“Life is short. We can live it lost in thought or we can choose to be present as life unfolds around us.”-Headspace
Meditation! I must have ignored this important and extremely powerful habit for a happy mind all my life. I just couldn’t bring myself to stay still at one place and concentrate on my breathing. It made absolutely no sense to me. The biggest misconception that I had in my mind was that meditation was supposed to immediately calm me down and clear my anxious thoughts. That’s not how it works. About 4 years back I encountered a difficult situation at work. I had made a huge error and was petrified of the consequences. I was constantly anxious and my mind didn’t leave any stone upturned to churn out one negative thought after another. There was no respite even at home as my mind continued the negative thought pattern. That’s when I decided to give meditation a shot at calming down my mind. I could see a positive result from barely few days of consistent practice. While the thoughts continued to disrupt my mind, I was slowly learning to acknowledge them and let it go. I didn’t even realize when I did it. My anxiousness subsided eventually when everything got sorted out at work and not one of my negative thoughts manifested into reality.
I stopped practicing meditation the moment situations got better in my life and I technically didn’t ‘need’ it anymore. That’s where I went terribly wrong. Meditation helps in improving our overall physical and emotional well being if practiced daily. I have tried making it a habit few times in the past and failed terribly. In the past, I scheduled my meditation session at a time during the day which made it easier for me to delay it indefinitely. I made a small change in my daily routine to incorporate my meditation session, first thing in the morning. I start my day with a 20 min meditation session every morning and carry on with my daily activities after that. This schedule has worked pretty well for me in the last 12 days and I feel great. I’ve noticed a decrease in my junk food cravings as I am able to not dwell on those thoughts for long. I’m pretty excited to experience the long term benefits of this powerful new habit in my life.
There are various ways to meditate, I personally use a guided mediation application called ‘Headspace’. The techniques shared in the application are easy to follow and the video animations are catchy enough to sustain my attention. In the initial days I had to force myself to sit at once place quietly and meditate. It sure has gotten easier over time and scheduling it first thing in the morning has been extremely beneficial in being consistent at it.
Apart from reducing anxiety, stress and calming the mind, the long term benefits of meditation include better emotional health, an increased sense of self awareness, improved attention span, helps in fighting addictions as well as improved sleep. This habit seems like a long term investment with no immediate rewards but I surely want to continue long enough to reap it’s benefits in the future. Making it a daily habit surely helps in being consistent.