to be in the present moment

That’s definitely something big for me. My brain flies, I can think about millions of things, my list to do, what I should do at work, what kind of problems I should resolve and it is a never ending story. Meditation helps me to be more grounded, it helps me to enjoy moments with my dogs to the fullest, without many thoughts in my head.

Decreasing negative emotions such as anxiety 

Analysis on 1300 adults has shown that meditation decreases anxiety, the biggest effect was in those with the highest levels of anxiety. Mindfulness meditation increases positive self-statement and improves reaction to stressful situations. Another study has shown that for example yoga helps people to reduce anxiety as well.

Building self-awareness

Meditation can improve problem-solving skills. In one study, adults who had meditation apps for 2 weeks experienced reduced loneliness feelings and increased social contact. 

Improving emotional health

Meditation can improve self-image and positive view of ourselves. Some studies have shown that people who practice meditation regularly experienced less negative thoughts while viewing negative images, compared to control groups. Moreover there are chemicals which are called cytokines. They are released in response to stress. What of course affects your mood and can lead to depression. By meditation we reduce the level of these chemicals which helps to fight with depression. 

Helping people with variety of illnesses 

Meditation can help people with following illnesses: 

  • Cancer
  • Depression
  • Insomnia
  • Chronic pain
  • Heart diseases
  • Migraines
  • Anxiety

What mediation is about and how to start? 

Let me just tell you a little bit more about mediation, what is that exactly about and how to start it. Again, I would like you to note here that I am not an expert but I only share my own knowledge and experiences.

Insight Timer and Headspace

I really recommend starting with a meditating app. Guided meditations can help us to go through the process. I was trying different types of apps and I have two my favourite one. Insight Timer and Headspace. Insight Timer has so many free guided meditations, sleeping music and much more. I have been using it since 2 years and still discover something new. Headspace in free version has a little bit limited features but I really recommend Headspace series on Netflix. They really explain what meditation is about. Definitely check it out if you would like to increase your knowledge around this topic.

Environment

It is easier to meditate when you are in a quiet and calm place. I would say that when you are more advanced you can simply meditate anywhere but at the beginning I recommend a quiet space where you are alone. Add some candles, smelly sticks and you are ready.

Focus

Stay focused. You focus your attention on breath, on image, on mantra in order to free your brain from stress and thoughts. Scan your body, focus on different parts of your body, relaxation, tension and feeling of breathing. 

Breath

Breath, focus on inhale and exhale. Breath deeper and calmer. During awareness breathing you can get more oxygen and expand your lungs. It helps to relax your body and relieve tension. Concentrate on your breath.

Position

Find a comfortable position, such as sitting on a sofa, lying on bed or using meditation pillows. I really like to do meditation on @pranamat. You can also easily meditate while walking, just combine activity of your body with practice of your mind. 

Let it be

Don’t try too much, just let it be. Don’t judge your thoughts and feelings, just relax and try to get deeper and deeper. Focus on gratitude and love, just feel this positive and calming feeling. 

Give yourself a chance

Just try it out. Always, try out before disregarding. It doesn’t mean it needs to work for you, maybe it will not. But everything that potentially can help your health is worth trying. Did you try out the latest method which I have shared here last time? Did you try to get some more sunshine? Share your experiences in the comments!  


This part is another item in my morning routine. If you liked this post, please, share with friends and family.

Resources:
12 Science-Based Benefits of Meditation
Meditation: A simple, fast way to reduce stress
When science meets mindfulness


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