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So what’s the single most important habit for living your best life? According to a good friend of mine, now in his mid 70’s, it’s simple - meditation. Over the years, I’ve learned this to be true for me as well and here are the top three reasons why.
Why is it important to cultivate a regular meditation practice?
1. Meditation IS the calm so many of us need to counteract undesirable feelings. For me, developing a meditation practice was key to overcoming a 25 year long chocolate addiction. I was so addicted to chocolate, my mom used to lock it away. I realize when I’m stressed, not feeling loved or valued, or have other strong emotions, I look for something to fill the void. Can you relate?
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 - completely calming your mind.
2. Meditation helps you think before you act. I’m talking about the important gap between having a thought and saying it out loud – or in other words, just letting your emotions run wild.
When I worked at a luxury hotel in Chicago, one of my front desk agents made a promise to guests she knew she couldn’t keep. When confronted by the guests, she put me in the awkward position of having to explain. I nearly exploded right there – but later, I went off on the agent in the back office. I ended up in human resources and looking back, it was well deserved.
Not being in control of your emotions isn’t a good feeling and can interfere with daily activities. You end up hurting people and feeling guilty about your loss of control. A frequent meditation practice allows you to calm this reactivity and think twice before you lash out.
3. Meditation improves brain functions and brain density. Once a year I do a test that, I’ve been told, is done with NASA astronauts. It checks the health of major organs and many other components. In 2015, when I did the test the first time, my brain results were in the bright red zone – (not good.)
The results improved so much after starting a meditation practice, that now I’m almost in the green. I attribute this improvement to years of meditation and my efforts to greatly reduce stress in my life. In short, I have meditation to thank.
How can YOU 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 and the mind wanders. However, the moments where you can hear and savor the silence will become more frequent. The more you meditate, the more mindful and blissful you’ll become.
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. Other times I enjoy 45-60 minutes because I simply don’t want to leave the place of calm, it’s heavenly.
So yes, meditation is a HUGE reason why I’m so happy. 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 every day? How will you remember to do it? 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. Give us a call 1-866-JOYVIAL or click here to schedule your complimentary session. Your best version and stress reduction awaits you.
Note: This blog was originally posted on June 6, 2019