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13 – Meditation

Meditation has spread to the West in recent years. It mainly consists on training the mind or inducing a mode of consciousness, although the main reason most people practice meditation is to either be more productive, or for it is calming and stress-relief effects.

The exact benefits can vary from person to person, but in general you’ll notice:

  • Prevention and release of stress.
  • Decrease of anxiety and panic attack frequency / intensity.
  • Lower blood pressure.
  • Decrease of tension-related pains.
  • Increase of serotonin production (‘happiness’ hormone).
  • Boosts to immune system.
  • Increased creativity and intuition.
  • Insight and development of new perspectives.

A simple meditation technique for beginners that you can try:

  • Find a quiet and relaxing environment, perhaps your bedroom.
  • Sit comfortably in an upright position. Be sure your back is straight for ease in breathing. You should be comfortable and feel no pain in your posture.
  • Close your eyes. Inhale deeply for four seconds, then exhale fully for another four seconds. Focus on nothing but the sound of the air going in and out. Although it will be hard (it is even for experts), try to keep your mind blank and push aside all thoughts.
  • Repeat for as long as you want. Ideally try for ~5 minutes a day at least.

Note that if you don’t want to do it and force yourself to, you won’t get much out of it, as you’ll be wishing the five minutes run out already.

Try these exercises every day for one month without fail (consistency is key!), and compare yourself now to yourself then to check what changes you see. You can decide whether to continue or not at that point – the important thing is to give it a chance!

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