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Meditation

Meditation

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Description

Meditation is an ancient practice that’s making a comeback. Meditation involves consciously focusing your mind on the present moment in an effort to become a more peaceful, clear and focused. 

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How to Do It

Meditation can be practiced anywhere at any time. There are various techniques and variations of meditation. The most common and simple type of meditation is called mindfulness meditation. The goal of mindfulness meditation is to be mindful of your surroundings. 

Here’s how to practice mindfulness meditation: 

  • Sit down and close your eyes
  • Focus on slowly breathing in through your nose
  • Listen to the sound of your breath
  • Focus on breathing in through your belly rather than your chest 
  • As thoughts come into your mind, try to avoid judging them
  • Continue to focus on the sound of your breathing each time you feel distracted
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Benefits

  • Decreases stress, anxiety and fear 
  • Helps with addictive behavior
  • May decreases the risk of age-related cognitive disease
  • Increases empathy
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Time Commitment

10-20 minutes per day 

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Why it works

Research has shown that meditation decreases cortisol, also known as the stress hormone. One study looking at 1300 adults showed that those with the highest stress levels experienced the largest reduction in stress from meditation [1]. According to research, meditation decreases the size of an area of the brain called the amygdala, which is responsible for stress, anxiety, and fear [2]

Meditation may be able to help fight addictions. Research has shown that because meditation increases willpower and helps one control their emotional impulses, it may, therefore, be an effective way to help people understand their addictive traits [3], [4]

New research has shown that meditation may help to prevent the early onset of age-related cognitive diseases such as Alzheimer's disease. One review of the current evidence concluded that 12 minutes of meditation per day may improve memory in people with cognitive decline and impairment [5]. The exact reason why it works isn’t fully understood yet.

Studies looking at compassion meditation showed that it can help to improve "empathic accuracy" by causing changes to areas of the brain associated with empathy and human connection [6].

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Suggested Frequency

Once or more per day

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Side Effects

Meditation has a lot of benefits, however, it can also have adverse effects for some people.

  • A study on long-term meditators found that 17 of the 27 subjects reported at least one negative side effect [7]
  • A survey concluded that some adverse effects included stress, disorientation, and dependence on meditation as a form of escapism [8].

Although severe side effects from meditating are relatively uncommon, they may still occur, especially in those with underlying psychological issues. 

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Required Equipment

N/A

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Gurus/Celebrities/Doing it

Dalai Lama

Jeff Weiner

Oprah Winfrey

Russel Simmons 

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Related Products

None

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Key Habit

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Suggested Time of Day

You can meditate anytime you want. Most people anecdotally report that meditating early in the morning or late at night works best. 

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Notes

  • Start slow. It’s better to meditate for five minutes per day consistently for one month rather than meditate for 30 minutes per day and stop after one week.
  • You can practice meditation while doing daily activities such as cleaning or drinking coffee. Simply focus on the activity you’re doing and try to remain mindful while doing it.

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Category

 Mood  Confidence  Stress  Health  Sleep  Digestion  Productivity  Focus  Creativity  Sharpness
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