Meditation Is Going To Change Your Life
Do me and yourself a favor and forget everything you have heard about meditation or what you think it is. Because it doesn’t really have to have anything to do with spirituality and elephant monks sitting in the snow for hours without moving, having out of body experiences.
But what it really is, is a genius mind trick, that really should be part of everyone's life and taught in schools and integrated into our day to day routine. (Yes, I really think, it's that great!) But it sadly isn’t. But if you’re here you can consider yourself lucky because you have discovered it. And I promise, if you give it an honest shot then you will notice how good it is for you and not give it up for anything.
First, let me explain how I discovered it personally and what it has done for me. I remember when I was really young, I always felt so comfortable in my own head, it was a place for me, that I could be in and feel safe. But that slowly changed. I spent less and less time paying attention to my thoughts and more and more time distracting myself with something. When I was alone, I always kept busy with something like TV shows, random videos or at least music. It distracted me from any negative thoughts I had and of course, they built up so I had to distract myself even more. I couldn’t even read a book anymore because it left my thoughts too much space to go crazy and be too much to handle. With me personally, that ended with a time of really bad depression and anxiety but there were other factors in my life, that played a role in that too. But even if it doesn’t get that far, it is a dangerous mindset to be in. And you become very vulnerable to anything negative around you. And since mental health is just as important for your wellbeing as physical health is, it requires just as much work as physical health does. So at that low point in my life, I discovered that meditation was a way of putting work and time into my mental health that is incredibly rewarding.
Here are the benefits I have found:
A genius mind trick: These days just ‘doing nothing’ is just not something we do anymore, we are always turning on some sort of entertainment, usually even multitasking things, we never stop to gather our thoughts. And meditation really helps to do just that. You take some time off to just think. To watch what sort of thoughts your brain throws at you all the time. And realizing some aren’t always helpful and that you can choose to ignore them.
Identifying thoughts as those and deciding how much power you want to give them: It seems like your thoughts are just you yourself, but I don’t see it that way anymore and I find that really helpful. If you’re meditating you will see your thoughts coming in and out of your awareness very clearly and you will understand that they are not always really reflecting who you are. Some of them are really random and you have no idea where they’re coming from and you probably don’t even agree with all of them. A lot of them are probably not even nice to you. So thinking that they make up who you are is something I refuse to believe. So meditation is an amazing method to analyze your thoughts and make the conscious decision to either take them seriously if they are helpful or to simply ignore them.
Getting to know and organize the place in your head: Since I started meditating I started to see my head like my own little room. A place that only I can go to and I can design however I want. The best thing about that is, that I always carry it around with me wherever I go and I always feel at home that way. I can close my eyes and I’m there and I can put things there that I know make me happy and this has just been a gamechanger for me. I am having so much fun being there now and I like to think that I am getting better and better at building this space it boosts your imagination, your creativity, and your fantasy. Yes, I know this sounds a bit crazy, but trust me you will understand what I’m talking about when you try it yourself.
Realizing you are a person, who's alive and can do whatever you want to do with that. Taking time off to think, instead of hustling from one thing to the next really makes you think about what you’re doing, why you’re doing it and where you’re going with it. You start to realize that you are actually one of those humans on earth that has one shot at life and time steadily but surely goes by. And I know that thought can be scary, I’ve definitely been there, but also you can do a lot with it. You realize you have nothing to lose, only endless opportunities to experience anything you want, to create something, that you can leave behind or to just have fun and enjoy the ride. You can evaluate, whats really important to you, and what really isn’t worth wasting your time for. For me, it’s all about finding something I'm passionate about and to experience as much as possible of everything.
Also, we can get stuck regretting things we did wrong, where we embarrassed ourselves, or some decisions that we made. But trust me, it neither helps, nor is it necessary to look back and analyze those things, because, first of all we are probably the only ones who even remember those things, when we were embarrassed, nobody else does, and that’s the only place, where the past actually exists, in our minds, and second of all, I like to believe that we are always exactly where we need to be in our lives. Everything that happened made us the person we are at that moment, and that’s good the way it is. It is easier for us to see every day as finished when it’s over. It’s closed, we’ve done the best we could at that moment, and we’re now ready to start fresh the next day. This mindset is really calming to me because it takes off all that pressure of the big picture off your shoulders when all you concentrate on is doing your best that day that you’re in it’s all you can do.
How to actually do it: So I’ve talked a lot about how meditation can positively affect your life, but not yet talked about how to actually do it. So let me tell you what I do. In the beginning, I researched a lot of information on how to practice meditation and all the techniques and tips and all the items you could use and music and so on and so on… But let me tell you, don’t do this to yourself it’s really so much simpler than you think and the best and only way to figure out what it is is to just do it. And you literally need nothing you can sit wherever, however you like. And you don’t need any tools but a timer. Some sort of watch that tells you when a certain period of time is over. So it’s handy, that usually, we all have our phones with us these days. It is important though to put your phone in airplane mode or at least turn off any notifications because we try to avoid any distraction of course. So then you can put on anytime, literally, anytime, whatever suits you, on your timer and maybe set a somewhat nice alarm for the end, some of them can be quite harsh. It really isn’t important what time you do it for if you don’t have that much, or you’re just starting out it is enough to do 5 to 15 minutes. And then you can do longer periods as you go on. Having the timer is good because you can and should completely lose track of time and so it's one less thing you have to worry about. Then you should choose a position that’s comfortable, in a room that preferably doesn’t have too many noises, and where nobody will come in and distract you. Then close your eyes and just breathe. Take some deep breaths in the beginning and fully concentrate on your breath but don’t control it. Feel the cold air flowing through your body and the warm air coming out your nose. And what I found really helpful is to imagine all the dark negativity flowing out when you breathe out and all the clear, clean, light positivity when you breathe in. Then you start to count from 1 to 10 as you breathe out. That's a simple trick to keep your mind busy enough doing something, but it’s something so effortless, that your mind doesn’t have to work for it. And it’s not about not thinking anything, to just stop thinking, that’s not really possible, especially in the beginning, so don’t worry, it’s normal! You’re going to have thoughts and that’s fine. The trick is, to see them like clouds coming in, then you can look at them, and gently push them out of your awareness and go back to the counting. And just repeat that, you are going to notice, that the thoughts become less and less, the more you do it, but even when they come, it’s totally fine. Sometimes you can even decide to follow a thought if you think it is a good one and you might see more clearly what is good for you.
Then, of course, there are tons of guided meditations, that can be great as well and you should just try out what works best for you. I just prefer this technique because it’s so simple and really makes me focus on me, while I’m completely by myself. And I have to say I really enjoy my own company now, which is great.
Great guided Meditations:
Boho Beautiful has a couple of great ones:
Your Youniverse: Law of Attraction Meditation
And if you just type in 'Guided Meditation' in YouTube you will find tons of good ones to chose from.
I really hope you will give meditation a shot, I can only recommend it, as it has been so good for me. Let me know, whether you have any good guided meditations, any advice, tips or tricks for meditation in general and whether you practice it yourself and if so, what your experience with it is.