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18.12.2014
As more adults turn to mindfulness practices like yoga and meditation to combat mounting stress in their own lives (91 percent of Americans experienced stress in the month of March, according to a Huffington Post survey), they're also experimenting with alternative practices to teach their kids to relax. Unfortunately, little ones aren't immune to the damaging effects of stress -- but they may benefit from stress-relieving practices meant to calm the mind and release physical tension. Boston dad Andre Kelly told ABC News that he practices mindfulness meditation with his 10-year-old son Hayden every morning before school. Mindfulness -- the focused awareness on the present moment, generally cultivated through a meditation practice -- can help to curb kids' impulsivity, and research has also shown school mindfulness programs to be effective in reducing symptoms of depression and anxiety among adolescents.
With a growing body of research supporting the health benefits of mindfulness training, for the past few years, advocates have been hoping to see these programs become more prominent in school curricula. But the health benefits of mindfulness meditation for adults are far-reaching, and many of these positive benefits may extend to child practitioners as well. The educational benefits of relaxation practices are also significant: Mindfulness meditation can improve focus and increase test scores.
Some parents have also found that maintaining their own meditation practices can help them to be more patient, compassionate mothers and fathers. Parents interested in practicing meditation with their kids can start with a few basic tips for teaching children mindfulness practices -- and try a present moment awareness exercise and "belly breathing" relaxation practice. And for stressed-out kids who have a hard time sitting still and being quiet, physical activity can also have a calming effect. The Eagle Pose can be particularly beneficial for quieting the mind and bringing the attention to the body. If you learn how to meditate, you may be doing so due to the many meditation benefits you have been told about. The benefits start even with meditation for beginners, and the stress relief effects are well known and researched. This brief article will outline the benefits, so you can relax knowing that by learning how to meditate, you are on the right track and it should become a lifelong pursuit.
Best of all, regular meditation will help reduce negative emotions and help you achieve your goals. Unless you start at the beginning with a good process to follow, meditation may in fact increase stress rather than reduce stress.
Health can improve dramatically once you master meditation, and mastering is easy once you follow a simple program. And these are just some of the highlights, as there are many others from sports performance to even reducing the risks of cancer.
There are many simple stress relief methods, you can simply sign up for our free 5 day e-course on stress relief, which teaches you some simple methods you can apply right now.
Simply fill in your Name & Email and you can start your FREE 5-day Stress Relief e-course today! Many of the most impressive people throughout history have placed high value on meditation, even in modern times. Perhaps the most common misconception about meditation is that it’s difficult and that you need some kind of superhuman mind control to be able to do it correctly. There are a million ways to meditate, but I’ll give you a very simple meditation with some ideas you can use to make your first times more fulfilling.
The morning is a great time to meditate because your mind is not yet full of thousands of thoughts and to-do’s from the day. When I achieve this state, it’s very difficult (at least for me) to remain awake, so it takes a conscious effort not to fall asleep. In a world saturated with stress (whether work-, home-, school-, or even traffic-related), we find ourselves being lured by people and media ads into trying anything that brings relief. WebMD defines meditation as the act of channeling your attention in order to usher awareness and calmness into your mind. For several years, meditation has been used for treating addiction problems, pain, high blood pressure, as well as hot flashes.
Meditation has been proven to increase brain size, according to a study conducted by Harvard, Yale and MIT academicians. A 2009 study conducted in China showed that participants who practiced meditation showed better blood flow in the right anterior cingulate cortex, which is responsible for things such as attention, motivation, and emotion.  Research has further shown that decreased blood flow to the said area of the brain have been linked with mental health conditions such as depression, schizophrenia, dementia, and attention deficit hyperactive disorder.
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Meditation no longer belongs solely to the worlds of pseudo-science and spirituality, but has now been embraced by modern science as well. Meditation has been extensively tested in laboratories around the world and is proven to help heal the body and mind of illnesses and disorders. Eric Harrison, Australian meditation teacher and founder of The Perth Meditation Centre, claims to have received around a quarter of his 15,000-plus clients as referrals from the medical profession.
Another respected Australian meditation teacher, Dr Ian Gawler, who used meditation to defeat a diagnosed terminal cancer, also cites the Relaxation Response as being a powerful tool for self-healing (we’ll look at exactly what the Relaxation Response is later in these articles).
