Meditation

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16 Ways Guided Meditation Helps You to Be Happy| 6 Minute Read

16 Ways Guided Meditation Helps You to Be Happy| 6


Guided meditation has become increasingly popular due to its instant benefits in our lives.

You’ve probably heard about meditation from a friend or somewhere on the wide web, but you’ve been too swamped to find out more.

Well, here’s the brief gist:

Meditation is a simple activity of sitting or standing still and concentrating on your breath. It helps you avoid stress and boost your happiness. Many practitioners admit to using meditation to improve their overall quality of life.

In guided meditation, an instructor assists you step-by-step as you connect into your soul and reach the meditative state. It’s an optimal method for those who are new to meditating to get the hang of it. You’ll find countless smartphone apps, YouTube videos, and social media groups to help you get started.

Here are 16 science-backed ways guided meditation helps you become happier:

1 – Decreases stress and anxiety

Stress reduction perhaps the most important benefit of meditation. Stress happens when we become overwhelmed with the rigors of everyday life. There’s just so much to do with so little time.

Many times, these concerns are works of imagination, but we send stress hormones to our body. Such habits repeated over time lead to intense anxiety and chronic stress.

Here’s how meditation helps you get rid of stress.

Guided meditation gives you mental space and clarity to organize your mind. What’s more, studies show that meditation helps to reduce cortisol(stress hormones) levels. And increase happiness hormones in the body.

2 – Fights depression

Depression is an insidious sickness that slowly robs you of your happiness and vitality. Depression not only affects your happiness and general well-being, but it also affects your mind and your decision making.

When you sit down to meditate, you connect deeply with yourself. And let go of stress and depression.

Furthermore, this study shows how meditation can help you get rid of negative ruminations—giving you an inner glow of happiness and fulfillment.

3 – Greater empathy and kindness

One easy way to become happier is by simply sharing with others. A little kindness you show goes a long way.

So go ahead and try complimenting your coworker’s dress, donating to charity, or listening to your partner when he or she tells you about their day.

empathy class
Learn how schools in Denmark now include empathy training in the classroom.

4 – Stay in the present

Meditation makes you more present, calmer, and feel more connected to the world.

Studies show that certain kinds of guided meditation help you develop gratitude, understanding, and empathy for everyone.

Your attitude of gratitude will attract happiness to you.

5 – Develop more self-awareness

Research shows that when you see yourself clearly – you become more confident.

Have you ever been at a gathering with someone who always seems relaxed, calm, and collected as a coconut? He quickly connects with everyone. He never fazed by uncomfortable situations.

Don’t you sometimes wish you can be as fresh and calm as these people?

Yes, you can

The simple answer – you need to increase your self-awareness.

Guided meditation helps you remain fixed in the present moment. Brain-imaging research shows that meditation can help rid you of social anxiety. And make you more confident. You become a better communicator and build happier relationships.

6 – Improves your relationships

A secret that many of the most successful people know is developing quality relationships.

That’s right! Emphasis on quality.

“The quality of your life depends on the quality of your relationship.”

Quality relationships could be the difference between a failed company and a successful one, a painful divorce, and a successful marriage.

Maintaining our happiness also means developing and maintaining quality relationships.

Guided meditations help us foster more quality relationships by giving us the means to monitor our thoughts.

By doing this, we have a clear picture of how we see ourselves and how others see us.

7 – Improves your creativity

What would you give to unleash creative energy like Leonardo da Vinci?

What would your work look like if you could summon your inner creativity? Would your home life look different if you could become more spontaneous?

Creativity has long been with enhanced performance at work and general happiness. Creativity promotes out-of-the-box style thinking to help you solve problems and overcome challenging situations.

In this study, scientists found the often-overlooked influence of meditation on creativity and improved cognitive function.

The results?

We’ll give you the breakdown.

They found out that while guided meditation helps to enhance our emotional cognition, we also benefit improved mood and high levels of creativity. This, in turn, helps us to boost our performance and we remain happy while doing our work.

