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How Meditation Conquers AddictionIt seems that nearly all of us are addicted to something: whether its alcohol, tobacco, food, coffee, prescriptions, or illegal substances. Here, we discuss 7 physiological and psychological reasons meditation is the best, most effective way to naturally overcome any addiction.

#1 — Meditation Gives Us A « Natural High » Through The Brain’s Happiness CenterOvercome Addiction Naturally With Meditation

Just as our favorite mind altering substances cause us to get high and crash, scientists have confirmed the same thing happening in the brain of people with addiction.

A 2002 study published in the The American Journal of Psychiatry (Goldstein et al) examined the role of certain brain regions in drug addiction. What were the results?

They found that the brain’s happiness center, the prefrontal cortex, to be super stimulated during intoxication (the « fix »), and incredibly under-active during withdrawal (the « crash »).

Overcome Addiction Naturally With Meditation

If only there was a better way to activate the prefrontal cortex! Thankfully, there is.

prominent 2005 study by Harvard neuroscientist Dr. Sara Lazar showed that meditators had significantly more neural density, cortical thickness, and overall activity within their prefrontal cortexes.

What does this mean for people wanting to overcome addiction?

Meditation will stimulate and train your brain to be happy and « naturally high », without the need for alcohol, prescriptions, marijuana, drugs, cigarettes, or any other addictive substance to feel good.

Overcome Addiction Naturally With Meditation

Note: Piling on the evidence, meditation also supercharges the brain and body with endorphins, another super pleasurable natural brain chemical. The effect is so strong, in fact, that the so called « meditator’s high » has shown to be stronger than the well-known « runner’s high. »

Meditators have been happy, addiction free folks for millenia. It is good to see hard science confirming age-old mindful wisdom.

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#2 — Meditation Elicits The Same Brainwaves That Doctors Use To Treat AddictionOvercome Addiction Naturally With Meditation

A 2005 study published in The American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse (Scott et al) looked at 121 patients going through an inpatient substance abuse program.

The participants were given EEG biofeedback training, which put simply, puts the brainwave patterns of the user into a more advanced state of consciousness (here they used alpha & theta waves). What were the results?

Incredibly, at a one year follow up, 77% of patients were completely drug free.

What is the best way to train the brain into the super beneficial alpha-theta state without expensive biofeedback therapy? Meditation.Overcome Addiction Naturally With Meditation

As numerous EEG studies show, alpha and theta brainwaves dominate during a meditative state.

Indeed, the brain research community has built a mountain of evidence showing that meditation can help immensely in beating addiction, healthily and naturally.

(Note: Good thing for you, our programs focus on these super beneficial brainwaves. Access the limitless lenefits of meditation quickly, safely, & easily with EquiSync®.)

#3 — Meditation Makes You A Master Of « Urge Surfing »Overcome Addiction Naturally With Meditation

Anyone suffering from addiction knows about the « urge » — the overwhelming, tunnel-vision like, super-powerful impulse to satisfy your craving.

It can seem like our addictions can sometimes « do us » rather than « us doing them. »

What then, is the best way to loosen the stranglehold these self-destructive impulses have over our lives?

Overcome Addiction Naturally With Meditation

Meditation. The key to witnessing these impulses instead of being controlled by them, meditation works not by suppression (which makes things worse) — but by allowing the mind to simply step aside from the waterfall of addictive thoughts.

The meditative mind neutrally observes the coming and going of urges and cravings in a very unnemotional and detached way.

When meditation puts you back into the driver seat of your mind, urges downgrade to just another thought, powerless to manipulate you in any way.

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#4 — Getting Our « Fix » Releases The #1 Pleasure Chemical: Dopamine. Meditation Does Too, But NaturallyOvercome Addiction Naturally With Meditation

A 2004 study published in Molecular Psychiatry (Volkow et al) found that when an addict gets their « fix », high amounts of the euphoric brain chemical « dopamine » flood certain brain regions like the « nucleus accumbens ».

Conversely, the study found dopamine levels to be extra low at other times (the crash) — which ultimately forces the brain into seeking more of the drug’s temporary dopamine boost, creating a vicious cycle.

The researchers postulated how important it was to find a healthy and natural dopamine-releasing activity to effectively counter addictive behavior. If only there were a super powerful, all natural solution?

