Category Archives: Meditation

MEDITATION TO BOOST PRODUCTIVITY

Meditation to Boost Productivty

as published on Watchfit

Meditation won’t necessarily make your work and life demands less demanding but it will give you the ability to see clearly so you can focus your attention on the most important tasks in any moment and this can make a huge difference to your productivity.  Rather than have an anxious brain moving from one task to another and let’s be totally honest, not doing any of the tasks effectively or efficiently,  it will help you to focus on one task at a time, complete this and move on to the next task which will boost your productivity.

If you do several tasks at one time, you can’t possibly do any of them to the best of your ability.

Researchers at the University of London have discovered that workers involved in multi-tasking experienced a sharper drop in IQ than if they had been smoking marijuana or had stayed up all night, and the more we multi-task the more we reinforce this habit of distraction.  You may do more but the quality is compromised and therefore, you are not as productive as you think you are.

The solution for this is meditation – meditation enhances focus, creativity and relaxation, daily mediation will supercharge your mind, which means you will be able to accomplish more in less time and you will have the ability to focus on a task and block out any distractions making you more effective and efficient.  The other benefits are:

  • Creativity: you can become more effective at problem-solving
  • Clears your mind to focus on one task at a time
  • Increases your energy and reduces fatigue
  • Reduces stress and procrastination
  • Let go of non-essential tasks that drain your time and energy
  • Promotes well-being which can increase motivation with everyday tasks
  • Mindfulness and awareness (being present in the moment) can help you enjoy what you are doing and when you enjoy what you are doing your productivity increases
  • New and fresh perspectives on day to day life and tasks that need to be completed

 

Studies show that advanced meditators have a high “mind brain development trait”. People with this trait show an eagerness to learn, are open-minded, calm and playful.  Their logical thinking and planning is enhanced and their brain resources are utilised more economically.  In simple terms people who meditate are able to focus easily and remain “in the zone” for longer periods of time.

So meditation can improve your productivity as well as your efficiency, it also reduces stress and increases focus, do you need more convincing?  By practicing mediation daily you can say goodbye to multi tasking, get everything done and be more relaxed about everything.

Personally, meditation has been life changing for me and I practice it daily, the benefits are not truly seen and understood until your start a daily meditation practice and there are many techniques you can use.  The two I use are Transcendental Meditation and The ThetaHealing® technique which is a meditation technique and spiritual philosophy to create a positive lifestyle.

 TWO SIMPLE TECHNIQUES TO TRY

Finding a meditation style that works for you is essential as the more regularly you can practice the more benefits you will see.  These are two simple technique that you can try, they can be used daily and can be used anywhere.

Scanning: Sit or lie comfortably and starting with you head working down through your neck to your arms, torso, legs and feet, notice if you feel any tension and release this, relax all these areas as you work through them, relax and focus on your breath for a few minutes, before opening your eyes and becoming more aware of what is going on around you.

Focus on the Breath:  Sit comfortably and focus on our breath, notice your inhalation and exhalation, let your tension go with each breath.  When you find your mind wandering just gently bring it back to your breath.

There are a number of apps and free guided meditations; you just need to find the right way for you.  So give it a try it and see how it works for you. It can take time to build up your meditation practice but you can just start with 5 minutes a day

If you need help with finding the right way to meditate for you then I would love to hear from you.  Connect with me by clicking here and find out how I can help you with your daily meditation practice. #happyandhealthy

WHY MEDITATION IS THE NEW “IN” THING

WHY MEDITITATION IS THE NEW _IN_ THING-1As published on Watchfit – Expert Contributor

Meditation is about purposefully practicing mindfulness in a way that flexes your mindfulness muscle making you more in tune and mindful. It is a means of transforming the mind.

Meditation is gaining popularity but in fact has been around for 1000’s and 1000’s of years and its health benefits have been known for centuries by those who practised it. It is now entering what I call the “main stream” as people’s lives get busier and busier and people are more and more stressed and looking for ways of stress relief and to find some area of calm in their lives, to be able to switch off from the pressure and find inner peace.

