How Meditation Will Help You Improve Your Life
Meditation is a powerful tool that can help us to take care of our mental health in difficult times
the surrounding airThe mind that is free from passions is a citadel, for man has nothing more secure to which he can fly for refuge and repel every attack.
— Marcus Aurelius
We live in an extremely stressful society, in extremely stressful times.
COVID-19 has only accelerated what we were already perceiving: We’re tired, exhausted, the whole world seems to rest on our shoulders, and we’re losing hope.
Suicide rates have enormously increased worldwide. It makes perfect sense, as this situation has put us in an awful place to live; we’re losing our jobs, our loved ones, our time, our energy, and our trust in humanity.
That’s why I decided to share with you what works best for me: My meditation ability.
You’re not alone, I know how you feel.
And I’m here for you my friend.
My Journey With Meditation
It all began more or less in 2 b.C. (before COVID-19) with my best friend, Marta, getting interested in yoga, meditation, and eastern philosophy.
She got really passionate about it, she joined a pro course and started to learn really fast, it’s a natural talent for her.
After some time she began explaining to me the basics of meditation and Yoga.
I used to tell her that my case was a lost cause, that the conditions in which I lived made it impossible for me to practice either yoga or meditation, but she insisted.
And finally, I began to understand how to do it, so right before the lockdown, I was already meditating regularly.
It was my healing trip. When I retired to my inner citadel, my wounds healed faster, and I could return well rested to the battle that we call life.
Meditation helped me to survive for the whole lockdown in a home where yells and trouble are a common issue. And will do it again.
Why Meditation Works
When we achieve the meditative state, we get to be fully aware of everything, it is in a sense, similar to hypnosis.
We get to feel every part of our bodies, every muscle, every bone, every articulation.
We even get to feel the air around us, its temperature, its smell.
But most importantly: We get to feel our true selves, our inner cores.
Meditation works because it makes us stay present, and it makes us appreciate everything without judging anything, without judging ourselves.
It allows us to see our thoughts from another perspective, that’s it: forget that cliché of emptying your mind, it’s more like weighing anchors and relaxing on deck without worries.
You’re just there, being one with the universe because you’ve always been part of the universe, it’s just that your stressful life didn’t allow you to realize it.
All of this is called self-awareness.
The Benefits of Meditation
Meditating daily is beneficial for both your physical and your mental health. For example:
Better Focus and Concentration
Meditation helped me to improve my focus capacity, as someone born with ADD, it felt impossible at first to achieve the mental state needed to meditate, but after some time, I began finding easier to focus each time.
Also, according to this 2016 article by Carnegie Melon University, meditation helps to reduce inflammation due to stress in adult brains.
This is very important, as this inflammation affects executive control, which is in charge of allowing us to put our dirty underwear in the laundry basket instead of the toilet.
Improve Self-Esteem and Self-Awareness
Meditation helped me to discover parts of me that I really liked. It allowed me to examine myself without judging. We know that society influences our self-esteem. It dictates how we should be in every aspect, and hurts us.
But when we look at ourselves without judging, just observing, our preconceptions disappear, we lose our bias.
But because meditation is all about not judging is that we get to be genuinely confident, we get to value ourselves.
Meditation also helped me to reduce my stress levels, I’m quite nervous, so I know what I’m talking about.
Stress is closely related to our capacity to stay focused. As an adult with ADD, I know that stressful situations are closely related to our concentration capabilities.
A 2018 research also shows its benefits by comparing heart rate and brain activity.
What You Need to Start
Nothing! Just a quiet place and your will to meditate!
The only thing needed is to sit upright comfortably. You can either fold your feet in the iconic meditative pose or just sit as usual on a chair.
Then close your eyes and relax, don’t fall asleep, just let your thoughts go and focus on your breathing.
Maybe after some seconds, you start seeing a strange shape? Follow it, examine it without much effort.
Maybe you suddenly remember that time in sixth grade when you peed your pants? It’s in the past, just watch that memory go back to the past where it belongs.
Don’t get frustrated if you don’t get it right at first, meditation is about calmness, not competition.
If you feel frustrated just take a nap, and try again the next day. It won’t take you a lot of time, I promise you that, it happened to me.
Just give up on attachment, once you achieve that, you’re free to go.