Overcome Addiction Naturally With Meditation

There is, meditation! A landmark 2002 study at the John F. Kennedy Institute (Kjaer et al) found that dopamine levels of participants were boosted by a whopping 65% during meditation.

Just as important, meditators dopamine levels remained at an optimally healthy range when not in meditation. In other words, no crashing.

When meditation makes you feel so good, healthfully and naturally, there are no biochemical or psychological potholes that need to be filled through addiction.

Access the limitless benefits of meditation quickly, safely, and easily: Get started with EquiSync®

#5 — Study: Meditation Is « 6 Times More Effective » Than Traditional Drug TreatmentOvercome Addiction Naturally With Meditation

A 2006 study by University of Washington researchers (Bowen et al) examined 78 substance addicted prison inmates for three months.

The participants were taught meditation for 10 days, and given questionnaires to self-report their drug use at day 0 and again at day 90. What were the results?

Amazingly, the study found that inmates who practiced meditation for 3 months drank 87% less alcohol, and used 89% less marijuana.

Furthermore, meditation was found to be almost 6 times more effective than the control group’s more traditional chemical dependency treatment plan.

Another incredible example of the limitless power of meditation, especially for those who want to rid their lives of addiction.

#6 — Most Addictions Stem From Stress. Meditation Makes You Immune To StressOvercome Addiction Naturally With Meditation

Life likes to test us in many different ways, and we all have a maximum limit for how much we can handle.

Crossing our stress ceiling over and over can create emotional turmoil — displayed in the form of anxietydepressionangerinsomnia, etc.

If we don’t healthily and naturally deal with this pain, we find ways to cope, like addiction, to feel normal again — to feel good again.

Overcome Addiction Naturally With Meditation

Meditation transforms your central nervous system and brain, shifting your body chemistry out of « fight or flight » survival mode, so that the stress that had you reaching for your once favorite self-medication (alcohol, cigarettes, junk food, etc.) yesterday, will no longer affect you today.

By melting away a lifetime of angerdepression, and anxiety, meditation effectively raises your maximum stress threshold, leaving you immune to all addictions.

Access the limitless benefits of meditation quickly, safely, and easily: Get started with EquiSync®

#7 — Meditation Fixes The Deep Rooted Reasons For AddictionOvercome Addiction Naturally With Meditation

The most effective treatment programs address the true reason for addiction — unhappiness. What is the root cause of unhappiness, and therefore, addiction? Not living consciously.

If you are drifting through life, feel you have lost control, or don’t know how you got to where you are, then choosing to live consciously can change everything.

Simply put, instead of making choices on autopilot (as many of us do), people who live consciously become mindfully aware of everything: every thought, every action, every experience.

Overcome Addiction Naturally With Meditation

Meditation, by its very nature, is the act of conscious thought examination. It puts you face to face with all that is disharmonious in your life (especially addiction), and brings everything back into harmony.

Once meditation has rooted out the true source of your unhappiness, your life will transform on many levels — and highly conscious, mindful, addiction free living will become natural.

Meditation against anxiety

The Ultimate Guide To Mastering AnxietyMeditation For Anxiety

An incredibly complex disease, anxiety has an interwoven variety of biological, psychological, and sociological contributing factors.

From a variety of angles, we discuss 11 ways meditation is the very best way to once and for all, become anxiety free.

Meditation Cools & Quiets Busy, Anxious ThoughtsWe Fuel Anxiety With 70,000+ Thoughts Per DayPermanently Reducing Chronic Anxiety With Meditation

Like a machine gun, the anxious mind fires one fearful and worrisome thought after another:

« Why did I say something so stupid? Why don’t they like me? What happens if I lose my job? Why don’t I have any energy? Am I getting sick? Will anyone ever love me? Will I ever have enough money? Why can’t I be successful? Why can’t I lose this weight? »

In fact, scientists estimate the number of human thoughts at around 70,000 per day — meaning a worried, anxious mind can literally generate a new negative thought every couple of seconds!

While we all have troublesome thoughts from time to time, the difference for the anxious mind is the sheer level of bombardment is far beyond that of a normal person — it is easy to see why so many anxiety sufferers feel paralyzed.