8 – Sharpen your memory

Well, you might ask – how does a cutting-edge memory help you be happy?

Let me explain.

Imagine if you could remember peoples’ names on the spot, or remember a minute detail about them. Imagine what that would do for your relationships. Perhaps you’d seamlessly build quality relationships. Maybe you communicate effectively with your workers or connect deeply with your husband.

Still not convinced?

Studies suggest that guided meditation can sharpen your memory and attention.

9 – Enhances deeper sleep

Studies show that sleep deprivation impairs attention and working memory, but it also affects other functions, such as long-term memory and decision-making.

On the other hand, quality sleep has long linked to improved performance.

Meditation can relax you and help to promote deeper sleep. In turn, you wake up in a glorious mood and high energy – ready to seize the day.

10 – Improves decision making and problem-solving

It’s no surprise that meditation practice is becoming more popular among top executives managing billion-dollar companies.

Indeed, many leaders attribute guided meditation as a way to build strong leadership skills.

And for a good reason too.

Studies show that people who meditate regularly assess different parts of their brains to make significant decisions.

You know how you sometimes get that gut feeling – the sudden burst of inspiration to a task that had been challenging. Many meditation specialists claim to experience intuitive guidance in their work.

problems

11 – Mental clarity

We have all experienced fogginess and an inability to make decisions.

Frustrating, isn’t it?

When we sit down to meditate, we train our focus and concentration. Since the central practice of meditation is to anchor our attention on our breaths, it is no surprise that the same quality of awareness sips into other areas of our lives.

And on top of that, meditation improves our focus and allows clear thinking.

Multiple studies show higher performance with individuals that meditate as opposed to those who do not when carrying are varying cognitive tasks.

12 – Increases mental toughness and resilience

Having mental toughness and resilience means you can weather the storms in any situation. You can bear almost anything life throws at you.

Imagine if you could take on the toughest tasks like a navy SEAL. Will you get more work done?

Fortunately, you already know-how. Now here’s the exciting part.

Studies suggest that top athletes, politicians, and top CEOs practice meditation to develop resistance to stress and power through any stumbling blocks in their way.

13 –  Boosts immunity

Ever notice how sluggish you feel after an exhausting day at work? That’s stress.

Do you know that a 10-minute meditation can help rid you of stress while boosting your immune system to fight diseases?

That’s right!

A UCLA study shows that HIV patients who practiced mindfulness were able to slow down the spread of the virus in their bodies.

Guided meditation also helps your body produce more disease-fighting immune cells that protect your body.

14 – Preserves the aging brain

The key to happiness is a healthier mind and body. Along with improving attention and clarity, meditation helps strengthen more neural connections in your brain.

There are positive results that long-term meditation practice helps to keep your mind sharp and clear. It also prevents age-related memory loss and dementia by strengthening your brain health.

15 – Helps you lose weight and achieve your body goals

Do you regularly try to lose weight, but you find that either:

  • You can’t maintain the healthy eating habit.
  • You’re unable to get yourself to go to the gym.
  • You can resist binge-eating unhealthy snacks.
  • You think – what’s the use?

Meditation helps you control your impulsive actions, and more so helps you stay on course to reaching your weight loss goals.

Furthermore, one reason that may contribute to is stress eating. By meditating regularly, you reduce the stress and anxiety surrounding unhealthy food and reach your health goals.

16 -Destroys addictive habits

We all struggle with our addictions, whether we enjoy more caffeine than we should or a bag of salty chips in the evening.

Here is why we all have cravings. These addictions produce “feel-good hormones,” which make us happy and satisfy our cravings in the short-term.

Succumbing to our addictions leaves us devastated and powerless in the long run.

There is continuous evidence that meditation helps us control our cravings. Whether you are looking to quit smoking or you are trying to stop overeating, this study shows that guided meditation played an essential role in helping recent dieters stick to their healthy eating plan.

