So you’ve probably heard it a million times before; “Everyone needs to meditate” and maybe you do already or maybe you’ve tried but feel like it’s not for you and you just can’t shut your brain down (totally normal by the way). It can feel hard to calm the mind and that is totally normal.
There are various types of meditation and I highly recommend you give some form of it a try. You can totally suck at it all day long, but just KEEP doing it. Heck you can meditate while you do the dishes, you can do it while you’re out walking, you can do it while you’re driving. Tune into your breath. When your mind wanders come back to your breath.. And repeat.. Over and over and over. Eventually your mind will quiet down. You are present. You are meditating! Boom you’re welcome 😉
The benefits of meditation are becoming very well known and mainstream these days with tons of research showing the positive changes in the brain and overall health benefits, stress reduction, improved digestive issues or body pain, reduce anxiety and depression, increase in cognitive function and happiness. I’d say we’ve found a goldmine!
Here’s an article from Harvard Gazette that dives into some studies as well. Read it HERE.
Anyway, I got into mediation oh.. I think in 2013 probably right around the time when I got into yoga and I bought my first Eoinn Finn yoga video that I used for 3 years straight until I signed up for Yoga GLO online, which is amazing. I dabbled with meditation at first and started using the HEADSPACE APP which I am in love with.
I would usually try and meditate 5-10 minutes most days of the week. Then I decided I wanted to create a daily meditation streak so I started meditating each morning when I woke up (I actually meditate in bed, so that I am done it before my animals start harassing me all morning until I feed them).
I am now over 400 days in and I have been meditating 3-10 minutes each morning and here is how it changed my brain and my life 🙂
I am more calm + less irritable + reactive:
I am aware of my thoughts and feelings and they tend to NOT sneak up on me anymore. Sure I have bad days and I get irritable, but I am very aware of these moods or feelings pop up which helps me to process them and not be unaware of them. It helps me feel more calm and happier around family and friends when say… we may disagree on a certain topic! The ego, is near gone! 😉
I am way more tuned into my body:
I find that my mind and body are WAY more connected these days. I recognize how food affects my moods or mental health (btw. Sugar is a huge anxiety and grumpy mood producer – I swear I get ANGRY after I eat sugar. Once my blood sugar drops.. the world is ending lol!) – I am also just more connected to my body in general. Especially when I’m out in nature I am in sync with my body doing its thang, it’s an awesome feeling.
I am a crap ton more present:
Oh boy! I can really recognize in people now when they are not being present (guys.. So many of us are not present like 99% of the day ahem.. My mom! lol) Eg. From being glued to our phones, or not really listening to someone while they talk to us because we’re thinking of what we want to say in our heads. I see it a lot, experience it a lot, I can FEEL it!
And nowadays I can recognize when I am NOT being present – eg. when someone is talking to me and I’m on my phone, or when I am doing a simple task like dishes and my mind is wandering, or when I am driving downtown and lose track of where I am going because I am lost in thought. We all do it, but the difference is, now it’s easier to bring my mind back to the present moment quickly and often.
After 400 days I now know the difference and I can zone back into the present moment super quick. The present moment feels so damn good I gotta say. Just here and now. Everything is fine. Don’t worry about the future because right now… things are just fine.
I bring meditation into my daily life all throughout the day:
Meditation isn’t just that 5 minutes in the morning of breathing and presence. Gradually it seeps into your life through the cracks and crevices. I noticed that over time I meditate without realizing it. I am present while I do random things like hiking in nature, yard work, cleaning the house, walking by wild flowers that smell amazing, or even talking and hanging out with friends. I am present and totally tuned in with the now. No phone, no busy mind. Just calm awareness of what I am doing and that is when I realized – “Wow this meditation sh*t really works and it truly does change your brain! I am like a frigging zen master!” Kay so this doesn’t happen all day every day, but it happens more and more often as I go along 😉
I am keenly aware of my thoughts:
I have become more of an observer of my thoughts rather than wrapped in with them going down the rabbit hole of feeling all sorts of emotions based on my thoughts. Sometimes I have a bad day or I am sad, or I have negative or anxious thoughts, and now I find that I am much more aware of that and I know those emotions will pass like the clouds in the sky. They are not me and I am not them. I am the one who notices them. Deep right? Well it makes a big difference, this I can tell you.
I can manage stress better:
This is again tied to being more present and aware of my thoughts. I can definitely bring my stress levels down by throwing on a quick 5-10 meditation practice. Plus add some nature, fresh air and movement and stress tends to melt away 🙂
I am happier:
I feel like I can appreciate all the little things and the things that matter most to me. I am more grateful for sure. I actually DO stop and smell the roses and this kind of stuff lights ME UP. I feel like I can find the good in people and the world around me more often, the little tidbits of good in everyday life (like sunshine, and fresh air) these days and that is pretty cool because life is made up of the little things and I feel like I have more patience and understanding. Yes i still have a temper and can have bad days, but it’s improved a lot I’d say.
In a Nutshell:
Overall meditation has changed my life. I feel like it’s fully absorbed into my daily life and routine and affected all areas of my life. How I see the world. How i see people. My level of compassion has increased. My love for nature and hiking has increased (it was always high). I feel like I’m a better human thanks to it.
Guys, I don’t get road rage, I rarely get impatient in traffic jams or when people cut me off or when I’m standing in line forever at the post office. I don’t get pissed off by the little things. That is huge in my opinion! Imagine if we all chilled out a bit more? I bet there would be less conflict in the world or even just in rush hour traffic 😉
I am sure there are a ton more benefits to what daily meditation can do for our brains, but that is what I have noticed for myself. I am happier, I have lower stress, anxiety and I am a HECK of a lot more present and tuned into my body daily.
I am going to continue my daily meditation practice because I have built up one heck of a streak and I don’t want to stop now… plus it is absolutely a wonderful habit that I’ve cultivated.
Now it’s your turn!
Do you want to try meditation or have you already explored it?
Let me know in the comments or head on over to my private Facebook Group and let us know!
I challenge you to download the HEADSPACE APP, and try meditation daily this week. Yes even if you totally suck at it (we all do), and let me know how it goes… deal? DEAL.
Have a mindful chill week!