I have been meditating seriously for a little over a year now, and I can genuinely say that it has changed my life for the better. No, I have not reached enlightenment or experienced some coveted cathartic state, but I have learned how to be more mindful through meditation.
I have learned how to better understand my internal self, and observe how it coincides with my external self. I have learned (in most situations) how to be more passive and thoughtful as opposed to more aggressive and irrational.
Quite frankly, meditation has taught me a lot, and I believe it can teach others a lot as well. It is more than sitting in an awkward position and chanting.
Meditation is about becoming one with your mind, and learning something about yourself that you may not have known before you undertook the practice of meditation. Your practice can be as long or as short as you would like, but try to take the time to meditate every day.
You will be thrilled with the results, and we’ve put together 10 reasons meditation should be on your list of new hobbies to undertake.
1. You will become more mindful and aware
Being mindful means that you are more aware of your thoughts and your actions in general. Unless you are in a heightened state of awareness, you can’t observe your thoughts rationally.
Perhaps your thoughts take you on a wild ride throughout your day, dragging you along. It is time to get off that ride and undoubtedly determine which thoughts are truthful and which thoughts are just bollocks.
Meditation offers you the time to reflect on your thoughts and focus mainly on your breathing or some other aspect of your being. It gives you the awareness to refocus your mind on the present moment, as opposed to the past of the future.
This kind of awareness is a useful skill as you progress through your everyday life.
2. It can decrease unnecessary stress
You experience stress just like everyone else. Some stress is unavoidable, and therefore, not so toxic. Too much stress can be unhealthy and damaging if you are unable to combat it.
Meditation is a quiet time you should dedicate to yourself every day. Use deep inhales and exhales to refocus your attention on being in the moment.
The stress isn’t going to go away automatically but you will observe a transformation in the amount of stress you accumulate. Simply closing your eyes and steadily breathing has a tremendous effect, especially when you acknowledge stressful situations arising.
3. You will gain more control over your emotions
You don’t really want to abdicate all your power to emotions, do you? I think it is safe to say that, like most people, you desire more control over your emotions.
When you are happy, you want to express those emotions freely. At the same time, you may want to express emotions of anger, sadness, and grief, but under your own control. You have the right to express any emotion you want as long as you are in control of the feeling or emotion.
Too often people lose control over their emotions and they simply accept it. Don’t allow the various archetypes of your mind to seize power of your emotions. Learn how to react skillfully in stressful situations by taking the time to simply observe what the mind is doing.
Meditation gives you the opportunity to do this. The more you meditate, the more you will notice the thoughts and actions that trigger the emotions you might not find desirable.
Unless you make the effort to observe your thoughts and attempt to understand what the mind is doing, you are never going to learn about your inner self. Simply believing every thought that pops in your head and living under your mind’s umbrella is not constructive.
4. You will likely make better life decisions
As you gain more awareness of your thoughts, actions, and emotions, you will notice that you make better decisions. Instead of merely reacting to adverse situations, you will obtain a more useful comprehension of what’s going on in your mind.
This comprehension arms you with the skills to think before you act and therefore make purposeful decisions.
5. It can help you slow down the pace you live your life
Unless you enjoy living at an extremely fast pace, you are going to want to slow down and enjoy living. Meditation arms you with the ability to take life gradually.
Life is not a sprint; it is a marathon. Don’t rush through it and miss out on things you are going to regret later. Slow down your mind first, and then everything else will follow suit.
6. You can learn a useful new skill
If nothing else, you will learn something new through meditation. Meditation is a skill, and like any skill, it takes much practice and concentration. It is always beneficial to introduce more useful skills into your life.
The first time you learned how to read and write was advantageous for your academic development. Learning how to meditate is useful for the development of your mind.
It is not a competition. There is no right or wrong way to do it. You simply can’t fail at meditating. If you are on the fence about trying it, realize that you have absolutely nothing to lose.
It is not a religious technique that only Buddhists or Hindus practice, but rather it is a life technique than can only help you prosper in life.
7. You can experience more well-being
Who doesn’t want to be happier and feel more contentment with life? Meditating consistently is a great way to open up your eyes to your life, and really experience all that life has to offer.
It will help you appreciate life more and feel more connected with the word you live in.
8. It is free
This might be the alluring reason of all. It won’t cost you a cent, and you can do it from the comfort of your home too, so why not give it a try?
9. You can do it anywhere
Find a place that is comfortable for you to meditate. Some people use a quiet space at home or in the office. Churches are a great place to meditate because they are typically quiet and empty.
You can meditate outside in nature as well. Look for a place that is inviting and calm and make that your spot.
10. It works
I wouldn’t be imploring you to meditate if I didn’t believe that it works. There is a ton of science behind the benefits of meditation. It is proven that long-term meditation practitioners are more adept to dealing with the ebbs and flows of life.
The time between thoughts gradually increases as you meditate which invites the opportunity for you to consider your thoughts more carefully and, perhaps, rationally. The physical benefits of meditation include decreased blood pressure and lower levels of anxiety, as well as an overall healthier immune system.
Besides the mental benefits, meditation has the capability to broaden your consciousness, which in turn will grant you the ability to understand your feelings and thoughts more. And the more conscious you become through meditation, the more control you are going to have over your emotions, and the more likely you are to choose to live happily.
BY MIKE OPPLAND