Thursday, August 15, 2013

Simple Ways to Live a Healthy Lifestyle

You hear a lot about living a healthy lifestyle, but what does that mean? In general, a healthy person doesn't smoke, is at a healthy weight, eats healthy and exercises. Sounds simple, doesn't it?
The trick to healthy living is making small changes...taking more steps, adding fruit to your cereal, having an extra glass of water...these are just a few ways you can start living healthy without drastic changes.


One of the biggest problems in America today is lack of activity. We know it's good for us but avoid it like the plague either because we're used to being sedentary or afraid that exercise has to be vigorous to be worth our time. The truth is, movement is movement and the more you do, the healthier you'll be. Even moderate activities like chores, gardening and walking can make a difference.

Just adding a little movement to your life can:

  • Reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes
  • Improve joint stability
  • Increase and improve range of movement
  • Help maintain flexibility as you age
  • Maintain bone mass
  • Prevent osteoporosis and fractures
  • Improve mood and reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression
  • Enhance self esteem
  • Improve memory in elderly people
  • Reduce stress

So, even if you opt for small changes and a more modest weight loss, you can see the benefits are still pretty good. One study has found that just a 10% weight reduction helped obese patients reduce blood pressure, cholesterol and increase longevity.

Simple Ways to Move Your Body

You can start the process of weight loss now by adding a little more activity to your life. If you're not ready for a structured program, start small. Every little bit counts and it all adds up to burning more calories.

  • Turn off the TV. Once a week, turn off the TV and do something a little more physical with your family. Play games, take a walk...almost anything will be more active than sitting on the couch.
  • Walk more. Look for small ways to walk more. When you get the mail, take a walk around the block, take the dog for an extra outing each day or walk on your treadmill for 5 minutes before getting ready for work.
  • Do some chores. Shoveling snow, working in the garden, raking leaves, sweeping the floor...these kinds of activities may not be 'vigorous' exercise, but they can keep you moving while getting your house in order.
  • Pace while you talk. When you're on the phone, pace around or even do some cleaning while gabbing. This is a great way to stay moving while doing something you enjoy.
  • Be aware. Make a list of all the physical activities you do on a typical day. If you find that the bulk of your time is spent sitting, make another list of all the ways you could move more--getting up each hour to stretch or walk, walk the stairs at work, etc.

Eating Well

Eating a healthy diet is another part of the healthy lifestyle. Not only can a clean diet help with weight management, it can also improve your health and quality of life as you get older. You can use the new MyPlate to determine how many calories you need and what food groups you should focus on or, if you're looking for smaller changes, you can use these tips for simple ways to change how you eat:

  • Eat more fruit. Add it to your cereal, your salads or even your dinners
  • Sneak in more veggies. Add them wherever you can--a tomato on your sandwich, peppers on your pizza, or extra veggies in your pasta sauce. Keep pre-cut or canned/frozen veggies ready for quick snacks.
  • Switch your salad dressing. If you eat full-fat dressing, switch to something lighter and you'll automatically eat less calories.
  • Eat low-fat or fat-free dairy. Switching to skim milk or fat free yogurt is another simple way to eat less calories without having to change too much in your diet.
  • Make some substitutes. Look through your cabinets or fridge and pick 3 foods you eat every day. Write down the nutritional content and, the next time you're at the store, find lower-calorie substitutes for just those 3 items.
Find more ideas for healthy foods with this Healthy Foods Grocery List.

Creating a healthy lifestyle doesn't have to mean drastic changes. In fact, drastic changes almost always lead to failure. Making small changes in how you live each day can lead to big rewards, so figure out what you can to be healthy today.

How to Make a Grocery Shopping List

A grocery shopping list can simply include fresh foods and ready-to-eat snacks, along with the additional ingredients you'll need for upcoming meals. Some foods will need to be replenished every few days and others might last for months. You can make your own grocery shopping list just a few minutes before you go to the store, but I prefer to keep a pre-printed grocery list in my kitchen. That way, whenever I run out of something I can mark off how much of that food I need, and when I'm ready to go shopping, so is my list.

