Meditation Techniques Archive

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3 ways of breaking bad habits with meditation

Upon the mention of ‘Meditation’, many find themselves thinking of the image of Buddha, cross-legged and perfectly still. To the masses, meditation is often associated with religion or spiritualism. However, spiritual meditation is merely one of the many facets of meditation.

Meditation in the new age is an effective psychological tool. It is the act of being mindful of your actions, feeling with your senses before carefully evaluating and deciding the next step. Meditation is simple and does not require the investment of a lot of time. Here are some easy guidelines to help you utilize meditation to eradicate some of the common self defeating bad habits that many have been trying futilely to kick.

1. Be fully aware and conscious of your bad habits

Mindfulness is the bedrock of meditation. It is the primary reason as to why bad habits are developed and become entrenched in our lives. By identifying the problem and understanding the ill effects of these habits, you are already on your way to take the appropriate actions to amend the decisions you make in your daily life.

One example is perfectionism, where the pursuit of happiness is taken much too seriously, resulting in a plethora of adverse effects, ranging from mental problems to procrastination. This is one difficult habit to identify as many tend to dismiss it as merely striving to deliver the best performance. By gaining consciousness regarding its ill effects, one can more easily look into the available solutions to help kick this habit.

Have a lucid understanding of the benefits of breaking the habit

One method to help yourself really comprehend the positive effects or the reasons why you are better off without these bad habits is to make a list. Mull over the improvements you can make to your current situation should the bad habit be eliminated before writing them down in a notebook. Refer to this list periodically as it serves as a source of constant reminder to help you think twice before indulging in the comfort of the bad habit. For added motivation, you can also include the consequences of the bad behavior next to your list.

For example, smoking leads to increased susceptibility to countless health issues like coronary diseases, high blood pressure, lung cancer and respiratory problems just to name a few. It also degrades the quality of living for those around you, forcing them to bear the consequences of the bad habit they are not guilty of. However, if you quit smoking, you are making the effort to prevent these future health problems, giving yourself and your loved ones a better quality of life. That is enough to spur you on to kick the habit.

3. Draft out an action plan with concrete steps to help you towards the goal

A fatal flaw that many commit when sketching out their action plan is being overly ambitious. One has to know that while Rome is not built in a day; bad habits cannot be eradicated overnight. Always remember to set small and realistic goals for yourself. Never commit the grave error of moving on to other goals without effectively kicking your bad habit. A good plan will effectively help you stay on track.

These steps when used in combination and implemented conscientious can no double help put yourself into better perspective, bringing you one step closer to kicking your bad habits.

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In Pain Try? Mindful Meditation

“Turn your wounds into wisdom.”  ~ Oprah Winfrey

 

No body wants to be in pain. Having sprained my right knee twice and tearing my shoulder ligament is something I would not wish on my worst enemy. It hurt.

The mind makes it worse. It adds negative perception about the pain, which just amplifies the pain.

During my injuries, I became a pessimistic dud. I could not compete in a marathon, go to the gym or meditate. I sat in my bed all day long rotting away. I felt a burden to my family and friends.

All these feelings were unraveling inside my mind. The feelings of “being useless”, “rotting away” or “lazy” were all made up. My mind was making up excuses not to do certain things. Just because I had a knee sprain did not mean I could not workout my upper body. I started to realize how the injury started to plague my mind.

Pain and Mind

The conscious mind develops perception of pain based on experience. This also determines the level of tolerance a person might have when they break their arm or leg. Take a look at any UFC fighter or football player. They constantly get injured but keep playing the game. Kobe Bryant is known for playing basketball through all his injuries. How does he while other players rest?

It’s because he’s constantly been working through the pain. Brock Lesner has taken many punches in UFC but still perseveres through. It’s because his perception of pain is much different from others. I would love to get a little dose of his perception.

Meditation to melt the pain

Researchers examined how 15 volunteers would react to pain by monitoring their brain. The volunteers were prodded with different temperatures. The subjects felt 57% less unpleasant and 40% less intense while meditation.

The volunteers were given 20-minute sessions in mindful meditation. It was a brief form of meditation the researches wanted to test against. The mindful meditation taught shows the subjects how to stay focused on the breath while other things are happening.

