Now that meditation is going pretty mainstream, I might not even need to tell you that it doesn’t have to be ‘woo, woo’ or super spiritual and it doesn’t have to conflict with your religion if you are religious. I’ve even heard of some people kind of combining their meditation and prayer!
The main goal of meditation is to quiet your mind. We are all so over-stimulated these days and we all have endless to-do lists and worries that are over taking our days and even our nights when we should be falling asleep! Meditation gives your mind a break so that you can tackle your day with more ease and maybe even fall asleep easier too.
If you’re worried that you can’t ‘turn off’ your brain, that’s okay and that’s actually a perfect reason to start a meditation practice. Because it is just that – a practice. Think about anything else that you tried for the first time or the first several times. You probably weren’t a pro the first time you tried anything new but if you saw the possible benefits, you stuck with it anyway.
Here are some of the benefits of meditation:
- Meditation quiets your mind
- Meditation gives your busy mind a much-needed break
- Meditation can give clarity to your thoughts
- Meditation can give you more patience for dealing with others and for yourself
- Meditation can ease anxiety
- Meditation can bring new, creative ideas
- Meditation can help you sleep
- Meditation can help you keep a more positive outlook and attitude
Now I will be totally honest with you. I didn’t always see the benefit of meditation. I basically bought into all of the stereotypes and excuses. I thought it was too spiritual for me, I didn’t think I had enough time and, when it comes down to it, I just didn’t see the benefits of a meditation practice. I am a little embarrassed to say I was a yoga teacher for several years with this attitude!
After I had two babies back-to-back, my anxiety skyrocketed. Also, I tend to watch more TV when I have a newborn and we’re more house-bound so I started watching Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee after I had my second baby. I’m sure sleep deprivation helped make everything seem funnier but I loved that show. I couldn’t stop thinking how calm and collected Jerry Seinfeld is and how nothing seems to ruffle his feathers. I was also quite impressed with how he looks so much younger than his age with seemingly little to no work done to his appearance. I knew he was big into meditation so I started to give it a try. What did I have to lose?
As it turns out, I loved it and it was just what I needed to take the edge off my anxiety. Now, I notice a night and day difference in my attitude, patience and even healthy choices throughout the day if I meditate in the morning. I used to meditate at night, before bed, but I found that it felt like one more checklist item at the end of the day so now I’ve realized morning is better for me but everyone is different!
Stay tuned for next week and part 2 when I’ll share how to get started with meditation.