How Meditation Gets Us Off The Anxiety Hamster WheelNatural Anxiety Relief Using Mindfulness

What’s the best way to quiet the overactive mind?

Meditation. By taking a permanent meditative breather from the « hamster wheel » of anxiety, you no longer burn through precious resources or waste valuable energy on unproductive fear-based thoughts.

What does this mean, exactly? No more negative « what-if » scenarios, no more « next-turn » catastrophes, no more « doom and gloom » waiting around every corner, the meditative mindset is a beautiful thing.

Instead of rehearsing yesterday’s tragedies and borrowing tomorrow’s troubles, meditation’s present moment focus puts an abrupt end to happiness-robbing, nerve-fraying mental time travel.

How Meditation Quiets The MindWhy Mindfulness Helps Mental Disorders

When you no longer buy into your fears and worries, when you no longer overthink the past, when you no longer worry endlessly about the future — you get to experience the intoxicating silence between each thought.

In this way, meditation allows the mind to finally experience itself in its truest, purest, most natural state — that of stillness.

Make every moment your best moment, discover meditation.

How Mindful Meditation Tames The Anxiety-Ridden « Monkey Mind »What Is The « Monkey Mind »?Mindfulness For Permanent Anxiety Relief

It has been said that the human mind is like a room full of drunk monkeys — jumping around, chattering endlessly, carrying on all day and all night.

Of the dozens of monkeys clamoring for our attention, the loudest, most powerful voice is their highly influential troop leader — fear.

The fear monkey pulls the alarm constantly, points out every single pothole in our path, makes up an infinite number of « what-if scenarios, » while ensuring anxious thoughts always stay at the forefront of our mind.

Can We Fight Or Banish The Monkeys?Mindfulness For Permanent Anxiety Relief

The problem is, the monkeys are built into the very fabric of consciousness, they are of the essence and nature of the mind. Like the elements, they have always been there and always will.

We cannot banish them from our mind anymore than we can rid carbon or hydrogen from the earth.

Fighting them makes about as much sense as diving headfirst into a sidewalk to cure a cold, or roundhouse kicking a brick wall to eliminate athlete’s foot. The mind monkeys are part of you, they are part of us all.

Simple yet elegant, there is but one solution… They need to be tamed.

How & Why Mindfulness Meditation Tames The MonkeysControlling Anxiety Naturally With Mindfulness

Practicing mindful meditation teaches you to pay attention to your chattering monkeys, to know them, to listen to them, to understand them.

With each session, you become more familiar with how they behave, their habits, their good sides, their bad sides, their triggers, their quirks, what makes them tick.

Like an expert animal trainer, meditation’s face to face interaction with the monkeys will, in time, build a mutually beneficial, trusting relationship.

Once you become their master, they learn to be docile, gentle, and submissive. With enough time, mindful meditation can even make them benevolent, kind, and peaceful.

Taming the mind will make you an infinitely calmer, much happier person, free from the wild shenanigans of fear, worry, and anxiety.

Meditation Deactivates The Brain’s « Anxiety-Center » AmygdalaDoes The Human Mind Love Fear?Why Meditation Is A Natural Remedy For Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)

recent study by the Media Research Center analyzed the ratio of « good » to « bad » news broadcasts for three mainstream networks: ABC, NBC, and CBS.

What did they find? A surprise to few, up to 85% of the stories aired were categorized as — negative.

We know that all humans require food, warmth, water, and sleep. But, is it also built into human DNA to crave doom and gloom?

Is focusing our attention on natural disasters, war, terrorism, crime, incompetence, scandals, and corruption a function of our biology or did we get here through conditioning? Is it nature or nurture?

How Our Brains Are Programmed To WorryFeeling Anxious? Controlling Generalized Anxiety Disorder With Mindfulness

According to John Cacioppo, Director of the University of Chicago Center for Cognitive and Social Neuroscience, you can blame it on the brain.

Even from an early age, when we watch bad news, our brain scans light up, suggesting a built-in « negativity bias. » What happens when we watch good news? The opposite, the brain’s electrical activity is quiet.

It is we, the readers and viewers, the owners of the eyeballs « glued to the screen, » who are biologically programmed for a steady diet of doom and gloom. We need it like vitamin D and calcium.

So, what’s the leading culprit behind this phenomena?