The pain points

There are many pain points in our daily lives. It could be stress, family or injuries (emotional or physical). The problem is that these pain points become the center of our universe. The ego thrives off these injuries.

One thing about injuries is that, they always heal. In time everything does. There is no need to focus your entire energy or efforts on pain. Extract away from the pain and focus on the present moment.

Mindful Meditation made easy

It doesn’t have to be difficult. It should be easy and peaceful. Do not set your mind on how long it should be. Start with 5 minutes then move to longer times.

  • Sit in a comfortable area.
  • Cross your legs and close your eyes.
  • Keep your back straight and head erect. You can use a wall for support.
  • Inhale deep into your stomach and exhale out through the mouth.
  • Hold the inhalation for a count of 3 and exhale.

Thoughts

Thoughts are a part of meditation. Some people get distracted by them and think “Meditation is not working”. Meditation is always working. It is not about neglecting your thoughts but working with them. Do not get attached to them in any way. Just let them be. Like observing a soaring eagle in the sky.

Just observe and let it go.

 

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How Mindful Eating has helped me Lose Weight.

I am known, among my friends, for stuffing my face with food as soon as I sit down at the table. I have this urge to just eat everything. I don’t know what causes me to eat everything. Actually I know the cause. I love food. But loving food should be done in a healthier fashion.

“Pace yourself, take 5 or 10 minutes when you eat. There are no cops chasing you.” Yelled my girl friend at the dinner table one night. Upset about what she said, I took on the challenge to eat slow. For the next 7 days, I sat down with my stopwatch counting down from the 10th minute. If I finished early, I would hold myself until the 9th minute to eat the last bite.

Since practicing mindful eating I have lost around 10 lbs and food has never tasted better.

Let the mind catch up!

Our minds take time to realize when we are full. If you are inhaling a sandwich real fast, your mind won’t be able to judge if you are full. The mind takes around 15 – 20 minutes to feel full . Eating slowly helps your mind catch up to your stomach.

Cravings are another part I struggle with often. One of my many vices is lathering my tongue with the sweet flavors of a cookie or ice cream after my meals. This habit infiltrated other meals of the day. Soon I was eating junk food all the time. My jeans started to become extremely tight. When my waist size went up 2 sizes, I realized I needed to end the habit.

What are cravings anyways? Cravings are just these urges that are developed by the obese devil in my mind. He sits in his mighty throne with his pitchfork roasting marshmallows’ on the fires of my urges. Cravings are the desire for wanting a special kind of food.

Slowing down to eat and feeling all the sensations made me realize how bad junk food is. Half the time when I ate chips, cookies or ice cream, I did not even taste it. I remember slowly chewing on a bag of lays potato chip. The salty flavor was unbearable for me. Nothing against the bag of chips but the bombardment of salt flavor really turned me off.

The proof

I thought I was alone in this but there is a recent study that helps support mindful eating practice.

“You’re training the mind to notice, but to not automatically react based on habitual patterns — to not reach for a candy bar in response to feeling anger, for example,” said researcher Jennifer Daubenmier in a press release. “If you can first recognize what you are feeling before you act, you have a greater chance of making a wiser decision.”

In the study, the Mindful training consisted of focusing on the sensations of each food. The women were trained to bring their awareness to each moment as they chew on the food. This helped them give insight to experiencing the sensory feelings of eating.

Although it is inconclusive due to the small group size, it still shows positive sign of creating healthy eating habits.

Mindful Eating Techniques

  • Grab your meal and a stop watch.  Set the timer to 10 – 15 minutes and start eating your meal.
  • Close your eyes and inhale deep through the nose before chewing. Chew slowly. Inhale and swallow.
  • Use non dormant hand. If you are a righty then use your left hand to eat with. This will slow your eating tremendously. Might feel awkward at first. But don’t worry, it will be worth it.
  • Reflection. List all the ingredients in your mind as you eat. Think about the effort that went into the cooking. How long it took. Etc..
  • Eat in smaller bowls or plates. In smaller bowls you will think you have more than enough food. Make the switch.
  • Use chopsticks. It is hard to pick up large amounts of food with chopsticks.  So you will spend more time eating. Which will help your mind catch up to your gut.
Do you have any techniques that you could recommend?