What foods go on the list? Vegetables and fruits should make up the largest part of your grocery list. They're rich in vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants, and they are usually low in calories. We all need at least five or more servings every day. Choose a variety of green, orange, red, and yellow fruits and vegetables that everyone in your family will enjoy.

Most of your grain and cereal products should be made from whole grains, not from refined flours. Whole grains are important for vitamins, minerals, and for fiber, which is often lacking in modern diets. This part of your list includes 100-percent whole grain breads, pastas, and breakfast cereals. Read labels to look for 100-percent whole grain or 100-percent whole wheat to be sure you are getting whole grain products.

Your protein and meat choices should consist mostly of fresh fish, poultry and lean meats. Eggs, nuts, seeds and legumes are also good protein choices. Choose fresh and frozen unbreaded meats and fish. Avoid breaded, deep-fried convenience foods that you put in the oven. They are high in fat and sodium.

Keep beverages simple. Water, low-fat milk, juices and herbal teas are all good choices. If you opt for soft drinks, choose diet sodas and soft drinks to avoid extra sugar.

Dairy products should include low-fat milk, yogurt and cheese. If you do not want cows' milk, choose soy and rice beverages, calcium-fortified orange juice, or goats' milks and cheese.

Be careful with dressings, cooking oils and condiments. They are sneaky sources of refined sugar and poor quality oils. Read labels to choose dressings made with olive oil,canola oil or walnut oil. Choose low-fat mayonnaise for your sandwiches and choose canola oil and olive oil for cooking.

Frozen foods are a convenient way to keep vegetables on hand. There are also prepared meals that you can pop into the microwave or oven. These can be convenient and healthy if you choose low-fat versions with good portion sizes. Read labels and chose frozen foods wisely. Avoid frozen pizzas, pocket-sandwiches, deep-fried appetizers, and breaded foods.

Foods in cans and jars are also very convenient. Look for low-sodium soups, vegetables and sauces. Avoid high-fat gravies and high-calorie foods like canned spaghetti and ravioli products.

For sandwiches, choose peanut butter or other nut butters, low-fat turkey slices or sliced roast beef. Avoid processed lunch meats, sausages and hot dogs.

Don't load up on high-calorie treats and desserts. Choose fresh fruits, healthy nuts, seeds and whole grain crackers for snacks.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Do's and Don'ts in Meditation

Meditation is something that different people use for different things. Some use it to try and achieve a kind of ‘enlightenment’ in the hope that they can reach some kind of higher level of consciousness. Others try and use it to think – to ‘meditate’ on a subject and hopefully come away with a great deal of understanding. Some use it for prayer in a variety of different religions. Others use it just to relax and to try and feel better about themselves. In cognitive behavioural therapy, ‘mindfulness’ is a form of meditation used to try and not shut out thoughts, but to take a step back and listen to their content in an attempt to better understand yourself. In Tai Chi meditation is something you aim to do while in movement. With all these different types of meditation and all these different uses, one would be forgiven for thinking that there could be no hard and fast rules to abide by and that it is very much a personal experience that you can choose to engage in a variety of different ways.

And in thinking that you would be very much correct; it is fair to say that there are no real ‘set’ rules when it comes to meditation. However what’s also important to bear in mind is that in all these types of meditation there is a common theme – you are trying to direct your thought. Whether that means silencing your inner voice, listening to it, or applying it to solving a specific puzzle of problem. Meditation then is the conscious effort involved in directing your thought and in tightly controlling the content of your mind. And of course there are certain things you can use to improve your ability to do this.

First of all then, it is important to make sure that you are in a comfortable environment and that you have as close to silence as possible. At the same time, you should try to avoid distracting thoughts and focus on what you are trying to meditate on. However what you mustn’t do is to place too much emphasis and thought on the act of meditating. The thing is here that by placing too much stress on things being perfect you become stressed and less able to relax. For example, the minute you think ‘I mustn’t get an itch’ you will find you become covered in them. Some people will even mistakenly believe that they have to be completely still and thus will not scratch the itch – it is very hard to concentrate or achieve enlightenment when all you can think about is your nose. Allow yourself some time to settle in to your meditation then, and do not worry too much if your thoughts wonder a bit, or if you start to itch. Just do what you have to do to stay comfy.

