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Top 12 Tips for a Healthier Life: Part 4 – Make Brain Space

Top 12 Tips for a Healthier Life: Part 4 – Make Brain Space

The Brain and Beyond

I recently posted the first 3 articles of the 12 Tips for a Healthier Life in response to an oft asked question.

“So what is the best thing I can do for my health/wellbeing?”

Part 1 concerned itself with moving our corporeal being, Part 2 invited you to drink up and Part 3 skimmed the surface of the huge subject of food/fuel.

For Part 4 we move up to the brain… And for those of us with increasingly short attention spans I have opted to make this one short and sweet.

Make Brain Space and Feel Better:

There has been a heap of research recently into the positive effects of meditation on our brains, bodies and happiness levels.  Everything from:

  • reducing anxiety
  • combatting depression
  • lowering blood pressure
  • making us calmer
  • helping us become more focused
  • reducing the effects of stress
  • increasing our creativity and improving our relationships.

Meditation based practices can also be helpful for managing chronic pain, fibromyalgia, coronary artery disease and cancer.

But fear not, you do not need to sit completely still for 3 hours at a time in an incensed filled room, nor do you need to shave your head. A short (ideally regular) burst of meditation is all you need (at least to get started).

Broadly falling into 2 types, meditation either asks you

  1. to focus on one thing (e.g. your breathing) and bringing your attention back to that each time the mind wanders. This type is called, among other things, concentrative meditation.
  2. The second type is more freeform e.g. allowing your mind to wander wherever it likes, observing what comes up, just not attaching yourself to any particular thought. This is called nondirective and includes the newly popular mindfulness meditation.

An extension of this is when the nondirective meditation is accompanied with a mantra, chant or sound, Transcendental meditation falls into this category. The best intro to meditation for complete beginners that I have come across is headspace.com . The brainchild of Andrew Puddicombe (a former Buddhist Monk) it’s a mindfulness meditation based app with a 10 day free trial and hundreds of original meditation materials. Andrew even shares some of the science behind meditation and it’s benefits.

To dive in more deeply I would recommend a course, the excellently talented Anne Hamarsnes of Mindfulness Malta can tend to your mindfulness needs with her workshops and sessions.

As with all things… the best way to find out how meditation can help you, is to try it 🙂

I am about to begin a 30 day meditation and intention exercise, I will let you know how I get on soon but I’d love to hear how you use meditation in your life in the comments below…

With love Cat Moyle

Holistic Body Worker and Wellbeing Adviser on the Island of Malta

PS – With huge thanks again to Gratisography.com for their awesome images 🙂

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