Benefits of Meditating to Music

1206703_68012983 ilcoWe all recognize the affect music has on us. Some music makes you want to get up and move, while other music has repeating rhythm that can put you in a trance. Music can also increase aggression while other music can be calming and peaceful. There are reasons why music affects our bodies and mood. Have you ever thought about why music is a key element in meditation?

Music bypasses your conscious mind and goes directly to the part of the brain that controls emotions and vital pulses. Music used to meditate to is often slow, methodical, and simple. This is not done by chance; music played at 60 beats or less per minute has been shown to:
* Slow down metabolic responses,
* Decrease stress and tension level,
* Helps regulate stress hormones,
* Deepens breathing,
* Slows down heart rate,
* Decreases blood pressure,
* Increases “feel good” endorphins,
* Strengthens the immune system,
* Aids the body in healing itself,
* Improves body movement coordination,
* Decreases anxiety and depression,
* Slows down and equalizes brain waves, 
* Strengthens memory and learning,
* Boosts productivity,
* Stimulates digestion, 
* Generates a sense of safety and well-being. 
There are so many options to choose from for music to use in your personal meditation. Ask others what they use, join mediation groups, look up meditation music on iTunes or Amazon (I hope to release a relaxation album in 2013 as well). More importantly however, focus on how the music makes you FEEL and use what you respond to best because we all unique. 
As you can see, the benefits to using music in mediation are many and this only scratched the surface! We can all greatly benefit from practicing daily meditation and using music designed specifically for it.

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4 Ways Meditation Can Help You Lose Weight

1030686_25798160 AcEWeight loss and meditation don’t seem to go hand in hand. When people want to lose weight, they normally focus on exercising more and changing their diet. Meditation is thought of a practice that is relaxing to the mind and doesn’t exercise the body. Therefore on the surface, it looks like weight loss and meditation have nothing to do with each other, but when you look deeper, meditation is possibly THE missing piece in your weight loss success. 
What’s the first step in losing weight? Is it getting a gym membership? Or buying a whole bunch of produce? No, the first step to losing weight is within the mind. You have to DECIDE you want to do it first and what steps you need to take. Meditation is not only used to relax the mind, but it’s key to directing your mind in a positive direction.
Here a just a few ways meditation can help you lose weight:
Meditation strengthens your mental muscles.
We all “know” what we need to do to lose weight, but yet most of us find it hard to actually follow through. By meditating daily, you’re focusing inward before focusing on the outward activities of losing weight. Instead of relying on will power and resolve alone (which doesn’t work) to lose weight, not eating the cookies hidden in the kitchen, with meditation you’ll find that over time, the desire to eat those cookies will vanish. You’ll find you won’t have as many food cravings as before and will have a revitalized “can do” attitude. 
Meditation encourages you to take care of yourself.
Let’s face it, more times than not we put everyone else’s needs before our own. Daily meditation, regardless of how much or little you do, makes you feel good. You’ll start craving doing more good things for yourself, which most of the time includes eating healthy and also exercising. You’ll start feeling more fulfilled in more aspects of your life.
Meditation decreases stress.
Studies show that the stress hormone cortisol decreases the body’s ability to fight off fat. Any activities that help decrease stress, therefore decreasing and releasing cortisol, will increase your success at losing weight.  Allowing yourself a few minutes a day to relax from the hustle and bustle from the day can be a weight loss boost. Meditation can help you stay calm and balanced during challenging times and assist you in determination to lose weight.
Meditation can decrease emotional eating.
Meditation can also be helpful for emotional eaters because of the stress relief and relaxing effects. Emotional eaters tend to eat out of a need to fill a void in their lives instead of eating out of hunger. Many things can create a void; a stressful day with the kids, exhaustion and depression, an argument, or anything else that creates powerful emotions. People are often unaware that they eat food as a reaction to circumstances, medicating their emotions. Meditation can bring balance and harmony to the mind, body, and soul, substituting the need to medicate with food. 
By meditating daily not only will you be more relaxed and centered, but you could also be increasing how efficient your body burns fat and give your diet a much needed extra push.

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