Jan Green is a personal trainer and health coach certified by the National Academy of Sports Medicine and the American Council on Exercise. She also has a bachelor’s degree in exercise science and a master’s degree in health promotion. Jan is passionate about helping others thrive. She's dedicated to teaching that health, joy, and quality of life are inextricably connected. A true science geek who is unabashedly authentic, she's a spunky mix of fact and fun.

The Benefits Of Meditation For Health And Happiness

MEDITATION BENEFITS

Beginner’s Guide: Meditate To Lose Weight And Improve Your Life

The benefits of meditation are countless.

But here are some important ones and an explanation of what meditation is and how to do it.

What Is Meditation?

Meditation is both a mind and body practice.

It has a long history of use for increasing calmness and physical relaxation, improving psychological balance, coping with illness, and enhancing overall health and well-being. In meditation, mind and body practices focus on the interactions among the brain, mind, body, and behavior.

Research shows meditation can help physically rewire the brain and body and can help to improve a variety of health problems. Meditation also promotes healthy behaviors as well as speeds up the weight loss process. 

By minimizing external stressors and making life easier to cope with, meditation is a valuable weight loss practice. 

The benefits of meditation are numerous and it is an activity anyone can enjoy regardless of age, gender, health, or experience level. Wondering, “how do you meditate?”

I’ve got the answers!

The Benefits Of Meditation

why meditate

The benefits of meditation could be explored indefinitely. There are no limits to the benefits of meditation. Meditation has been used for thousands of years for the following reasons.

Meditation: 

  • May reduce blood pressure
  • Can reduce symptoms of IBS and flare-ups in ulcerative colitis
  • May ease symptoms of anxiety and depression
  • Helps with insomnia
  • Can reduce pain
  • May help with smoking cessation
  • Encourages a peaceful and calm state of being
  • Assists with mental clarity and focus
  • Eases feelings of anger and frustration
  • May help soothe upset stomach, constipation, and indigestion
  • Can help speed up weight loss and metabolic processing.

Who Can Benefit From Meditation? 

It can truthfully be stated that anyone and everyone can benefit from meditation.

You can meditate for success, mindfulness, relaxation, weight loss, positive mental health, reduction of anxiety and depression, or to improve the neuroplasticity (rewiring/regeneration) of the brain.

Meditation may help improve memory, cognition, and help you to cope with external stress. If you are wondering how to meditate, or how to meditate for success, keep reading. 

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How To Meditate

meditate for health

  • Find a quiet location with as few distractions as possible; this may be your garden, on a pillow in your bedroom, on a yoga mat in your living room, or even while you are lying down in bed. 
  • Choose a specific, comfortable position. You typically want to be sitting or lying down without shoes, in comfortable, non-restrictive clothing.
  • Commit to a focus of attention (a specially chosen word or set of words, an object, or with long, deep breaths in through the nose and out through the mouth). 
  • Keep an open attitude (letting distractions come and go naturally (without judging them or attaching any meaning to them).
  • Release resistance and simply be an observer of your own mind. Once you have achieved this, you will realize that you are separate from your thoughts, and you will, therefore, become empowered.

What Not To Do

  • Do not go into this with expectations or assumptions.
  • Don’t worry about whether you are doing it right (there is no right or wrong here).
  • Do not let meditation intimidate you or wait for a certain date to get started. There is no time like the present.
  • Don’t think that you need any fancy equipment or location to meditate. You can do it right where you are. 
  • And, don’t give up on the process if you become distracted or can only meditate for a few minutes at first. It can take some time to quiet the mind and establish a regular pattern of focused meditation. (After all, your mind didn’t become cluttered overnight, right?)

Why meditate? Because gaining control of your mind and your thoughts is the only way to achieve lasting happiness and success in every area of life. 

Additionally, when you master your mind, you can then easily master your body, and become the best version of yourself that you can be. You can enjoy permanent weight loss, boosted self-confidence, and even improved immunity with a regular practice of meditation. 

The benefits of meditation can’t be emphasized enough. 

We live in a world where everything is centered on speed and instant gratification. 

We are always on the go, always hurrying to speed to work, to hit deadlines, to get our food fast, cram in a season of our favorite Netflix show in one weekend…

And, then we wonder why we are frazzled, stressed, burned out, overweight, and anxious. 

Giving yourself permission to take time out, unwind, and get grounded is not a luxury but a necessity. It is simply impossible to balance all that life requires of us with no outlet of relaxation and centering.

Meditation is a healthy habit you should add to your lifestyle. We were created to enjoy life and to remain actively aware of the sensations and experiences available to us each day.

We were NOT created to punch a time clock, worry about every little thing, and let ourselves become so exhausted and depleted that we are of no service to anyone (let alone, ourselves). 

How To Meditate For Health And Weight Loss

Meditating for health and weight loss is actually much more simple than you might think.

The mind and body work together so that when you reflect on images of health and your ideal body, your entire self will conspire to make it happen. 

It has actually been proven that you can heal yourself or alter your current state just by visualizing what you want to happen as if it already has. People have gone so far as to cure “terminal” cancer or advanced degenerative illnesses by seeing themselves as whole and healthy. 

It is also crucial to maintain a healthy diet and exercise regimen while also meditating. You can find all the healthy recipes and support you need in the LadyBoss® Pocket Personal Trainer App. 

Here is an example of how one woman (a close friend of mine) achieved lasting weight loss through visualization and exercise. While running on the treadmill, lifting weights, and doing the elliptical, she was able to go from being overweight and miserable to the exact weight and body shape that she desired.