Many scientists conducted studies to understand the benefits of mediation and initially most experiments were conducted to find out the benefits of meditation on stress. However, they discovered that meditation helps to lower blood pressure, improves heart rate, breathing and most areas of the brain. Some studies have shown that meditation produces long lasting changes in the brain and helps with attention, memory, learning and conscious perception

If you are like me and tried to meditate and found it difficult, if you had the same experience I initially had thinking that I had to clear my mind of all thought, sitting in silence with no thoughts and what in fact happened was I felt more stressed and thought about all the things I could and should be doing and got very uncomfortable and I gave up – then I encourage you to keep reading.

I was fortunate enough to come across a FREE 21 day guided mediation that was 10 – 15 minutes a day and I learnt that contrary to what I thought, I could allow my thoughts to flow, the aim was to bring them back to a central point, this particular meditation used a mantra, but you use a candle and focus on the flame, or simply focus on your breath. Meditation can be simple and easy if you allow it to be and benefits can be seen in as little as 5 to 10 minutes a day.

I practice meditation daily and used two different techniques:

  • Transcendental Meditation and
  • The ThetaHealing® technique which is a meditation technique and spiritual philosophy – that creates a positive lifestyle.

7 BENEFITS OF MEDITATION

These are just some of the scientifically proven benefits, although sometimes it is not all about science and more about how you feel, connecting mind, body and spirit.

  1. Increased Immunity: relaxation and mediation appear to boost immunity giving you greater resistance to viruses and even tumours
  2. Emotional Balance
  3. Lowers Blood pressure
  4. Boosts fertility
  5. Anti-inflammatory : stress leads to inflammation which is linked to ill health, mediation can switch off the stress response
  6. Reduces anxiety and social anxiety
  7. Improved concentration and memory

Whilst meditation is not the solution on its own, it is one of the tools we can use. There is a lot of evidence that it may do some good for those who practice it regularly and from personal experience I can say that my meditation practice has been life changing. There are many large corporations, actors and schools that are now including meditation into their schedules and finding significant increases in productivity, and reduction of anxiety and anti-social behaviour.

I certainly think is worth a short ad everyone has a few minutes in the morning and in the evening, if you say you don’t have enough time then think of all the time you spend on facebook or in front of the TV and I am sure you can find 5 – 10 minutes a day to start your mediation practice. Give it a try and see what happens when you can start to quieten the mind, pay attention to your thoughts, observe them and let them go rather than reacting to them

TECHNIQUES TO TRY

Try some or all of the techniques below, find one that resonates and works for you. The more regularly you can practise them the more benefits you will see.

Scanning: Sit or lie comfortably and starting with you head working down through your neck to your arms, torso, legs and feet, notice if you feel any tension and release this, relax all these areas as you work through them

Focus on the Breath: Sit comfortably and focus on our breath, notice your inhalation and exhalation, let your tension go with each breath. When you find your mind wandering just gently bring it back to your breath.

Mantra: sit or lie in a comfortable position and repeat a simple mantra, allow your thoughts to come and go and just gently bring your focus back to the mantra,

Visualization: Imagine being somewhere that has happy memories for you and imagine any tension being released and feel those happy thoughts washing away the tension. Make your images as vivid and colorful as possible, remember any smells – you might find this challenging at fist but it does get easier every time you practice.

If you would like any help with your meditation practice and to find out more about mediation and improving your health connect with me by clicking here, I will share a free guided mediation with you and you can also find out how I can help create a bespoke plan for you, and get you started straightaway.

EMAIL ALERT! SWITCH OFF THE CONSTANT PRESSURE

EMAIL ALERT!as published on Watchfit

Email Alert! Do you get react instantly every time you see an email in your inbox or receive an email on your phone, stop what you are doing and reply? Would you like to know how to stop being a slave to technology and what I call other people’s stuff…….. Every time you stop what you are doing or are distracted by an email you are being controlled by something or someone else. I stopped the constant pressure and demands over 2 years ago and now my email works for me, I am not a slave to it.

Firstly our email is not the problem, we are, constantly check our emails effects our productivity, ever had one of those days where you are busy being busy and at the end of the day you have achieved nothing? Secondly, constantly checking our emails not only affects our productivity but can affect our stress levels as we feel pressured to constantly deal with our inbox. However, equally important is how you set up your email and your alerts.

