Our lives can get really hectic these days. We’re constantly trying to keep up with everything and stay organized, but it’s not easy. Nobody wants to drag around a journal to keep track of their emotions along with a planner and calendar and all sorts of other stuff.
Luckily, there are a wide variety of apps that can help you alleviate stress in a variety of ways. The first kind of stress relief app you might come across are those that help with meditation.
Meditation is a very good way of relieving stress, allowing you time to clear your head, collect your emotions, and think clearly. It emphasizes deep, slow breathing to help lower your heart rate as well, which is another contributing factor of stress.
Guided meditation apps will help you learn to meditate properly by displaying breathing techniques along with calming sounds, music, and images. This makes meditation a lot easier to pick up and is more interesting and interactive than just sitting in silence for a little while.
Another major type of stress relief app helps you keep track of your emotions. They’re essentially little journals in which you can log what’s stressing you out or how you’re feeling about certain things.
Being able to visualize what’s stressing you out by writing it out is a huge help and is much more effective than just keeping it in your head. You’re also able to look back on older entries so that you can track the state of your emotions over time.
A slightly different kind of app that will help your stress is anything that helps you with planning. Disorganization can quickly lead to you being stressed out, with things suddenly popping up that you forgot about and forcing you to scramble and figure out a plan on the spot.
Instead of just having your week kind of planned out in your head, planner apps are a convenient way to help you lay it all out clearly as soon as possible. For example, if a friend of yours wants to grab lunch on a certain day the following week, you’ll be able to log it right then and also check to see if it interferes with anything else you might have going on.
Another major benefit of these planners is that they can send you alerts, letting you know a few hours or days in advance about something that’s coming up. Time management is a huge stress reliever in this fast-paced world.
Unless your scalp unleashes new strands like a Chia Pet, gaining new length is going to take time. “Hair typically only grows about a quarter of an inch — to a half an inch max — a month,” says celebrity hair stylist Mark Townsend, who helped Ashley Olsen grow out her asymmetric bob to past her waist. “And that’s only if it is super-healthy and doesn’t have a ton of split ends.” The bottom line: practice patience.
2. Ironically, a scissor is your friend.
More From Beauty
Ruby Rose Says Goodbye to Her Beloved Hand Tattoos
“Kitten Fur” Perfume is Here
Best Glitter-Obsessed Beauty Instagram Accounts
Although getting regular trims to snip splits won’t make your hair actually grow faster, it will keep tips looking healthy and prevent splits from working their way up strands, requiring you to chop hair off more often. “If you wait so long that splits are causing your hair to break off high up on the strand, your hair will actually be shorter than if you get consistent trims,” Townsend says, who suggests asking your stylist to take around just an eighth of an inch off every 10 to 12 weeks to prevent extreme split ends before they start.
3. Use conditioner every time you shampoo.
“If your hair is wet, that means you have to condition it,” Townsend says. “Over time, from coloring and heat styling, strands start to get thinner at the bottom.” Conditioner helps replace the lipids and proteins inside the hair shaft, “as well as seal the cuticle to help prevent more damage from happening so that you can get your hair to grow longer and look healthier,” he says…
Sweaty hands, underarm wetness and stains on clothing and beads of sweat on the forehead are all signs of excessive sweating. Sweating is necessary to control the body’s temperature, but in some cases the system overproduces, rises to a high level and occurs at inappropriate times.
This is what’s formally known as hyperhidrosis. The areas of the body most affected by hyperhidrosis are the face, hands, armpits, trunk, feet and scalp. The condition usually begins during childhood years or early adolescence and becomes worse as time goes on – possibly for the rest of your life.
Excessive sweating is an embarrassing condition, especially during social and professional activities and intimate relationships may also be greatly affected. There are two types of hyperhidrosis – primary (idiopathic) and secondary.
