This is an updated post.
Welcome dear readers! Another article for you! As you’ve noticed, I frequently post motivation, self-development tips, and reminders because I would love you to see something that could uplift you as you scroll through your social media feeds. Some people even have the habit of opening their phones first thing in the morning. But as I am reading about great habits that we can do as we start the day, I read more about meditation. I incorporated this in my morning and evening routine as I wake up and before I sleep in bed, and there are things I’ve realized since I started meditating. Therefore, let me impart some benefits and importance of meditation.
Meditation? What is it, anyway?
According to an article from Psychology Today, meditation is pretty simple:
Meditation is the practice of turning one’s attention to a single point of reference. It can involve focusing on the breath, on bodily sensations, or on a word or phrase, known as a mantra. In other words, meditation means pivoting away from distracting thoughts and focusing on the present moment. Meditating is deceptively simple.
Most people mistakenly interpret meditation being used by a specific religion or belief. As I see it, all kinds of religion utilize meditation by connecting to their inner self and/or connecting with a higher being. I have my own belief that something supreme exists and whatever religion we follow (if we have), we must be living up on what we really preach. Thus, I think, whatever being we believe in, or even none, it would involve taking care of yourself (because that’s the only thing we have when everything’s gone) and I guess you could acquire that in many ways including meditation. Once again, take note, you don’t have to belong in a specific religion just to practice this.
Meditation is simple. Most of the time you have to close your eyes and focus on your breathing and your bodily sensations. You can tweak it. Modify it. Meditation is always your way of doing things. It’s being present.
How Meditation Helped Me: Top 5 Benefits
Now, let me share you how focused meditation affected me (even I just started recently)!
1. Get ready for a night of wonderful sleep!
Before I sleep at night, I can’t help it sometimes to use my phone. However, since it is definitely hard to avoid that, I used my phone in a better way. I downloaded the application Calm (available in AppStore and Google Play) and got the Pro version. I had been using this for sometime already by listening to the fireplace sound since it helped me sleep fast. However, you can get access there from a list of stories, or meditation guides (when you don’t know where to start). Remember those times when someone tell you a bedtime story and you fall asleep? That’s how guided meditations sound like for me. It instructs you on what to focus on. And don’t worry if you don’t have that 100% focus yet, it is something that could be practiced.
Check out my latest Instagram post for my other top picks on meditation apps! These are free apps to download.
2. You can build your focus.
At this day and age, focus is not something that most people can develop easily. With the constant distractions and instant gratifications that we receive and the rapid movement of technology, there are always lots of things that fill our minds. Meditation would teach you a better way to handle these.
When doing it, I have this mindset that I am meditating. Therefore, I set it to myself that I will not do anything but meditate. If you develop this kind of mindset, you make the things you do valuable and sacred. This can also help you develop to fully enjoy other activities, such as eating your food mindfully, talking to someone with your undivided attention, taking pleasure in strolls and walks as you appreciate nature, and even mundane things that you do in daily life.
Check out this article that includes research showing mindfulness meditation practice can help you increase attention span. Also, I have written an article on time management that could guide you in your activities.
3. It can somehow clear and free you from unwanted thoughts.
Mental health has become a wide-known issue nowadays. My take on this is that, before, though people are already experiencing mental health issues, the focus of other generation is more on survival. Imagine a beggar asking for help on the streets. Are they mentally healthy? Probably not. But do you think that is their priority? I don’t think so. Their main purpose is to survive the next day by getting food to eat. Perhaps what is happening in this generation is an awareness of more issues since we can already find ways for basic survival. I myself experience instances wherein negative thoughts are being flooded on my mind. However, it is completely normal. The universe needs balance. Let yourself experience it because it really happens and if you decided to manage it, take some time to meditate. When you meditate, it does not eradicate your negative thoughts; rather, it gives you awareness, which is the first step on tackling these kinds of issues.
Have so much bills to pay for the week? Meditate, you’ll see that you’ll definitely overcome it. You might get solutions too, when your mind is not crowded.
4. Meditation can make you mindful. Thus, it can help you manage pain.
Pain comes in many ways. Whether it be physical, emotional, and the like, pain is still pain. Let me share you an experience when I got sick two years ago. I got dengue fever, there are all kinds of pain in my body (I am totally crying in pain because it is really painful). However, thinking about how painful it is would not help to make the sensation stop. In fact, it worsens the pain because your mind tells you more that it is painful. There are techniques I developed on my own as simple as telling myself that “the pain will be gone soon” made me control of my pain. Remember it does not really remove the pain, but rather it enables you to take charge of it. Do you know the placebo effect? That is how the power of mind affects our bodily functions.
Another instance, this is somehow funny, but I am a fan of spicy food. I am sure some of you love it too. There are lots of instances wherein whenever I eat spicy noodles, I always prime my mind to enjoy the taste rather than the burning sensation. It will hurt, but my focus is more on the other flavors, you can try that too!
5. Lastly, it develops happiness, kindness, and compassion.
Whenever I ask people, what their goal in life is, they always tell me: I just want to be happy. When I think about it, being happy is fairly simple: you just have to have a better outlook in life despite all the challenges we encounter. You also have to enjoy every single moment of your existence. However, it is not definitely easy for most of us, because we have pre-programmed beliefs on what happiness is. Sometimes, this is determined by the norms of the society, things we see around us, and so on. Thus, with meditation, you can train your mind to embrace happiness by having a positive outlook in life as I’ve mentioned on #3 and could reduce stress. Take note that being positive doesn’t mean eliminating the negatives, it’s more on working your way with them.
There are certain therapies that includes meditation techniques in addressing mental conditions which hinders our functioning, such as anxiety. Thus, by giving yourself 5-10 minutes to meditate, you are advancing yourself to that happiness you’d like to experience. Happiness is fairly simple, and meditation can help us realize that.
Lastly, why kindness and compassion? With developing good thoughts to others by meditation, you can think of the world as a better place to live in. You highlight the good in people, instead of thinking about their flaws. You accept that people are different and they are not defined on what they did in the past, but they are individuals who are capable of growth.
I hope you learned something from reading my meditation experience. I never regretted incorporating it on my daily routine as I know it can awaken my spirituality which is one thing I’d like to grow more on this incoming year. Share me your meditation stories through comments or chats on my social media. See you on my next article!
- All About Meditation, Psychology Today – https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/basics/meditation
- 12 Science-Based Benefits of Meditation – https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/12-benefits-of-meditation
- Effects of the transcendental meditation technique on trait anxiety: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24107199
- Mindfulness meditation improves cognition: Evidence of brief mental training – https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1053810010000681
- Discover Calm: No. 1 App for Meditation and Sleep – https://www.calm.com/