The Culprit Is Our Brain’s Fear Center: AmygdalaFrom High Anxiety To No Anxiety Using Meditation

The list topper would be our « fear center » amygdala, an almond shaped group of nuclei buried deep within the temporal lobes of the brain.

Legendary NY Times bestselling author and founder of the « X-Prize, » Peter Diamandis, may have said it best, « Bad news sells because the amygdala is always looking for something to fear. »

While there are no guarantees in life, too much activity within your primitive « fear center » amygdala 100% certifies a lifetime supply of anxiety.

What if there was a way to healthily and naturally upgrade this caveman-like brain region? You can, through meditation!

How Meditation Deactivates This Anxious Caveman Brain RegionTreating The Physical Symptoms Of Anxiety

Researchers from Boston University and Harvard Medical School fMRI brain-scanned participants before and after a series of mindfulness meditation classes — with staggering results.

In only 8 weeks, along with far fewer « distress signals » transmitted throughout the brain, the meditators’ brain imaging for « fear center » electrical activity had gone silent.

What surprised the scientists the most, however, was that their « anxiety engine » amygdalae somehow managed to physically shrink! This discovery has monumental implications.

Knowing that it is indeed possible to, like the light switch in your bedroom, turn off our primitive caveman brain hardware (amygdala), we can put a variety of stress related physical, emotional, and mental disorders in our rearview-mirror.

Freshly minted meditators often report drastic anxiety relief as the very first tangible benefit, the first step on a never-ending staircase of incredible transformations.

The first stop on the mindful « highway to happiness » will quickly dump your truck-load of anxiety, no matter how full.

Meditation Elevates Anti-Anxiety, Feel-Good EndorphinsWhy Endorphins Are A Natural Anxiety RelieverWhy Meditation Is Best For Anti-Anxiety

fresh diagnosis for General Anxiety Disorder (GAD) will typically have you walking out of your doctor’s office with a prescription for one of the usual medication suspects.

While most folks don’t want to be forever pill addicted, physical exercise, on the other hand, is a great long term solution for permanent chronic anxiety relief.

Whether it’s yoga, jogging, weightlifting, swimming, or the like, a good doctor will strongly advise you to get on some kind of physical exercise regimen in addition to the pharma-kickback, toe-the-line prescription.

Then, why is exercise so effective at curing what is ultimately a mental disorder?

Exercise dominates anxiety for a variety of reasons, with « endorphins » sitting right atop the list.

How Meditation Is Such A Powerful Endorphin BoosterRelieve Anxiety With Meditation

Manufactured mostly in your brain and spinal cord, endorphins are a type of neurotransmitter best known for improving brain function, reducing stress, elevating mood, relieving pain, and helping you sleep.

Endorphins’ wide spectrum of benefits, in essence, creates a worry-free and fear-free mental utopia where anxiety cannot, will not, and does not exist.

Is there a better natural endorphin booster than physical exercise? Yes!

1995 study (Harte et al) published in the Biological Psychology Journal, tested the neuro-chemical release of two groups — 11 elite runners and 12 highly trained meditators — after running and meditation, respectively. What did they find?

As the scientists suspected, both groups had boosted their endorphin levels. No surprises there.

How Meditation Smothers Anxiety: EndorphinsAnti-Anxiety Natural Mindfulness Meditation

The tectonic plate shifter, however, was that meditation scored higher than exercise on just about every « great mood » test marker. In effect, the researchers found that meditation was in a cool, calm, and happy « league of its own. »

Joggers have coined the term « runners high » to describe how wonderful they feel after a nice, long run. This euphoric, happy, and zen-like state of bliss goes a long way to explain why many of them are so addicted to the pavement.

Maybe it’s time for meditators to invent a cool, catchy phrase for how amazing they feel after each of their sessions?

Luckily, meditation gives you access to these powerful anxiety melting, mood elevating endorphins whenever you wish.

Meditation Cancels Out Anxious BrainwavesYou Are Your BrainwavesRelieving Nerve Disorders With Meditation

Day and night, your entire brain fires electrical signals which combine to form a highly unique « fingerprint » called a « brainwave pattern. »

Your whole essence as a living, breathing human being, from your biological makeup to your thoughts, moods, and emotions (especially anxiety) can be directly measured within your brainwave patterns.

