Meditation is a training of the mind in the sense of awareness and gaining a new perspective. More than anything, meditation actually helps you focus your mind on your own attention and energy. This encourages mindfulness, the ability of our bodies to be present in a moment, to rest and be calm and comfortable in the now and to be fully immersed in the things we do in a particular moment. 

Contrary to popular belief, meditation doesn’t necessarily require you in a sitting lotus position, but the truth is that meditation can be done while sitting, standing, lying down and even walking. Sitting still is still dubbed the best position to get a meditation session in, as it keeps the body and mind attentive since all are kept still and calm while still keeping your body attentive, versus the relaxation the body experiences when laying down. Short leaps of meditation can be done by putting the hand over the heart and taking 2-5 deep, conscious breaths to reset you. 

Often, we are too consumed by just being able to get through most anything these days and we forget the purpose of why we are doing these things, and how exactly we are executing them, which may sometimes be incorrect but are still done for the sake of finishing these tasks. This is applicable to most any of our daily tasks, but is especially important when it comes to exercising. 

Many studies have shown that meditation and exercise can individually be beneficial to a person’s overall health and mood, but being able to incorporate them with one another can make for a more effective fitness routine. Exercising helps increase the flow of bodily fluids like our blood and oxygen, which delivers biochemical boosts that help the brain feel overall happier. Meditation is able to activate the parasympathetic nervous system, which lessens the stress responses in our bodies and helps calm down the central nervous system. This affects our prefrontal cortex, in charge of our thought analysis which helps with controlling our judgment and emotions. Better control and contact with the prefrontal cortex improves great stability and concentration.

But with this comes great responsibility; someone who would typically be interested in developing their mindfulness and being centered has to be consistent, understanding his or her own mind. This consistency can form this habit and change the way the mind works in a great way, affecting any and all future actions. Doing things in a more calm and collected manner is obviously better than doing things with a cluttered mind. It opens up a new way of doing things in a whole sense.

Exercising relies heavily on the mind-muscle connection. A lot of the time, it gets us frustrated enough to wonder why we aren’t seeing enough results, but we’re still feeling the pain and soreness that comes with exercising. Incorrectly executing exercises can lead to muscle strains and other injuries. We may not be working the correct muscles needed to exert the effort with each motion, which is why we experience this soreness. Apart from this, meditation can even promote self-healing from injuries, surgeries and healing from many more bigger sicknesses and even diseases because the mind is a very powerful tool. 

Studies also suggest that the effects of both can multiply when they are done together. Both can help ease being overwhelmed and feeling anxious, which in turn can help prevent or decrease depression or depressive moods. When we start doing things with more of our mind put into it, it really changes the game for you. When added to exercise, it really helps your brain communicate to your body what it needs. 

Be sure to remember, though, that meditation is also a skill you need to develop so keep at it to be able to do it successfully. It takes a little more time to get comfortable with our minds, and it’s not exactly going to be pretty all the time. In order to come to terms with how our minds work, we also need to remember that with good thoughts also come bad thoughts. Thoughts we have yet to forgive ourselves for, harbored feelings of anger, hatred or even guilt. Meditation is supposed to help accept things for what they are, and strengthen the mind to overcome them. By practicing this again and again, we help build our minds a fortress that blocks out negative thoughts, or help you feel them if you must, but keep you from dwelling on them.

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