Month: August 2020

Why Should You Meditate

Isn’t your brain standing still? Are the thoughts in your head overflowing? Then meditation can probably help you well! By meditating, you learn to let your thoughts come and go. This way, the chaos in your head will gradually decrease, and you will get your thoughts back in order.

What is meditation?

Meditating is a form of spiritual practice and a way to train your brain. By meditating, you can give your thoughts and daily stimuli a place. There are many ways of meditation and many reasons to start with it.

Why are you meditating?

You can use meditation for different purposes. For example, there are people who meditate to relax, to get to know themselves better, or to learn to focus their attention. Meditating not only helps you to get more in balance, but it can also give you insights into who you actually are as a person.

So meditation has a great effect on your psyche, but research shows that meditation also has a beneficial effect on your body. Our brains, in particular, seem to change by meditating. People who meditate often have less brain activity in the areas related to anxiety and depression.

How do you meditate?

Create a peaceful environment

In meditation, you can choose how you do it. So you can choose to meditate with or without music, inside or outside, with or without light and alone or with others. The crutial fact is to create an environment where you can relax while meditating.

Take a comfortable position.

In addition, adopt a pleasant posture while meditating. Do you prefer a sitting position? Then sit cross-legged. Make sure you keep your back straight. Don’t like a sitting position? You can also meditate lying down. Place your legs straight on the floor and a little apart. Place your arms at your sides and keep your thumb and index finger together.

Concentrate on your breathing

Are you sitting or lying well? Then focus on your breath: Breath in and out gently. While meditating, all kinds of thoughts probably come to mind. These thoughts are there, and you don’t have to push them away. Above all, do not pay attention to your thoughts while meditating, so do not delve deeper into them. It is not surprising if you are regularly distracted by your thoughts at first. Just pick up the concentration on your breath again!

Practice

Are you wondering if meditation is for you? Then we have here a breathing exercise for you to try:

  • Release the stress in your body by breathing in deeply through your nose. Use abdominal breathing for this; your chest does not have to rise.
  • Stretch your breath for a while, then release the air slowly through your mouth.
  • While breathing, imagine that you exhale a little tension with every exhalation. This way, the air takes all your stress with you and leaves your body. This way, you get more relaxed with every exhalation.
  • Try to keep meditating for at least 20 minutes. Often all kinds of thoughts pass by that try to disturb the mediation. In any case, make sure to keep going until you are through this phase.
  • Slowly awaken from your meditation by moving gently. First, move your fingers and toes. Then you can slowly lift your legs and sit up or stand up from your meditation.

Meditation and sleep

Do you sleep badly, and can you use a better night’s sleep? Then sleep meditation can help you with this. A major cause of insomnia is stress. Stress often causes all kinds of thoughts to haunt your head. Meditating lowers stress and stimulates the production of melatonin. Melatonin is a sleep hormone that helps you fall asleep and sleep well.

Do you continue to experience sleep problems? In that case, contact your doctor. He can investigate where the complaints come from you!

What is Cortisol?

Cortisol is also known as the stress hormone. The hormone is generated in the adrenal glands in result to a stress stimulus. It’s a method for your body to act quickly in tensed circumstances: Cortisol can boost your energy levels so you can fight or flee.

With most stress stimuli you experience nowadays, fighting or fleeing is not necessarily an option, such as a discussion, irritation, or high workload. As a result, the produced cortisol is not used, but the hormone accumulates in your body. The result can be too high a cortisol level in your body. As a result, you may experience a greater appetite (and more carbohydrate cravings ), fast aging, restlessness, and less energy.

How do you recognize a high cortisol value?

If you’re not feeling well, it makes sense that you want to do something about this. But how to know that you have a too high cortisol value, or that it might be something else? check below symptoms:

  1. You are often tired.

Although you might think that cortisol gives you more energy, it can make you feel very tired. A high cortisol value can deplete the adrenal glands. This can cause you to become chronically fatigued.

  1. Your immune system can weaken.

Cortisol can ensure that bodily functions that are not useful during a fight-or-flight response are put on the back burner. An example of this is the functioning of the immune system. Due to a high cortisol value, it may be that you are much more susceptible to getting sick.

  1. You get a belly

Most cortisol receptors are located in the abdominal area. When your cortisol level is high, you may, therefore, retain more fat in this area. The body thinks you will need this energy during a dangerous situation.

  1. You have a greater need for sugars.

Cortisol can help restore the energy balance in the body. This may make you more hungry for sugars. If you eat too much sugar, blood sugar levels can fluctuate, which can lead to sugar cravings.

  1. Blood pressure can change.

If your body stores cortisol for a long time, it can also affect your blood pressure in the long run.

  1. Your libido has decreased.

Cortisol can contribute to a disrupted hormone level. When your cortisol level is elevated for a long time, this can lead to a decreased libido.

  1. You often suffer from a nervous feeling.

Because you produce a lot of stress hormones, you can also experience a lot of stress. This can make you feel overwhelmed, anxious, or panicky on a regular basis.

  1. Suffer from back problems and headaches

The adrenal glands can become exhausted when you experience stress for a long time. It is possible that you experience pain complaints faster, for example, in your back or in your head.

If, after reading this article, you think your cortisol level is too high, contact your doctor and request a saliva test.