For many men, the words Yoga, Mindfulness and Meditation are words that are reserved for girls. Real men don’t have time for, or can be caught worrying about things like Meditation. It’s all too “touchy, feely”, right?
I’m here to tell you that you’re dead wrong and that you need to hear me out.
Meditation is a powerful way to start down the path of improving your mind and overall health on many levels. For me, it’s THE gateway, the beginning point and a foundational practice that will help you on your way to becoming a stronger, more happier person.
If you’re going to have success with your mind, body and soul, it all starts with the mind. Controlling the mind is the critical starting point if you’re goal is to have success in all other areas.
To try and convince you to give it a try, here are few research-proven ways that can help you to improve your mind and body.
A meditation practice can increase grey matter in your brain
Your brain is composed of about 40% grey matter, which is what contains most of your brain’s cells. It’s associated with important mental health functions like memory, your emotions, speech, detailed decision making, and self-control.
Increasing your self control is a critical to having success in many other aspects of your life from weight loss to relationships. So it makes sense to increase the grey matter in your brain, right?
Studies have shown that meditation actually increases the size of the brain in areas that are important to emotions and mindful behavior. These are key behaviors that figure into whether people are successful or if they fail in their long term endeavors.
We detected significantly larger gray matter volumes in meditators in the right orbito-frontal cortex (as well as in the right thalamus and left inferior temporal gyrus when co-varying for age and/or lowering applied statistical thresholds). In addition, meditators showed significantly larger volumes of the right hippocampus. Both orbito-frontal and hippocampal regions have been implicated in emotional regulation and response control. Thus, larger volumes in these regions might account for meditators’ singular abilities and habits to cultivate positive emotions, retain emotional stability, and engage in mindful behavior.
Meditation can help with anxiety and depression issues
I am here as proof that meditation is critical in beating long term anxiety issues and depression disorders.
When I turned 35 I had two young children, a new company and a very busy life. I was lacking in the sleep department and I had constant stress. For a while I had to go on medication for anxiety and, ultimately, what I had to admit was depression.
Not that my life was bad in any way. But with the lack of sleep and unrelenting anxiety, my body and mind just couldn’t deal with life and I eventually had to seek help.
After realizing the medication was not the long-term answer I looked at other alternatives. One of those alternatives was meditation.
Every morning I woke up and I meditated. Sometimes for 10 minutes, sometimes for an hour. What happened can’t be explained. But all I know is that it helped me get out of my funk. I was stronger. More grounded. I was able to deal with life. I no longer needed medication.
So to confirm, meditation alone can help you. Seriously. Give it a try if you have anxiety issues and it could save you from a long and debilitating depression.
Meditation can help with addictive behavior and self control
How do you begin to control your urges? You need to begin the process of becoming aware and mindful of your urges. Meditation can help you learn how to control your mind and be present with your thoughts. You’ll become stronger and more in control of yourself.
This is the starting point to begin the fight against any urge or addictive behavior that you’d like to change.
Have you ever felt hungry and immediately, without question opened a bag of chips and started to devour the entire bag without thinking? This is because you’ve lost control of your mind. It’s your mind that telling you that you have to eat, immediately and without thinking about what.
If you’re in the practice of being mindful and aware of your thoughts, you can learn to be more in the moment and more in control of your actions. Meditation is the key to open the door and explore a greater sense of control over your world.
Meditation will help you sleep better
Have you ever taken melatonin or a sleeping pill? It simply helps you ease into a state of rest and relaxation and eventually leads to sleep.
Meditation can act as a drug in that it will help you relax and it will start the process that your mind needs to work itself into a state of sleep.
I meditate at least 3-4 nights a week to help me ease into a restful sleep. My mind is typically not ready to go to sleep and it takes me a while to wind down. Meditation is my sleeping pill and it always helps me get a longer and better night sleep.
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