Keeping Your Brain Fat and Body Lean

in #health3 years ago (edited)

How to Get the Benefits of Meditation Without Meditating

You've seen the headlines, you've read the blog posts, you know you should learn how to meditate but...

The thought of sitting down and repeating "OM" on repeat, or paying attention to your breathing is just a little too hippy dippy woo woo for you.

Buddah

Never fear. As with most things, there is more than one way to skin a cat.

But first, let's talk about the benefits of meditation.
The list of benefits include:

  • Increases in productivity
  • Stress reduction
  • Mitigation of stress-related diseases such as:
    • High blood pressure
    • Chronic pain
    • Headaches
    • Asthma
    • Insomnia
    • Depression
    • Skin Disorders

Very importantly, it has been linked with a reduced loss of brain volume, in this study they found that "age-related gray matter loss was less pronounced in meditators than in controls." Think of the implications for dementia and Alzheimer's.

In another Study documenting the health benefits of yoga and meditation they found that yoga and a meditative practice increased BDNF(Brain Derived Neurotrophic factor), CAR (cortisol awakening response), boosted the immune system and contributed to an overall increase in well-being.

BDNF does a whole host of things including helping you to lose weight, improve memory, help with depression, improves insulin response and the list goes on.

Cortisol is the glucocorticoid which is secreted by your adrenal glands located atop your kidneys. Cortisol is high in the morning and drops off gradually during the day. Some of the more important functions of this hormone is regulating your sleep/wake cycle, it's a part of your fight or flight response and plays a role in regulating metabolism.

Your immune system, well, you know what that does - everything from fighting cancer to fighting the common cold. Keeping your immune system strong should, obviously, be a top priority.

Now, are you sure you don't want to give meditation a try?

Still No huh?


Using creativity as a form of meditation.

Creating art can be a form of meditation. Allowing your creativity to flow allows you to get in touch with a deeper part of yourself while releasing the tensions of the day resulting in a greater feeling of well-being.

One study researched the different psychological and physiological effects of creating art and found that those subjects who created art had better "psychological resilience (i.e., stress resistance.)"

Another creative outlet that can be akin to meditation is dancing. When you're dancing you can express your emotions using your body moving through space riding on the waves of music releasing all your pent-up feelings and negative energy from the day. Dancing has been called a moving meditation.

A study Dancing Mindfulness: A Phenomenological Investigation of the Emerging Practice found that the participants reported "improvements in emotional and spiritual well-being, increased acceptance, positive changes to the self, and increased application of mindfulness techniques and strategies to real-world living."

Conclusion


ColoredPencils

Meditation has many benefits. If you're ready to try the "real" thing there are many apps devoted to helping you begin a meditation practice. A few I particularly like are Oak-iOS, Calm-iOS, Calm-Android, Headspace-iOS, and Headspace-Android.

Otherwise, pull out your paints, crayons, colored pencils, or clay and immerse yourself in creativity.

Alternately(or also) pump up the volume and get your groove on! Dance like there's no tomorrow! Your health, both physical and emotional, will thank you.

In Peace, Love, and Health
~Tamala

Thanks to the Superhero for coming up with a catchy post title!

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This post is part of the BuddyUp Drop in the Ocean initiative.
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References:
The Many Benefits of Meditation
Forever Young(er): potential age-defying effects of long-term meditation on gray matter atrophy
Yoga, Meditation and Mind-Body Health: Increased BDNF, Cortisol Awakening Response, and Altered Inflammatory Marker Expression after a 3-Month Yoga and Meditation Retreat
BDNF
Cortisol
Why making art is the new meditation
How Art Changes Your Brain: Differential Effects of Visual Art Production and Cognitive Art Evaluation on Functional Brain Connectivity
Dance as a Moving Meditation

Image Sources - All from Pixabay:
Buddah
Paints
Colored Pencils
Girl Dancing

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Sadly there are people who still think that meditation is something related with the hippies, or that only the buddhist monks should practice. Thanks for such an insightful and amazingly documented post vouching for the power of creativity. All forms of art have an cathartic effect.

I so agree! Meditation has a lot of science behind it and is certainly not only in the purview of "hippies" or monks - although they maybe have been more associated with meditation in the past, especially in the 70's.

People from across all groups are now finding the incredible power of meditation. It is transcending what was previously thought woo woo psychology.

All forms of art have a meditative element and there is so much power behind creativity. You and your son are truly a case in point!

Thanks for stopping by!
XXXOOO ~T

...there's more than one way to skin a cat.

I haven't heard this in so long! Such a dark metaphor, and I love it! LOL

I like to color to clear my head. I can't just do nothing, but if I do a task that only uses basic areas of my brain, it's a little easier to drown out the noise from unwanted channels.

And why were people skinning cats anyway?

Only makes sense the the founder of @thesteemhouse creators space would use his creativity to meditate 😊.

Thanks for stopping by!
~T

wow!! this is awesome... expressing the creativity in you to suppress stress. but does this apply to other creative skills like DRUMMING or playing other musical instruments (since it's where you think you are most creative). so inspiring, i think i need to go get my drawing kit.

Absolutely applies to drumming and music! In fact, during my research I ran across several articles like this one Drum Meditation: The Healing Power of the Drumming Circle.

If you do get that drawing kit out do come back and post the result! I would love to see it!

Thanks for stopping by!
~T

okay... thanks

I do not need to be told twice to shake my booty, and now I can cover it in paint . Does that give me double benefits? Guess I will find out.

I never really considered being focused on making a design and feeling better after that it is a form of meditation, maybe I will accept more work more eagerly , nothing quite like being paid to meditate :)

Great research and well laid out always nice when someone does the effort to just simplify things for me.

👍

I have to agree with you @tamala I have absolutely used creativity as a means to meditate, and cope with things. It doesn't always work but you've shown me another way.... I guess different times call for different methods if you can find things that work. Thanks babe this was great... and just letting you know that you are creative, to write a post like this takes creativity hunnie... you have it!!🖤🖤

ohhhhhhhhh i looooooove the Calm app!!!! ;)
I've used it and turned more people on to it.. i think you're right - there is a stigma that comes with meditating. but when people really try it - they find that its soooooo soothing and regenerating- that they just give into it:)

and i never knew that dancing was called moving meditation!!!! that's cool!!!!!

Great post, I really love designing, it makes me relaxed.