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Meditation Techniques for Weight Loss

Through observation you become a light to yourself. - Jiddu Krishnamurti

There are so many diets out there. Everyone is eager for that quick fix or magic pill that will help them lose weight fast. What they fail to realize is that losing weight takes time.

Meditation for weight loss is about instilling patience because losing weight is not a sprint, it is a marathon.

I have succumbed to so many diets (no carbs, low carbs, protein rich, lemon juice etc…) only to have fallen off the diet-wagon 2 weeks later. The initial effects of diets fade off and I am left alone with my frustration.

Mindful eating is one of the easiest meditation techniques for weight loss. But before I get into all the techniques lets start our weight loss journey with a reality check.

 

Meditation for Weight Loss

Reality check with Meditation

Meditation allows us to look objectively at our life without judgment or passing negativity. You are able to see the “reality” of the situation. It is this reality that will help you set your weight loss goals.

You cannot set unexpected goals such as losing 45 lbs in a week (if you figure this out, then please share this with me :P ).

Set goals that are easy to accomplish at first. Make your mind and expectations agree to these goals so you do not harbor any negativity towards yourself.

Listen to your body with Meditation

In our compacted day-to-day live’s, what we eat becomes less and less important. Eating in front of T.V.’s while watching our favorite show or inhaling something in front of the computer. These habits disconnect our mind and body. We lose our awareness about what we eat and how much we eat.

Becoming aware of your body is integral to eating healthy. Your body will constantly signal if it is hungry and thirsty. These signals motivate you to eat or drink. These same signals also tell you when you are full.

Creating the mind body connection can be done through various meditation techniques.

Just Breathe!

The simplest way of creating this connection is by breathing gently and calmly into your stomach. During this inhalation process, focus your mind on the breath and if your thoughts drift away, gently bring your attention back to your breath.

Simple breathing meditation technique:

  1. Sit in a comfortable position
  2. Close your eyes
  3. Slowly inhale into your belly.
  4. Feel your belly rise
  5. Hold your breath for a count of 4.
  6. Exhale the breath slowly.
  7. Continue this for 5 minutes.

Here are some simple breathing meditations.

Breathing is an excellent way to relax your mind and combat your negative thinking. This simple practice will help you become aware of any excuses or negative thoughts that are going through your head.

Pace your eating

One of the best ways I have learnt to control my eating is through slowing myself down. Meditation for weight loss is about having patience and slowing down the eating.

Slow eating will help your mind catch up to your stomach. On average, it takes about 10 – 15 minutes for our stomachs to signal our brain about how full we actually are. If you are eating really fast, then you will be more likely to over eat.

Slow your eating with these simple mindful meditation techniques

Technique #1: Timer

A simple habit I have made every time I eat. You will need a cell phone, stopwatch or alarm.

  • Sit down to eat.
  • Take out your alarm, stopwatch or cell phone
  • Set the timer to ring in 10 minutes.
  • Divide your plate in half.
  • Eat one half of the plate by the 5 minute mark. Your last bite should be after the alarm goes off and not before.
  • Do the same with the other half of your portion.

If you are sitting there with only one bite left at the 4 minute mark, then reflect on the food you just ate for the last minute by breathing deeply.

Technique #2: Slow chewing

  • Sit down to eat.
  • Place small item on your spoon or fork.
  • Lift gently and place it in your mouth.
  • Close your eyes.
  • Breathe Deeply.
  • Let the food rest on your tongue for a moment and then start to chew it.
  • As you chew focus on the different flavors and try to label them.
  • Feel your tongue move the food around your mouth.
  • After a minute or so, swallow the food.

You do not have to do this for every bite, but I would recommend it for your first bite. This will set the slow tone for the rest of your meal.

Meditation techniques for weight loss

Meditation is a tool that will help you reflect on what you are putting inside your body. This awareness will help drive you to make healthier choices when you go grocery shopping or whenever you are out for dinner with your friends.

