Posted on

“Meditating for the mind is as important as exercising for the body.”

Meditation is our connection to the spiritual world. 

For thousands of years, humankind has practiced the art of meditation. In earlier times, religion and meditation were inexorably joined and all the major world religions incorporated meditating as a means to connect with the One; a means to silence the physical world and experience the spiritual world; and a means to transcend the seen world and to reside within the unseen world.

 

A deeply, devoted state of thinking

And it was the monks, priests, and mendicants who mainly followed a meditative life within the confines of their monasteries and caves, thus, it appears that the conduit to the spiritual realm all too often excluded the general populace. Nowadays, there is no longer a barrier which prevents us from accessing and practicing this time honored tradition. While meditation and religious practices are still tightly entwined, most people out of the realm of organized religions who practice meditation are in reality practicing discursive thinking – a deep, devoted state of thinking.

Our mental state changes our physical body 

Whether it’s achieving spiritual ecstasy or attaining physical enjoyment from regular meditation (or discursive thinking), the scientific community as a whole identifies that a change of mental state results in a change of physical state. A body of research indicates a litany of ills including anxiety, stress, pain, and depression are substantially reduced or completely eliminated by regular meditation sessions.

Our happiness increases with our meditation sessions

There is also evidence to support the lowering of blood pressure levels, improving sleeping patterns, strengthening immunity systems, and increasing general overall happiness. In fact, a number of studies have discovered that your overall Happiness Index number may increase by as much as 20% from regular meditation sessions.

Create a stronger connection between the Source and your Self 

New Age scientists have hypothesized that habitually meditating creates a stronger connection between the practitioner and the Source which in turn releases blockages of energy which are at the heart of the many problems which we suffer from in this modern age.

You can have a healthier brain

Even though we have an extensive list of benefits from regular meditation, researchers have recently discovered other reasons to make this a regular routine in our busy and hectic lives. As we age, we naturally have a thinning of our frontal cortex. One study finds that regular meditation slows down the process and it also helps thicken this area of the brain when practiced over long periods of time. After years of being committed to this sacred act, we end up with a healthier brain.

Meditate to rewire your brain and increase awareness 

A wide number of studies also discover that regular meditation sessions rewire our brain. It seems that the rewiring of the brain results in an increased awareness and focus upon the present moment. Most of us spend a great deal of our time, scientists estimate as high as 50% of the time wandering from idea to idea, hence, there is little focus.

A lack of focus can attract negative energy 

As our thoughts race around in our minds, we most often than not are attracted to the negative aspects of our life; the bill that is owing, the car that needs fixing, the tooth that needs drilling. So, our lack of focus results in obsessing upon the negative which then places us in a negative state which then attracts more negativity to our lives.

Quiet the white noise 

However, a wide range of studies have found that when we meditate, we quiet the white noise of the outside world and become less judgmental in our worldview. This change then manifests as a more relaxed attitude that is not obsessing upon the broken this or the unpaid that. It appears that the brain is able to respond to self-monitoring and retain and maintain focus and block-out worldly interference.

Science not speculation 

This is not just speculation. A recent study discovered that meditating monks and praying nuns activated the areas of the brain that dealt with concentration and focus while they also deactivated the areas of the brain that controlled responses to worldly stimuli. Over time, the ability to control your focus upon the inner world and not upon the outer world is a direct result of the rewiring of the brain which is directly influenced by meditation.

Focus upon the purposeful not the superfluous 

Meditation is more than just a few umm’s while sitting cross-legged on the floor with sweet smelling incense burning and exotic music playing in the background. Meditation results in significant health benefits that help us to live a long and productive life. It is our ability to control our thoughts and focus upon the meaningful things in life and not the superfluous which bring about true happiness and good health.

twittergoogle_plus
Posted on

How do we achieve TRUE happiness?

A miraculous study that spanned over 75 years!

Recently, I had the privilege of watching a TED Talk podcast by psychiatrist, Dr. Robert Waldinger, director of the Harvard Study of Human Development (https://www.you tube.com/watch?v=8KkKuTCFvzI).

If you haven’t heard, this podcast is about an amazing 75-year study that tracks the lives of hundreds of men in America…yes, over seven decades! It’s a remarkable achievement. Think about the logistics involved in such a long-term research project.

