Three years ago, I asked a friend, who in his 70+ years of life has experienced and learned so much about living a healthy and happy life, what he felt was the single most important habit he developed to live his best life. His answer: “Without a doubt – meditation”. Now looking back at my last three years, having started a meditation practice shortly after that conversation, I’d give the exact same answer.
Why is it important to cultivate a regular meditation practice?
1. Meditation was a major contributor for me to overcome a 25 year long chocolate addiction. I couldn’t open up a bar without eating the whole thing, sometimes two or even three bars. My mom used to lock the chocolate away so I couldn’t get to it. My addictive behaviors come to the surface when I’m stressed, don’t feel valued or loved - or have other strong emotions that I haven’t consciously dealt with. Getting to the bottom of these emotions is important and no meditation can replace this important step, but for me meditation was (and continues to be) like pouring water on a raging fire. In TM (transcendental meditation) they compare meditation to the ocean. Big waves at the top but the more you drop into the depth of the water there is nothing but stillness and silence. That’s what happens when you meditate…you leave the anxiety and unrest at the top and drop into the depth of silence.
2. Another huge benefit of meditating regularly is that my impulse control improved tremendously. I’m talking about the important gap between having a thought and saying it out loud. A good example is when I worked at a luxury hotel in Chicago as Manager on Duty. The front desk agent did the complete opposite of what I’d ask the team to do at the start of the shift. She made a promise to guests that we all knew she couldn’t keep. Without explaining the situation to me she brought me to the guests putting me in a super awkward position. I almost exploded right there at the front desk and, not being able to get my emotions under control, I went off on the agent in the back office. I ended up in human resources with a warning and looking back, it was well deserved.
Not being in control of your emotions isn’t a good feeling. You end up hurting people and adding more pressure to yourself as you realize what you’ve done. Talking to JOYVIAL clients I hear often that meditation has offered greater control over emotional reactivity.
3. My brain functions and brain density improved greatly after establishing a regular meditation practice. Once a year I do a test that, I’ve been told, is done with NASA astronauts to check the health of major organs and many other components…the health of your brain being one of them. In 2015, when I did the test the first time around, my brain results were in the bright red zone and a big concern for me. After starting a meditation practice in 2016, the results have gotten better and better and I’m now almost in the green…the three years of meditation and my efforts to greatly reduce stress in my life are the reasons for this improvement.
What you can do to start meditating right now?
Please visit my blog: “I can’t meditate! Removing the mystery of meditation"
Realize that it may not feel like silence and calmness at the start…or even after 100 meditations. Your brain is still active but the moments where you can hear and savor the silence will be more frequent the more you meditate…and as you experience these moments it feels blissful.
Practice every day (start with 5 minutes and grow to 20 minutes) rather than 45 minutes once a week. I aim for 20 minutes twice a day but sometimes I only get one and other times I enjoy 45-60 minutes as I simply don’t want to leave this place of calm…heavenly.
So yes, meditation is a HUGE reason why I’m as happy today as I am. If you’re thinking about starting your own meditation practice imagine me standing next to you right now cheering you on…”YES! DO IT”. Don’t give up…like all good things in life, feeling the effects may take a couple of weeks or months. And the longer you practice (as in months, years) the deeper your relaxations will feel.
Where can you find 5-10 minutes in your every day? How will you remember to do it and ensure nothing comes in between? If your well-being is a top priority for you, I encourage you to work with one of our coaches to ensure your efforts are most productive and consistent. You know where to reach us but just in case 😊 here is the info again…. We want to help you feel physically vibrant, focused, joyful, and energized to live your best life. You can reach us at https://www.joyvial.com/ or call us at
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