It is very important to enjoy the food you eat and also to enjoy the benefits of eating healthy. Eating healthy should not be some “disgusting” food just to get slim, rather it is a conscious life style change. Meditation will help you make those positive changes in your life.

What are some of your tips to eating healthy?

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Finding Inner Peace through Meditation

  1. Meditation is not a way of making your mind quiet. It’s a way of entering into the quiet that’s already there—buried under the 50,000 thoughts the average person thinks every day.  ~ Deepak Chopra

Peace of mind is having a calm state of mind during stressful times. Stress can come in any shape and form. The stress can be caused by family members, co-workers, boss, manager or friends. There is no single defining criteria for stress.

The worst part of having stress is that it carries over into other parts of your life. For example, you could be stressed under a lot projects that require your immediate attention. Not having enough time to finish the projects causes inner frustration and anxiety. Soon the stress starts to effect your personal relationships.

Why the need of inner peace?

Peace of mind allows you to think beyond any limitations that stress puts on you. When you are suffering under stress, you have tunnel vision. Your mind is only focused on that one negative situation and nothing else.

How many times have you walked around while thinking of  “how to solve XYZ ____” problem? or Why does this always happen to me?

The situation takes priority in your mind over anything else. Before you know it, you get dragged deeper and deeper into the negative abyss of your mind.

I had a physical last month. Prior to the physical exam,  I had the flu for a couple of weeks. Being sick, for 2 weeks made me wonder if I had something more than just the common flu. I thought I had some sort of terminal virus. This just made me feel worse as I started to create this expectation from my results. Turned out, I only had a really bad cold. Talk about a worrywort.

Stop overreacting!

You might think I had overreacted but that is exactly what stress does. It makes you analyze and over react to something that is very simple.

Let go of the world!

We love to have control over everything. Corporate marketing has made us “believe”  we have control over everything.  If you are not happy with anything, simply buy another model. The materialistic world has conditioned us to immediately change anything that makes us unhappy and replace it with happiness. Sadly, this happiness comes in the form of a ring, chocolate, a mansion, a luxurious car, etc…

Not having control over external factor makes us feel very helpless. Trying to have control over external elements makes us loose the awareness of reality.

A couple of years ago, I used to constantly stay late at work. I wanted to prove to my boss that I was a hard worker and deserved a raised. I did other odd jobs that others wouldn’t,  just to get some form of approval. When I did not get the promotion or gratitude, I immediately became frustrated and upset.

Let go of control!

The only thing that you can control is your own emotion and soul. All external elements have their own energy. Either it is people or pets. Every living being is different. So let go of the situations that make you feel .

Simple Meditation technique to get you started

To start any meditation practice, you must get comfortable. Second thing is always be aware of your breath. The breath brings you in the present moment and and helps you to focus on the “now”.

  1. Sit in a comfortable position.
  2. Close your eyes.
  3. Inhale deep until you cannot inhale any more.
  4. Hold the breath for 3 seconds.
  5. Exhale slowly through the mouth.
As you inhale focus on the sensations of the breath. How does your body feel as you expand? Is the breath cool? You can even silently repeat “Breathing in … Breathing out”.
In meditation thoughts will always come and go. That is the nature of our mind. Learn to relax in those thoughts and befriend them. It takes time to get a hang of meditation but with practice you will get there.

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Get Happy with Compassionate Meditation

“If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.” ~ Dalai Lama

Compassionate meditation is a great meditation technique to change your attitude and perception of the world immediately.

The world we live in now exist of the “I”. The “I” is the ego that inflates itself by making the world revolve around itself. “I want a new car”, “I want more money”, “I want this, that”. etc… These thoughts about the self fuel us with desire and greed that lead to frustration when they are not met. It is not bad to have goals but sometimes they skew our expectations of the real world.

So what is compassion?

Compassion is showing gratitude and appreciation in your life. It is the removal of “suffering” or emotional discomfort. Instead of letting emotions get the best of you, you look at your situation with a positive mindset.

Changing your mindset starts with your thoughts. The thoughts that go through your mind ultimately create the world that is around you. In the famous quote by Bob Richards ~ “You are what you think you are”

Compassion changes your thoughts about any situation. Compassion is not about having pity. It is also not about self-loathing. It’s about seeing the best of the situation and extracting the key lessons you can take back to your life.