Practitioners of meditation believe this springs from the average person’s inability to disconnect from the stress of past events or perceived future threats. In short – we are a society of perpetual ‘worry warts’, and many people fail to recognize this as fact, or indeed simply lack the skills to do anything about it. In the second post in this three-part series we will look at what the Relaxation Response is, how your body reacts to stress and why it’s bad for you.


Seamus Anthony is a musician, writer and entrepreneur who lives in the beautiful Dandenong Ranges, near Melbourne, Australia.
Finally, I learned the proper way to breathe in order to relax your body and stretch properly. Fasting is another growing area where the Western world is finally catching up to the rest of the world in realizing the amazing healing benefits of it — not to mention it’s a safe way to lose a lot of weight and keep it off if you retrain your thoughts about food during the fast by, you guessed it!, meditation! And in a reciprocal way, it is amazing how a lighter, healthier diet (and less booze) makes for a much easier, cleaner meditation experience. Excellent post on a topic I am fascinated by since discovering mantra meditation has enhanced my life but I have so many questions in my mind about meditation. Does anyone know if there are types of meditation that are classified as more beneficial, or does it not matter?
In my opinion most kinds of meditation are beneficial, as to which degree they benefit you personally is something you’d need to test. Ahh, an interesting subject that I, as a recovering alcoholic, don’t think I could survive without. I just decided to look for a meditation class to help me jump start my meditation practice.
Today most people complain about not being able to concentrate to actually start with the meditation. Teaching kids mindfulness can go a long way in helping them boost awareness and control their moods, according to Kelly, who started a meditation program for children, Boston Buddha, to bring mindfulness programs into elementary schools.
In a 2010 blog, Susan Kaiser Greenland, author of The Mindful Child, argued for nothing short of a "mindful revolution in education," saying mindfulness programs can aid kids in developing good habits that will help make them happier and more compassionate. An Ohio elementary school's mindfulness program was recently shut down due to parent complaints about the practice's ties to Eastern religions, and this week, a lawsuit went to trial over yoga classes at Encinitas Union School District in California. Research has linked the practice of cultivating a nonjudgmental awareness of the present moment to lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol, greater emotional stability and improved sleep quality, heightened feelings of compassion and greater success achieving weight-loss goals, among a number of other advantages. A University of California study published this year found that undergraduates who participated in a two-week mindfulness training program demonstrated heightened working memory and improved reading-comprehension scores on the GRE.
A recent European study found that higher levels of physical activity in children were associated with lower stress reactivity.
You become more self aware, it helps you focus, helps you calm your unwanted thoughts, concentrate and even become more creative. But you need to make sure you follow a simple program, one that helps with meditation for beginners.
The truth is, more people than you know meditate regularly, especially the successful ones. Think Steve Jobs, Paul McCartney, Oprah Winfrey, and perhaps even most of the rest of them. The evening is a great time to meditate because your mind is full of thousands of thoughts and to-do’s from a full day of wakefulness.
That’s ok, although it would be better to try to stay awake and ride the border of sleep and wakefulness. The cool thing is that this state, as well as different, deeper states that follow, is ideal for coming up with creative ideas, advice for yourself from your higher self, from guides, Jesus, Allah, or whatever you believe in. You can be doing anything that doesn’t require a lot of conscious thought, such as eating, driving (generally), walking, whatever. When meditating, one needs to assume a seating position and breathe slowly and regularly for 15 to 20 minutes. There are two types of meditation. Nowadays, more and more studies have been done to support meditation’s beneficial effects on brain function. In a study done by psychologists Michael Posner and Yi-Yuan Tang, results showed that students who meditated showed lower levels of fatigue, anger, and depression. Better memory is associated with the thicker human cortex (known as the thinking cap) developed in people who meditated several minutes every day. In a study published in the Frontiers of Human Neuroscience, November 2012 issue, results showed that the MRIs of individuals who underwent meditation training showed decreased right amygdala activation. If you have any kind of health complaint at all then meditation can help you to get better. If you are in good shape and want to stay this way, then regular meditation is a good idea. A recent survey of General Practitioners found that up to 80% of doctors had referred patients to practitioners of the three most popular Complementary Therapies – which included meditation, along with acupuncture and hypnosis.