This study survived over time and the results appear to resonate with many people…there are over 1.4 million views on You Tube in just a few short weeks and increasing daily.

When possible, I recommend you set aside 13 minutes of your time to have a listen. The results might surprise you and even change your ideas about life and the goals you hold close to your heart.

How to achieve a ‘good’ life?

Our modern media constantly tells us that we need a more expensive car, a larger home, a brand name watch and purse to be happy in life. More this…more that…more of anything and it seems many of us buy into this idea to achieve our ideal life.

A recent survey of millennials revealed that 80% of the respondents’ main focus in life was to become rich, and 50% reported that they wanted to become famous.

Pryor et al (2007), uncovered that today’s college students believe ‘being well off financially” is more important than “developing a philosophy of life”, this is the reverse of what college students from the 1960’s and 1970’s reported.

In these two examples, it appears that we have moved away from believing that intrinsic goals are more important than extrinsic goals.

What are we doing to ourselves?

Are we happier with more of everything?

Unfortunately, a number of the indicators point that our general level of happiness is decreasing; sadly, over 36,000 Americans commit suicide every year (emoryuniversity.com), and the incidence of diagnosed depression is on the rise (www.psychologytoday.com).

As we push harder for a promotion, more money or recognition, we are simultaneously pushing our happiness aside.

We’ve missed something…our values are turned upside down.

The results of the Harvard Study of Human Development

The Harvard Study did not find that wealth and fame were the most important paths to life-long happiness.

After investigating the lives of hundreds of men for over seven decades, to live a happier, healthier, longer life the researchers found that:

  • social connections are really good for us
  • the quality of your close relationships matter most
  • good relationships protect our bodies (and brains)

Our social connections help us to live a happier, healthier life. It appears that loneliness kills our spirit and our bodies. As we age, those who suffer from loneliness record brain functions that decline earlier than those who are strongly connected.

It seems that the quality of our close relationships is more important to our health and happiness than the quantity. Overall, those who have warm relationships with a few are better off emotionally and physically than those with a higher number of relationships that are not that meaningful.

‘Good’ relationships buffer us from what life can deal us; in other words, when we can count on others around us we are more secure and therefore happier.

Our brains respond positively with the feelings we have from our sense of security, our minds remain sharper and over a longer time when we have someone whose “Got our back.”

Tips to create happiness in your life

Dr. Waldinger concluded his Ted Talk presentation with a few easy to implement tips to turn your life around and create the real happiness that you deserve. Consider the following:

  • experiencing new things as a couple
  • taking long walks in nature
  • having date nights
  • resolving long-standing family feuds

If you follow these four simple yet effective ideas, your body and your brain will thank you for it!

Why do these ideas result in a happier, healthier life?

It’s about the flow of energy; happiness creates a flow of positive energy while feelings of isolation and loneliness results in a flow of negative energy.

Tip Number 1: It’s important to experience new things as a couple. After a while we may feel the routine, the grind of everyday life is stripping us of our happiness.

There are unlimited possibilities if we are opened minded and willing to explore new things. New challenges can create waves of positive energy that end up being shared between two people.

Tip Number 2: We can connect or reconnect with nature by taking long walks in the park or woods near our home. Out in the woods, we are flooded with the positive energy from the trees. How can you not be consumed by euphoric feelings in such a setting?

Tip Number 3: Then there are date nights. Research has shown that it is not our minds but our hearts that are by far the largest energy field in our body. It’s real joy when we feel our hearts share positive energy with someone we love.

In the end, our unique frequencies meet and produce this amazing synchronicity that allows each to be dependent and independent upon each other. It’s exhilarating!

Tip Number 4: If you feud with our siblings or hold grudges for other family members you are keeping yourself in a quagmire of negative energy that can and will result in a variety of physical and psychological aliments.

When we resolve family disagreements or long time misunderstandings we flush the negative energy from our mind and body and welcome the return of positive energy.

Put family feuds behind you. Take action. Do something about it right now, get on the phone or even better go visit in person to overcome the problems that have causing harm to your mind and body.

We are social beings

Ultimately, should we be surprised that relationships have been the main priority of the countless subjects interviewed for over seven decades, after all, we are social beings first and consumers second. According to the research, that is how we should live to have a happier, longer life.

Here’s that link again: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8KkKuTCFvzI

                                               “The good life is built on good relationships.”

twittergoogle_plus