Primary hyperhidrosis occurs more often than the secondary type and is usually centered in the hands, scalp, armpits, face and feet. Secondary hyperhidrosis is usually caused by a physical condition such as menopause, obesity, hyperthyroidism, systemic malignant diseases, treatment (endocrine) for a malignant disease and some psychiatric disorders.
Remember that sweating is a normal response to heat and meant to cool down your body. Running a fever is sometimes a trigger for sweat to break out as your body temperature rises and needs something to cool it down.
You might suffer from hyperhidrosis because of genetics that caused you to have more than normal sweat glands in the feet, hands and armpits or because of overactive sweat gland nerves. Occasionally, there may be another condition that can be causing excess sweating.
Causes and Symptoms of Excessive Sweating
Other than simple genetics, there may be medical or physical conditions that cause hyperhidrosis. Some can be tested and treated easily and the problem eradicated. Excessive sweating is usually characterized by a sudden onset without reason – such as a hot atmosphere or exercise.
You’ll know if you have hyperhidrosis if the palms of your hands and soles of your feet are constantly damp, you suffer from sweating that drenches your clothing, have macerations (soaking) of the skin, discoloration of the skin where you sweat most, or have cracked and scaly skin and foot odor.
Some medications may contribute to hyperhidrosis. Psychiatric prescriptions and meds used for high blood pressure problems may contribute to excessive sweating problems. Medications used to treat dry mouth, some supplements and a few antibiotics may also cause the condition.
Hyperthyroidism is another condition which may cause excess sweating. This condition causes the body’s chemical system to rev up past normal stages, producing too many thyroid hormones within the body. The result could be excessive sweating.
Testing is available for hyperthyroidism and the optional treatments include certain medications, surgery and iodine radiation. The symptoms of hyperthyroidism vary and excessive sweating may not occur until the condition is extremely manifested.
Many women complain about the sudden onset of excessive sweating problems during menopause. The problem is sometimes called hot flashes and they affect over 75% of women during and just before other menopausal symptoms.
Scientifically, these hot flashes are likely caused by swings or decreases in a woman’s drop in estrogen levels, when the menstrual period stops. Some women have such severe excess sweating that they drench their clothing.
Certain types of cancer such as Non-Hodgkin’s and Hodgkin’s lymphoma may cause sweating. Other cancers sometimes involved in hyperhidrosis include leukemia, bone and liver cancers, carcinoid tumors and mesothelioma.
Doctors believe that the body’s reaction to cancer by sweating is caused by the body’s attempt to fight off the invading cancer. The sweating becomes more pronounced as the cancer becomes more advanced.
Diabetes, types 1 and 2, are also known causes for hyperhidrosis. Other glucose control disorders such as hypoglycemia (extremely low glucose levels) and gestational diabetes may also contribute to the problem.
Sometimes, psychiatric conditions such as stress and anxiety can cause hyperhidrosis. These disorders may cause the body’s temperature to rise, leading to excess sweating. The drugs used to treat psychiatric problems may also lead to overactive sweat glands – plus withdrawal symptoms of stopping the use of alcohol and opiates or other, illegal substances may cause hyperhidrosis.
If you’re suffering from one or more of the above conditions, you may experience certain symptoms. For example, your face and scalp may be the main areas of the hyperhidrosis condition.
You may experience embarrassing blushing and your self-esteem may suffer as a result. Sweating profusely in the thigh, torso or leg areas occurs less frequently than in other areas of the body and may be part of the excess sweating going on in other body parts.
Sweating of the hands is one of the most embarrassing conditions because they’re used more than other body areas. Social contact (and even the profession you choose) may be affected by hyperhidrosis primarily occurring in the hands.
Besides the sweat problem, your hands may also feel cold and take on a blue discoloration, further limiting social contact. Feet sweating is also a condition which may be associated with sweating in other parts of the body.
Under the armpit may also cause distress in the form of wet clothing and stains. A strong odor may also develop, causing embarrassment and social withdrawal. It’s a humiliating and stressful situation for anyone going through it.
