Why I love meditation
When I did my Life Coaching diploma I learnt a little bit about meditation and its benefits. I tried walking meditations, breathing meditations and more formal, sitting on the floor cross legged saying “ommmmm” meditations.
The single most helpful thing I’ve learnt is how to **observe** my thoughts. Not to judge them and not to let them take over. Accept they are there and that they will pass.
I used to think that meditation was some kind of magical state that you get yourself into. Your thoughts will not just magically vanish from your head and that’s not the point.
By concentrating on your breathing you slow your heart rate and become calmer and more present. Yes the thoughts will still come through – “have I taken dinner out the freezer? What meetings do I have today? My back aches.” This is normal. Think of meditation like standing by a busy road watching traffic pass. Your thoughts are the passing cars which you are simply observing as they pass by. Your breath acts as an anchor to the present moment so each time your mind wanders come back to your breath.
With practice, you will find the thoughts don’t come in as thick and fast as they once did, and you’ll achieve a stillness of mind.
You may think the the main benefit of meditation is that you get a few minutes of downtime to relax, which is true, but the benefits are not just limited to these few minutes. Meditation has a really positive impact on overall wellbeing and the effects can be experienced day in and day out.
When I meditate on a daily basis…
Greater sense of calmness as I go about my day
Far greater focus at work and tackling one task at a time
Ability to not believe everything I think and not get caught up in a negative pattern of thinking
Clarity of thought
Greater resilience when dealing with difficult situations and emotions
More in tune with myself and what I want
Driven by my values rather than by external factors which I have little or no control over
Ability to be present rather than letting myself get caught up in my thoughts and worries, robbing myself of the present moment
More creativity and more headspace
Greater tolerance of others!
…and when I go weeks without meditating, the opposite of all the above is the case. I can sometimes feel like a frazzled, stressed out mess who is trying to achieve so much and do a million things at once, without ever achieving anything. I feel more uptight, get angrier quicker and spend too much time in my own head rather than in the real world.
Sometimes I kid myself that I don’t have time to meditate which simply isn’t true. I normally like to meditate for 10 minutes and on days where I do feel pushed for time even 3 minutes is better than nothing. If nothing else, it gives me 3 minutes to breeeaaathe.
How I meditate…
I normally sit cross legged, back straight and hands on my knees with thumb and index finger together. Sometimes I lay down on the floor but that’s a dangerous game if you’re tired and end up napping instead! There are no rules, well I don’t think there are anyway, whatever works for you. I like to put on relaxing spa type music. For guided meditation I use Boho Beautiful on YouTube which is great and at the end of every guided meditation I hope that I will one day end up looking like her. It’s not happened yet!
I honestly can’t recommend meditation enough. It may, at first, feel uncomfortable to sit and simply observe your thoughts but it gets easier and more comfortable as the days go on. I do still have days where I feel like I have too many thoughts that I can’t help clinging to and obsessing over but, with practice, distancing yourself from your thoughts and becoming present gets easier.
If you are tempted to start meditation, but have questions or want to hear more about my experiences with meditation, please get in touch as I love hearing from people who read my blog posts and if I can encourage even just one person to take up meditation then I’ll be happy 🙂