7 Benefits of Meditation Backed By Science




There are so many amazing benefits of meditation. Not only does it make you feel good in the moment while meditating, but it also actually changes the way your brain operates, and scientific research has proven it.

You’ve probably heard about all of the elite athletes, business leaders, and other successful people talking about the power of meditation. Here are 7 benefits, backed by science, to help you better understand how a daily meditation practice can improve your life.

 

1. Lowers Stress

“Meditation has been proven to decrease mood disturbances and stress symptoms in both male and female patients…” Read the entire study here

2. Reduces pain

“After four-days of mindfulness meditation training, meditating in the presence of noxious stimulation significantly reduced pain-unpleasantness by 57% and pain-intensity ratings by 40% when compared to rest.” Read the entire study here

 




3. Increases brain grey matter (which helps process information)

“Meditation practice has been shown not only to benefit higher-order cognitive functions but also to alter brain activity. ” Read the entire study here

 

4. Improves happiness

“A short program in mindfulness meditation produces demonstrable effects on brain and immune function. These findings suggest that meditation may change brain and immune function in positive ways.” Read the entire study here



 

5. Improves body awareness

“Results indicated a linear relationship in coherence, with meditators having highest levels… We conclude that the coherence between subjective and cardiac aspects of emotion is greater in those who have specialized training that promotes greater body awareness.” Read entire study here

 




6. Enhanced focus and attention

“Brief mindfulness training significantly improved visuo-spatial processing, working memory, and executive functioning. Our findings suggest that 4 days of meditation training can enhance the ability to sustain attention; benefits that have previously been reported with long-term meditators.” Read the entire study here

 

7. Improves handling of difficult emotions

“Meditation may be associated with structural changes in areas of the brain that are important for sensory, cognitive and emotional processing. The data further suggest that meditation may impact aggregated declines in cortical structure.” Read entire study here

Break Your Bad Mood With These Quick Tips

Nobody likes to be in a bad mood, but sometimes we inevitably slip into one and it negatively impacts our entire outlook for the day. The good news is that there are simple ways that we can get ourselves out of the bad mood funk and into a more positive mindset!

The first key is to recognize that you are in a bad mood, then you are primed and can follow these 8 tips to get yourself out of it!

 

Listen to music


We all have those songs that remind us of a happy time every time we listen to them. Turn it on, soak it in, and let the music put you back into a positive mindset.


 

Get outside

Nature has a way of calming us and letting us step back from ourselves and into the bigger picture of life. Science has shown that being in nature can help lower blood pressure and your heart rate, a great way to offset a bad mood and turn into a good one!


 

Have a good laugh


Laughter will not only cheer you up instantly, but can also decrease any anxiety you may be having (often a driver to put us in a bad mood). Pull up your favorite funny clip on Youtube, think about a funny memory, or phone a friend that always makes you laugh.


 

Meditate


Taking even just a few minutes to sit in silence while focusing on the breath can quickly take you out of your bad mood funk. Deep diaphragmatic breaths have a way of calming us and can help you lower anxiety.



 

Play with a pet


They don’t call dogs “man’s best friend” for nothing. Pets won’t judge you for being in a bad mood, and at the same time can help you instantly feel happier.


 

Express gratitude

Thinking about the things that you are thankful for in life is an amazing way to flip your mood. Even better, write them down as a “gratitude list” then revisit whenever you’re in a bad mood.


 

Get present

Bad moods can often be attributed to worry about the future and stress about the past. By bringing yourself to the present moment (the time that really only matters anyway) you can “hack” your mind into a more positive state.



Move around


The body and mind are intimately connected, so use that to your advantage. When your mind is failing you with a bad mood, move around your body (jumping jacks, jog in place, shadow box, etc) to release those positive endorphins and put you into a good one!

Social Norms That Are Blocking Your Success

Social norms are designed to keep you…well….normal. Let me be the first to say, those people that succeed in life and especially those in business, those people that you probably look up to as an embodiment of success, are definitely NOT normal. They have carved their own path and have decided that being normal was too easy and in their one life, they wanted to do something bigger.

