The title of this article may sound like the name of an Oprah’s Book Club reject. However the results of numerous studies suggest that you can actually lose pounds and inches from your body with the help of meditation.
To under how this claim could possibly hold truth, you must first understand what meditation is and how it affects the brain.
FreeMeditation.com describes meditation as “a state of profound, deep peace that occurs when the mind is calm and silent, yet completely alert.”
It is commonly believed that in order to achieve a meditative state, one must be seated in a quiet environment, chanting a mantra. While these are definitely options, the website goes on to explain that meditation can be completed anywhere, at any time, even while working. The true importance is the mind, specifically the brain, is at ease.
During a session of meditation, our brains are actually changing.
The medial prefrontal cortex is part of the brain that processes personal experiences and perspectives. The lateral prefrontal cortex is part of the brain that processes emotional responses like fear. Naturally, to keep us safe, these two parts of our brains work closely together in order to avoid dangerous situations.
For example, looking up and noticing a gray-green sky is something that happened to you previously before a large tornado struck. Therefore, the next time you see a gray-green sky, you will feel fear.
This close-knit relationship was once key to human survival. However, in a modern time like today, the relationship can cause overwhelming stress and anxiety about things that will not cause physical harm, such as work, school, and money.
Meditation works to loosen the bonds between the medial and lateral prefrontal lobes. This makes daily situations, such as missing the bus to class or missing a deadline, less likely to cause stress or anxiety because your brain can identify the true nature of the situation rather than automatically going into flight or fight mode.
So how does this science deal with becoming healthier?
Much of the reason why dieters overeat or make unhealthy food choices is due to some form of stress. With meditation, you are slowly and intentionally letting go of much of your stress. Therefore, with a daily dose of meditation, you will be less likely to cheat yourself on your diet.
It may sound like a simple solution, but the key is achieve tranquility, which can prove to be tough in such a fast-pace environment.
One method is to meditate in the morning. Your mind is the clearest when you first wake up. It also tends to be quieter in the morning before the world starts to stir around.
Another trick is to meditate during a time when you have the most cravings. For a lot of people, that time is late at night. During meditation, your mind will be clear enough to determine if you are physically hungry or stressed about something.
By adding meditation to your daily routine, not only could you see a reduction in your waistline, but also a reduction of stress, anxiety, and agitation.