Treatment Options for Hyperhidrosis
Although sweating is a natural process by which the body eliminates toxins and acts to cool the body, it becomes a disorder when the excessive sweating causes embarrassment or might be a sign of a more serious medical problem.
Before treatment, the underlying reason for hyperhidrosis must be diagnosed. Sometimes, it’s a simple task. The excessive sweating may be clearly caused by such medications and treatments as hormonal therapy for hot flashes.
Those being treated for loss of estrogen may try super-type of antiperspirants such as Drysol. Iontophoresis (ionization) may also be a remedy. Ionization is a process which involves electrical current (from a machine) letting ions flow in the areas where excess sweating is prevalent.
Botulinum toxin (BOTOX) is also found to be effective for some people who suffer from hyperhidrosis. It works by blocking the signals from the brain which are received by the sweat glands. The injections can be given in the hands, face, feet or armpits.
Surgery may also be an option for those suffering from severe hyperhidrosis. Also known as endoscopic thoracic sympthectomy (ETS), the surgery acts to cut off the nerve impulses which cause the sweat glands to produce sweat.
The glands helped by this surgical process are found in the palms, armpits and face and address the junctions where the nerves meet. The surgery is simple, requiring one incision of about a twelfth of an inch per side.
One procedure that requires minimal surgery is to remove or eradicate the sweat glands. A small incision is made and the sweat glands or cut or scraped away – or you can elect to use a laser device just under the skin to destroy the glands causing the problem.
Another way to remove sweat glands without surgery is by a healthcare provider using a probe which is held just above the skin. The probe discharges a small amount of electromagnetic radiation to completely destroy the sweat glands.
Your doctor may discuss the use of anticholinergics to ease a hyperhidrosis problem. This type of medication is antimuscarinic or anticholinergic and acts to block the nervous system’s natural chemical (acetylcholine) which activates the sweat glands.
Hyperhidrosis can be challenging to manage and treat, but it can be done if you take the time and effort to seek out what works for you. There is no one size fits all solution, since everyone has different causes and different responses by their body to treatment.
Alternative Treatment and Lifestyle Changes for Hyperhidrosis
Some simple lifestyle changes may help the symptoms of hyperhidrosis when there’s no obvious reason for the condition. It likely won’t cure the condition, but you may learn to manage it so you’re not always embarrassed. There are some easy ways to ease the symptoms.
Food and drink that trigger excessive sweating include spicy foods and alcohol. Also, avoid tight clothing and wear cotton clothes rather than man-made material such as polyester. Use antiperspirant rather than just deodorant in the armpits.
Wear socks that are especially designed to absorb moisture and are made of natural, rather than man-made, fibers and change them often during the day. Your shoes should be made of leather and pairs should be alternated each day.
You can use armpit shields to soak in excess sweat and protect your clothing from stains. If the antiperspirant you’re using doesn’t work, ask your doctor to prescribe a stronger one for you.
Try taking two teaspoons of natural vinegar mixed with a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar three times a day – either on an empty stomach or about thirty minutes after a meal.
Sage tea has been tested and found to help excessive sweating in the armpits. Simply brew some sage in warm water, let cool and then drink it down. It’s loaded with vitamin B and magnesium which calm overactive sweat glands. Green tea may also be an effective herbal remedy.
Use cut slices of potato to rub in your armpits and other areas of excessive sweating. Drink a glass of fresh tomato juice each day to calm the sweat glands and also consider using witch hazel as an antiperspirant. It dries the areas that sweat the most.
Try coconut or tea tree oil on the sweaty areas for a natural fix. Add camphor to the coconut oil and use the tea tree oil at full strength to take full advantage of its natural astringent powers. For sweaty palms, try the tannic acid found in plain black tea by steeping some bags in boiling water, and when the water cools, dip your palms in it.