If you easily feel the jitters of anxiety, then your brain is likely firing fearful, worrisome « beta » brainwaves (13 – 40 Hz) left and right, way more than the average person.

What if it was possible to upgrade your anxious beta brainwaves to the happiest and healthiest states: AlphaTheta, and Delta? You can, through meditation!

How Meditation Harnesses Your Cool & Calm BrainwavesIncredibly simplified, we have outlined a few of the brainwave benefits of meditation here:

How To Naturally Manage Anxiety Using Mindful Meditation

Alpha Brainwaves (7 – 13 Hz) — Will help you quiet your mind, boost your creativity, achieve deep relaxation, increase your happiness, instill self-confidence, and much more.

Theta Brainwaves (4 – 7 Hz) — Bring out your emotional intelligence, allow access to your ultra powerful deep mind, make you feel inspired, deepen your intuition, make you feel more open and connected, and much more.

Delta Brainwaves (0 – 4 Hz) — Magnify your awareness, slow aging, boost longevity, give you great sleep, restore your health, tap into your deepest level of consciousness, and much more.

As you can see, by tapping into these powerful states of consciousness, meditation’s Alpha, Theta, & Delta brainwaves open up a whole world of benefits far beyond having nerves of steel.

(Note: EquiSync® sound technology quickly, safely, and easily guides your brainwaves into these amazing states! Learn more here.)

Relieving Anxiety: Meditation Neutralizes Thought PolarityWhy The Anxious Mind Is Afraid Of ItselfSigns Of Anxiety: What Causes Anxiety

We live in a polarized society that likes to slap a label on everything — black or white, rich or poor, Democrat or Republican, religious or atheist, you get the idea.

Likewise, humans tend to slap labels on their thoughts. This is a « good » thought, that is a « bad » thought, I « should » think this, I « shouldn’t » think that, etc.

When we begin to fight with our « bad » thoughts, when we become afraid of certain kinds of thinking, this only brings about more of the same. As the legendary Swiss Psychiatrist Carl Jung once said, « What you resist, persists. »

Like a river current, the tumultuous, « afraid-of-itself » mind can take your health and happiness downstream, against your will, into hostile territory. This incredible force of nature can make us feel totally powerless.

Luckily, mindfulness is the very best way to reclaim your castle, no matter how long it has been under the cruel, authoritative reign of anxiety.

How Meditation Makes The Mind FearlessMindfulness Cures Mental Disorders

How does it work? When a random thought appears, mindfulness trains the mind to simply view it as a thought. Neither good nor bad. Just a thought.

For example, « I am such a failure. My boss is going to fire me. My life is over if I lose my job. »

The higher minded meditator would instead think, « Oh, there’s that thought again. I have had it before, I have been here before. Thoughts come and go, this one is not special. »

Meditation’s true power resides not in any kind of « unnautural » or « forced » positive thinking, but in its ability to help you « let go » of thoughts.

Why Meditation Builds Your Mindful MuscleCuring All Types Of Anxiety

Instead of buying-in, getting frazzled, or having a knee-jerk reaction to the array of silliness, craziness, and scariness that enters the human mind, meditation teaches you that no one thought deserves your undivided attention.

There is never a need to chase the rabbit down his never-ending hole. Thoughts come and thoughts go, like waves crashing upon the shore.

By building your mindful muscle, meditation allows you to understand, at the very deepest levels, how your thoughts, emotions, and mind intertwine.

This fundamental transformation keeps fear and worry permanently at bay.

Reversing Anxiety: Meditation Activates The Body’s Relaxation ResponseWhy Everybody Is Stressed OutHow To Control Anxiety Forever With Meditation

We are living in stressful times. The mounting career, relationship, and family commitments we face makes living in this chaotic, fast-paced world all the more difficult.

Pile on always connected modern technology, and only an absolute master can truly switch his mind off from the stress of worldly pressures and demands.

In a 2010 American Psychological Association survey, 75% of Americans reported that their stress levels were so high that they felt unhealthy.

But, stress is all in your head, right? How could it possibly harm your health, as these surveyed people claim?

That’s correct, if the effects of stress were purely in the mind then it would be no big deal.