If you too are looking to achieve great things in life (my guess is that you are if you’re here reading this), then you’ll want to avoid these 5 social norms and instead do the opposite:

 

1. Social Norm: Do what everyone else is doing

Ok I admit, this seems obvious…But, it’s so easy in our lives to just fall in line and do what those before us have done. Whether it’s following a similar career path of our bosses, or dating someone your “supposed to date” – doing what everyone else is doing is going to give you the same results they had, nothing special. However, if you do have one friend or someone that you look up to that carved their own path and succeeded, do ask them for advice, but don’t try and replicate how they reached success – every person and every journey is different.

 

2. Social Norm: Fitting in

Sadly, this social norm starts at a very early age. You probably remember back in grade school when the last thing you wanted to do was stand out from your classmates. You probably also remember thinking that those few kids that did stand were quite weird (for lack of better terms). When it comes to succeeding in adulthood, standing out is exactly what you want to do. This is blatantly obvious in corporate culture where a “good” middle manager type may be stuck there for 20+ years, never getting that promotion they think they deserve. But really what their boss and bosses boss are looking for is someone that stands out with different ideas, not someone who just falls in line (often referred to as “yes men” or “yes women”).

 

3. Social Norm: Upgrading often

When you get that big raise, fat bonus, new higher paying job, etc. – it’s most common in today’s society to start upgrading. You get that bigger house (and bigger mortgage payment), nicer car (and higher car payment), etc.- showing off to society (especially your neighbors) that you’ve “made it”. But really all you are doing is increasing your liabilities and putting even more pressure on yourself to get that paycheck. Not to mention, upgrades never stop. Maybe for a few months you’re happy with that new car, but then you realize there is another level up and you inherently want that. Stop upgrading material things! Upgrade your skills instead.

 

4. Social Norm: Taking advice from those close to you

Though they may be coming from a “good place”, those family and friends closest to you actually want what is best for them and their relationship with you. Instead of taking advice from those closest to you, try and find someone who can give you an honest and objective opinion.

 

5. Social Norm: Take the “safe” route

Safe is…well, easy. It’s predictable and has a much lower downside then doing something risky – like starting a business. But there is one major flaw to the “safe” route – it has a very limited upside. The upside is where real success and fulfillment comes into our lives. It’s what helps us grow by pushing us out of our comfort zone. Next time you find yourself taking the safe route, take a step back and see what gains you’re missing out on – those will never exist when just trying to limit your downside risk.

 

 

The 5 Steps to Finding Your Big Ideas




Looking at the great creators in history – Steve Jobs / Elon Musk / Thomas Edison – to name a few, they all not only came up with big ideas, but truly executed them at scale. What sets them apart from others was their ability to combine their skills and passions to create big things in this world. You too have both skills and passions, so follow these 5 steps to start creating your own big ideas today!

 

1. Ideate

You need to first create the space and time to just think and let your ideas flow freely. It’s no coincidence that some of our best thoughts happen while in the shower – that’s because there is nothing in your environment to distract you from just letting your ideas flow. Whether you think most clearly in the morning, before bed, or mid-day when out walking – you know when you are primed to think big. Plan accordingly.




2. Document

An idea is nothing if you forget it. We’ve all been there when an epiphany hits us, then 10 minutes later we can’t remember it. So write down your ideas – yes, all of them! I like to put a date on my ideas and then revisit them in the future. Some ideas won’t make sense for you to pursue in the present, but may makes sense months or even years later.




3. Refine

Review your ideas for the day / week / month or whatever timeframe best suits you and start to build them out. The initial idea that pops into our head is RAW and needs refinement to actually turn into something great. What often happens during this phase is that one or a few of your ideas start to combine / evolve into one really big idea.




4. Choose

The key here is to try and find the combination of where your INTERESTS and SKILLS intersect. These ideas will be the ones that you are passionate about and also have the skills to tackle. If only one of the two areas is satisfied, you’ll likely find yourself bored or frustrated with the idea in the future and won’t bring it to fruition.




