Stressed? Anxious? Over-Worked? Meditation is the perfect cure for 21st century malaise.
Meditation is an incredibly powerful panacea that can help anyone to become calmer, happier, more productive, more creative… and ultimately just a better version of themselves.
Studies show us that meditation can help to increase alpha and theta brainwaves to help induce states of calm.
It can improve symptoms of anxiety and depression, and it can thicken grey matter in the prefrontal cortex to boost focus and creativity.
This ebook, The Calm Mind, will guide you through everything you need to know, putting the tools in your hands to use as you need.
The different types of mediation and how they differ:
From kundalini meditation, to transcendental, to nada, to mindfulness. Each does something different and unique, and you’ll discover some fascinating examples.
How to choose the right kind for you:
With so much out there, how do you know where to begin? We’ll simplify things.
What all meditation has in common:
Meditation comes in lots of flavors, but it remains the same at its core. Learn the one key ‘truth’ of meditation, that matters most.
The powerful benefits of meditation:
Meditation does FAR more for you than you might realize. This book will help you see just what an exciting and potent tool this has the potential to be.
Simple steps to get started:
No confusion. No nerves. Just a simple, straightforward plan that anyone can follow.
The role of mindfulness:
Mindfulness is adjacent to, but distinct from meditation. Learn how to use it here.
How to use mindfulness to overcome anxiety:
More powerful still is cognitive behavioural therapy. When paired with mindfulness, this can eradicate anxiety and stress.
How to improve your lifestyle and mindset to drive anxiety away:
Meditation is just one part of your holistic approach to health. You’ll learn how to use minimalism, a healthy diet, better sleep, and much more.
The end result?
You feel your best ever.
Get your ebook today by clicking here for our BEST Superhero Shoppe Online!
(Editor’s note: Writer and stroke survivor, Isaac Peterson, penned a beautiful personal essay about navigating through these unprecedented times with a traumatic brain injury. Please read on (you’ll be glad you did). Thank you, Isaac. KT).
Reality has become seriously unreal lately. I hope I don’t have to explain what I mean.
Right now most of us are in the same boat, hunkered down without a get out of the house free card.
We’re all learning new things and new perspectives. A few months ago pretty much no one would have known what things like flatten the curve or shelter in place were about, but now we hear them dozens of times every day. Protective masks aren’t far off from becoming fashion accessories.
On the other hand, this new unreality is providing a perfect opportunity for laying around binge-watching favorite shows, getting caught up with knitting, working in the garden, or like me, reading. I don’t have to shave every day, at least. But I am constantly reminded that daytime TV hasn’t gotten any better.
Usually my traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a bit of a nuisance, to put it mildly; but I think some perspectives I’ve gained since my brain injury are helping me, and will help me make it through the current dark times.
I think learning to cope with the aftermath of a massive stroke and resultant TBI is giving me some useful survival skills. I made it through a potentially fatal stroke and I’m determined to make it through these times intact. Those were dark days, too, but I managed to navigate my way through, and I will this time, too.
First, I learned that attitude is everything, and I think my new attitude will help me get through this. Everybody has a general attitude about life, and even now, I’m finding the attitudes and perspectives I’ve learned give me a bit of a leg up. I’m finding it helpful to remember that it really serves no useful purpose to fret over this, something over which I have no control. Not fretting or complaining or feeling sorry for myself frees up mental and emotional energy I think is better used on focusing on the things I need to do to get through this.
From having to learn to live with a TBI, I’ve got the perspective to know that in the grand scheme of things, even though this already feels like a long, drawn out ordeal, it won’t last forever. It’s kind of like being a child in school; while you’re going through it, it seems like it’s taking forever. But when you’re older you look back, and it seems like those long years were over in a flash. I hope one day this will all be like that. And besides, I had a TBI long before this, and I’ll still have a TBI long after it’s all over and done.
Overcoming the initial lack of confidence in myself and the anxiety I had after the stroke I experienced has been a huge help here and now. Re-learning to love myself makes it easy to enjoy my own company and spend some real quality time alone with myself. Having the feelings of loneliness and isolation right after TBI might have only been in my head, but it was real to me at the time; this time it’s for real.
I made it through that reality once and I’ll make it through it this time as well.
After this is all over, no doubt this world will be a different place, not just for me, but for everybody. I’ve viewed living through a stroke as an opportunity to reinvent myself, and living through this is another opportunity to keep that process going, with a renewed sense of purpose. There is no other choice.
Every day is a new day, with new challenges, but every day is also a gift. Every day can be whatever I make of it, and I’m determined to make each one a day worth living.