How The « Fight Or Flight » Response Triggers AnxietyThe Best Natural Remedy For Nerve Disorders

The problem is, evolution has hard-wired our DNA to physiologically react in stressful situations — our heart races, our breathing becomes shallow, our blood vessels clinch up, our pupils dilate, our muscles tighten, all in preparation to either fight or flee.

The good news is that your body has a built in stress-defense mechanism — it’s called the parasympathetic nervous system. Your ability to stay anxiety-free is directly tied to activating this often elusive system each and every day.

Then, what’s the best way to wake up this sleeping giantMeditation.

Meditation Controls Anxiety Through The « Mind-Body Connection »In the 1970’s, Harvard University physician Herbert Benson observed that well over half of his patient visits were because of stress related disorders, like anxiety.

Natural Anti-Anxiety Remedy For Mood Disorders

He thought, if he could figure out a way to counteract this phenomenon, it could revolutionize the healthcare industry, helping untold numbers of people. He accomplished his mission.

In essence, what Dr. Benson discovered was the true power of the meditative mind-body connection — slower metabolism, measured breath rate, reduced heart rate, and quiet brainwave activity all combined to make the perfect state for healing.

Meditation Reverses Anxiety Through The « Relaxation Response »Natural Anti-Anxiety Remedy For Mood Disorders

By using meditation to simultaneously activate the parasympathetic nervous system while deactivating the body’s « fight or flight » stress mode, his patients reversed countless health issues, with anxiety often the first domino to fall.

Dr. Benson’s bestselling book, « Relaxation Response, » has sold millions of copies, providing great momentum to the mind-body movement, and stands as another solid example of hard science confirming age-old mindfulness wisdom.

Note: The relaxation response brings countless benefits above and beyond relieving anxiety and managing stress. The infographic below goes into much more detail:

Click To Expand Below Infographic To Full-Screen View
relaxation response benefits chart

Meditation Boosts Anti-Anxiety Neurotransmitters: Serotonin & GABAWhy GABA & Serotonin Are So CriticalHow Meditation Cures All Signs Of Anxiety

Between your magnificently complex brain’s 100 billion neurons are a web-like network of information relayers known as « neurotransmitters. »

For the anxiety patient, there are two crucial « must know » neurotransmitters: gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) & serotonin.

When levels of these two key brain chemicals run on empty, our stress defense shield drops — making us vulnerable to anxiety and all of its ugly, inbred cousins: worry, restlessness, nervousness, insomnia, etc.

If you are taking anti-anxiety medication, it is very likely targeting these two chemical messengers.

Then, why not just pop a pill to make it all better?

Why Anti-Anxiety Meds Aren’t CoolHow Mindfulness Helps Mood Disorders

The problems with anxiety and depression medication are many, including feeling like a zoned out « zombie, » dependency, dizziness, drowsiness, poor concentration, memory loss, confusion, headache, blurred vision, insomnia, weight gain, fatigue, nausea, the list goes on.

The cherry on top, clinical studies have shown some of these to be no more effective than a placebo, or even not working at all!

Luckily, an all natural, much better solution exists. Backed by a mountain of research and centuries of anecdotal evidence, meditation drops anxiety harder than a ton of bricks.

How Meditation Supercharges NeurotransmittersWhat Causes Severe Anxiety?

So, what’s the data? For serotonin, as evidenced by a highly cited University of Montreal study as well as many others, it is well understood that meditation boosts this prime neurotransmitter to « anxiety resistant » levels.

GABA and meditation are also well-linked. One study by psychiatrists at the Boston University School of Medicine found an incredible 27% increase after less than one hour of meditation!

Strengthening the case, researchers believe that practicing mindfulness has a very strong neurotransmitter « cumulative effect, » with tectonic implications for the anxiety sufferer.

GABA & Serotonin: How Meditation Fills Your TankMeditation For Natural Chronic Anxiety Relief

To illustrate how it works, what would happen if you put $15 of gasoline into your tank each morning, while using only $10 worth on your daily commute? Of course, your tank would eventually get full and stay full, basic supply and demand economics.

For your brain, meditation does the same, fillin’ ‘er up with the most purely refined GABA & Serotonin, replenishing far more high quality octane than stress can ever deplete.

When your tank is always full of these naturally calming, feel-good neurotransmitters, you become immune to the mileage (anxiety, depression, addiction, etc) which would otherwise have you on the side of the road calling for a AAA tow-truck.