Compassion is contagious!

I walked into a meeting where my manager was going off the wall. He was yelling at everyone for not hitting their targets and was placing heavy penalties on the employees. After weekend, his frustration was clearly visible form a mile away. I pushed all my negative thoughts aside about him and said

  • “He is pushing me to become better”
  • “I am thankful for his concern about me not performing my job right”

I meditated on this for 5 minutes at my desk and felt at ease. I got up and walked over to his office. Once inside, I said

“Thank you very much for pushing me to become better, Ray”.

“Are you joking?” said Ray.

“I sincerely mean it. You are just stressed because of pressure from the boss” I said smiling as big as I can.

I left the office. Within 30 minutes he had sent an apologetic email to all staff members about his outburst in the morning.

Sometimes sharing the compassionate energy with the person your love, work with or enemy can help ease a lot of tension.

How to practice Compassionate Meditation?

This is a simple exercise that can be used at the office, home and at the park.

  1. Sit in a comfortable position with your arms to the side.
  2. Close your eyes and inhale fully.
  3. Exhale out through your mouth.
  4. Recall a memory that is affecting you negatively. It could be of a loved one or someone that just really got on your nerve today.
  5. The emotional turmoil will begin inside you.
  6. Reflect on the situation that had caused it.
  7. Now say “Thank you” as if you were speaking to them.
  8. Continue “Thank you for ________”. Fill in the lesson they have taught you.

To find out what you lesson you have learnt, try asking internal questions.

- Why are you upset?

- Is it your fault?

- What has that situation taught you?

Simple fast and easy Compassion

Compassion is easy to practice and include in your daily life. When you say thank you to the person who opens the door for you or brings you coffee, mean it with your whole soul.

Compassion will nourish your heart and make the surrounding world a lot nicer place for everybody.

I would love to hear your stories about compassionate meditation. If you would like to share them, then feel free to comment below.

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How meditation helped a War veteran

This is a great story that I just read. The story is about an army vet who used transcendental meditation to help him cope with his trauma.

What Meditation Did for Me: A War Vet’s Story

“I am writing this as an 87-year-old veteran of World War II, who became a fighter pilot at the age of 19 in August 1943. After graduation from Luke Field, with 10 hours in a P-40, I was sent overseas and joined the 78th Fighter Squadron at Haleiwa on Oahu, Hawaii. Though I could fly, I was in no way prepared for combat.

“It was an exhilarating time. I was part of a team, becoming more proficient, more daring, more confident and cockier with every flight. Any fears I might have had disappeared while I mastered every maneuver my airplane and I could perform. I became a fighter pilot ready to fight my enemy, the Japanese.

“In time we flew P-47′s, then P-51′s. I became an element leader and trained other pilots, who became permanent members of our squadron. On March 7, 1945 we flew from Saipan to a small island just 650 miles from Japan: Iwo Jima. Sixty-seven thousand American Marines and 23,000 Japanese defenders faced off on 8 square miles of black sand and swirling dirt. The Japanese were protecting a piece of their homeland and the Americans were fighting for a base for fighter planes and a landing area for damaged B-29′s.

“As we taxied to our squadron area I saw mounds and mounds of dead Japanese being pushed into mass graves. The smell of death lingered on my flight suit. The sights and sounds and smell of battle remain fresh in my mind today, 66 years later. Twenty-eight thousand soldiers were killed on that small island — 21,000 Japanese and 7,000 American Marines.

“Then on April 7, we flew our P-51 Mustangs on an 8-our mission to escort B-29′s as they bombed Tokyo. I watched from 21,000 feet as little fires became bigger fires and square miles of the city burned. Not once did I think there were people on the ground. This was what we were trained to do, what we did eagerly. It was exhilarating to be flying in combat and doing my job. I was 21 years old and fulfilling my mission as an American fighting for his country. Every time I flew, I became my airplane. It was an experience I loved and never forgot.

