I tried meditating, and failed. I wasn't consistent, my schedule was hectic and I oftentimes hit snooze one (or two) many times. I didn't leave enough time to adhere to my meditation schedule that I planned on doing first thing in the morning. I wanted so badly to be good at it though, so I learned as much as I could. It's one of those things that you bend to your ideal fit, and with a racing mind like mine, I had to create my own rules.
I realized stress is a thing North Americans openly admit to, as if it's a trophy for their hustle mentality. Whether it's from trying to get ahead in the workplace, school, family, personal relationships, debt or money, the result is the same. It will take a toll on your health and raise your risk of heart problems, stroke, cancer and a multitude of other medical conditions. It can even make you more susceptible to the common cold.
The good news is that you can teach yourself to deal with stress and to handle the problems that stem from everyday life. If you practice meditation and mindfulness, it can better prepare you to handle stress and anxiety.
I was feeling constantly anxious. I had a knack for spreading myself too thin while working on my online business, and it was time to do something about it. I tried a yoga and meditation class, and actually fell asleep in the middle of the hour long session. Waking up to over 30 women all sitting facing another direction as you're sprawled out across your yoga mat is awkward, to say the least.
This was going to be something that I had to do my own way, and I was the only person to keep myself accountable. If you like a challenge, try it out. It's actually quite rewarding.
Here are seven ways that meditation can help you in your day to day.
1. Recognize that you don't need to be religious to reap the benefits of meditation.
Although meditation has roots in Buddhism, it isn't solely done by the religious. You can benefit from meditation without religion. Just learn to borrow the techniques, including living in the present, breath awareness, body scan meditations and gentle yoga.
2. Meditation doesn't just reduce stress in the moment-- it teaches you for the long-term.
Meditation has the benefit of reducing stress in the moment and building an inner strength so that future stressors have less impact on your happiness and physical well-being the next time. Over time, you will build a stronger, more prepared self.
3. Meditation allows you to take a pause before reacting to a situation.
Meditation teaches you natural patience. You learn to breathe and take your time before reacting, making a decision, or saying something that you might otherwise regret during a business meeting.
4. Meditation teaches you to be aware of your thoughts and feelings, and distance yourself from them.
Being mindful of how you feel and react towards certain coworkers can let you rise above bad feelings and stressors that may otherwise affect your day. You can't let every single thing that happens get to you; life is far too short. Being mindful can help you put things in perspective and rise above some of these negative feelings.
5. Mindfulness can help you be more in tune with your body.
Your body tries to send you messages-- eat more fruit, get more sleep, work less and get some exercise. Unfortunately, we are all so busy that we often fail to tune into these signals. Meditation and being mindful of your body can help you read the signs better, so that you can take action before it is too late.
6. Meditation often teaches you compassion.
Mindfulness and meditation often allows you to think beyond yourself and your own needs, and lets you see what others around you need from you to succeed at their job.
7. Meditation allows you to focus on the task at hand.
Whether you are working or playing, meditation allows you to live in the moment more, so that you are able to put 100 percent into whatever you are doing. When you are working, you'll be putting all your focus into that task, allowing you to learn and work more efficiently. This will ultimately save you time and energy, because you'll only have to do that job once.
I now make time for my morning meditation session, because it actually makes me happier and more productive throughout the day. It takes practice, but once you set your mind to it, you'll find that you've cleared your mind to make room for more important things, like how to hit your sales goals for the quarter at work.