Meditating has become all the rage in the last few years, though it’s been a practice in the East for millennia. Along with bringing inner peace to the practitioner, it has all the potential in the world to help you better understand your inner self. Meditation for real people is no longer about reaching nirvana but about learning to manage your states of mind and controlling unwanted emotional outbursts. Practicing meditation once a day for a few minutes is incredibly healthy for many reasons.
One of the first changes the meditation practitioner will notice will be a change in mindfulness. This term gets thrown around a lot, but in this context, it essentially means that you become more aware of yourself and your surroundings rather than just running through the motions while letting yourself get caught up in your thoughts and actions. In that regard, meditation offers you the opportunity to focus on the present rather than on the past or future.
Furthermore, the stillness required by meditation is a great way to combat stress at the source. Instead of punching a bag or yelling at someone, which may briefly relieve the shallowest symptoms of anxiety, meditating helps to understand why you get yourself gets stressed in the first place. The breathing that is the focus of all meditation supports you in your search for self-control. Even though you probably won’t be able to stop and meditate in a stressful situation, taking similar deep breaths will take you back to the moment of peace.
Another incredible side effect of meditation is the fact that with practice, you will now be able to control your emotions much like a Jedi. Ideally, your joy should be expressed as freely as you can, but letting grief, anger, and sadness get to you too personally is ultimately damaging to your psyche. Similarly, meditation will allow you to understand what thoughts are beneficial to you and which will eventually harm you.
If you don’t find that any of the above tips apply to you, which would ultimately be quite surprising, consider that practicing meditation taught you a new skill. Just like learning to read brought you access to academia, developing meditation abilities led you to better understand your own person to help you prosper.
Another advantage of meditation is that it is an activity that can be performed anywhere. It can be nice to start your practice at a specialized center, but try a few before you commit to one as there are many different styles of meditation to choose from. Try a guided practice first before committing to a hardcore style like vipassana or zen, which require you to be in complete silence for hours on end. Still, once you find your jam, you can find a quiet corner of your home, create a small altar with some incense and candles to get you in the mood to commit to sitting for however long you feel comfortable with.
Finally, meditation, unlike many health practices, is completely free. Sure, the centers that you attend initially might cost you a small fee, though most are by donation, but consider that an investment towards your greater happiness. Speaking of which, meditation will ultimately make you a happier person no matter what your practice is like. You will start to feel calmer by the end of the first week of training, and after a year, you will feel much more in control of your place in the world, which will ultimately bring you sustainable joy and happiness.