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How Taking up Meditation Can Help You Accomplish Your Health Goals

Regular meditation practice can change your brain, thought patterns and even help you reach your health and fitness goals.

Meditation is a practice, similar to yoga, in that you are constantly learning and adapting. It is a habitual process that can help you train your mind to focus and redirect your thoughts. In other words, regular meditation practice can change your brain. But what does this mean for your health?

The Power of Thought

Your brain is a busy place. It is constantly going, even if you don't realize it. While doing one task, you might also be thinking about all the other things you have to accomplish that day. Now think in terms of your health. Have you ever been going through a drive-thru line and berating yourself at the same time? "Why am I eating this? There's food at home?"; "I'm so heavy! I should not be eating all these calories!!"; "What am I doing? This is going to send my blood sugar way up!". Or maybe you yell at yourself for skipping workouts and relaxing on the couch. Those negative thoughts are unhealthy and meditation can actually help you change them so that you can begin working on your goals.

Benefits of Meditation

Our health goals do often come down to weight loss, but that's is just the end result. In the process, we can gain so many other benefits: lower blood pressure and cholesterol, lower risk of disease, more energy, positive outlook, less stress, better sleep, longevity, etc. Meditation can start you on this path to changing your habits and improving your health.

  • Stress reduction
  • Anxiety control
  • Improved emotional health
  • Increased self-awareness
  • Lengthened attention span
  • Improved sleep
  • Pain control
  • Decreased blood pressure

These are just a few of the benefits you see with regular practice. By improving these areas, you find that you can start making better food choices, exercise regularly and just feel better overall - which all leads to accomplishing those health goals.

How To Get Started

There are different methods of meditation and you can even attend classes, or guided sessions, or look into purchasing some meditation practices that guide you through it in the comfort of your own home. It's really up to you. Or you can get started with a few basics:

  • Sit or lie comfortably in a space where you won't be disturbed.
  • Close your eyes and breathe naturally. You don't have to worry about controlling your breathing when you get started.
  • Focus on your natural breathing pattern. How do your chest, shoulders, and abdomen move when you breathe? Are you relaxed or tense in any area of your body?
  • Start with just two to three minutes. Slowly open your eyes and begin your day.
  • Build up to 20-minute sessions three or more times per week.

Just clearing your mind and focusing on your breathing can help you start reaping the benefits and meditate to reach your goals.

[Image via Shutterstock]

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