Since I started experimenting with a mindfulness meditation practice six months ago, my perspective changed. So today I’ll share how you can reap the benefits of meditation by being more mindful.
I’ll preface this by saying if you haven’t read my thoughts on meditation, here are the cliffs: I started with sitting in a dark room – observing my breath, clearing my thoughts, and noticing any sensations in my body.
Now six months in, the differences in my personal well being are a plenty.
Your perspective shifts after you teach yourself to become more attuned to your thoughts and sensations.
Basically, you take your learnings from meditating and extend it to all aspects of your life. Some people call this informal meditation.
Dedicating yourself to being in the present moment takes a ton of practice.
A certain diligence with catching yourself thinking is pretty tricky to get the hang of, but if you make the conscious effort, you’ll notice the benefits – it is an empowering feeling.
But, like everything else, it takes practice… no shortcuts here, friend.
I’m now realizing how absurd it is to dwell on the past. Something you have no control over is not worth your thoughts.
That mistake you made at work, or botched encounter with some girl or guy is history: move on.
Thinking about the future is a bit different, but the same premise applies. The future is exciting for some but anxiety provoking for others. My advice is to come to terms with what it is.
Instead of looking forward to things, focus your energy on what you can directly control, the present.
I started by learning to notice the present throughout every part of my day. Previously meaningless sensations I now notice and embrace.
So I started dabbling with daily meditation in November. First off, a few caveats: I am not converting to buddhism, and I don’t fancy myself some spiritual guru.
Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, I would love to share what meditation means to me, how I think it will help you, and how to get started.
It’s one of the most difficult things i’ve ever tried to learn because it takes a different type of discipline – total concentration, time, and lots of practice.
When I first started I literally had no idea what was going on. I would sit there, eyes closed and breathing… basically waiting for it to end.
But… before pulling the chute, I did some research. I reached out to Jonathan Fields after reading his book, Uncertainty, and he pointed me to a few really cool resources. I was also inspired by this really cool personal anecdote on meditation from JC Deen.
So here I was, confused guy looking to meditate his way to a stress free, hyper-productive life, but how did I actually start meditation?
The premise of meditation for me is focused awareness, living in the present moment, and being aware your body.
I’ll save you the spiritual cheesefest, whilst trying to explain a bit about each below.
I started meditating in November for a few reasons. Long days and bad sleep, but also i’m also just curious about ways to promote well-being, increase productivity, etc.
Coming from a psychology background, stress and anxiety are two things I spend a lot of time thinking about. The spiritual aspect of mindfulness meditation always popped up in psychology research as viable alternatives to your standard drug therapy approach.
I also, have this issue where I can never turn my mind off and ‘let go.’ When I go to bed, my mind goes crazy and I can’t sleep because its racing so fast.
I feel like a lot of people share similar issues – daily meditation can help you because it’s helped me.