Research shows that you really don’t get much done when you’re constantly checking your emails all the time, this is because you are distracted and jumping from one thought to another as you read through the emails and it may make this more difficult for you to focus on the task at hand. Furthermore, an email that is sitting in your inbox unread may drain additional resources as you keep thinking about it, you keep wondering who it is from, what does the email contain?, is it good or bad news?.

While this may be the case some of us are required to respond to emails instantly as part of the job, so what practical measures can we take to avoid being a slave to email alerts!

This is what I did and my hope is that you can use some of these strategies in your life to switch off the constant pressure:

  1. Take your email off your phone: take a break you do not need to be online and contactable 24/7. It also stops you peeking at your email during lunch or business meetings and being distracted. When you are with someone else you need to be fully present and you are unable to do this if half your brain is constantly checking your emails every 5 seconds.
  2. Block out time in your day to respond to emails: depending on your ratio of emails to work you can block out time once a day or 4 times a day. For example first thing in the morning, mid morning, after lunch and before you leave the office.
  3. Categorise your emails: during your “email time” file your emails in two different folders: Never – delete right away, Later – follow up and Now – deal with the emails you need to deal with immediately.
  4. Set up an auto response: this lets people know you have received their email and will deal with it. I like to give a time frame so that you can manage their expectations and they know how soon they will get a reply.

In conclusion, stand up to your email – be the boss of your inbox and get more done. Use the Now, Later, Never principles to control the emails in your inbox and develop your own system that fits in with your specific job and email requirements, the idea is to make this easier, less time consuming and less stressful and as with everything these is no “one size fits all approach”.

Will you give these strategies a try? Although it may not seem easy at first it gets easier over time and you will wish you had done it years ago. Let’s use technology as it was intended to make our lives easier not more complicated – don’t be a slave to your email, learn to switch off the constant pressure.

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Accessing the Power of Gratitude by Kerry Madgwick

The practice of gratitude as a tool for happiness has been in the mainstream for years. Long-term studies support gratitude’s effectiveness, suggesting that a positive, appreciative attitude contributes to greater success in work, greater health, peak performance in sports and business, a higher sense of well-being, and a faster rate of recovery from surgery.

But while we may acknowledge gratitude’s many benefits, it still can be difficult to sustain. So many of us are trained to notice what is broken, undone or lacking in our lives. And for gratitude to meet its full healing potential in our lives, it needs to become more than just a Thanksgiving word. We have to learn a new way of looking at things, a new habit. And that can take some time.

That’s why practicing gratitude makes so much sense. When we practice giving thanks for all we have, instead of complaining about what we lack, we give ourselves the chance to see all of life as an opportunity and a blessing.

Remember that gratitude isn’t a blindly optimistic approach in which the bad things in life are whitewashed or ignored. It’s more a matter of where we put our focus and attention. Pain and injustice exist in this world, but when we focus on the gifts of life, we gain a feeling of well-being. Gratitude balances us and gives us hope.

There are many things to be grateful for: colorful autumn leaves, legs that work, friends who listen and really hear, chocolate, fresh eggs, warm jackets, tomatoes, the ability to read, roses, our health, butterflies. What’s on your list?

Some Ways to Practice Gratitude

  • Keep a gratitude journal in which you list things for which you are thankful. You can make daily, weekly or monthly lists. Greater frequency may be better for creating a new habit, but just keeping that journal where you can see it will remind you to think in a grateful way.
  •  Make a gratitude collage by drawing or pasting pictures.
  • Practice gratitude around the dinner table or make it part of your nighttime routine.
  • Make a game of finding the hidden blessing in a challenging situation.
  • When you feel like complaining, make a gratitude list instead. You may be amazed by how much better you feel.
  • Notice how gratitude is impacting your life. Write about it, sing about it, express thanks for gratitude.

As you practice, an inner shift begins to occur, and you may be delighted to discover how content and hopeful you are feeling. That sense of fulfillment is gratitude at work.

 

 

 

 

Author’s content used with permission, © Claire Communications