I appreciate that there are far more than 5 benefits of meditating, but I want to share with you the benefits of meditating that I have discovered for myself.
I expected to find relaxation, but through trying it out myself I discovered the benefits covered mental state, concentration levels, stress reduction, emotional balance and physical benefits.
One of the new habits that I embraced this year was to meditate.
A Very Busy Mind
For years I had been a complete stress head and suffered with depression and anxiety. My mind was never focussed on one thing – there was just so much going on around in my head. In fact it was just really busy thinking of what I needed to do, what was going to happen in the future, what had I forgotten about and so on. To say that I constantly had things on my mind was a huge understatement.
The result of this? Complete exhaustion.
A Friends Recommendation
A friend had mentioned about the benefits of meditating, so I thought that I would give it a go. To say that I was sceptical was putting it mildly. How on earth could I forget, even for a short while, the many things that I was thinking about? It was impossible I thought.
I decided to experiment with a number of different meditating programs. There are a lot of them out there. The best advice I can give, to get the best benefits of meditating is try a few to find out which one suits you. I would sign up for free trials of 7 days (many programs offer this) which I thought would be a decent period of time to see if I liked it.
Selecting A Meditation Type
I discovered that whilst I loved the sound of Buddhist Monks chanting, I found that guided meditation worked best for me. This was primarily because I was so new to it that I didn’t feel confident doing it on my own. Having someone softly direct me as to what to do seemed a good way to learn.
Again, after trying a number of different sites and programs I settled on Headspace.com which I have now been using since February this year. I find the selection of different programs and choice of length for the meditation is really good. In addition I find the voice so very soothing. It’s like having a friend whisper in my ear that everything is going to be ok.
The benefits of meditating for me, have been surprising. I had hoped to quiet my mind, but there were other things that also happened that has made me feel so much better.
The first and most obvious is that I have found a mental shift in my thinking. Doing a 10 minute meditation every morning has certainly calmed my busy mind and I discovered that I am more open to different perspectives in my thinking. In fact my brain has, or so it seems to me, become more playful. I don’t look at issues as problems but a game that I want to explore to find a solution.
Helps Concentration and Focus Levels
Another of the benefits of meditating was that my concentration levels and ability to focus has improved dramatically. Previously with so much going on in my brain, I would flit like a butterfly from one thing to another. Never actually completing anything. As a result my to-do list would grow with nothing being ticked off. Now finding the ability to focus on one thing at a time I find that I am a lot more productive.
Feel Less Stressed
I had hoped that through meditation I would feel less stressed, but at the time I did not think that it would be a possibility for me. Because my mental thinking has changed and I am focussing better, I am able to take things in my stride more. I used to get so upset when things unexpected happened that would throw me off track. Now I do not worry about it so much. I’ve adopted more of a ‘what will be, will be’ attitude. Naturally I work through what I need to do in order to get back on track, but I no longer stress about doing it.
The knock on benefits of meditating has been that I am far more even tempered as a result of the above benefits that I have experienced. I’ve never been a crying sort of person until the stress had become so great that my only release was to cry. The draining impact of this emotion would upset me on different levels. I felt that I was losing control of myself. Now, I am not saying that having a good cry is bad for you – far from it. But my need to cry has diminished and I feel a new form of happiness and contentment in my life.
An unexpected benefit of meditating has been the physical aspect. When I meditate I tend to sit up straighter (I sit in a chair whilst meditating). My back is straight, my shoulders are down and I feel less tension in my neck. I tend to walk better with my head up high. This is another great benefit as when we are depressed or feeling low, we tend to look down on things. Looking up is a liberation and automatically lifts the spirits.
From Sceptic to Convert
From being a complete sceptic about the benefits of meditating, I have become a true convert. Admittedly at first I found it quite hard to do. I had embraced the thought of meditating, but it took my brain quite a while to catch up on the idea. In fact, I think that it took me a good two months to really get into it. I am not saying that I am perfect – definitely not. I have a long way to go before I can really focus on meditating for 10 minutes without my busy brain interfering. But it is certainly getting better.
In fact those 10 minutes of meditating I now do every morning is an opportunity for me to centre myself before the day begins. I also love the fact that I take time out each morning, just for myself. It’s a time that I definitely treasure and get so much out of.
The benefits of meditating for me have been really surprising. It has certainly exceeded my expectations.
Do You Meditate?
I would love to hear from you if you meditate and what you have discovered are the benefits of meditation. Or, if you are perhaps considering meditation but unclear where to start, do get in touch. I am certainly not an expert but very happy to share my own experience with you.
Please note that I do not receive any benefit either direct or indirect by recommending Headspace