 

5. Pursue

Take action on one idea – “single-tasking” truly is a super power that the great creators of this world know all too well. The thing is, a lot of people get to steps 1-4, but never actually pursue anything. These people I like to refer to as “idea people” – you know them…always talking about their big ideas, but never delivering anything. Don’t be an idea person, be a creator!



10 Things Mindful People Do Daily




With all of the distraction and anxiety in our world today, it’s those people that walk around above it all and smiling throughout their day that have it right. Those people are often living a life full of mindfulness…

To help you reach that amazing state, below are the 10 things that mindful people incorporate into their daily life to stay calm, focused, and centered throughout their day.

 

1. They are aware of their breathing

By checking in on your breath you have a direct line into your overall state. Short breaths in your upper chest area may indicate anxiety or stress, while deep diaphragmatic breaths show off a sense of calm and relaxation. Calm breath equals a calm mind.



 

2. They focus on the task at hand

While the popular belief is that multi-tasking is the way to go, mindful people know that focusing on a single task and doing it great is the best use of their attention. Multi-tasking can lead to anxiety as our brain is running all over the place and never focused and calm.



 

3. They embrace nature

Getting outside and “bathing” in nature is one of the simplest ways to improve your headspace. Research has shown that being outdoors can even boost your energy and relieve stress.



4. They meditate daily

Having a consistent meditation practice has been shown to boost your well-being, improve focus, and reduce stress. Whether it’s in the morning before you start your day, during lunch break, or when you have time in the evening, finding even just 5 minutes a day to meditate will prove to be incredibly beneficial in helping you become more mindful.

*Try MeditateBot in Messenger for free meditations*



5. They pay attention to their eating

Often referred to as “mindful eating”, the art of paying attention to what you are eating during meals and savoring each bite. Listening to your body while you eat is an amazing way to tell if you are full and avoid overeating.




6. They laugh at themselves

Being able to take a step back from a situation you may be stressing over and laughing at how caught up you are in it is an amazing super power! Life presents ups and downs, but being able to take in situations and just laugh and be cheerful will take you a long way.



 

7. They free their minds

Knowing when to let your mind run free and be creative is an important part of being mindful. The funny thing about becoming mindful and being able to harness your attention at will, is that you have the power to turn your focus on and off whenever you want!



 

8. They turn simple tasks into mindful moments

By paying attention to daily activities, you can bring mindfulness into the even smallest of daily tasks. From brushing your teeth to unloading the dishwasher, mindfulness opportunities are presented in many forms, not just meditation.




9. They use social media proactively

With all of the angst against how social media distracts us, mindful people know that it can be also used to be beneficial to our lives. Whether it’s checking in on an old friend, following a mindfulness quotes account, or reading a blog post on positivity, there are many ways that social media can make you more mindful.



10. They control their reactions

We understand that we can’t control what happens to us, but we can control how we react. The most mindful people can take a step back, assess, then choose the best path forward.




 

12 Positive Affirmations for Success




Positive affirmations help to change your thinking and beliefs, in order to drive real change and positive results. It’s all about the mindset!

How to use them:
1. Take a deep breath
2. Speak or think your affirmation
3. Visualize yourself applying it to your life

Here are 12 of our favorite positive affirmations for success, enjoy!

 

1. “I live a positive life and only bring the best into my life.”




2. “Today, and every day, I choose to be happy.”




3. “My life overflows with happiness and love.”




4. “Today is full of opportunity and I open my heart to receive it.”




5. “Today, and every day, I choose to be confident.”




6. “I am completely in charge of my life.”




7. “I act daily with courage and confidence.”




8. “I open my life to the world and the world gives me love in return.”




9. “I act, think, and communicate like a true leader.”




10. “I inspire others to be their very best self.”




11. “Today, I choose to leave my old bad habits behind and take up new, more positive ones.”




12. “Everything that is happening to me now is happening for my greater good.”