Add grapes to your diet every day for the antioxidants needed to balance your body temperature. Drink wheatgrass juice to neutralize acids in the body and get a large dose of vitamins, folic acid and protein to help calm overactive sweat glands.
Cornstarch, baking soda and salt are natural drying remedies. Mix the cornstarch and baking soda and apply under the arms after a thorough cleansing. Wash it off about thirty minutes after the application. Or, mix a tablespoon of salt with some lime juice and massage into your hands if you suffer from sweaty palms.
Other homeopathic remedies you should check out for hyperhidrosis issues are silicea for clammy feet, calcarea (if obesity might be the cause of hyperhidrosis), botulinum for armpit sweating and acidum hydrofluoricum if your sweat comes with an unpleasant odor.
Simple lifestyle changes you can make on a daily basis may solve your hyperhidrosis issues. For example, drink copious amounts of water each day and cut down on your caffeine intake.
Avoid stress and anxiety as they’re prone to trigger sweat glands. Also avoid hot drinks, spicy and sugary foods – and of course, never use alcohol drugs or cigarettes if you have a hyperhidrosis problem.
Keep your armpits and groin areas shaved and don’t use high-powered deodorants and soap. Avoid hot baths and try to always keep your body temperature cool. Make sure you wear natural fiber clothing (such as cotton) rather than synthetic fabrics like nylon.
Anything you’re eating, doing or wearing that triggers excessive sweating issues should be avoided. If you begin to feel self-conscious about a hyperhidrosis problem, try natural remedies first and then seek help from your healthcare provider.
First, the problem must be correctly diagnosed – and then, there’s usually a remedy for the particular problem and you can find the particular method that will work for you. Help is readily available.
Don’t despair if you can’t find an immediate remedy for your hyperhidrosis issue. There’s plenty of information and help online to assist you in dealing with and seeking the proper solution for the problem.
Hyperhidrosis isn’t a problem you have to live with. Many have been helped by following one or more of the guidelines or products (including surgery) that are listed in this report.
All cholesterol is not equal. It comes in healthy and unhealthy forms, and doctors have long advised people to cut back on the bad cholesterol, LDL, found in red meats and fried foods. The good kind, HDL, pulls out the LDL that builds up on blood vessel walls and raises risk for a heart attack. Upping levels of HDL may therefore protect the heart from damage.
That’s the theory, but studies looking at HDL levels and heart disease events haven’t always shown that higher HDL levels lead to lower risk of disease. Scientists may finally know why. In a new study of nearly 300 people at high risk of heart disease, published in the journal Circulation, researchers found that just having high levels of HDL may not be enough to make a heart healthy. But the Mediterranean diet may help HDL to work more effectively.
The people in the yearlong study were randomly assigned to eat either a low-fat diet with little red meat and plenty of fruits and vegetables, or one of two versions of the Mediterranean diet: one enriched with olive oil and the other with nuts. After the year, the researchers compared the blood cholesterol levels of the participants to their starting levels. They found that only the people who ate the low-fat, non-Mediterranean diet lowered their total and LDL cholesterol levels, but that the people eating the two Mediterranean diets had better-working HDL…
Good posture is directly related to good health. It’s as simple as that. Better still, by maintaining good posture, one’s muscles, bones and ligaments function cohesively for a healthy and long life. With proper alignment, this also ensures that all the organs in the body work properly too.
Conversely, bad posture tends to have the opposite effects, with the current emphasis on ergonomics.
The most plausible reason for this attention is that since people who spend their time in an office have been known to end up with back pain and/or carpal tunnel syndrome. So, yet again, the importance of posture, which is one of the leading causes of back pain, cannot be understated.
But before we delve into this aspect of the importance of a good posture, let’s first define what a good posture is.
Posture is considered to be alignment and positioning of one’s body in respect to gravity. Good posture ensures that the force of gravity acts on all parts of our body evenly. This doesn’t happen when we have a bad posture and so can cause numerous problems.