“Sixteen of the men I flew with were killed. I never cried or even felt sad at their memorial services. Our last mission was on August 14, 1945, the day the war ended. It was over, and I came home. No airplane, no mission, no buddies. The highs of war became the lows of my life. I thought about my friends who didn’t come back. I didn’t have any goals. I needed something to do that would take me away from myself. I found an addiction that gave me some satisfaction — golf, addictive golf, six hours a day, 3-4 days a week, 12 months a year.

“Even though I had a loving, caring wife and four sons, I couldn’t hold a job. We moved a lot. My wife suffered terribly, and I never thought there was anything wrong with me. I was told I had battle fatigue, shell shock; forget it, the war is over. I couldn’t forget it.

“Then in 1975 I learned Transcendental Meditation, and my life changed dramatically. In just a few months I became comfortable with myself, more settled, more responsible, more successful as a person and a wage earner. Our lives changed, all for the better.

“I was just one of 16 million Americans who served in World War II. Today, more than 2 million Americans who have served or are still serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. Many, like me, come home confused, unsettled. They have been or will be diagnosed with PTS.

“The numbers are staggering, hundreds of thousands of young people looking for something to help them return to civilian life and lead a normal life. The help they now receive is extremely expensive: Antipsychotic and antidepressant drugs cost $300 to $1,000 a month, some $15 billion dollars a year for the next 50-60 years. Many wait to hear about their claims to receive care. The VA hasn’t enough psychologists.

“We can do better.

“Last year a young veteran friend of mine, a veteran of the Bosnia war, committed suicide. I knew him and his family. He was a normal guy when he went to war, married, two children, a good job, and a future. In Bosnia, on patrol, he spotted a sniper, got a bead on him and froze, just for an instance — enough time for the sniper to shoot and kill his best friend, his buddy, who was standing next to him. Then he shot and killed the sniper.

“When he returned home he started to drink, did drugs, dealt drugs. Divorced 10 years after he came home, he put a gun to his head and pulled the trigger.

“Many people think transcendental meditation is a religion, a philosophy or a cult. They are wrong. Meditating is not about what you think. It is about how the brain functions. What you think and believe is not affected by how you think when you do TM. All of us have the ability to sit quietly for 20 minutes a day, twice a day, repeating a word, a mantra that has no meaning and allows our brain to settle into a deeper level of consciousness, our bodies into a quiet rest that relieves stress. And our veterans are stressed out.

To that end we have started Operation Warrior Wellness, a division of the David Lynch Foundation. On Dec. 3, 2011, we will be having a fundraising event at The Los Angeles County Museum of Art, featuring Ellen DeGeneres, Russell Brand, Russell Simmons and David Lynch, all whom use TM in their lives. The funds raised will be used to teach transcendental meditation to veterans and their families and deserving young people. With the help of our fellow citizens, we can teach TM to thousands of veterans and help them to help themselves return to a normal life.

“Please visit the web site to learn more: www.operationwarriorwellness.org.”

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Lose Weight with Mindful Eating Exercises

One reason so few of us achieve what we truly want is that we never direct our focus; we never concentrate our power. Most people dabble their way through life, never deciding to master anything in particular. – Tony Robbins

When was the last time you tasted something with your tongue? Sounds a bit odd right.

I mean truly tasting the flavor and spices as it bathe’s your tongue. Can you guess the spices that were used in the lunch you ate?

If you can, then you are a genius. But for the people that are always on the go and are busy, I bet they can’t.

Eating is an emotional impulse. Some argue that it’ not, but I beg to differ. The reason I say this is because we have a choice in what we eat. When we decide what we want to eat, we can choose between  a salad or  a hamburger. If eating was not an emotional impulse then we would be satisfied with carrots, lettuce, soup, broth, broccoli etc…

With the help of corporate marketing our minds have been trained to think “Food brings comfort”. I am sure you have heard of ladies always eating ice-cream when they are sad. Eating comfort foods actually does not solve the personal problem but rather distracts it with sugary flavor.

Our mind and body are very simple. We eat because we are hungry and stop when we are full. Our body triggers the mind when it requires nourishment. But over time, we have lost our mindfulness awareness of what we eat which has led to mindless eating.

The Problem: Mindless eating

Mindless eating research done by Cornell University:

  • A diner served free red wine. This red wine was normally bought by the customers. The free wine was labeled “North Dakota” while the paid wine was “California”. The “North Dakota” wine was rated lower in comparison to “California” even though they were the same wine.

