You’ve probably heard it already, from a friend, coworker, or long forgotten acquaintance: Meditation is great!
Or maybe you saw it somewhere on the internet? Many blogs and SNS pages are dedicated to promoting a mindful lifestyle.
For me, it was my brother-in-law.
When I found out he’s meditating, my first reaction was “Oh, cool, yes, good for you.” And then I pushed it to the back of my mind. I’d never tried meditation before, so everything he said about the benefits went straight past me. And to think that it could help me with my then-raging depression? Please.
That’s why I keep talking about it here and there – and that’s why I decided to dedicate a whole post to my experience with everyday meditation.
Because it does help. With anxiety, stress, negative thoughts, depression – and just regular sadness, loneliness, and bad mood.
There are so many little benefits I get from it every day, as well as bigger life-changing lessons I keep learning, I just had to finally put them out there.
But first, just to make sure we’re on the same page, let’s start with the basics.
What Is Meditation
To rephrase the Wikipedia definition, meditation is a practice of training your awareness and intentionally refocusing your attention.
The object of your focus can be a thing (like a candle), a repetitive action (like breathing or walking), a feeling (loving-kindness meditation), or a spoken word (mantra). You can also try mindful meditation and focus on everything you feel in the present moment instead of something in particular.
Of course, it’s not the full list – but, as of now, these are the ones I tried myself and can recommend as a newbie.
You can find guided meditations for each of them in the app I’m using myself – Medito. It’s a simple free app that, in my opinion, has everything you need for daily meditation practice.
And, just to be clear, I’m not an affiliate, don’t receive any commissions, and have zero connections to Medito. I just really like it and want to share the way I got hooked on meditation myself!
But there are all kinds of resources on the internet, so if a mobile app isn’t for you, you can always find something to your taste. The most important thing is to start.
And to encourage and inspire you, here are the 7 benefits I found through my 6 months experience!
As I mentioned earlier, there’s a separate type of meditation based on mindfulness. (And, oops, it’s my favorite.)
If you’re not familiar with the term, mindfulness is the ability to focus solely on the present moment. Without memories of the past, worries about the future, plans, ideas, all other thoughts distracting you.
Mindfulness is all about being here and now.
I am a highly sensitive person, which means I naturally pay more attention to my surroundings. (You can read more about the connection between sensitivity and mindfulness in another post.)
But learning how to focus on the present moment and be mindful intentionally has helped tremendously in dealing with my anxious thoughts.
Also, about that…
Less Stress and Anxiety
It’s something I’d been struggling with for years.
Even the smallest misfortunes would send my stress levels over the roof, not to mention serious troubles or failures. I’d be tense for days on end, worrying over the same thing over and over again.
Well, I still have my moments of unreasonable stress, not gonna lie – but they happen that much rarer. And I have control over them!
Now I know how to pay attention to these feelings, recognize, and calm them down. (Or do my best to, after all, mental health issues are not that easy to handle.)
Before that, though? Wouldn’t even bother to try and change the situation.
Yes, before I started with my everyday meditation practice, I’d stay in my stressed-depressed-anxious mood for days, weeks, months even.
Of course, you can’t get rid of every mental health problem with sheer mindfulness – a whole complex is needed in most cases. So, no, can’t say those bad days disappeared entirely (I even prepared a separate post in the light of my recent ones, you can check it here).
But now they are much lighter than, say, a year ago.
Daily meditation teaches you how to notice your thoughts and feelings, acknowledge them, understand them – and move on.
Better Understanding Of Myself
When you don’t pay attention to your own mind and negative thoughts, you are under their control.
It was a hard concept to grasp at the beginning of my meditation practice, but now it comes naturally whenever I think about my mind.
Often your thoughts, just like mine, like anyone else’s, appear in your mind without any reason or any direction. If you take a few seconds to just sit in silence, something will come to your mind.
And it’s okay! You can’t control your thoughts, and you don’t have to. You only need to know how to not let them control you. How to let them go.
Then, you’ll learn how to find peace within yourself.
I meditate for 10-15 minutes at least two times a day – in the morning and before going to bed. And both of these sessions help me in their own ways.
When you sit to meditate, you usually set an intention in your mind. What do you want right now? Peace? Focus? Let go of depressive thoughts, or find your inner strength?
You set your mind in the right direction. And it’s such an easy and effective way to kickstart your day with a smile!
I often use mantras in the morning sessions to get into the right mood for the day ahead. What can be better than repeating a positive, inspiring affirmation that will stick with you for the rest of the day?
(Maybe only writing them down in a journal beforehand.)
The same way you cultivate a positive mindset in the morning, you can let go of any thoughts in the evening.
Ever had trouble falling asleep? I bet we all did, at some point or another. (Although I’ve never had insomnia – too much sleep was my enemy here.)
Whenever my rest is being pushed by loud thoughts, I always reach for sleep meditation. It soothes my worries and allows to focus on my peace instead.
But it’s not the only benefit of meditating before bed!
Even when anxiety is quiet, it’s still good to sit down for a few peaceful minutes. Let go of all the worries from today, find gratefulness for all the good things that happened, and clear your mind for the night. Pleasant sleep is guaranteed!
Morning and evening meditations are a part of my routine – but sometimes I just feel the need to meditate in the middle of the day.
Maybe something triggered me, maybe the day turned out to be more stressful, maybe some things didn’t work out the way I planned. There are plenty of ways for the day to turn unexpectedly worse.
For these moments, I keep my app and earphones at hand.
Finding myself in the present moment always makes me a bit calmer. “Hey, there you are, we’re going to deal with it, okay?”
On some days these few minutes of meditation can truly become the best part of it.
Never underestimate the power of your thoughts and your own mindset. Everything starts from you, but do you know where you are right now?
Don’t lose yourself in the negativity and fast pace of the modern world. Better, focus on building a solid connection with your mind.
Well, I hope I convinced you that everyday meditation is a great habit to include in your daily routine. Are you going to use it? Let me know what you think!