Do not be too comfy however as this can create another problem – falling asleep – which is definitely in the category of meditation ‘do nots’. If you fall asleep then you will not be achieving a new brain state, but will instead just be achieving one that you are very familiar with and that you in fact spend half of your life in – sleep. This is one reason that many who practice meditation use the lotus position – as it prevents them from being able to drift off and also gives them something physical that they can concentrate on in order to focus their thoughts, while slightly numbing their legs. You can achieve something similar by sitting on a wooden chair, or even just on the floor, but not lying back on a sofa or bed in the dark. If you are really dedicated you could even make yourself a one legged stool – these force you to stay away and to concentrate as you need to balance on the stool to prevent it from falling.

Another meditation do not is to expect too much from your session too soon. Many people come away saying that ‘nothing’s happened’... and this is really missing the point rather. Enlightenment, or what was once known as enlightenment, is achieved by allowing your brain areas to shut down while keeping your conscious awareness about you. However this takes years of practice. If you just sit down for a bit and clear your mind it might not feel like much, but in fact it will have lowered your stress levels, increased concentration and generally have had a lot of very positive effects on your mind and body.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Kundalini Meditation – How to Use Kundalini Meditation

Kundalini meditation is a kind of meditative technique which is designed to tap into your capacity for 'love' and your libido. While meditation techniques – and even the end goal of meditation – can vary widely, they all are essentially aimed at directing and controlling our own thoughts so that we can learn about ourselves, increase concentration, and often relax; with kundalini meditation the focus is simply on that sexual and loving energy also described as 'pure desire'. By focussing simply on this you can then increase your own pleasure and passion. At the same time though there is of course a deeper philosophy, with this 'pleasure' sensation supposedly being the genuine 'spirit' of mankind. This is thought of as the natural self, and to release it is supposed to lead to self-realisation and nirvana.

This energy is supposed to be released by a 'guru', and the body should be prepared by physical exercise, breathing exercises (pranayama), visualisation and hatha and forms of yoga – of course it can also be awakened by meditation. Sometimes it is said to awaken naturally with no obvious reason.

Interestingly the term 'kundalini' actually means 'coiled' in Sanskrit, which has a lot to do with the visualisation techniques employed in kundalini mediation. That is to say that the kundalini is visualised as a coil, often a snake, at the base of the spine. Sometimes it can also be visualised as a Goddess or a pink 'bubble'. By getting yourself into a meditative state through a comfortable seating and breathing exercises to clear the mind, you can then begin to focus completely on that visualisation and the feelings of love that you can imagine 'radiating out of it'.

The visualisation however is not important. What is important is the ability to focus on this point and to try and use it to 'feel' the impulses of love and desire and sexual energy. Imagine it radiating out of the base of your spine and filling your body – washing you in love. Some people will then move on to think of a person that they really love and/or desire in their life – and to really focus on the feelings that person creates and then intensify them. This can strengthen your relationship in the long run, and bring about intense feelings of desire and love in the short term that will be highly pleasurable and enjoyable. It is our thoughts that control how we feel and that dictate and define our experience, so by bringing about such strong thoughts and feelings of love and passion we can experience this kind of bliss on demand.

Simple Breathing Meditation Techniques to Practice Anywhere

Meditation is often thought of as this mysterious state that we need advanced training to achieve, but actually something similar to mediation can be achieved very simply anywhere and at any time. This is especially the case as there are multiple different types of meditation and it is actually pretty loosely defined. In cognitive behavioural therapy for example, a form of meditation known as 'mindfulness' is used in which the practitioner is taught to not block out all thoughts, but to allow them to 'drift by in their mind like clouds' so that they can recognise the contents of their own mind. Meanwhile some religions use meditation as a way to achieve 'enlightenment' or 'oneness' or to pray, and others will meditate 'on' a subject meaning they simply devote thought to it. Others will use meditation as a way to relax and to silence their thoughts, and this has been shown to have many positive effects, helping people to focus, lowering blood pressure and cholesterol and generally improving calm and cognitive ability.