And almost immediately one can see the benefits of maintaining a good posture, no matter whether it pertains to standing, sleeping, walking or sitting – especially when it has been documented that you can lose almost 10 pounds in weight (if you’re overweight) just by maintaining a good posture.
Yet there are other benefits that will make clear how important it is to maintain a good posture at all times.
Better posture almost immediately reduces the possibility of injury and thus, improves overall physical performance, balance and agility. Since the maintaining of the right posture is also a big point to be noted in exercise, recovery from the muscle soreness of physical exertion is much better when one is able to maintain good posture throughout the routine.
What makes the importance of posture even more apparent is the fact that good posture not only increases lung volume, it also strengthens our muscles and bones. Yet it’s not just the upper body that benefits but also our extremities as well.
The lower back, hips and knees are also affected by the uneven distribution of gravitational pressure and can sometime leads to arthritis, bone spurs and fractures – since it wears down the bones and cartilage in our feet and also increases wear and tear on our lower back and hips.
If you aren’t sure whether you are maintaining the right posture or feel the need to correct your posture, taking the advice of a fitness professional in the form of exercise can quickly adjust that.
But no matter what: maintaining the right posture is vital to a longer and healthier life.
Much has been said over the years about the ketogenic diet and with celebrities like Megan Fox, Mick Jagger, and Adriana Lima being fond proponents of the diet, it remains very popular.
What is the real difference between a ketogenic diet and a low fat diet plan? While many may swear about reducing fat intake, studies show low carb plans are actually more effective for both weight loss and reducing high cholesterol.
There are several low carbohydrate diets, but the ketogenic diet generally limits your carb intake to 20 to 50 grams a day. The ketogenic diet requires you to enter the stage of ketosis, and that generally does not occur unless you are consuming about 20 grams of carbohydrates per day.
A sample menu plan when you’re on a ketogenic diet looks like this:
Breakfast: bacon or sausage, eggs, and coffee with cream and stevia
Snack: 1 ounce of cheese with cucumbers or celery
Lunch: Tuna salad or egg salad wrapped in lettuce or lettuce wrapped burger
Snack: ½ avocado or 10 olives or flaxseed crackers with salsa
Dinner: Cajun chicken with a side of vegetables cooked in butter or steak with vegetables in butter or salad with olive oil and vinegar or grilled salmon with a side of spiral cut zucchini pasta with sauce
Snacks between meals can also include string cheese, a cup of chicken broth, 6 almonds or peanuts, turkey lettuce wraps, hard-boiled eggs, smaller portions of leftover meals, 1 tablespoon of cream and much more.
Low Fat Versus Low Carb
Feeling Satisfied and Avoiding Hunger
The ketogenic diet typically is much more about choices instead of depravation because you are able to eat a wide variety of real, whole, and delicious food with lots of satisfying meats, chicken, seafood, cheese, non-starchy vegetables, and healthy fats.
It is easier to follow than a low fat diet because low carb eating regulates the appetite, and naturally satisfies you so you eat less, without suffering and starvation. This is because eliminating carbs also eliminates erratic blood sugar spikes that cause out of control cravings and hunger.
Long Term Sustainability
One of the most important considerations in the actual success that any diet plan has or will have is its sustainability over the long term, and the overall success measure of any weight loss plan is the individual’s ability to keep the weight off for the long term.
In regards to the above, low carb wins over low fat because when individuals are satisfied and not white knuckling their way through the day, the probability of long-term success increases exponentially, this is one of the reasons that low carb is a lifestyle and not just a temporary diet.
What The Studies Show
A study by the Duke University Medical Center in Durham, North Carolina set out to compare the effects of a low fat diet versus a ketogenic diet program.
What they discovered over their 24 week that not only did the low carbohydrate diet retain more of the participants than the low fat group did, but they also lost more weight, and had a bigger decrease in triglyceride levels.
