Meditation has skyrocketed in popularity over the past few decades.
There have been many reasons for this. Thousands of scientific studies and research have found that there are several life-changing benefits to practising meditation.
Moreover, living in a fast-paced world, where we are suffering from information overload and a severe mental health crisis (made worse by the pandemic) – perhaps practising meditation has never been more relevant.
Today meditation has become a part of the mainstream and is no longer seen as some strange practice meant only for yogis and spiritually inclined folks. It is estimated that 200-500 million people meditate worldwide.
Many athletes, celebrities and CEOs have openly embraced it as part of their daily routines and are strong advocates for it.
Here are five reasons why I believe everyone needs to make meditation a part of their daily routine.
Your mental clarity and attention span will improve
Whether it’s excessively watching short videos, multi-tasking, or the noise of constant notifications interrupting our attention – all of these have a detrimental impact on our attention span.
Meditation can be so powerful in improving your attention span that research shows that even as little as four days of practising meditation can have a beneficial impact.
You will become more conscious
Most people don’t realise just how unconsciously they live their lives until they start practising meditation, and this was very much the case with me when I began meditating over six years ago.
It can also improve your relationships with people by helping you become more present and less reactive.
For me, practising mediation has considerably improved my relationship with my entire family, as I had the habit of being particularly reactive around them.
It can help you be true to yourself
Many of us may live under the impression that we make our own choices in life, but that often need not be the case.
Because in truth, many of the choices we make in our lives were decided long ago by societal conditioning, and now it’s simply a matter of us living out those choices.
As author Vishen Lakhiani remarks,
“Long before we could develop them on our own, the majority of our opinions and beliefs were implanted in us by our family, culture and the media without our knowledge or consent.”
The increased awareness that practising meditation brings can awaken you from sleepwalking through life with society’s unhelpful and fearful conditioning.
It can help you go beyond the noise of society and help you listen to the voice of your soul – your intuition.
It will improve your mental health
Life is so much more painful than it needs to be when we focus all our attention on our external world and fail to realise that most of our pain stems from our failure to manage our inner world of thoughts and feelings rather than our outside circumstances.
Practising daily meditation can considerably improve your mental health and study after study indicates that it helps you cope with stress better, reduce the chatter of anxious thoughts and make you calmer and more grounded.
In my own life, I have observed that when I meditate for longer durations, there is a significant decrease in the number of negative thoughts that creeps into my mind for the rest of the day.
With regular practice you may find that things that once used to frustrate you may no longer affect you and your state of mind no longer becomes solely dependent on what’s going on in your external world.
We live in an age of constant stimulation, where many of us will do almost anything to distract ourselves so that we won’t have to be alone with our thoughts – even if it’s for a few minutes
Practising meditation will help you become more comfortable spending time alone without constantly wanting to run away from yourself by seeking some form of distraction. And this is essential to gain a deeper understanding of yourself.
If you have never meditated before, it can be difficult and maybe even frustrating to do it for longer than 10 minutes.
Instead, I’d suggest meditating every day for as little as two minutes and then slowly increase the duration of your sessions once two minutes seems easy.
If you feel that meditating by focussing on your breath is too difficult, you needn’t worry.
As I have mentioned in a previous post - 4 Easy Ways By Which Anyone Can Meditate, you can meditate with the use of music, using guided meditations, repeating a mantra or staring into a candle flame.
If your reason for not meditating is you can’t sit still for a few minutes, then you may probably benefit more than most people by practising it daily.
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