As such then, meditation should really be thought of as the ability to consciously control our thoughts rather than letting them control us all of the time. In particularly it is the ability to sometimes 'shut off' some or all of our thoughts so that we can concentrate or simply relax and allow our body and mind to recover. It is no wonder then that it results in a calmer existence and an increased ability to concentrate.

For many this is very hard to do and you often find that you end up with wondering thoughts that you can not silence. What may surprise you then, is that you probably have experienced states at least close to meditation on several occasions and can return to them at any point – even while going about your daily chores.

One quick way to reach a zen-like calm is to simply concentrate on your breathing, and many people already use this as a way of getting over fear or anger without even realising. It is the conscious control of thought using breathing techniques and in that sense it is meditation on a lower level. Simply when you find life is getting on top of you, take a moment out of the daily grind and concentrate on slowing down your breathing and on taking deep pleasant breaths. This does not necessarily mean using any particular breathing technique which might be specific to certain particular types of meditation, but can just be any simple and slower form of breathing that you find relaxing, and that will then have a positive knock on effect on your body, lowering your heart rate and countering the damaging effects of adrenaline.

There are many other techniques you can perform easily through the day as well which will help you achieve meditation like effects. For example, have you ever gone into a cinema to watch a film and come out feeling disoriented and confused? If so, then that is because you were so focussed on the film that you shut down other portions of your mind that weren't in use. In particular this includes the 'self aware' thought processes that we consider to be our 'inner voice' which is what monitors our environment and our higher brain functions. This is what monitors the passage of time and puts it in context with what we are meant to be doing, and as such shutting it down will mean we do not notice time passing in the same way – which is essentially a meditative calm. A far surer way to achieve this is to sit down and read a book, while other people have less mentally taxing hobbies that can achieve the same concentration – for example painting for many people can make time pass quickly and all problems go out of the window. If you struggle to meditate as such then, taking up a hobby that you are passionate about can have just the same positive effects.

Finally learn to sometimes enjoy the smaller moments in life we have when we can relax. Whatever's going on, we can almost always afford ourselves ten minutes out of our schedule to just relax. If not, even the time we spend in a lift or on a bus is time that we can relax. And yet most people spend these periods thinking about all the stress waiting for them when they arrive. Instead then, think of these points as a 'bubble of time' where you can relax completely and forget all worries and concerns. Put yourself into this bubble time whenever you get the chance and use your controlled breathing when you do, or read a book. Certainly learn that when you actually do have a day off, you can take the opportunity to really relax and make the most of having no commitments at all…

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Tips to Learn How to Meditate Right Now

Meditation is a practice that is surrounded in mystery for those not in the now. Many seem to be under the impression that it is a magical or religious exercise, or that those in the know believe it is going to bring them unusual abilities. While meditation is used in some religions however, it is also used by professionally trained therapists and other specialists and is a tool that anyone can use in their daily lives to find an inner sense of calm and to relax. There are many different forms of relaxation and the method you choose will be based on personal preference, and even the goals of meditation can vary and while some people will meditate to silence their 'inner voice', others will do it in order to focus more heavily on that voice.

For most people though the best type of meditation is that which takes them out of the daily grind and gives them a break from the 'constant chatter' which the majority of us experience in our minds 24/7. Normally we all have a voice in our head which 'narrates' what we are doing and how we feel. This voice is often the source of a lot of stress as it reminds us of what we are doing wrong, and of any problems in our life. When we try and relax, often the voice is still there and will be thinking about the washing that needs to be done, the phone calls that need to be made, and the day we are going to have tomorrow at work.

All these thoughts put stress on our body. They create stressors which our body treats as genuine threats to our safety, therefore speeding up our heart rate and flooding us with adrenaline. While this is a great response if we are facing a lion, over time if it is constant it can begin to take a serious toll on our body. At the same time all that 'background noise' can make it difficult to think clearly about the things we want to be focussed on. In meditation then we sit, we focus, and we forget the voice, and as a result we feel completely calm and relaxed – any problems we do have are forgotten, or we are at least taking a back seat and not 'engaging' with them. Regular massage has then been proven to have quantifiable benefits and to increase our health in a number of ways – lowering our cholesterol, improving things like coordination and even increasing recall and concentration. Meditation can be done by anyone anywhere, and can be achieved standing up, lying down or sitting in an arm chair.