As a result, more and more people are turning to meditation as a simple, cheap, and effective method of self-therapy.
Key to this is the fact that meditation helps lower blood pressure and strengthens the immune system.
In his book ‘How Meditation Heals the Body and Mind’ (1999, Perth Meditation Center), Harrison claims that an even wider array of ailments can be managed with meditation. His work promoting meditation as therapy for cancer and other illnesses earned him an Order of Australia Medal. Whilst walking down the street, a person may not be doing anything stressful in that moment but may nonetheless be highly agitated due to the tendency of the mind to constantly mull over past or future problems. Even those who would not be described as ‘highly agitated’ or ‘chronically stressed’ are often still afflicted by a subtle level of tension which inhibits the mind from switching back into the Relaxation Response.


Even low-tech hippies like me still compulsively check work emails “just quickly” before dinner and get interrupted on weekends by work related calls. While longer does not mean better for me personally I enjoy meditating for an hour most times. There is no problem with either in my opinion, just never believe any teacher who says their way is the only way to meditate.
I find meditation very helpful for my fertility patients and find that they are usually able to relax on the treatment table longer if they’re listening to a meditation. Daily meditation and regular acupuncture treatments are key to staying healthy and stress free.
Parents who felt that the schools' Ashtanga yoga program was inherently religious in nature are suing the school for civil rights violations. If you don’t meditate already, starting the practice will make your life better, guaranteed.
No time is better than any other (although it’s generally easier to achieve a deep meditative state in the early morning soon after rising), no method is better than any other.
When you approach this stage, it becomes possible for your mind to remain awake, but your body to fall asleep.
I’m certain that Tiger Woods, in his prime, achieved a deep meditative state on the golf course, which allowed him to play rounds of golf more impressive than anyone in the history of the game. The first one is concentrative meditation, wherein sound or mantra is spoken or sung in coordination with one’s breathing pattern. According to the research, the subjects were seen to have less cortisol, a hormone associated with stress. In other words, their brain scans showed that they respond to stress better because of their emotional stability. With a session lasting as short as 15 minutes, meditation can prove to be the inexpensive brain booster, stress reliever that you have been looking for.
It is effective both as means to prevent disease, and as a means to cure, manage or slow the effects of existing conditions. He suggests that by initiating the popularly cited ‘Relaxation Response’, the body is able to ward off or effectively slow and manage the effects of not just high blood pressure, but insomnia, fatigue, headaches, gastro-intestinal problems, infertility, sexual problems, and anxiety attacks. This occurs even though none of these problems may have anything to do with walking down the street. This might be part-and-parcel of an interesting and otherwise rewarding career, but nevertheless it takes its toll on our ability to deeply relax. I don’t necessarily sit Indian style and hum, but it definitely has become part of my life. There were periods where I meditated for an hour twice a day and felt it was very beneficial. I recognize the value and look forward to the day when meditating is part of my daily practice. It doesn’t necessarily have to have a purpose, although you can certainly set a purpose for each meditation if you like. All of this is fundamental to getting the most enjoyment out of your short time here on Earth.
This article is aimed to point out the different benefits of meditation on a person’s brain functions and how it keeps the brain healthy. The other is mindful meditation, wherein an individual briefs himself with all the emotions and feelings that enter his mind.
Herbert Benson lauded the relaxation response brought about by meditation, which can result to improved brain waves, and better breathing and heart rate.
As a result, they performed better in the examinations, compared to the students who have not meditated prior to the exam. Furthermore, Time went on to say that “it’s becoming increasingly hard to avoid meditation. It is used as treatment for “heart conditions, AIDS, cancer, and infertility … depression, hyperactivity, and Attention Deficit Disorder” (Time). If you are always contactable, then you are never really “switched-off”, and yet, as you will see in my next two articles, this is a vital requirement in the quest for good health.
In fact over at Rebel Zen we are about to release an e-book on just this topic so please check out this article then join our mailing list to find out more. When you catch yourself thinking, just notice that you are thinking about something, notice your thoughts, and return to focusing only on your breathing, even if you have to return your focus every two seconds.
You can receive true, amazing guidance that will help you navigate this world to get the most out of it.
I think I can remember a quote from the Buddha saying that the bliss from spiritual practice is a good thing.



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