Would you rather pop a side-effect ridden pill to feel calm and happy for a little while? Or fundamentally upgrade your biology to be forever « anxiety immune »? Tough call.

Meditation Strengthens The Anxiety-Relieving Prefrontal CortexWhere Is The Anxiety Command & Control Center?How To Control, Reduce, & Cure Chronic Anxiety Using Your Mind

As we evolved from Neanderthals to our present human form, one particular brain region has risen to prominence.

From dark caves to sunlit skyscrapers, from incoherent grunting to the world wide web, from the muddy riverbanks to the far reaches of the solar system — we owe everything to our prefrontal cortex.

Known as the brain’s « thought orchestrator, » higher level thinking « CEO, » and emotional regulator — the « prefrontal cortex » has been identified as the #1 difference between ancient and modern man.

(That’s a pretty lofty claim considering how much better looking, taller, and less hairy we are than our neanderthal brethren!)

And this « king of all brain regions » is incredibly important for anxiety sufferers.

Big Prefrontal Cortex, Little AnxietyDealing With And Mastering Mood Disorders Using Mindfulness

A highly cited study published in one of the world’s top medical journals, « The Lancet » (Pascual-Leone et al) — brain-scanned 17 anxiety & depression sufferers. What did they discover?

Kind of like that skinny legged guy at your gym who trains his chest and arms seven days a week, the participants « CEO » left prefrontal cortexes were extraordinarily weak when compared to other parts of the brain.

Scientists know that weakness or abnormality within the prefrontal cortex impairs decision making and brainpower — while opening the floodgates to anxiety and depression.

Imagine if you could upgrade this amazing brain region, and in essence — hack evolution! You can, through meditation!

How Meditation Evolves The Brain Beyond AnxietyUsing Meditation To Master Living With Anxiety

landmark 2005 study by Harvard neuroscientist Dr. Sara Lazar and colleagues showed that the brains of meditators had remarkably more « thickness, » « folds, » and overall « surface area » in their left prefrontal cortexes — with magnitude directly tied to experience (the more meditation, the stronger the effect).

A study with monumental implications, meditation is now seen by many within the neuroscientific and psychological research communities as the « holy grail » for a variety of mental health issues, especially anxiety and depression.

Is there any wonder why doctors find meditators’ to be the smartest, happiest, and healthiest folks, time and time again?

Traditional meditators have been anxiety-free, happy people for countless centuries, now confirmed by modern science.

Meditation Extinguishes The Body’s Anxiety Inflamed « Wildfire »The Inflammation & Anxiety LinkDealing With And Controlling Mental Disorders Using Meditation

« Extensive research has shown that brain inflammation is connected to virtually all types of mental illness… [including] mood disorders like depression and anxiety. » IntegrativePsychiatry.net

What’s the best way to prevent a massive 100,000 acre wildfire? Light a small one.

Through what’s called a « controlled burn, » park authorities prevent wildfires by burning away the dense, highly combustible plants and trees within a forest.

Likewise, through a process called « inflammation, » your immune system prevents disease by burning away the body’s heavy build-up of unwanted intruders, with stress the most powerful invading force.

Like a controlled burn growing into an uncontrollable wildfire, inflammation within the body can inadvertently fan its flames into something much bigger, much more dirty.

How Cortisol Inflames AnxietyControlling Chronic Anxiety Through Meditation

Chronic inflammation, especially within the brain, is a self-perpuating, highly toxic body condition — the perfect petri-dish for anxiety to proliferate.

Wake Forest School of Medicine professor Floyd Chilton, Ph.D. outlines the severity of the problem in his 2005 bestselling book « Inflammation Nation. »

With stress as the leading contributor, Dr. Chilton believes that we are living in the midst of a chronic inflammation epidemic, with statistics becoming more and more alarming by the year.

Stress, anxiety, and inflammation live within a self-perpetuating ecosystem where if you boost one, you boost the other two. More stress increases inflammation, which increases anxiety, you get the idea. A toxic circle of life.

How To Treat Severe Anxiety Using Mindfulness

The whole medical dictionary, from A to Z, starting with anxiety, can be linked to the body’s chronic inflammation « wildfire » — addiction, arthritis, asthma, cancer, depression, diabetes, heart disease, and obesity, just to name a few.