Of course for someone who hasn't had any professional training this can be quite hard and the minute we know we are not allowed to think, it suddenly becomes impossible not to. You begin thinking things such as 'am I thinking anything at the moment?' and 'oh good I managed not to think anything!'. Similarly by knowing you are not allowed to move you often suddenly start itching and feeling uncomfortable. It is like trying not to think of a pink elephant – the minute you know about it you do.

Fortunately there are some simple tips you can learn that will help you to overcome these problems and to concentrate on 'nothing'. The first of these tips is not to place too much concern on straight away being able to achieve complete silence. This is something which many people train for years and not something you are going to be able to do immediately. Be happy to just sit and relax in the quiet of your room and to at least take a 'back seat' to your thoughts. Some distance is better than none and listening to your thoughts can have value too. In fact this is called 'mindfulness' where you observe where your thoughts go when you are not consciously trying to control them. Embrace this and see what is in your own mind – consider it an explorative journey. You can even 'meditate on' a subject, by sitting down somewhere quiet and devoting time to thinking about a problem you want to solve. Similarly you should not worry too much about keeping completely still, and you certainly do not need to be in the lotus position. Lie down somewhere comfortable on a couch, or sit up if you are worried about falling asleep (though this would not be the worst thing in the world) and if you need to scratch do. You will find you are suddenly a lot less itchy.

To help quieten that voice there are also some things you can do. The first and most important is to remove the stressful thoughts you have. While it can be okay to let your mind wander, you must not sit there worrying about how little time you have or you just will not be able to relax (which is the whole point here after all). To give yourself some mental 'space', take your concerns and agree to put them in a box where you can come back to them later after your meditation. They are not going to go anywhere, and if you are meditating now then they are not going to help you – so just forget about them until you can actually do something about it.

Then concentrate on a single space. You should have your eyes closed so this space will be a point you imagine in the black space. Normally people choose to focus on a point in the centre of their forehead between their eyes. This will help focus your thoughts and is a powerful tool to be able to focus your thoughts in daily life. At the same time try to listen to your breathing which will entertain your mind with something dull and meaningless. Breath however is comfortable to you, but just focus on this sound for a while. If you struggle with this then you can listen to 'meditation CD' of relaxing sounds and music which will help you to leave the world behind too. Listen to each individual instrument and its part and try just to 'hear' without analysing.

There are other visualisation techniques you can then use to become even more relaxed. For example, many people like to imagine a 'happy place' such as a calm island beach, or a quiet rain forest, or a log cabin in the snow. Again choose a scenario that works for you and wonder around and explore the cave. By visualising your happy place you can concentrate on creating images rather than your thoughts, and if you are meditating in order to relax then this is a great way to calm your heart rate and lessen your adrenaline.

Other visualisation techniques are more 'internal'. One popular favourite is to imagine a 'pleasant colour' such as a light blue. Start it in the centre of your forehead, and then slowly allow it to cover your face and your neck, your shoulders and your chest, your abs and spine, your biceps, your thighs and your buttocks, your calves and forearms, and finally your feet and hands. Let it completely wash over you and relax your muscles as you do.

Others like to blur the boundaries of their own body to completely 'forget' where and what they are in the universe. This might sound quite unsettling, but actually this is something which can occur anyway if you manage to shut down certain centres of your brain. To help achieve it, imagine a light in your abdomen that is 'you' and then slowly expand it outside of your physical restraints, into your room, out of your house and then out into the universe. This is a more advanced technique, but if you can focus on the experience without thought, then you can begin to feel 'body less' as well as 'thought less'.

