Meditation- it’s so hot right now...but why? There’s several reasons but we’re going to let you in on a little secret. You’ve probably heard about meditation by now, maybe read about it in a magazine or have seen it on an Instagram post...but you’re still not convinced that it’s for you.
You’ve most likely heard yoga instructors claim that it can bring some serenity into your life but maybe that’s not enough of a selling point for you. Well, what if we told you that meditation can burn fat and make you look younger? Yup, you read that right.
Meditation is a brazilian butt lift for the brain and body, as it lowers hormones in our body that cause us to hold onto stubborn fat and keep inflammation high.
Did we spark your interest now?
Sitting in silence regularly helps us move out of our fight or flight mode and into our rest and relax mode. Sounds nice huh?
Our bodies are incredibly intelligent and we were designed with a nervous system that allows us to run from bears or other potential threats swiftly aka “flight mode.”
Fortunately, today we no longer have to run from bears or saber tooth tigers like we once did in our hunter and gatherer days. Unless you're Bear Grylls, he probably meditates.
Unfortunately, this system that we’ve evolved with still gets triggered by the constant barrage of text messages, angry bosses, road rage, emails,and the constant modern day stress that we go through on a daily basis, making our brains still think there is a tiger on the loose.
When this system is activated, our cortisol levels rise. Cortisol is our stress hormone that is a real friend when we need it, but a real jerk if we call on it too much.
When our cortisol levels are too high for too long, it can increase the amount of fat stubborn we hold onto (typically in the belly) -- also called visceral fat. Aka when we're constantly stressed our bodies keep us flabby, it's a real double wammy.
The way this works is because meditation physically decreases the part of the brain (the amygdala) that is responsible for fear, anger and stress.
While at the same time, meditation increases the part of your brain (the hippocampus) responsible for learning, memory, and spatial orientation. Pretty sure we’d all like to be hanging with the hippocampus a little more than the amygdala.
Did we mention meditation can also make you look younger?
Yup. Studies have shown regular mindfulness can also slow the aging process on a cellular level. A regular practice can increase the length of telomeres, which are the protective caps on the ends of your chromosomes that are linked to aging and disease, which shorten as we get older.
So meditation not only changes the shape of your body, but it changes the shape of your brain as well. Oh yeah, you can have a sexy brain and a sexy body all at the same time. Hallelugah!
3 Ways To Start Meditation Practice:
1. Meditate before you walk out the door
Set a reminder on your phone to sit in silence for 1 minute before you walk out the door to work. Set a 1 minute timer to go off and sit with your eyes closed. That’s it, 1 minute! When thoughts come up, imagine them as balloons that you pop before the thought takes over.
2. Meditate in the bathroom
Before you take a lunch break, give yourself 1 minute of alone time. Lock your office door or head to the bathroom, sit on the pot and close your eyes. Count 10 breaths. Focus on your belly expanding on the inhale and contracting on the exhale.
3. Go for a nightly meditation walk
Go for a meditation walk around the block before you go to bed at night. Put in your headphones with a playlist that makes you feel good and simply listen to the music while paying attention to your surroundings. If thoughts pop up, gently return your attention back to the present. This can help you sleep!