Unplug | Suze Yalof Schwartz

Summary of: Unplug: A Simple Guide to Meditation for Busy Skeptics and Modern Soul Seekers
By: Suze Yalof Schwartz

Introduction

In today’s fast-paced world, people often struggle with stress, anxiety, and maintaining focus. ‘Unplug: A Simple Guide to Meditation for Busy Skeptics and Modern Soul Seekers’ by Suze Yalof Schwartz aims to help anyone, regardless of their lifestyle, embrace the life-changing benefits of meditation. The book summary dispels common misconceptions about meditation, such as the need for extensive time commitments or a specific spiritual outlook. We will explore the surprising brain benefits of regular meditation practice, as well as various techniques for incorporating meditation into our daily lives, ensuring a calmer, more grounded state of mind.

The Minimalistic Approach to Meditation

Meditation is often associated with a hippy lifestyle, but it can match any lifestyle, including a minimalist one. All that’s required is stillness and focus, making it one of the most minimalistic practices. Meditation can improve brain function and overall wellbeing in as little as 27 minutes a day. Even 5-10 minutes a day can provide significant benefits such as feeling calmer and more grounded. With meditation’s versatility, it’s something anyone can do almost anywhere, and its benefits are definitely worth the time.

Meditation: Reshaping Your Brain

Two studies conducted by Harvard neurologist Sara Lazar have demonstrated that meditation can transform the brain and improve its structural integrity. Lazar discovered that regular meditators have more gray matter in their frontal cortex, which governs memory and decision-making, than non-meditators of the same age. Furthermore, this sector of the brain normally shrinks as we age, but the studies proved that meditators maintain a healthy amount of gray matter. In addition, meditation can help fight stress and anxiety. Participants in a study practicing meditation for eight weeks experienced improvements in their areas of learning, memory, concentration, and emotion, and demonstrated lower levels of cortisol, a stress hormone. Meditation appears to be a potent tool for fighting old-age disorders such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.

Why Meditate in the Morning?

Meditating first thing in the morning can positively influence and shape the brain as the brain is still in its theta rhythm. Doing so ensures that the task is accomplished and out of the way before the hustle of the day begins. It is best to find a comfortable position that keeps the spine in a straight alignment. If you struggle waking up early, try placing an electric kettle next to your bed so you can have a warm cup of tea to coax yourself out from under the sheets.

Building a Meditation Habit

Building a regular meditation practice requires a good ritual that helps you make meditation a part of your routine. The best way to do this is to find a regular time to meditate. If you meditate first thing in the morning, you can have your meditation area prepared the night before, which will make it easier to follow through. Clearing your mind before meditation is also helpful. Using a brain-drain practice to jot down everything that is on your mind will help clear your mind and prime it for a peaceful session.

Mastering Meditation Made Simple

Meditation programs follow an outlined procedure. Similarly, in six straightforward steps, you can create your own meditation program. The first step is to find a point of focus. Subsequently, reach a state of not focusing on anything. The third step involves experiencing feelings of peace. When a thought enters your mind, acknowledge it and let it pass. Bring your attention back to the point of focus, and repeat steps two through six. A mantra can be of great help during this process. Finally, you can come up with an affirmation to get an entirely customized experience.

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