Insights: Meditation is a Warm Bath for Your Brain – Newport Beach Independent Newspaper

Author and public speaker Tim Ferriss interviewed over 200 high performers and business leaders, and found that 80 percent of them meditate.

I liked how he described meditation is like taking “a warm bath for your brain.”  Ahh, that sounds so good.  Most of us love a nice relaxing bath.  Why not take one for the brain?

I believe some of the reasons people do not meditate are:

  1. We do not understand or know the benefits.
  2. We have to make a conscious effort to do it.
  3. It might be important but not urgent in our lives.
  4. It is easy to not do it.
  5. Sometimes people think there are rules around how to meditate.
  6. We might feel uncomfortable with the process.

Let me dispel some of these beliefs.

Meditation can be done pretty much anywhere, at any time, for any length of time and in many different ways.  It is about finding a way that works for you personally.

My daily ritual is to meditate when I get into bed.  Every night I decide how I want to meditate and for how long.  Sometimes it could just be for a minute, other times an hour.  Other times I listen to a guided meditation, occasionally I just sit in silence or soak up some soothing music.

One of my favorite ways to meditate is to visualize how I would like to see something play out in my life.  My favorite experience of this is when I was preparing for my hike up Mt. Whitney.  Every night I would visualize the hike.  When I actually did the hike and made it to the top, it was if I had done the hike many times before.

The power of visualization is that the brain takes it in as if it is truly happening.  Then the brain is working while you are asleep or doing other activities to make your visualization happen.  This is why 80 percent of leaders meditate.  They know it works.

So what is it that meditation does and why is it that people swear by it?

Here is a list of 50 different benefits that studies have shown on the benefits of meditation.

  1. It increases blood flow and slows the heart rate.
  2. Increases exercise tolerance.
  3. Creates a deeper level of physical relaxation.
  4. Reduces anxiety.
  5. Decreases muscle tension.
  6. Helps with chronic diseases.
  7. Helps with healing.
  8. Enhances the immune system.
  9. Reduces emotional distress.
  10. Increases energy and strength.
  11. Helps with weight loss.
  12. Improves flow of air and easier breathing.
  13. Decreases the aging process.
  14. Increases ability to manage pain.
  15. Decreases/stops headaches and migraines.
  16. Increases orderliness of brain functioning.
  17. Increased desire to be active.
  18. Improves performance in athletic events.
  19. Decreases desire to overeat.
  20. Relaxes nervous system.
  21. Increases self-confidence.
  22. Increases serotonin level which improves your mood.
  23. Decreases phobias and fears.
  24. Helps to manage over-thinking.
  25. Improves memory.
  26. Improves emotional stability.
  27. Improves relationships.
  28. Develops intuition.
  29. Increases productivity.
  30. Helps decrease focusing on unimportant issues.
  31. Improves communication between right and left brain.
  32. Increases job satisfaction.
  33. Increases ability of intimacy.
  34. Improves sleep.
  35. Reduces anger.
  36. Decreases restlessness.
  37. Improves ability to listen.
  38. Helps keep things in perspective.
  39. Improves joy.
  40. Provides clearer sense of self
  41. Increases compassion and empathy.
  42. Makes it easier to access wisdom.
  43. Improves acceptance of self and others.
  44. Improves spirituality.
  45. Makes it easier to forgive self and others.
  46. Improves attitude.
  47. Improves self-direction.
  48. Decreases ego.
  49. There are no negative side affects.
  50. Improves focus.

With this list, why would we not meditate?  To help you get started or assist you in your meditation practice, here are some wonderful Android and iOS apps for you to explore: Insight Timer, Buddhify, Calm, Headspace, Mindbody Connect, Mindfulness App.

And speaking of technology, let’s see what happens when we combine meditation with technology.

“In your mind’s browser, clear your cache… Now delete your history…Now navigate to a blank web page…” (Joyoftech.com).

Contact Dr. Shelly Zavala at DrZavala.com or [email protected]

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