I have been meditating on and off since 2015, and when I am in my stride I can really feel it. I truly believe that meditation holds the key to all mental strength – I liken it to a workout for your brain, and if we work out our body, why don’t we work our brain too? My version of meditation has morphed over the years. I initially started using the app headspace (highly recommend it) for ten minutes a day, and learned the ropes. Then I dabbled in Kundalini meditation practices, and landed on what I do now. I use the app insight timer, and sit for 15-20 minutes every morning without fail. I repeat a Buddhist mantra mentally until my mind is silent, and then I sit there with my eyes lightly open and focus on the breath. I also walk everywhere these days, and I do a version of a walking meditation. I breathe, walk and bring my awareness to my body. It feels great! Meditation truly has been a life changing practice for me.
Below I have outlined the ways in which it has changed me for the better:
I became the eye of the hurricane.
I developed the ability to detach myself from stressful surroundings, and observe unemotionally. This is important for me, as I tend to pick up on other people’s emotional states and take them on. In this vein, other people don’t faze me. I am much less reactional.
I am generally just happier.
I am a happy person to begin with; I don’t usually find myself being negative, and I generally think the best of people. However when I am tired from traveling a lot (which is about 80 percent of my life) I find it hard to keep it together. Meditation has helped hugely with this.
My decisions are clearer and easier to make.
Meditation has helped with decision fatigue. I no longer deliberate quite so much as to the correct choice to make, I find that if I sit with the question, the answer comes to me much more freely.
I have a better attention span.
With a quiet mind, my focus is stronger. I find it easier to go longer on workouts, longer on studying, longer on reading. Basically I feel like I believe I should – from before the days of constant online stimulation and multi-tasking.
I sleep better.
I used to have an epic monkey mind (and I still do sometimes). It would keep me up all night; I don’t think I had a good night of sleep before 2015. However meditation has slowed down the thoughts, and brought my awareness to them. It has become a lot easier to acknowledge the thoughts for what they are, and then let them go.
It brought me back into my body.
I used to have a fun habit of pushing my workouts too hard, leading to injury. I don’t think I have been injured since 2015 – more body awareness means better understanding of good and bad pain. I walk everywhere and use this time to do a walking meditation.
I think that meditation is the best thing for humans. It costs nothing, and takes 10 minutes each morning (and evening if you want amazing results!). It brings you back into your body and relaxes your stress reactions. It literally makes you a better person to be around, and a more relaxed person in every situation. Give it a try today! The headspace app has a free learn to meditate course (no affiliation here, just love it!) and from there you can either sign up for other courses, or just do your own version of it. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!