She did so by simply picturing how she wanted her body to look and how she wanted to feel as she was going through her exercise routine. 

Over the course of about one year, she lost all of the weight and was light and fit for the first time in her entire adult life. It was because she meditated on (and wholeheartedly believed in) the ideal version of herself that she was able to achieve this.

It takes vision, desire, and belief to heal a body that is diseased or inflamed. 

Different Types Of Meditation

benefits of meditation

Finally, let’s get into the different types of meditation, for further exploration of this fascinating and limitless topic. 

Again, do not let this intimidate you, these practices can be as informal and free as you wish them to be. This is merely food for thought and a chance to delve into what awaits you in this extremely beneficial practice.

Loving-kindness Meditation

If you want to cultivate an attitude of love and kindness towards everything, this is the practice for you. This is perfect for someone who is stressed out or feels victimized by people or situations in life. 

While breathing deeply, open your mind to receiving loving-kindness. Send out thoughts and feelings of loving-kindness to the world, to specific people, or to loved ones (and even adversaries). 

Repeat the message many times, until you feel an attitude of loving-kindness throughout your entire being. This meditation is designed to promote feelings of compassion and love, both for others and yourself. 

It can help those affected by:

  • Anger
  • Frustration
  • Resentment
  • Interpersonal conflict

This type of meditation may increase positive emotions and has been linked to reduced depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress or PTSD.

Progressive Relaxation/Body Scan Meditation

meditate because

Progressive relaxation, or body scan meditation, is a meditation that encourages you to scan your body for areas of tension/blockages. The goal is to notice tension and to allow it to release.

During a progressive relaxation session, you will start with one end of their body, usually the feet, and work up through the rest of the body.

Some forms of progressive relaxation require people to tense and then relax one muscle or body part at a time. You also can visualize a wave, drifting over your body to release tension.

Progressive relaxation can help to promote feelings of calmness and relaxation. It also helps with chronic pain. Because it slowly and steadily relaxes the body, some people use this technique to aid in better sleep or fight insomnia.

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Mindfulness Meditation

This form of meditation that asks you to remain aware and present in the moment.

Rather than dwelling on the past or being anxious about the future, mindfulness encourages awareness of your current surroundings. You must remove the idea of judgment or critical self-thought.

Take note of what is happening without attaching negative or positive associations/feelings. For example: instead of being angry you are stuck in slow traffic, you simply accept that everything is okay and the current reality is neither negative nor positive, it simply is.

Mindfulness meditation is something you can do anywhere. While waiting in line at the pharmacy, for example, you might calmly notice your surroundings, including the sights, sounds, and smells around you. 

A form of mindfulness is involved in most kinds of meditation.

Breath awareness encourages you to be aware of your breathing, while progressive relaxation draws attention to areas of tension in the body.

Research has found that mindfulness can help to:

  • Reduce fixation on negative emotions.
  • Improve focus, cognition, and memory.
  • Reduce impulsive, emotional reactions.
  • Improve relationship satisfaction.
  • Lower blood pressure and anxiety.

Breath Awareness Meditation

meditation

Breath awareness is a type of mindful meditation that encourages mindful breathing.

The goal is to breathe slowly and deeply, counting your breaths or focusing on breaths. The goal is to focus only on breathing and to ignore other thoughts that enter the mind.

As a form of mindfulness meditation, breath awareness offers many of the same benefits as mindfulness. This includes reduced anxiety, improved concentration, and greater emotional flexibility.

Kundalini Yoga

Kundalini yoga is a physically active form of meditation that combines movements with deep breathing and mantras. People usually learn from a teacher or do a class. However, it is possible to learn the poses and mantras at home with some simple research.

Similarly to other forms of yoga, kundalini yoga can improve physical strength and reduce chronic pain. It can also improve mental health by reducing anxiety and depression.

Zen Meditation

meditate daily

Zen meditation is a form of meditation that can be part of Buddhist practice. Many Zen enthusiasts study under a teacher because this kind of meditation involves specific steps and postures. You certainly don’t have to be a Buddhist to do this, however! 

The goal is to find a comfortable position, focus on breathing, and mindfully observe your thoughts without judgment.

Again, this form of meditation is similar to mindfulness meditation but requires more discipline and practice. People may prefer it if they are seeking both relaxation and a new spiritual practice. 

Transcendental Meditation

Transcendental Meditation is a spiritual form of meditation where you remain seated and breathe slowly. The goal is to rise above (transcend) your current state of being.

During a meditation session, you focus on a mantra or a repeated word or series of words. The mantra is based on a complex set of factors, and this is something you will learn when you study with a practitioner. 

You can also choose your mantra. This is a more modern approach, and can include a set of words like, “I am light and fit and healthy.” The choice of words is custom to the individual in this approach. 

People who practice Transcendental Meditation report both spiritual experiences and heightened mindfulness.

Take A Deep Breath

Meditation is a life-changing practice that can help people from all walks of life.

You can start today, as a beginner, and practice simple mindfulness, or you can commit to a lifelong meditation journey that will take you beyond any limit you may have set for yourself.

Meditation can unlock a peaceful state of mind, a healthy and pain-free body, and lead to a path of success and abundance. Meditation can help you achieve the body of your dreams and the self-control and mastery you have always desired. All you have to do is begin, and remain open. 

Leave your expectations and judgments at the door, and prepare for a brand new you. You will be so glad that you did! 

Don’t forget, there is no time like the present to apply for your very own expert weight loss coach with LadyBoss® Personal Results Coaching. 

You can quickly be matched with your own double-certified, expert coach and finally become the best version of you that you can be!

Coach Jan, MS, BS, NASM, ACE