I’m no expert when it comes to meditation but I can tell you one thing for sure, it has impacted my life immensely. If you’re on a path to wellness, then incorporating meditation into your daily routine could be the final ingredient to reach all of your health goals.
We focus much our time on working out to lose weight, eating clean to nourish our body with vitamins and minerals, but we forget how important it is to work the one muscle that controls everything, our brain. The practice of meditation is now become part of school curriculum in some places, many corporations are providing it for their employees and you now see sports teams using it to help their players become more balanced.
I still remember the first time I meditated with a meditation coach. I was sitting still in her office, no distractions, no sound, and I thought to myself as I opened one eye to observe her, who does this for 20 minutes without moving or thinking. Is there something I’m missing? I’m not use to thinking of nothing let alone sitting still for a period of 20 minutes. All I could think was, ‘why is this so difficult’? I meditated with this women for 6 weeks (1 session every week) and I have to tell you that I felt amazing every time I left her office. However, the distractions of life came back the day after our visits but the results did come eventually. Working out our bodies and our brains are no different. Some people see results quickly while others have to wait. I wasn’t very good with patience back then. I wanted instant results.
Meditation is becoming mainstream as research has substantiated the benefits of this ancient practice. First of all, put away an expectations and beliefs of meditating. Quieting our minds is not an easy task and I still struggle with this after 10 years of meditating, but it does become easier for many in a short amount of time while for others it takes a little longer. Rule #1, don’t expect for things to change overnight. I have met people who within hours of meditating, see changes in their focus, energy, and stress levels. For others, it takes longer to see results.
Meditation is a skill. It takes time to master it but anyone can do it. You have to be patient. Some aspects of my life changed quickly while others took months or even years to see results. Our journeys are all different. Meditation has become a daily ritual. I no longer see it as something that I have to fit into my daily schedule. I know the importance of clean eating and being active every day, but if I have to choose between working out my body or my brain, meditation always wins.
I wanted to share with you how the act of meditation has changed my life and I know that many of you reading this, it will resonate with you as well. For those of you who have never tried meditating or are new to it, positive changes will come. It’s the one thing that you need to do daily to see results. There are no ‘days off’ from quieting the mind. The results and magic come from silencing the chatter in our heads.
- I spend less time thinking about wasteless activities. I use to spend much of time looking at my emails. In fact, I decided to sit down one day and add up all the time I use to log into my email account to view my emails. I couldn’t believe the amount of time I wasted on checking my emails every 5 minutes or every time my phone buzzed I felt the need to pick up my phone. It was sucking the life right out of me. Now I schedule time into my day to check my emails and I take one day off a week from social media and my inbox. Meditation reminds me how sane a mindful mind should feel like. By practicing meditation, I see how ridiculous it is to constantly check emails every few minutes or drop everything when my email indicator went off. I don’t stress over it. The world is not going to end if I don’t respond to an email right away. Why did I ever think this way? Meditation helped me put this into perspective and realize that it’s one of the best responses to modern information overload.
- I try to omit rules from my life. I am a planner. I like to plan everything right down to the minute. Meditation helped me let go of this. I agree that we need some routine in our lives but my need to workout at a certain time, write in my journal, meditate, cook, and eating meals was a viscous cycle that I needed to stop. I got so frustrated that I couldn’t fit everything into my day that I planned. I became so disappointed in myself. Every day is different. Our emotions and thoughts can vary from day-to-day and sometimes we can’t always achieve balance on a daily basis. I was trying to control that. Life throws us daggers sometimes and we’re not ready for it. We need to learn to adapt to this. We will never be happy ALL of the time so letting go of these daily demands and adapting to a life that is more real-time seems more practical. Sometimes I feel like I just need to spend more time with my husband or more time with myself so I take the time. I often get very creative and want to cook but there are times when I can’t stand being in my kitchen. This is ok.
- Stop worry about the small stuff. I use to worry for weeks on end about the silliest things. If I don’t see the money coming in as quickly as I wanted, I put all of my focus on it. I can change my situation but worrying about won’t change it. When I would try to help people change their health and fitness goals but found out that they give up on themselves, I would take it personally and blame myself for not trying harder or trying a different approach. It would eat me up inside for weeks. The practice of mediation has helped me re-set my thoughts and realize that life does go on. I release the issue of these worries and focus on being present in the moment.
- I gained more patience and improved my moods. Oh boy, was I ever a moody person. I don’t know if it had something to do with my astrological sign (Cancer) but my mood swings were all over the place. I never blames it on PMS (I never experienced these symptoms) or even now being pre-menopausal as it was a trait that I knew I wanted to change. I was happy most of the time but I realized that I was being too hard on myself and blaming myself for things that were not my fault. Practicing meditation has significantly improved my self-patience. I recognized the expectations I placed on myself for a desired outcome and I changed it to one of detaching myself from these assumptions. I’ve learned to be king to myself. I call it self-compassion and the act of meditation help me discover this.
- Better quality of sleep and focus. It took some time, but my quality of sleep improved after meditating. I don’t drink coffee and I didn’t change any of my eating habits so I knew that meditation was responsible for my quality of sleep. When I go through a stressful period in my life, the relaxation of meditation helps me fall asleep faster and wake up in the morning feeling more refreshed. One of the main benefits of meditation is relaxation. It’s this state of relaxation that I can focus better on tasks throughout the day.
- Anxiety disappears. My schedule is actually busier than it use to be but I don’t feel anxious about the lack of time or the need to accomplish everything. Don’t sweat the small stuff if my motto. Just the fact that I know what whatever needs to get done gets done is an amazing feeling. If something gets left out, it’s ok. I don’t feel like my day is being rushed and I’ve learned to let go of that feeling of inadequacy if I can’t fit all of my tasks into one day. It’s such an amazing feeling to think this way now. It’s somewhat liberating and I feel more alive knowing that I can’t achieve everything in one day. Meditation helped me let go of this feeling.
I’m more aware of my surroundings now. When I’m outside, I hear the birds, feel the wind blow against my body, feel the warmth of the sun on my face even if it’s -10 degrees. I live more in the moment and feel more grateful for my health and the simple things in my life. There is no food or exercise that makes me feel like this. I feel at peace knowing that I have 20 minutes of my day to sit back, relax and not think of anything. How liberating is that? This is what I owe to meditation. It’s simply FREE!
Eat Clean & Live Green!
Your Compassionate Coach,