Reduce Stress Through Meditation

Stress is an issue for many people living in the fast and furious 21st century. Many people when they are stressed, turn to food as a method of relief. This results in unwanted weight gain. There are techniques to manage and effectively reduce stress. One of stress reduction method that has gained tremendous momentum is meditation. Meditation techniques still the mind and focus it on calm and steady thoughts. As deliberation turns inward, the introversion frees the flow of thoughts, visions and memories aligning the mind and the body in awareness and relaxation.


Meditation and mindfulness are routes to reduce stress and regain the equanimity needed for a productive life. Many types of meditation address the importance of breathing while focusing the mind on thinking positive thoughts or visualizing constructive images. Guided meditation is a growing practice for many who desire to relieve stress and enhance the peace, health and composure of their life. With various guidance topics and recordings available, meditation, sometimes termed “centering,” calls the individual to tune into the body and breathe with the energy force of the world.


According to Andrew Weil, M.D., “Practicing regular, mindful breathing can be calming and energizing and can even help with stress-related health problems ranging from panic attacks to digestive disorders.” This reduction in stress levels often results in creating a positive energy flow through the body that can prove effective in alleviating anxiety and even chronic pain. With relaxation of the muscles and nerves, blood and energy flow more freely to all parts of the body generating an enhanced feeling of well-being.

Proponents of mindfulness and breathing additionally laud “Improvement of body luster and general health” and “improvement in concentration” as benefits of meditation.

Though meditation is essentially a spiritual practice reaching across cultures throughout recorded history, its purpose elaborates as it is embraced. Individuals involved in guided breath meditation often evolve their practice to explore the very nature of themselves as they find success in dealing with problems and issues.
Relaxing at Beach.
Interviews with people involved in meditation reveal that it can be an antidote for depression, stress and even fear. Offering increased joy, confidence and health, advocates find that meditation and breathing exercises assist them in gaining strength, when combined with yoga, and general health as they make meditation a way of life. Mindful breathing when combined with meditation helps practitioners to expand their horizons of life consciousness.


Process and methods of meditation span a wide range. A simple Zen practice of counting breath exhalations up to five and then repeating is a good place to begin. This simplified technique means that while never counting above the number 5, the breathing meditation can continue for hours.

With guided meditation processes your imagination is exercised as you are piloted through a journey. Often a word of intention is selected as a focus for breathing and meditation that helps with discovery of healing and healthful realizations. Frequently, practitioners of breathing, mindfulness and meditation utilize recordings. This accompaniment of appropriate music or sounds of nature can add depth and texture to the experience. Recordings are readily available in stores and online. Also, you may decide to compose a recording of your own from music, poetry or quotations that you find inspirational.

Many times meditations will begin with concentration on one aspect of the body such as the breath. As you begin a meditation it is necessary to find a comfortable sitting position. Once sitting comfortably with eyes closed, you will be guided to hold your stillness and breathe deeply. Initially you will turn your mind to focus on your breathing, shifting your attention to inhaling and exhaling. As you breathe deeply you will notice your body becoming relaxed. Then there will be guidance to concentrate on other areas of the body moving from the right side to the left side. For instance, focusing on the right shoulder as you breathe noticing the muscles there and imagining those muscles becoming a stream of liquid as you breathe. This will be repeated with the left shoulder and so on moving your focus around the body as lead by the recording or leader of the meditation.

As the meditation progresses, you will transition into listening to words that you have selected. Slowly, you will begin visualizing these words or ideas with your mind’s eye. It is these words that guide you through the meditation giving your subconscious time to flow along with the meditative message or visualizations.

Meditation is such an enjoyable and healthful experience that is sometimes necessary to tear yourself out of the elixir that it manifests. Closing the meditation is like saying goodbye to a pleasant journey though the next journey into mindfulness and peace already beckons.

Relaxation Tips

  • Finding a comfortable sitting position is vital to effective meditation and stress reduction.
  • Achieving relaxation and breathing requires a comfortable position for reflection. Sitting with head slightly tilted forward and hands folded or placed palm up on the knees is recommended for guided breathing mediation.
  • It is frequently the case with daily stress that the tongue is glued to the top of the mouth. If so, relax the tongue to rest at the bottom of the mouth inside the teeth.
  • As you progress in your mediation you will often experience distraction, return gently to focus on your selected message and your breathing.
  • Finding a regular spot to meditate daily supports guided meditation by giving place to it in your life.

Incorporating meditation in your life, will help you feel better about yourself, reduce stress, help you to stop using food as a crutch…thus leading to weight loss. I think much of our stress is self-imposed and prevents us from reaching goals we set for ourselves (ie: weight loss).

Give meditation a try and come back and share how it’s helped you with your life goals.

Resources on the Meditation Process and Exercises

General Meditation Resources

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Free Weight Loss Studies & Diet Clinical Trials

Have you ever wondered where Universities and Drug Companies find people to participate in their weight loss clinical trials? By utilizing the internet, companies and universities open these studies to a wide audience. Trying all types of weight loss programs, pills, and diets can be very costly. All these clinical trials are available at no cost. Some of these studies even pay you to participate.

The University of Kentucky has done/do all types of studies. They did clinical weight loss study which was quite impressive. They completed a 44 week weight loss study where the average weight lost was 134 pounds. WOW!!!!!

The University of Kentucky is located in Lexington. They have various studies available in which you can participate if you meet the criteria. The study on diet programs: You can also put your name on a list for upcoming studies.  You can check out the U of Kentucky program here.