More than that, meditation let’s rewire the pleasure centers of our brains.

Final thoughts on guided meditation and increasing your happiness.

Meditation is an age-old practice that powerful CEOs, top martial artists, famous Hollywood actors, influential bloggers, bestselling authors, well-known media personalities, high military ranks, revered artists, and gold medal Olympic athletes all employ to live happier lives.

But the truth is…

Anyone can use guided meditation to boost their happiness. Best of all, it is free, and you can carry it anywhere you go.

Lifestyle

8 Ways Meditation Rewires Your Brain and Helps You Stay Calm

8 Ways Meditation Rewires Your Brain and Helps You Stay


Millions of people today have taken up the practice of meditation due to its ability to rewire the brain and promote calm feelings in the mind and body. This practice offers a wide range of benefits from easing depression to helping with weight loss. Therefore, meditation can transform the lives of everyone who practices it in some way.

Many people look forward to vacations or time off of work. Indeed, this break gives them a chance to rest their weary minds. However, you don’t need to travel or spend any money to get the solace you seek. Search within, and you can find everything you’ve been looking for.

During meditation, you can detach from the mental chatter and emotional states. You learn how to connect with the soul. Those who delve deep in meditation can quiet all of the senses and experience a peace that most of us couldn’t even fathom. However, everyone can access this realm of pure tranquility by using willpower, concentration, and dedication.

We all can create either chaos or peace in our lives with the power of our minds.

Our thoughts create our realities, so we get to choose what we experience on a minute by minute basis.

Meditation allows us a path back to ourselves. We came from love and peace. Thus, we must find our way back to this place within ourselves. Meditation can rewire your brain and change your thinking patterns, and the best part is, anyone can do it free of charge in their own home.

“To understand the immeasurable, the mind must be extraordinarily quiet, still.”  ~Jiddu Krishnamurti

meditation

Here are eight ways meditation rewires your brain and helps you remain calm:

1 – Meditation lowers your heart rate and stress levels.

In a study from Stanford University, participants who completed an eight-week mindfulness meditation course had more significant activity in areas of the prefrontal cortex that regulate emotions. In turn, this helped lower their stress levels. Another five-year study asked 201 patients with coronary heart disease to engage in transcendental meditation, which involves repeating a sound or mantra, for 15 minutes per day. The meditators had a 48% lower risk of heart disease, stroke, and death following this meditation program. Their blood pressure and stress levels also decreased.

2 – Meditation preserves the brain.

One study from UCLA found that long-term meditators had less brain decay as they age. Participants who’d practiced meditation for around 20 years had more grey matter volume throughout the brain.

The older meditators still showed some volume loss in the brain, but the non-meditators’ brains had much more noticeable signs of aging. Study author Florian Kurth said that the research team didn’t expect to see such distinct effects from meditating, but they observed widespread changes throughout the brain.

gratitude

3 – Meditation reduces activity in the brain’s “me” center.

One study from Yale University found that mindfulness meditation reduces activity in the default mode network (DMN), the area of the brain that causes disorganized, chaotic thoughts. The DMN becomes activated when our minds don’t have anything specific on which we should focus. And unfortunately, our thoughts tend to become cynical when left to their own devices. Our monkey minds often focus on the negative because biology wired our brains to scan for threats in our environment.

In our modern world, however, this innate characteristic can lead to ruminating about the past or future, worrying about bills, etc. Meditation can help to quiet this area of the brain so that we can focus on one task and activity at a time.

Meditation causes new synapses to form in the brain so that when the mind does wander, the meditator can easily come back to the present moment.

4 – It helps reduce depression symptoms.

A review study at Johns Hopkins looked at how meditation can reduce symptoms of depression in people who practice it regularly. Researcher Madhav Goyal and his team found that meditation had an effect size of 0.3. That number may sound low, but antidepressants have the same effect size.

