Meditation can help us combat insomnia and reduce stress, but also to control our appetite, especially when we let ourselves be carried away by the anxiety. A key: eat with consciousness.
By: Carolina Palm and Valeska Silva Pohl.
Meditation has been practiced since antiquity as a component of numerous streams and beliefs, although it does not constitute a religion in itself. It is a technique which usually involves an internal effort to self-regulate the mind, and that is also used to relieve certain health conditions, or psychological, such as high blood pressure, insomnia, depression or anxiety.
Dr. Nadia Falco is a holistic practitioner and director of nf-integrative Medicine; for her, “meditation is a technique full of health benefits which, as such, it requires consistency and daily discipline to build the habit.” As food is one of our daily actions learned and conditioned, and that requires consciousness, which generally do not apply. “Everything begins in the consciousness, which is the human ability of knowing oneself and the environment that surrounds it”.
The research on the power of meditation have shown its many benefits. One of the lines of study has to do with its effects to lose weight. “Some findings suggest that meditation helps to be more aware of the sensation of hunger and be satisfied, and also of our ability to regulate what we eat and the amount that we consume,” said Tiffany Cruikshank, yoga teacher american, founder of Yoga Medicine, a leading expert in sports medicine and author of the book “Meditate your weight”, which promises to help you lose weight by meditating.
According to the author, “meditation reduces our irrepressible desire to take food little bit healthy, and also the frequency with which you eat compulsively or to feel better emotionally”. In his book, Cruikshank addresses the mental patterns self-defeating through meditations and simple assertions of the mental –the so-called mantras– to attain goals such as to lose weight. In fact, proposes a program of 21 days of meditations and exercises that will help to leave behind the bad habits.
Brain and weight
Mindfulness is a meditation technique that teaches you how to “switch off your automatic pilot” to center the attention on you and your body, and reach a state of general well-being. Based on the concept of mindfulness in buddhist meditation, has become very popular the last time in the West.
Christine Freiburghaus, facilitator of Mindfulness and a founding partner of Fully Mindfulness (www.plenamente.cl), points out that “in the last thirty years have been developed many studies on the effects of the practice of Mindfulness in the brain and in the body. Today we can assure you that it is the contemplative practice with more scientific research. With Mindfulness we learn to feel our body and to relate to others in a different way with him. Your practice helps our nervous system to return to balance”.
If we take the base that Mindfulness is a way of training our mind, what is true is that we learn to be more in the present. “Think about a lot in the past and in the future is associated with the stress. Anxiety is in excess of the future, what prevents us from living the present. With Mindfulness we train a new way of relating to our thoughts and emotions. However, it is not a magic pill, but a process accompanied by training our mind and access the inner resources that we all have. To make us aware of our damaging habits and begin to develop healthier habits for our bodies and for our emotional well-being,” adds Freiburghaus.
Several studies have shown that the techniques of Mindfulness to reduce cravings and promote weight loss, because being more aware of what is happening in our interior, it also helps us to notice how we affect the eating habits.
The web site Byrdie.com interviewed Suze Yalof, of Unplug Meditation, who stated that “80% of the weight gains are due to stress or not to be in the present.” This is, precisely, the aim of meditation. “We tend to eat without thinking”, adds Yalof, “and the meditation helps you to avoid those situations.”
For their part, some specialists suggest that, if there is not enough time to do exercises or follow to the letter a diet, you can use the power of the mind. When you lead your thoughts in a proper way you will be able to decrease the desire for foods and provide responses to the glandular control. And that is that there are specific areas in the brain that control the way you metabolize food. They are currently being studied by the doctors, but it is known that the glandular features are controlled by the mind. Therefore, if you control your mind, you can manage your glandular features. But don’t forget that meditation in the everyday life requires time, faith in what you do and constancy.
When the visualization part of your daily routine you will find that you cope much better with any stressful situation, even those that are directly related with the temptation of falling to the foods that are inconvenient.
Meditation can also help us to understand our mind. So we will learn to transform negative mental states into positive and altered in gentle. If we to the meals, the key is to eat with awareness.
Keep in mind these tips:
* Before eating, take a second to look at your plate, after your meal. Think of where it came from and how it got to your table.
* Takes the fork and pick up some food, bring it in front of your face before you eat it. You will feel the saliva begins to accumulate and you will be more conscious about what they eat.
* When you’re conscious of what you are eating, eat a little and concentrate on your tongue and how it acts while you eat.
* Swallow your food, put down the fork and take a deep breath. With these four steps you will be eating with consciousness, in the form of meditation, and focused on what you’re eating.
If you still don’t discover what meditation is more appropriate for you, here are a few of the most commonly used techniques:
* Breathing: The induction of a state of concentration through the breath is one of the practices most used. Consists of performing specific exercises and repetitive breathing, putting all the attention in the air, how it passes through the nostrils, out in the cold to inspire and heat when you exhale. With the passage of time, practice and discipline, the mind quickly reaches the meditative state.
Object: concentration Technique that uses an object, be it a candle, a color, or other item so that the attention must be focused on that object until slowly the mind subsides and reaching the meditative state.
Sound: All the civilizations have used sound waves to induce states of concentration, spiritual or mystical. Bells, chants, mantras,…, repetitions of specific sounds that induce easily to the meditative state.
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