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Meditation for the Nation...

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So I'm no hemp clad tofu eater who doesn't shave my armpits, and I don't have ambitions to levitate any time soon (well...). But meditation is seriously changing my life right now.

First let's call it mindfulness, not meditation. I was dragged extremely hungover to a head-space event in Hyde Park in London by a pal a few months ago, and after not expecting much I left feeling amazing.

If you've ever been stressed or found yourself in conversation with someone when you're actually thinking about something else then I imagine taking a second to be mindful could probably make your life better. Think less tie-dye wearing hippies in a commune singing com-buy-ar and more casually being a bit more in tune with how you're feeling about life. And even if you might think its a load of new-age gibberish, you can't deny the science behind the benefits...

A study performed at Stanford using brain scans found that an 8-week mindfulness course reduced the reactivity in the amygdala - the part of the brain that triggers fear, and increased activity in the areas that help regulate emotions. And researchers from Harvard discovered corresponding changes in the physical structure of the brain with a similar meditation course; there was a lower density of neurons in the amygdala and greater density of neurons in the areas involved in emotional control providing a realistic and maintainable stress management technique. Basically proving that the mind is a muscle that can improve with workouts too. Filmmaker David Lynch is so convinced of the benefits he credits it for his creativity and is shelling out a million dollars for military personnel and veterans suffering from post traumatic stress to try some. Gisele says it got her through pregnancy, and everyone from Hollywood A-lister Orlando Bloom to media mogul Russell Simmons is taking some time to work on their brains.

I'd say I'm generally a happy person and love technology but as it and we evolve, so do social pressures - and our calendars. I commend the reader who worries for nothing but personally I've experienced a wealth of concerns lately from the modern manifestation I'm not having as much fun as other people on Facey B to the need to respond to instantly to emails round the clock. Talk of social jet-lag has highlighted our slightly unnatural working ways in the west, and I've definitely noticed I'm unofficially sponsored by Starbucks latte's. For the ambitious the risks to worry about are only greater, interestingly entrepreneurs have been found to be particularly prone to meditation.

Getting some omm chi in your life doesn't have to take up all your time, there's a range of meditations you can do - some even taking just taking 60 seconds out of your day, try out these - minute. To be honest I've become such a fan of the new vibes in my life I'm considering taking it to the extreme with Vipassna, where you keep your pie whole completely closed for 10 whole days (hmmm I'll let you know how it works out). Well hell even Oprah's doing it...

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