“A lot of people have this idea that meditation means sitting down and doing nothing,” says Goyal. “But that’s not true. Meditation is an active training of the mind to increase awareness, and different meditation programs approach this in different ways.”

Meditation isn’t a magic bullet for depression, as no treatment is, but it’s one of the tools that may help manage symptoms.

5 – Meditation can lead to increased thickness in the brain.

In 2011, Sara Lazar and her team at Harvard found that eight weeks of mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) increased cortical thickness in the hippocampus, which aids in learning and memory. Areas of the brain responsible for emotion regulation and self-referential processing also showed increased thickness. The team found decreases in brain cell volume in the amygdala, which makes us feel fear, anxiety, or stress.

These changes matched the participants’ accounts of their stress levels, which shows that meditation can alter the perception of our emotions as well as areas of the brain responsible for regulating them.

So, not only can meditation improve learning and memory, but it can help reduce unwanted negative feelings, thus enhancing our quality of life in general.

womens brains work better

7 – It improves concentration and attention.

In our world of constant distractions, it doesn’t come as a surprise that many people have trouble concentrating on one task at a time nowadays. However, meditation gives us the tools we need to retrain our brains to focus. One study found that in just two weeks of meditation training, people scored higher on the verbal reasoning section of the GRE. The average increase in score was a whopping 16 percentile points.

Meditation involves concentration and focuses on achieving desired results, so this carries over into the “real world” as well. Better concentration and attention can improve job performance, test scores at school, and even conversation and listening skills.

7 – Meditation lowers both generalized anxiety and social anxiety.

Anxiety seems pervasive in almost every area of the world today. In our fast-paced culture, this just seems to occur as an unfortunate side effect. However, the meditation we mentioned previously called Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), can help to lower stress and anxiety levels. Research shows that mindfulness meditation can help reduce anxiety symptoms due to the decrease in rumination and reduced activity in the “me” center of the brain. Mindfulness meditation can even help with a social anxiety disorder. A Stanford University team found that MBSR led to changes in areas of the brain governing attention. In this way, meditation helps to calm self-destructive thoughts so that socializing and being out in public doesn’t seem as overwhelming.

8 – Meditation can help to fight addiction.

A growing number of studies have shown that meditation can help people recover from addiction due to the increase in self-control one experiences after regular practice. One study, for example, compared mindfulness training to the American Lung Association’s freedom from smoking (FFS) program. They found that people who learned mindfulness had a much higher chance of quitting smoking by the end of the training, as well as at 17 weeks follow-up than those in the FFS program.

Researchers believe that meditation may help people control their cravings better. Thus, they can simply watch the waves of thought pass by without reacting to them. In other words, they can simply observe their desire without having to give into it. However, some different types of therapy, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy, might be necessary as a supplement in some cases.

meditateFinal thoughts on how meditation can rewire your brain and help you stay calm

Meditation offers us such a powerful tool to rewire our brains and help us remain calm even amid chaos. Meditation helps reduce depression and anxiety symptoms, fight addiction, improve concentration and attention, decrease social anxiety symptoms, and reduce aging in the brain.

It also lowers heart rate and stress, leads to increased thickness in the brain, and reduces rumination and negative thinking. Meditation offers mental and emotional benefits. Plus, it can improve our physical health as well.

This shutdown offers all of us an excellent opportunity to slow down, go within ourselves, and start up a regular meditation practice. We all have incredible power within us to assert more self-control and achieve a better balance in our lives.

If you haven’t started a meditation practice of your own, just make sure to find a quiet area that you feel comfortable in. Also, try using crystals, calming music, incense, or whatever else adds to your experience and gets you into a zen state of mind.

Even if you can only spend 10 or 15 minutes before work meditating, that is fine. This time spent can change your mindset for the rest of the day. It can seem daunting at first to just sit alone with your thoughts. But once you start feeling and seeing the results, it will make it easier to incorporate into your daily life.