For many years, I believed that meditation was for hippies or people that practiced the Buddhist faith. I turned down multiple opportunities to understand just how powerful meditation was. It was only when apps such as “Calm” and “Headspace” came out that I truly understood the power of meditation.
For me, I chose to use the Calm app and have been a subscriber for a while now. Until I had someone guiding me, I never quite knew how to practice meditation even though I was able to read about it. The apps that taught meditation made it accessible to so many more people.
I then began to read blogs and listen to podcasts that all spoke so highly about meditation. It seemed that there wasn’t a lot of successful people who didn’t practice meditation. Then an even more bizarre thing happened to me; I added someone on LinkedIn who ran a business called “Mr. Meditate.”
He told me of his former job working closely with lawyers and how they were all suffering from the effects of anxiety and stress. He then asked me if I would give him a testimonial to talk about the benefits of meditation in my own life and to encourage large organisations to pay for staff meditation.
Before I knew it, I became a sort of pin-up boy for meditation, and I have now shared with lots of people why meditation is not for hippies, and how everyone should practice it.
Here are six benefits you will get from meditation:
1. You can deal with major fear
Fear can destroy our goals and hold us back from success. Whether it’s public speaking or flying on planes that have caused a degree of fear in me, I have always used meditation as a cure. Before you embark on a fearful task, you should try meditating beforehand.
What meditation does is calm your mind down and relax you. Meditation also teaches you how to breathe and just how powerful the breath can be. No matter how sick I feel, I know I can always calm myself down with long, slow, deep breaths.
Breathing is literally the antidote to so many challenges in life, and it’s the reason why when you are nervous, people tell you to breathe. It’s an age old saying that we all say to each other but meditation will help show you just why breathing is so important.
2. You can return to now
Mental disorders like depression and anxiety are caused by a mind that either lives too much in the future or too much in the past. One of meditations benefits is that it can bring your mind back to now. The healthiest place for your mind to think from is the here and now. When you return to now your mind begins to settle down and focus on what you can change in the present.
When we begin to be present and return to the present, we maximise our chances of getting our mind into a state of flow. From a state of flow, we can achieve almost anything that our mind can conceive. In a state of flow, we can achieve the impossible and challenge conventional thinking.
3. You’ll increase your energy levels
As I began to write this blog post I started to feel a bit sleepy. As someone who doesn’t like to waste time and wants to spend as many hours on my passion as possible, I pulled out the iPhone Calm app. With only ten minutes of meditation, my energy levels were restored. Without meditation, you may not have got to read this post.
Meditation is proven to give you a much better rest than sleep. The beauty of meditation is that you don’t need to do long sessions. 10-15 minutes can often be enough to completely rejuvenate you.
All you need to do is bring your mind back to the present for even a few moments, and the effect can be game changing. I love to add a cup of green tea at the end of my meditation to truly recharge my brain so try doing the same and see if it helps you too.
4. You can have a break from self-talk
Self-talk can drive your mind crazy and take away a lot of your energy and time. Often my own self-talk is spent acting out how I would say something to someone or responding to a negative situation. When I get stuck in these thought patterns, I find that time passes really quickly.
Meditation will allow you to take a break from all the mind chatter and live with a head full of nothing for a bit. A head full of nothing can then begin to pull new ideas in because there is room for them without the self-talk.
Too much self-talk will not allow your positive thoughts to grow properly over time which will, in turn, limit your likelihood of success. Use meditation to change this paradigm and you will see just how beneficial a clear mind can be.
5. You’ll gain more control
It’s so easy for your life to become out of control. Control comes when you begin to be conscious of everything that is going on in your world. Meditation helps highlight all of your thoughts and just how out of control they can be.
It’s hilarious to me sometimes when I try and meditate, and I can’t focus for a minute without thoughts forcing their way into my head. This is normal when meditating and some days you will be in control, and other days your thoughts will dictate the entire session.
The more you practice meditation, the more in control you become of your life.
6. You’re calmer
I often associate the feeling of being calm with being in a tranquil spot of nature such as The Great Barrier Reef. What meditation does so well is calm you right now in the moment and bring you into a non-reactive state of thinking.
Many of us live our life just reacting to everything that is thrown in front of us and by meditating we can change this reality. When the mind is calm, our thoughts become more pure, and we can soak our thinking with an influx of positivity.
Living in a calm state of mind is a way of life for me now. If you have never got to live in a calm state, then I empower you to make this a must in your life. Meditating will start the process of being more calm, but it’s up to you to carry the feeling on through the way you choose to live your life.
Everything you do each day is a choice. Success is about making smarter choices and meditation is one of those choices. Try it, embrace it, and enjoy what it feels like to calm your mind / life right down.
***My meditation tips***
- Try to practice meditation every single day for no less than ten minutes. If you only do it once in a while, you won’t get the growth that regular meditation can give you.
- Use an app to guide you through the process. Apps often have good instructions and relaxing background sounds that help deepen the meditation experience.
- If you’re really hopeless at meditation, then try getting a coach or attending a meditation class. Sometimes it’s your environment that is stopping you from practicing meditation correctly.
- Sit up straight with your feet flat on the floor. Lying down while meditating can make you fall asleep and you won’t be truly present.
- As suggested before, drink a nice warm cup of green tea (or any tea) straight after your meditation session.
- If you fly a lot like me, use the time on the plane to meditate. For long flights, try a whole hour of meditation. A longer session is an entirely different experience.
- Share the benefits of meditation with other people you know and get the word out there.