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Meditation can completely change your life.
While countless products, remedies, hacks, and lifestyle changes all promise to hold the ‘answer’, only meditation really comes close to actually delivering on that promise. And this is no coincidence: it’s simply because meditation is the only method among these that focuses on helping you to improve yourself. On getting you to dig deep, and to change the way you approach life and situations. It gives you more command over your own mind and will, and helps you to become the best version of yourself.
Meditation helps you to rise above stress and worry, thereby finding peace in your everyday – and improving your happiness, health, and general wellbeing to a huge degree. Moreover though, meditation can also help to improve your performance by bringing stress under control. It can help you to focus your attention like a laser, to become unflappable in a crisis, and to tap into reserves of creativity, compassion, and wisdom that you never knew you had.
The problem is that meditation is too often thought of as this ‘mystical’ practice, that has strong ties to religion, spirituality, and even mysticism. Many people will therefore be put off before they even start.
Others might recognize the growing acceptance of meditation as a proven, scientific method for encouraging positive changes in the brain at a biological level – but still find themselves daunted. How do you begin to start? How can you calm a mind that doesn’t want to be still?
How can you possibly find the time?
This book is going to explore all of those things and more. Over the course of this tome, you will discover the major types of meditation, how they are different, and how to use them. What’s more, is that you will learn how to employ those forms of meditation in a manner that is practical, easy, and highly effective.
We will be demystifying what should be a very simple and powerful tool. By the end, the power will be in your hands to take the core principles of meditation and mindfulness, and to apply them in a manner that applies to you.
In this book, you will learn:
• Where stress comes from and why you need to deal with it
• The different types of meditation and what they are each for
• How to start meditation in an easy and convenient way
• How to progress and improve in your meditation practice
• How to use mindfulness in everyday life
• How to use meta cognition to understand your own thoughts
• How to overcome anxiety and stress with CBT and cognitive restructuring
• How meditation affects the brain
• How to improve your lifestyle for even greater calm
Chapter 1 - Why You Are Always Stressed – And Why it Needs to Stop
Many of us are unaware of just how serious a problem stress is. We live in a semi-permanent state of anxiety and arousal, but the most shocking part is that we act as this is okay – normal even.
After all, everyone else we know is stressed too, so how can it be a big problem?
In fact though, stress is a very serious problem that will not only prevent you from fully enjoying your life in the short term – but may make you seriously ill over time.
Where Does Stress Come From?
You don’t need to look hard in order to find where all this stress is coming from in our modern lives. Anything that causes stress is what we refer to as a ‘stressor’, and these are all around us, all the time. Some are physical, while others are mental.
Consider the way you start your day: by being woken up with a start in the pitch black, by a bleeping noise. Did you know that we chose beeping for alarms because it sounds unnatural? That means that the brain fires up on red alert, and sends panic signals by releasing cortisol and adrenaline into your body. You’ve only just woken up, and you’re already probably suffering from whiplash!
Then you rush to get ready, heart racing as you worry about what happens if your late – and perhaps dread whatever stressful thing you need to handle that day in the office. Then you head off on your commute, people pushing past you and walking toward you. Horns blaring, smoke thick in the air, and bright billboards flashing in your eyes. All these things, vying for your attention. All of them, triggering more spikes in excitatory neurotransmitters.
At work, you no doubt need to deal with office politics, with deadlines, with people shouting at you down the phone… with the potential prospect of losing your job if you don’t do well, always looming over you. The unnatural light you’re bathed in meanwhile triggers even more arousal, with none of the nourishing effects of vitamin D and fresh air.