At the beginning of 2019, I decided that I needed to take proactive measures to keep my mental health in check. I started meditating every day, starting small with just 5 minutes/day, and gradually added time using the Headspace app.
I started meditating, and I began noticing subtle changes in my life. Nothing has been drastic, but there have been gradual mental shifts I’ve noticed over the last few months. Here are just 5 of the positive impacts meditation has had on my life:
- Provides consistency in my morning routine
One of the best things to come out of developing daily habits and practicing meditation is the consistency developed in my morning routine. Almost all of my mornings start at 7 AM, usually followed by 1 hit of the snooze button. After taking a shower, usually, my very next step is to sit in my desk chair, put on my headphones, and meditate.
Occasionally, I will go ahead and drive to the office, make coffee, and then meditate there before anyone else arrives. Nonetheless, the act of sitting down, being still, and meditating has been an excellent addition to my mornings.
Starting every morning with some meditation gives me that consistent feeling of accomplishment and peace as I begin my day. It’s one of those boxes that I get to check every day, and feel great while doing so, knowing that this act is setting up my mind for the work ahead.
- Ensures a few minutes of peace and clarity
It’s not a foreign idea that most of us are getting busier and busier, either with work, family, or friends and social media. Because it is so easy to pick up your phone and scroll when bored or not working, I was finding myself not taking a single second during the day to just sit and be still.
You can imagine the long-term negative effects on a mind that ONLY gets rest while sleeping. I found that every single waking moment of my day was spent either working (which requires heavy use of my computer and phone/social media) or leisurely spending hours and hours on Twitter and Instagram.
Peace and clarity aren’t necessarily easy to obtain, especially when we are always so busy. I promise you: If you will start taking 5 minutes every day to sit and be still (you don’t even have to use guided meditation), you will find more fulfillment in your life.
- Forces me to be still with my own thoughts
The reason we will find more fulfillment in our life through being still and meditating is that it forces us to be alone with nothing but our own thoughts. There are no outer voices or noise getting in the way of thinking deeply, which can actually be quite weird early on.
During the first few days of my meditation, it just felt a little awkward. My intentions were pure, and I knew that if I stuck with it that it would get easier, but it was weird. I later found out that I was so used to being busy that I was almost incapable of just sitting there without doing anything else. No music, no podcasts, no emails… nothing!
However, once I got used to it, I now crave that feeling every morning. Not just because it’s peaceful, but it gives me a chance to be alone and honest with myself. It provides me an opportunity to be real about my life, goals, and ambitions. Am I spending too much time on stuff that doesn’t matter? Start meditating, and the answer to that question might just come jumping out at you.
- Promotes long-term calmness and clarity at work
Meditation has not made work any easier, it hasn’t given me superpowers to make excellent marketing or advertising decisions, and it definitely won’t make your website SEO optimized.
However, what it WILL do is drastically improve your emotional intelligence and your soft skills at work. Think of it this way: Meditation won’t teach you how to become a master in Excel or how to do your taxes (hard skill). It can, however, teach you how to react when things are difficult, how to view your personal learning experience, and how to stay persistent toward your goals (soft skill).
There is a distinct difference, and I’d argue that the latter is far more important. Other people can teach you hard skills, but they cannot teach you calmness and clarity- that starts and ends with you!
- Allows me to live intentionally
Perhaps the biggest benefit I’ve gotten from consistent meditation is having a clear understanding of what actually matters in my life, as it gives me the focus to spend the majority of my time in that space.
It is very difficult to live intentionally if you do not have a clear intention or direction for your life.
Why are you doing what you’re doing? Why do you spend time on the things you do? Sadly, many of us do not have an answer for that, or it’s at least not very clear cut. Meditation gives you the time every day where you can focus on the core of why you exist and why you work.
Daily meditation gives me a chance to view my life through a “macro-lense”, understand where I’m spending my time, and the courage to change that if needed. If you are considering it, I’d highly recommend that you start, even for just 1 minute today!