I have to admit, when I was introduced to meditation 5 years ago, I rolled my eyes. I was convinced that it was nothing for me. First of all, the thought of sitting still for 10 minutes was very scary. I know 10 minutes doesn’t sound like a lot but, do you know what you can do in 10 minutes?!
Meditation was one of the well-being practices in the Whole Life Challenge, you can read all about this challenge in my previous blog post. Anyway, meditating would help with weight loss, you would be able to clear your mind and sleep better. Just some of the benefits.
Open-minded as I try to be, I went for it. Only 10 minutes a day, I could do this!
My first step was to figure out what it is you do when you meditate. I was sure that I had to sit in lotus pose (trust me, I had to look up the name), hold my thumbs on top of my middle fingers, palms up and then chant “Ommmmmmmm, ommmmn”.
After some research, it appears that you can even meditate while sitting on a chair, standing, lying or even walking. So far so good…. sitting on a pillow in quarter lotus pose seemed like the ideal way to start with for me.
Then… I just sat there, on the pillow and trying to avoid opening up my eyes every single minute to see how much time there was left. Trying NOT to think!
Honestly? It was a very hard concept to grasp. In a society where it is always about doing and achieving, I was definitely stepping outside my comfort zone.
Doing this meditation practice on my own wasn’t really going well. Because I simply didn’t know how to do this. By just sitting still and trying to think about nothing, it was making me more and more nervous. Surely this could not be the point of the whole practice.
Some of the team members of the Whole Life Challenge suggested that I would use an app that would guide me while I was getting better at it. I downloaded the Headspace App and gave the free 10-day sessions a try.
The instructions made sense and slowly but surely, I got better at it and started to enjoy the way it made me feel. Calm(er) and more in control of my thoughts. Because, I found out that meditating is not about NOT thinking, it is about focusing on your breathing and learning to channel your thoughts. It all of a sudden didn’t feel so intimidating or boring any more. It actually challenged me to go further.
The benefits of meditation have been well documented, there was no denying about that. One that stood out the most for me was that it actually increases your energy and helps you become more productive! Yass, I needed that ?
I believe it took me another year or so before I managed to fully integrate it into my lifestyle and see it as a daily practice but, I’m really seeing and feeling the benefits it has for me now and I’m convinced about the effects in the long run.
Look, I’m not lying, it isn’t easy, but it is worth it! As soon as you find YOUR perfect way then it is only a matter of time that it gets easier and faster in controlling your thoughts.
As you figured out by now, meditating has become a daily practice for me. I’m still trying to find what kind of meditation I like the most but getting there.
I just don’t know why it took me so long to embrace it and letting go of the idea that meditating is boring and of no use.
Here are my three most important reasons why I would like to encourage you to give it a try, especially when you have a really busy schedule!
I manage to control my emotions much better
Guilty, I often overreacted (and still do sometimes) to certain situations. Thanks to the meditation I manage to control my emotions much better. I’ve become calmer, more tolerate and considerate. As soon as I feel that I’m getting tensed up, I’ll try to find my inner calm, I know deep down that it is hiding somewhere, by using my breathing techniques. I also learned to pause and listen instead of reacting immediately.
I learned to focus on the present moment.
Instead of dwelling on the past and worrying about the future (this doesn’t always work but I’m getting there). I find when my mind is calm(er), it becomes easier to focus on my work and increases my productivity simply because I can concentrate for longer! Not only am I more productive but it’s also easier to tackle obstacles that come my way. I realize that it is not the end of the world and am not overdramatic about it anymore.
Mediation helps me start my day in a calm, relaxed and focused way!
I used to wake up thinking about my to do list and feeling overwhelmed straight away. There was no way I was going to be able to get everything done and stress levels were rising straight away, my day hadn’t even begun yet. That feeling is part of the past! Since I made meditating part of my morning routine and a daily practice, I now start my day in a calm and relaxed way. It is such a nicer feeling and it has got so much benefits. I actually get things done in a much more efficient way.
I’m sure that there are other benefits about me meditating every day. But I can’t really say that it is just because of the daily practice. Either way, it all contributes to me living that balanced life!
It’s your turn now!
Want to give it a try yourself? Then I would suggest starting with some guided meditation and use an app such as Headspace or Calm. I’m sure there are others as well but at least it is a start. Try to find which kind of meditation works for you. I like to meditate first thing in the morning, but others benefit more with evening meditation.
And more importantly, please, don’t quit after just two tries. It takes a while to get the hang of it and before you are experiencing the benefits. But, trust me, it is worth it!