Weight Loss Study.
There is another site in which offers various clinical trials. They cover a multitude of conditions as well as weight loss. All you have to do is type in what type of research you are interested as well as which area and it will research clinical studies available in that field for that area. The site is called Clinical

A site which does clinical research on various types of cancer is the, National Cancer Institute. At this site you can find a clinical trial in which to participate. At this site, Yyou can also read the results of studies done on various types of cancer.

Another site which recruits people for various clinical research is clinical connection. At this site, you can sign up for type of research that meets their criteria. If there isn’t a clinical trial available when you are research, you can sign up using key words (eg: obesity, weight loss, gastric bypass surgery, diet, hypertension) for a study in which you are interested. When a clinical trial becomes available that meets your needs, they will notify you. They have an introductory video called Clinical Trials Guide. It will walk you through how to use the site.

Clinical Connection also has a message board in which you can discuss health as well as clinical trials. Presently, there are over 100,000 clinical trials going on in the United States. There are also over 100,000 international studies available through out the world.

Last but not least is another site in which you can apply to be a participant in various clinical studies. This site is called Center Watch. This site covers a multitude of studies, ranging from weight loss to breast cancer. The studies are carried out in all parts of the country.

If you have a local university near your home, check with the research department to see what type of studies they are doing. You may find one you are interested in participating.

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Diet Tips

10 Easy Diet Tips That Will Work For You!

Losing weight is often one of the best things a person can do for optimal health and wellness. Being overweight can damage to the heart, contribute to high blood pressure and be hard on the joints, to name just a few of the problems that may be caused by carrying around excess weight day after day. Dropping even a few pounds can pay off handsomely in increased health and energy.

While losing weight is extremely important for the overweight or obese, dieting can be intimidating and is difficult for many people. Successful, permanent weight loss requires diligence and a workable plan. When contemplating weight loss, choose a nutritionally sound diet plan. Regardless of which diet is being pursued, try these helpful tips to make the whole dieting experience easier.

Diet Tip #1 – Eat Less, Move More
Excess weight is simply excess calories stored on the body. To get rid of excess weight, eat fewer calories than are consumed and get some exercise. While this may seem elementary, too many dieters do not adhere to this basic principle. The added advantage of eating less and moving more is that exercise will increase fitness while simultaneously burning calories, which in turn will increase the metabolism and cause the body to use more calories even while at rest.

Diet Tip #2 – Try Diet Friendly Substitutes
Consider where calorie-saving food substitutions can be made. Read labels or do some research online to determine where significant savings can be achieved. For instance, replace whole milk with low fat milk, or better yet, fat-free milk. In recipes, substitute plain yogurt for sour cream. For a snack, choose raw vegetables over chips or crackers. To get the salt to stick on popcorn, use a light coating of cooking spray rather than melted butter. Breakfast Cereal.

Diet Tip #3 – Beware of Low Fat or Fat Free Foods
Carefully read the label on any item claiming to be low fat or fat free. High calorie substitutes, such as high fructose corn syrup, are often used to enhance flavor and texture in low fat or fat free foods. In addition, to increase palatability, many of these items rely on chemical substitutions that may be undesirable.

Diet Tip #4 – Become Familiar with Portion Sizes
Use a measuring cup and diet scale to determine exact portions. Correct portion size is often difficult to estimate, leading to over consumption of the food in question. After portion estimation proficiency is achieved, periodically recheck portion weights or measures to ensure continued accuracy.

Diet Tip #5 – Use Small Plates and Cups
Make portion control easier by using smaller plates and cups. Having food arranged so that the plate appears full eases feelings of deprivation. Use a measuring cup to determine the exact volume of various cups or glasses. Use a permanent marker to indicate specific measurements on frequently used items. Purchase a toddler or child-size divided plate to help control food portions at meals or when snacking.

Diet Tip #6 – Forego Second Helpings
Limit meals to one helping of each food. Eat slowly, putting the fork down between each bite. Drink plenty of water and extend mealtime as long as necessary to ensure that satiety is reached without indulging in a second helping. Include raw vegetables with each meal to provide a healthy, low calorie option if the temptation for seconds cannot be resisted.

Diet Tip #7 – Control the Environment
Make dieting as easy as possible. Stock the pantry and refrigerator with diet friendly foods. To avoid relapse in times of weakness, get rid of all high calorie foods or any item that may lead to uncontrolled consumption. Have appropriate snacks on hand at work or in the car. Make wise food choices easy by preparing meals at home and taking a lunch each day rather than eating out and relying on willpower.

Diet Tip #8 – Eat on Purpose
Don’t be afraid to get in touch with hunger. Discover what true hunger really feels like. Treat this as research and document all findings. Observe what happens to the body as hunger approaches and how long it takes the physical feeling of hunger to subside even when no food is consumed. Also, pay attention to any emotional reactions that may arise. Strive to develop a sense of actual hunger so that eating becomes a purposeful activity designed to sustain the body only rather than fill other needs.

Diet Tip #9 – Treat Yourself Well
Dieting can be hard work. Pamper yourself during this time by getting enough sleep and enjoying non-food-related treats. If a slip occurs, it is not the end of the world and should not be the end of the diet. A slip is nothing more than a momentary failure. Simply forgive yourself and move on without recrimination.

Diet Tip #10 – Drink Water Before Meals
Drinking a glass of water 15 minutes before you eat makes it easier to feel full sooner, and makes it harder to eat as much.

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