When the time comes, I will emerge from this cocoon like a beautiful butterfly. Of course, I’ll be a butterfly with a traumatic brain injury, but the important thing is I’m bound and determined to be a live butterfly.
That stroke turned out to be a stroke of luck.
Isaac Peterson grew up on an Air Force base near Cheyenne, Wyoming. After graduating from the University of Wyoming, he embarked on a career as an award-winning investigative journalist and as a semi-professional musician in the Twin Cities, the place he called home on and off for 35 years. He also doesn’t mind it at all if someone offers to pick up his restaurant tab. Peterson also welcomes reader comments. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
How to Start Meditation in 3 Easy Steps
More and more people are now beginning to appreciate the amazing power of meditation. No longer does the average Joe or Josephine view meditation as being black magic – it is now understood as a highly scientific and practical tool that anyone can and should use for better brain health.
But how do you start? It is still a daunting and somewhat abstract concept. So, to help you overcome that notion, here is how to start meditation in 3 easy steps.
Find a Quiet Place
Meditation can be done anywhere, but it is certainly easier when you are free from distractions. And that is especially true for beginners. So, find a quiet spot, and if you want to make this a regular practice, try to make it somewhere that you will be able to come too often.
Now sit down however is comfortable. Do not lie down though – only because you risk falling asleep if you do!
Set Some Time
The next step is to set yourself some time out. You can do this by setting a timer – which means you will not need to keep checking your watch or worry about overshooting and missing some appointment.
If you are starting out for the first time, then ten minutes is more than enough. But in all honesty, you can even get benefit from just five minutes. This is what many people do not realize when they make excuses for not starting. We all should be able to find five minutes of quiet in our day. If you cannot, then the issue is deeper routed than perhaps you realized.
Finally, the next step is to focus. That means focussing on something like breathing or perhaps repeating a word or phrase. You can also try focussing on something in the environment around you. A popular practice for instance is to focus on a single flame.
Then there is the option to focus on emptying your thoughts, or perhaps to focus on reflecting on those thoughts in a dispassionate manner.
Whatever the case, all you are trying to do is to take conscious control over your attention and to direct it towards something that is non-stressful, and that will help you to recover a little energy and mood.
That is all there is to meditation and it is rather simple.
If you are still struggling, then at this point you may wish to consider using a guided meditation. Guided meditations talk you through a script that will help to direct your attention for you.
Click here to learn about free guided meditation options.
Note: Want to learn more about calming the mind and meditation? Launching tomorrow, Friday, May 22, 2020, our new BEST Superhero Shoppe Online will feature ebooks and tools that cover this topic. Take a sneak peek by clicking here.
Meditation is heralded by many as being a cure all – a panacea that can prevent all of your woes and help you to find peace and enlightenment.
Though not entirely true, they’re not wrong. Compared with many other strategies, meditation is certainly one of the most effective when it comes to overcoming anxiety and getting a better perspective on things. But unfortunately, nothing is perfect.
That includes meditation.
Meditation is all about getting out of your own head and focusing. It’s about being in the moment and not reflecting on problems.
But here’s the thing: reflecting on problems is useful. Even a little bit of stress is useful – it’s called eustress.
And the biggest potential casualty when it comes to meditation is creativity and the default mode network. The default mode network is the selection of brain areas that light up when you daydream, or think about your own future. People associate this part of the brain with a) being distracted from what’s happening, and b) being negative.
But the truth? The default mode network is also where many of us come up with our very best ideas – including Albert Einstein. Daydreaming about the future is how we learn more about who we are, and what we want to accomplish.
So, the risk is that we throw the baby out with the bathwater.
The good news is that meditation isn’t to blame. The problem is with the way it is sometimes pedalled – by people who claim we should always be in the moment.
The truth is that the brain has many different states and we perform best when we’re able to choose those states and jump between them as needed.
So we need to be in the moment when delivering a speech or spending time with friends, but there’s no harm in letting our mind wander when we’re going for a stroll and thinking about writing a great story.
This is where something called productive meditation comes in. Suggested by author Cal Newport in his book, Deep Work, this form of meditation means you are focussing on a problem or a creative endeavor.
Instead of thinking about nothing, you are thinking about something you want to work on.
And in fact, this kind of meditation agrees with what some new research suggests: that we are most creative when we active both the daydreamy default mode network and the focused executive control network. When you focus on being unfocused, amazing things happen.
Note: Self-care is important to us. That is why BEST will be featuring more resources and articles, just like this one, launching next week. Stay tuned!