The taste of the food that we eat is perceived by our thoughts. The recognition of the flavor comes from deep rooted marketing or emotional response. The marketing culture has created emotional and flavorful expectation in our tongues. The food then recalls these expectations while eating.

This mindless eating puts on more calories and fat on our bodies in the long run.

Lets count. Lets say you snack between work with a nice chocolate chip cookie that is around 60 calories. You do this 5 days a week. Add that up and you get an extra 3,600 calories in a month!

Here is the good news. You can also lose weight doing just the opposite. If you were to simply cut out all the junk food out of your diet then you will be dropping pounds in no time. Cut out all the soda, cookies and chips.

Lose weight with Mindful eating

Having awareness while you eat is what mindful eating is about. Being Mindful means to be present in the moment and experience each sensation. Feel the food on your teeth, biting, chewing and swallowing.

Just like in meditation, our minds will wander during mindful eating. When this happens bring your focus back to your breath, then start to feel all the sensations of eating again.

Mindful Eating Exercises #1: Patience

  1. Place one item of food in your mouth.
  2. Close your eyes and do not chew.
  3. List the feelings of the food. Is it sweet? Is it cold? How is the texture?
  4. Chew very very slowly. Bring your jaw down slowly. How does the food taste against your teeth? Don’t worry if your thoughts take over. Just bring your awareness back to eating.
  5. Swallow the food item slowly. Notice how your tongue brings the piece of food to the back of the throat.
  6. Feel the piece of food going down the back of your throat.
  7. Inhale deep into your belly.
  8. Exhale through your mouth.

Mindful Eating Exercises #2: Observation

Perform this for 1 minute prior to eating.

  1. Place your food on the plate.
  2. Inhale deep into your belly.
  3. Exhale through the mouth.
  4. Focus your eye and mind on the food.
  5. Look at each ingredient and examine its content.
  6. Close your eyes.
  7. Inhale the smell and exhale.
  8. Lift your utensil and enjoy.

Mindful Eating Exercise #3: Restaurants

  • Ask the waiter to remove any extra side dishes that they might bring. If the food is in front of you, then you will eat it. My favorite restaurant always serves garlic bread with cheese. So I nicely ask the waiter not to bring it out.
  • Control the portion sizes. Restaurants now pride themselves on more food for less. Share your dish with a friend or only eat half. Take the rest home.
  • Cut the dessert. If you are really craving it, then share the dessert with some one.

Mindful eating recreates the mind-body connection. This helps you become aware of what you put into your body and how well you treat it. The exercises might seem very redundant. With practice and time, the mindful eating exercises will make eating more enjoyable. Soon you will notice the weight you have lost with mindful eating exercises.

Have I missed any eating tips?

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How to do standing Meditation

 

Standing meditation is an ancient technique from the Qi-Gong and Taoist meditation. Similar to other meditation techniques, standing meditation focuses your mind and instills inner peace. Also,  standing mediation practice is used by many martial artist to help them focus their energies.

Why Standing meditation?

Standing meditation aligns your mind and body. With your feet grounded, this alignment allows the life energy(Qi) to flow in your body freely developing calmness and mental clarity.

The body releases tension as it stands for extended period of time. This combined with deep breathing and focus helps it rejuvenate it’s energies.

Human beings experience the world in many different layers such as emotional, physical and spiritual. Each layer stores stress in its own manner. Holding stress for long periods of time will cause inner turmoil.  Thus it is vital that we release those stress points to become free.

Breaking the habit

Sometimes seated or lying meditation may not bring as much alertness. You can find yourself dozing off sometimes. I have succumbed to dozing off in my seated meditation practice.  This is how I came across standing meditation.

Standing meditation helps you change the routine and keeps you more alert. The sensations of standing is forces your mind to remain alert. Standing has a different sensation from lying or staying in a seated position because you are consciouly holding up your body.

How long does it have to last?

Standing meditation does not have to last for hours. It is completely up to your discretion. You can stand for as long or as short as you want to. Some people do it for 20 minutes while others can do it for hours.

