Meditation in 2022
How often do you check in with yourself?
The reason I ask is you may quickly realize that your thoughts have been ruling over you and your actions lately.
If that’s the case then it may be worth you trying meditation in order to take back control?
Meditation can not only be a contributor to better mental health but can be a huge factor in our overall wellbeing.
I’ll explain how.
Why do people meditate? What problem does it solve?
The answer is very subjective, but let’s explore the landscape a little.
If you think about the current state of the world…
People accumulating more and more devices, having our attention breached with increasing distractions, over-stimulation, and just always so busy.
You start to see a pattern.
People are generally more confused, unfocused, stressed, and in a chronic state of mental discomfort.
This then leaves us with many incompleted tasks and never really accomplishing much.
To me, it’s evident that we as a population have accepted this and are adapting to these states of being.
We’re cramming more and more into every precious moment because that’s the way we believe society expects us to be.
Personally, though, I don’t think that’s worth settling for, I want to be the best version of myself and I hope you do too.
And so each time we meditate would be a vote cast for that version.
How to Meditate
Typically, when you think of a person meditating, you picture the Buddhist monk sitting, silently, cross-legged, in a forest somewhere, index finger to thumb.
And, although that method is cool, I prefer to be more discreet.
That being said, we all each have our own methods and desired outcomes.
Even stroking your pet is considered a form of meditation.
However, my method, sitting on my yoga mat in my bedroom, involves:
- Keeping very still
- Focusing on my breathing rhythm.
- Noticing the surface of my skin.
- Noticing the air and ambient sounds around me.
If or when a feeling or thought inevitably passes through and stops off for a debate, I just observe it, acknowledge it’s there, and move on.
I essentially deny my thoughts any form of interaction.
And that’s basically my explanation or method for meditating.
As a result…
My focus and productivity, which are my desired outcomes, are given a huge boost.
I find that becoming unfocused on a current task or problem, short-term, helps me to become more focused and productive in the long term.
Paying attention to nothing, in particular, helps me to become better at finding connections between ideas and coming up with new ones.
It's like all superfluous thoughts are weeded out during the meditation process.
More benefits you may find are:
- I genuinely become more relaxed and recharged
- I gain a new perspective.
- My self-awareness increases.
- It brings me back to the present moment.
- I feel grateful.
- Reduces any negative or intrusive thoughts I might have had.
- Increases my creativity and imagination.
- Increases my patience and tolerance.
Trust the process
I’ve been practicing for years, on and off, and I must admit it’s not easy, to begin with, I expected fast results and instant changes.
I think that’s where the majority of us go wrong when we start.
Meditation seems like magic until the moment you know how it’s done then you no longer see it that way.
We lose hope because expectations aren't quickly met.
Therefore, it’s best to see it as a process and trust it’s the right course of action within our daily habits.
Trust the Science
My viewpoint in the past was that meditation was just pseudoscience until I turned to actual scientific research.
There are actually more academic studies by Neuroscientists than you’d expect and they’re frequently citing the benefits of meditation.
You can find all of the dedicated literature online.
Scientists approach the topic from their research on our central nervous system function and learning how to naturally boost productivity with better mental focus.
In a nutshell, they conclude that meditation does in fact improve your emotional state and even your body temperature.
When we put our brains under too much pressure with too much stimulation it doesn’t function optimally and that’s also related to how our body temperature is regulated.
There’s obviously more to it than that so if you want to know more about the science I suggest you check out the HubermanLab podcast on youtube if you didn’t already know it, he’s a cool guy, he’s very well respected, and you’ll learn quality knowledge.
If you’re interested in getting started with meditation then my tips would be
to just start by sitting somewhere calm and focussing on your breathing.
Sit comfortably, despite what’s going on around, relax, and detach from your co-pilot of thoughts.
Observe your thoughts like you are observing another person, and then detach from them.
Try not to completely avoid anything you encounter, though, but
if you’re able to, remove all emotional responses to your thoughts, that way you’re already winning the battle.
A potential pitful would be that sometimes you may feel irritable and awkward, like for example, you may think “I’m wasting valuable time here.”
Or you remember that something needs completing asap or an idea that's too good to forget.
You might be itching to get back to your game or TV series or whatever you’re into.
By the way, I’m not saying that all those things are bad, that’s not true, regardless, your mental health is worth the time.
Everything worthy will still be there when you’re finished meditating and you’ll actually find that you enjoy them even more.
Ultimately, you want to progress your work and life forward, and I believe meditation will be instrumental in that mission.
Mental clarity and focus are becoming essential skills in today’s world and if you’re able to resist the compelling allure of stimulation and more able to complete those meaningful tasks then I believe you’ll be much better rewarded in life.
If you have any thoughts to share about your own experiences or methods of meditation then please do leave a comment.
If you would like to read regular insights about mindfulness and physical health then please give me a follow.
But for now, thanks for reading, and I’ll see you next time.