Finally if none of these techniques work, then a great way to start is by listening to a meditation tape or CD in which a professional will talk you through the process. Be sure to shop around though (you can download many for free online) in order to find a speaker with a style that suites you.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Simple Meditation Tips

Meditating is about being able to completely switch off from the outside world and to turn inwards, about being able to focus on your own thoughts, or silence them completely. Of course with so many distractions in our day-to-day lives this can be very hard and we can find ourselves constantly losing track of our concentration and starting trains of thought. There are some ways though to help you to focus, which we will examine below.

Find a quiet place: Firstly it is important that you will not be disturbed and that you will be comfortable. It is not good trying to meditate if people are going to be walking in and out of the room all the time as this will jolt you out of your state of calm. Similarly make sure you have been to the toilet and that you have a glass of water near should you want it.

Do not place too much pressure on it: A major mistake with many people who learn meditation is that they expect to have miraculous results right away. At the same time they try to completely forbid themselves from having any thoughts at all, from itching, or from getting up to move at all. Obviously this is trying not to think of a pink elephant and immediately you will find yourself reflecting on your lack of reflection and thinking about your silent thoughts… while completely covered in itches. Instead allow your thoughts to drift and scratch or move yourself if you have the urge.

Put worries aside: One thing you must do though is to turn off any thoughts of your commitments or jobs that need doing and basically anything that makes you stressed or worried. There is nothing you can do about these things right now, so you should agree to put them in a box and to come back to them when you are finished – you can rest assured they'll still be there.

Relax your muscles: To relax your mind it can be very helpful to first relax your body. To achieve this you can use a simple technique by first tensing each muscle and then allowing it to relax completely. By first tensing this makes it much easier and much more apparent when you relax and you will end up feeling like jelly. Go through your muscles one at a time and gradually fall into a deeper level of calm as you do. Do not neglect your smaller muscles either – the tiny muscles in your feet and toes and the muscles in your face holding your expression. Each has to be fully relaxed.

Find something to focus on: The easiest way to silence your thoughts is to focus on something – for example a point in your visual field, or your own breathing. If you concentrate on these hard enough then you will lose track of your conscious thoughts and create a calm.

Get a relaxation/meditation tape: Another thing to concentrate on to silence your thoughts is to listen to some relaxing music that can again give you something to focus on. This mustn't have lyrics and a good option would be a piece of music specially designed for this purpose.

Friday, August 2, 2013

A Guide to Meditation

Meditation is an effective way to release stress and clear your mind. It may be considered as a healthy exercise that would result to a more relaxed and healthy you. If you are curious about meditation and how it is done, then you just have to make sure that you remember some basic steps to properly do it to achieve the desired results of inner peace and tranquility.

You must have a quiet and comfortable environment around you. Sit comfortably in the half-lotus position. It may take some practice but this is the common position when doing meditation. Make sure to have your straight back and your body relaxed while doing it. Your arms must be in a relaxed position on your lap. Meditation time usually takes about 20 minutes but there is no real time limit at all.

Concentrate on your breathing. This is considered as the lifeline of meditation and the heart of it all. Try to inhale and then slowly exhale out for a few times. Free your mind of thoughts and relax while doing your breathing. Keep your eyes closed all the time to concentrate on your breathing and relaxation of your body. Try to feel your breathing as part of your whole body and let your mind wander. You may also let your mind concentrate on a single idea which is about happiness and that would result to really feeling the happiness within you. You can do this for about 5-10 minutes and when you open your eyes you would feel relaxed and at peace.

Try to step into your consciousness. You can focus on your breathing to do this combined with the relaxation of every part of your body. Even with your eyes closed you are still aware of yourself and your immediate surroundings, the only difference is that you have stepped into your consciousness that is free from problems and stress. It is like letting go of all earthly material that surrounds you. Inside your consciousness you are trying to achieve peace and happiness which you may not have when not in meditation. Again this takes time and practice but with enough perseverance you can do this easily.

As meditation involves your mind you might try to quiet your mind by a visualization technique. You may still have thoughts about problems that bother you and this is helpful to calm down your mind. One recommended visualization is to visualize an ocean with a giant wave that would wash away the problems in your mind. If you are able to visualize this in your mind then you have achieved certain calmness inside you.