A low fat diet is generally a temporary diet, one that you cannot sustain because there are too many temptations to give in to; the ketogenic diet does not restrict you to the same level so it is easier to maintain on a long-term basis.
That means the weight you lose stays lost, and is the reason that low carb is a lifestyle and not just another fad diet.
More Studies Support Low Carb Diets Over Low Fat
Since 2002, more than 20 randomized controlled trials have been published in respected, peer-reviewed journals that demonstrate the fact that low carb diets are more effective for weight loss and completely safe without a single adverse effect, this cannot be said about many of the fad diets.
Several studies, including Volek et al, Foster GD, et al, Keogh et al, Westman et al, and Gardner et al have shown low carb eating to lead to more weight loss, and especially visceral fat (belly fat), and to improve HDL cholesterol, insulin levels, blood sugar levels, and blood pressure as compared to low fat plans.
The above studies and others support the fact that low carb wins over low fat in weight loss and reducing risks for heart disease. Of course, you should always ask your doctor before starting any diet plan.
Throughout the centuries, people all over the world have used meditation to transform their lives. They have used it to improve their health and to better manage their emotions. However, there is more to meditation that meets the eye. It can improve many aspects of your life.
Here are some of the ways that meditation can change your life:
Meditation can help you make better decisions. You won’t be operating on autopilot. You will gain better control of your mind. You become more aware of what’s going on in your life and you can make the necessary changes to transform it.
Meditation helps you become more loving and compassionate towards yourself and others. If you’re one of the many people who have the tendency to put themselves down and you want to change the way you have been treating yourself, meditation can help you stop thinking on autopilot and start being more aware of your inner dialogue. You will then start telling yourself more positive things. When you give yourself more love and appreciation, you will find it easier to love and appreciate others.
Meditation can help you banish anger, fear, and other negative feelings. When you meditate and try to be more positive, that doesn’t mean that you have to ignore or repress your negative feelings. On the contrary, meditation allows you to confront these feelings without shame or judgment toward yourself or others. Confronting these feelings will help you to know yourself better, accept yourself just as you are, and work towards overcoming these negative feelings.
Meditation can help you have better relationships. It can help you be truly aware of the present moment. This helps you to be a good listener. You also stop being judgmental and be more forgiving because you no longer see them as they were in the past. You give others the freedom to be who they are without burdening them with expectations for the future.
Meditation can help you to be more productive. It helps you focus by helping you to be clear about what you need to do at the present moment. That way, you won’t overwhelm yourself by thinking of all the things that you need to do or try to do things all at once.
It helps you have a laser-like focus while you do things one at a time. It also helps you finish your work a lot faster because you are not distracted by anything in your environment or by intruding thoughts.
Meditation can help you stop worrying. Worrying is thinking about the worst that can happen in the future. Meditation helps you focus on the present moment. As the hunas of Hawaii would say “Manawa; now is your moment of power.” You can exercise some control over your future by being in the present moment.
Meditation leads you to acceptance. People often say, “Life is unfair.” Meditation helps you look at your present situation without judgment. When you accept life just as it is, it is only then that you can transform it for the better.
Making positive changes will be easy because you will then be in the path of least resistance.
If there is a particular area in your life that you want to transform, the best form of meditation can practice is guided meditation. It is easier than meditating all by yourself because, when you listen to your guide, you are less likely to get distracted. More importantly, guided meditation sessions are designed by experts to help you attain a specific goal making it easier for you to change a behavior or attitude which then leads to transformation.
It is no wonder that guided meditation is sometimes called “the lazy man’s” meditation.
Make Unnatural Disease-Breeding Habits Stop Dead in Their Tracks and
Reverse Engineer Them for a Healthier Body and a Better Aging Experience
Rational fears have to be the most difficult to concur. This is mostly because they are things that could actually happen, or things that have happened to someone you know. When trying to deal with rational fears, the best form of defense will be a support group, some therapy and safe guarding yourself as best as you can to avoid situations that will give those fears a higher probability of occurring.