Luckily, we know the culprit. More flammable than gasoline, the 100% guilty, trial by doctor convicted arsonist is the body’s main stress hormone — cortisol.

Then, how do we reduce the amount of cortisol within the body, and therefore extinguish inflammation and all of its chronic anxiety flame-fanning effects? Meditation!

How Meditation Extinguishes Cortisol, AnxietyResearchers from the University Of California (Davis) and Rutgers University found mindfulness meditation to dramatically reduce cortisol levels, with one study showing a precipitous 50% drop!

Coping With GAD Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Further validation, these results were seen after only a handful of sessions! You don’t need to practice meditation for years to experience the lion’s share of benefits.

By smothering the ultra-flammable hormone responsible for igniting so many diseases, especially generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), meditation is the always on call firefighting team, forever protecting your health and happiness.

Mindfulness creates a mental environment 100% incompatible with anxiety. A cactus can’t survive in the North Pole. Anxiety can’t survive in the brain of a meditator.

(Note: Piling on the research: In addition to lowering cortisol, meditation also reduces inflammation by altering the expression of pro-inflammatory genes. Most impressive, it takes as little as 8 hours for this to work!)

Meditation Re-Focuses The Anxious, Wandering, & Distracted MindHow The Wandering, Distracted Mind Leads To AnxietyThe Best Natural Remedy For Severe Anxiety

Blaise Pascal, the 17th century French philosopher, perhaps said it best: « Considering distraction… I have discovered that the unhappiness of man arises from one single fact, that he cannot stay quietly within his own chamber. »

Harvard University study revealed that people were happiest when in a kind of fully immersed, deeply absorbed, present mind state. Some have described this as « flow« .

Whether the subjects were socializing, writing, shopping, or reading, the researchers found that the best predictor for anxiety was how distracted they were, how much their mind wandered during the activity — not the activity itself.

In an ever-growing world of Facebook/ Twitter updates, Youtube videos, Netflix movie marathons, shiny new blog posts, iTunes podcasts, up to the minute breaking news, and other mediums driving our collective attention span to all time lows — it is no surprise that anxiety levels are at an all time high.

How Technology Has Made Us A « Stranger To Our Mind »Reducing The Physical Symptoms Of Anxiety With Mindfulness

After their morning shower, many folks shy away from the bathroom mirror because their reflection is not pleasant to behold.

Likewise, many people are uncomfortable with sitting alone in silence because they don’t like going face to face with their thoughts.

Anxiety is rooted in this fear, only made worse by our always on MacBooks, iPads, and iPhones.

While our devices do have the benefit of connecting us in ways like never before, we need to pull back the reigns to avoid becoming a society full of neurotic, information addicted basket cases. Technology is meant to be our servant, not our master.

Then, how does one solve this rubix cube? Becoming Amish or joining a Tibetan monastery would certainly solve the problem. But that would require leaving your friends, career, and family behind. Maybe not ideal.

Or you could find a way to master living in the real world, unshackling yourself from the emotional chains of technologically generated anxiety.

Meditation: The World’s Best Antidote To DistractionDealing With Severe Anxiety

The very best way to fully harness and master your infinite mind power, mindfulness provides the perfect toolkit for our chronic anxiety ridden, attention diverted world.

In fact, meditation has been scientifically proven to turn off the « distracted » area of the brain!

Internationally acclaimed Harvard brain researcher, Dr. Sara Lazar, discovered that one particular brain region responsible for the « wandering mind, » the posterior cingulate cortex (PCT), becomes deactivated during meditation.

Corralling the so-called « wandering mind » opens up a wonderful world of benefits, cancelling out many of the true reasons we become anxious.

How Meditation Corrals The Wandering MindHow To Cope With Generalized Anxiety Disorders With Mindfulness

Moreover, it is thought that meditation disables distraction by filtering stimuli long before it reaches your bottlenecking, gatekeeping « thalamus. »

You know how a river dam ensures the perfect amount of water is always available to downstream households, agriculture, and industry?

In much the same way, meditation upstream filters the less important data, sending only the best information downstream.

As a result, the « gulf » of the meditative mind (thalamus) never has to micromanage the barrage of distracting, happiness-robbing information which directly contributes to chronic anxiety.

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