The important concept of practicing standing meditation is to make sure that you are alert and focused.

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Meditation for Weight loss

“Our greatest battles are that with our own minds.” ~Jameson Frank

 Our minds are where everything is won or lost. The battle of losing weight and staying in great shape is formulated by our mental thoughts. Just like how we exercise our bodies to maintain its strength, we need to exercise our minds to keep it strong and focused. The mental exercise is meditation and practicing meditation can help you lose weight.

Improve focus with Meditation

Everybody always starts with amazing strength and determination. They stay on their diet for 2 weeks or 3 and then eventually start slipping into their old habits. The excuses start pile on…

“I will make up for this extra cake by running more”

“I can work out later”

…..

This happens when we lose our focus. The old mental thoughts kick back in. They pull us back into the unhelathy abyss of not taking action.

This is where meditation comes in.

Meditation is about having focus on the breath and awareness of your world. You sit in a comfortable position and only focus on the breath. As the thoughts arise, you push them aside by bringing your focus back to the breath. Doing this daily will help you combat those unhealthy thoughts down the road.

Weigh loss is a Marathon.

Weight loss is a long marathon and not a sprint. You will not become skinny in 1 week just by not eating a lot of food. Everything takes time.

Our current world runs instant gratification. Everything is instant and with a push of a button all your desire/needs are met. One prime example is the Internet. An average user will only spend 7 seconds on a website before they leave. That is a very short period of time to evaluate information. We want everything now!

Different meditation techniques(such as breathing meditation or walking meditation) and practices instills patience. Practicing daily or even weekly, by focusing on the breath, enables our mind to instill patience. The changes in our diet is life long and not just temporary.

Increase mental strength with Meditation.

Positive affirmations is a great tool to use during weight loss. Positive affirmations are all around us. They exist in the workout music that plays at the gyms. They also exist in our minds.

Affirmations are the thoughts that push us to do that one extra rep or run couple of minutes longer. Something changes in our mind that makes us work harder. That something is the positive affirmation.

During meditation, you can strengthen your weight loss beliefs by using positive affirmations and mantras. You can write one that specifically focuses on the goals you want to achieve. Make sure you write a detailed affirmation.

Example positive affirmations for weight loss:

  • “I eat low fat food and stay away from heavy carbs”
  • “I say no to high calorie food”
  • “I follow my workout plan and am always excited to hit the gym”
  • “I lose weight everyday because of my constant effort to eat healthy”
  • “I am a strong and powerful person that can do anything”

These are just some of the positive affirmations I have used in the past during my meditation practice. If you have any that you want to share, please post them in the comments.

Simple Guided meditation

Meditation is not that hard to do. People have an inclination that meditation is a very hard practice. It’s simple and easy to do. The point of meditation is having inner peace and calm. This is reached by focusing on the breath.

There are many different meditation methods but they all work around the same principle of breathing.

  1. Sit in a room that is far from distractions.
  2. Remove anything that will distract your thoughts. Turn off your cell phone, close your computer, lock the door etc…
  3. Get your body in a comfortable position.
  4. Cross your legs. If your back is hurting then support it against a wall.
  5. Close your eyes.
  6. Inhale through your nose and into your belly.  Focus on the rise and fall of the belly.
  7. Hold your breath for a count of 5.
  8. Then exhale through your mouth. Make sure you empty your belly of all air.
  9. Continue inhalation and exhalation for 5 – 10 minutes.

Meditation to stop eating

It takes time for our brains to register how much we eat. It takes 10 – 20 minutes on average for our brains to realize how full we are. Also sometimes we eat food on impulse when walking by a bakery and see a delicious cinnamon bagel. Soon enough we surrender to the temptations by buying that cinamon bagel.

Meditation can help you regain control of your eating habits. While eating, chew your food slowly. Taste every little thing about the bite you have in your mouth. Do not put another bite until you have swallowed the first one. Inhale deeply and then chew another bite. Focus on slowing down your eating rather than eating as if someone is holding a gun to your head.

When you walk by that bakery again and feel tempted to eat that delicious donut, just take a deep breath, close your eyes and realize how that is a decision that will make you feel unhappy later.

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