Here are 10 rational fears that most of us have:
Fear of being lonely: Many of us despise being alone. This is when you get into your own head and start thinking dark, uncomfortable thoughts. Solution is to find more ways to be sociable.
Fear of losing a limb: Most of us cannot fathom living without any one of our limbs. The best way to avoid this fear is to find ways to safe-guard yourself from unnecessary and preventable accidents.
Fear of losing: No one likes losing at anything. Unfortunately, every now and again you are going to lose at something. The best way to deal with this is to prepare yourself well for any test and to treat failure as a lesson rather than a proclamation of your status.
Fear of poverty: We all want nice things. The solution is to work hard, smart and keep going until you get what you want, legally.
Fear of contamination and diseases: No one likes being sick. The pain of disease has created a rational fear of contamination and infection in many. The solution is to live as healthily as you can and to avoid contamination as much as possible.
Fear of discrimination: It is no longer just about black or white. People of all walks of life get discriminated against in many different ways. Although you cannot control what someone else does, you can control your reaction to it. If sensitization does not work, simply walk away and try again some place else.
Fear of losing your job: This will mean unemployment, poverty and in the most extreme of cases, homelessness and hopelessness. To safe guard yourself here, work diligently, make yourself indispensable and as a back-up plan, work on a business plan should everything go South, you can be self-employed.
Fear of confrontation: In life, there is going to be conflict. As much as some of us love, many of us would rather avoid confrontation. Be as calm as you possibly can and approach every volatile situation with a level head.
Fear of being ridiculed: No one likes being ridiculed. Try your best not to put yourself in such a situation, but should it happen, brush it off with a light touch and forget about it. Obsessing over it will create animosity and hostility within you.
Fear of pain: Pain of any kind, be it physical or emotional is never really ideal. Unfortunately in life, you are going to experience some pain. The best way to deal with this is to simply learn how to deal with it. Every situation is different.
These are 10 rational fears that many of us face. The list of irrational fears is much longer and stranger.
Meditation is something that all of us can benefit from. And in today’s hectic and busy world, there has never been a more important time for us to give it a go. Unfortunately though, a lot of people don’t really understand what meditation is or how to use it. And many people even find themselves with some kind of prejudice against meditation – assuming that it’s only for people who want to ‘achieve enlightenment’ or that it’s a purely spiritual or religious practice.
What is Meditation?
In fact though, meditation doesn’t have to be about either of those things. Instead, meditation is primarily just the practice of focusing your mind and paying attention. Think of it like weight lifting but for your brain.
There are different types of meditation and these have different end goals. However, the main objective in any case involves focusing your thoughts and choosing what you want to focus on and what you’re going to think. Instead of letting your mind run away with you as you worry about things you can’t change or feel generally stressed, meditation teaches you how to focus on the things that make you happy and how to shut out the things that don’t help.
Types of Meditation
Perhaps the best way to demonstrate this is to introduce some meditation techniques.
One is ‘mindfulness’. Here, the objective is not to stop yourself from thinking but rather just to detach yourself from your thoughts and to become almost like a third party observing those thoughts. The expression often used is that you’re going to watch them ‘drift by like clouds’.
The value in this is that you can prevent your thoughts from controlling your emotions. When you’re scared of heights, you can stop worrying about falling and instead just note that you’re having that thought in a detached manner. Mindfulness is also used by psychologists to help people better understand the contents of their own minds.
Another type of meditation is ‘transcendental’. This is the type that most people are most familiar with and that involves trying to ‘shut out’ your outside thoughts. Instead you’re trying to make your mind completely quiet and often this involves a mantra – a phrase that you repeat over and over.
Eventually, you can use this type of meditation to stop all and any stress: just quiet your brain for a moment of peace and relaxation!