Just remember that meditation is a learning process. Some claim that they can do meditation in about five minutes by just closing their eyes, doing deep breathing and letting go of their mind no matter where they are. This is possible if they are already involved in a higher level of meditation. But, since you may only want to try it as a form of a relaxation exercise then you start learning the basics of proper breathing and relaxation before going to the next higher level of meditation.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

About Meditation - How to Meditate to Reduce Stress

Here you find a general definition of meditation, and an easy meditation technique is explained.


Meditation is a group of mental training techniques. You can use meditation to improve mental health and capacities, and also to help improve the physical health. Some of these techniques are very simple, so you can learn them from a book or an article; others require guidance by a qualified meditation teacher.


Most techniques called meditation include these components:

1. You sit or lie in a relaxed position.

2. You breathe regularly. You breathe in deep enough to get enough oxygen. When you breathe out, you relax your muscles so that your lungs are well emptied, but without straining.

3. You stop thinking about everyday problems and matters.

4. You concentrate your thoughts upon some sound, some word you repeat, some image, some abstract concept or some feeling. Your whole attention should be pointed at the object you have chosen to concentrate upon.

5. If some foreign thoughts creep in, you just stop this foreign thought, and go back to the object of meditation.

The different meditation techniques differ according to the degree of concentration, and how foreign thoughts are handled. By some techniques, the objective is to concentrate so intensely that no foreign thoughts occur at all.

In other techniques, the concentration is more relaxed so that foreign thoughts easily pop up. When these foreign thoughts are discovered, one stops these and goes back to the pure meditation in a relaxed manner. Thoughts coming up, will often be about things you have forgotten or suppressed, and allow you to rediscover hidden memory material. This rediscovery will have a psychotherapeutic effect.


Meditation has the following effects:

1. Meditation will give you rest and recreation.

2. You learn to relax.

3. You learn to concentrate better on problem solving.

4. Meditation often has a good effect upon the blood pressure.

5. Meditation has beneficial effects upon inner body processes, like circulation, respiration and digestion.

6. Regular meditation will have a psychotherapeutically effect.

7. Regular meditation will facilitate the immune system.

8. Meditation is usually pleasant.


Hypnosis may have some of the same relaxing and psychotherapeutic effects as meditation. However, when you meditate you are in control yourself; by hypnosis you let some other person or some mechanical device control you. Also hypnosis will not have a training effect upon the ability to concentrate.


Here is a simple form of meditation. By this meditation technique, you should concentrate in an easy manner. This will allow foreign thoughts to pop up. These are handled one by one as they appear. You proceed as follows:

1. Sit in a good chair in a comfortable position.

2. Relax all your muscles as well as you can.

3. Stop thinking about anything, or at least try not to think about anything.

4. Breath out, relaxing all the muscles in your breathing apparatus.

5. Repeat the following in 10 - 20 minutes:

Breath in so deep that you feel you get enough oxygen.
Breath out, relaxing your chest and diaphragm completely.
Every time you breathe out, think the word "one" or another simple word inside yourself. You should think the word in a prolonged manner, and so that you hear it inside you, but you should try to avoid using your mouth or voice.
6. If foreign thoughts come in, just stop these thoughts in a relaxed manner, and keep on concentrating upon the breathing and the word you repeat.

As you proceed through this meditation, you should feel steadily more relaxed in your mind and body, feel that you breathe steadily more effectively, and that the blood circulation throughout your body gets more efficient. You may also feel an increasing mental pleasure throughout the meditation.


As any kind of training, meditation may be exaggerated so that you get tired and worn out. Therefore you should not meditate so long or so concentrated that you feel tired or mentally emptied.

Meditation may sometimes give problems for people suffering from mental diseases, epilepsy, serious heart problems or neurological diseases. On the other hand, meditation may be of help in the treatment of these and other conditions.

People suffering from such conditions should check out what effects the different kinds of meditation have on their own kind of health problems, before beginning to practise meditation, and be cautious if they choose to begin to meditate. It may be wise to learn meditation from an experienced teacher, psychologist or health worker that use meditation as a treatment module for the actual disease.