By Justin Cowart
We have heard for many years that mind over matter is one of the most important parts of mastering life and living our dreams. However, knowing something on an intellectual level and understanding it from an experiential level is completely different.
When it comes to your health, you need BOTH street smarts and book smarts in order to stay healthy and balanced.
Scientists all over the world have started to study and prove the powerful benefits of meditation and how it can help you improve your health and increase your levels of self-mastery.
Through the power of mental focus and awareness, you are much more able to observe what is really going on inside of your body and get back in touch with what is happening deep down.
Using Mindfulness Everyday Keeps Glucose Levels Balanced
If you are less familiar with meditation, then I recommend learning mindfulness. Mindfulness meditation is a practice where you become very present and tune in to your senses both inside and outside of your body.
An example of this is to notice all of the sights, sounds, smells, tastes and overall feel of the world around you. After you have a meal, for instance, tune in to your stomach and focus on what you are feeling. Is you stomach heavy, light, upset, painfed, tingly, hot or cold? Start feeling into yourself and just observe the reality as it is.
If you are already a hard core meditator and want to take it to the next level, I highly recommend a vipassana meditation coarse to fine tune your skills and really come to understand every inch of what is going on inside of you.
The Science Behind Mindfulness
“Everyday” mindfulness is an inherent trait of being aware of one’s own present feelings and thoughts. In a new study involving 399 different people that sought to measure the health indicators, including the dispositional mindfulness and also blood glucose levels, the researchers were able to find out that those that had higher scores for mindfulness were significantly more likely than people who scored low to have healthy glucose levels in their body.
The results of this study are also part of a larger program that is led by researchers from Brown University who are studying whether or not interventions that help to increase mindfulness can actually have a positive improvement on cardiovascular health.
The overarching hypotheses of the researchers was simple and focuses on people who are actively practicing higher degrees of mindfulness. The researchers believe that these people may actually be better able to push themselves to resist cravings for high-fat and sugary treats and stick more strongly to diet and exercise regimens that are recommended to them by their doctors.
The researchers sought to be able to identify multiple factors that might lead to an overall explanation of the connection they observed between healthy glucose levels and higher mindfulness. The analysis of the data from their study show that obesity risk and sense of control both greatly contribute to this particular link.
The authors, who were lead by Eric Loucks, said that,
“This study demonstrated a significant association of dispositional mindfulness with glucose regulation and provided novel evidence that obesity and sense of control may serve as potential mediators of this association.”
The participants who had higher levels of mindfulness were about 20% less likely to be diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, though just be aware, this may have been just an observation by the researchers since the total number of people who participated in this study with this condition may have been a little too small to allow the needed space for definitive findings.
“There’s been almost no epidemiological observational study investigations on the relationship of mindfulness with diabetes or any cardiovascular risk factor. This is one of the first. We’re getting a signal. I’d love to see it replicated in larger sample sizes and prospective studies as well.”
I can attest through personal experience that daily meditation has had a huge, positive effect on not only my health, but my overall quality of life. So much so that I have incorporated meditation into my daily routine and I strive to sit in meditation for at least 2 hours a day.
Meditation has even helped me significantly with my eating habits. I used to be one of those people who would opt for a huge slice of pizza or a trip to taco bell or even a batch of chocolate chip cookies over healthier snacks like almonds or vegetables.
I am not saying that 2 hours is the required amount of time that someone has to meditate, but for me, this amount of time works best. But for you, it could be different. Even just 5-10 minutes of meditation a day can make a huge positive change in your life, from being more calm in stressful situations all the way to interacting with individuals who would otherwise be intolerable.
At one point I had a huge anger issue and after adding daily meditation into my life, I have found myself more calm, understanding and loving to everyone and just about everything I come into contact with.
If you are one who practices meditation, how has it helped you with your cravings for unhealthy confections? How has it impacted your life? We would love to hear all about it in the comments below.