You’ve been wanting to practice meditation for years now. You’re hearing more and more about how absolutely incredible it is for your mind, how it helps prevent illnesses due to chronic stress, such as heart disease and cancer….. and you still haven’t gotten around to just sitting down and doing it….
We’ve all been there. Me first.
So here is the step by step process of how I got around to meditating, and what has changed in my life since I’ve started practising meditation.
The How To :
I had to put on a belt and suspenders on this one.
This should be a DAILY practise, because making this a routine really has had the most profound effect on me, rather than long 45 to 1h of meditation weekly which I have also tried.
I used to spend 45mins on sundays in a jacuzzi at the local swimming pool, eyes closed, and going into strange transes where I would solve inner issues that were represented by beavers, wolves, great white platforms and suspended glowing words that floated by me… that’s another story that will be told.
Trances are useful but not the point here. Trances helped getting in tune with myself but I didn’t feel the clearness of mind, the absence of anxiety, or the ease to deal with situations and take action, which was what I was looking for.
So how did I make it a habit?
1) Use an App :
What I suggest is you download an app that makes you accountable for the number of times you actually sit down and meditate. I personally used Headspace to start with which I find great, I am just a bit disappointed because we see « Andy » at some point in the meditative process and I think it would have been better if he just stayed a voice. It is free for 10 days then you pay.
I find it’s worth it. Especially if you have never meditated in your life. (If you don’t want/can spend any money on this, there must be a similar free app out there.)
Follow what is suggested, and just spend 10 mins a day sitting down, eyes closed and listening to the guided meditation. 10mins go by in a flash, and you always have 10mins in a day.
What will happen is you’ll be really bad at focusing to start with. You might not even be able to focus at all (believe me…).
It doesn’t matter. The simple fact of sitting down and taking the time to be quiet with yourself every day will eventually sink in. You’ll feel the positive effects of this practise even if you don’t think you’re doing it right.
If you get a good 15 seconds of a calm rested mind, it’s already a victory. Then 30s. Then a minutes, and sooner than not you’ll want to do 10 extra minutes because it felt really really good.
2) Use The 30-day Challenge
Go to my 30 day challenge article (Creating Good Habits ) and set yourself up for victory.
Get your App (Headspace or other), draw your personal 30-day Challenge Calendar, and get immediately started with the app, by doing session 1. After the 10mins, cross it on your calendar, and you’re all set.
1) Peace of mind
This is the basic reason most of us want to meditate.
What happens is we constantly talk to ourselves in our head. There are very few moments when we actually shut that voice up. These moments are usually when we have an extraordinary sensual experience.
Don’t get me wrong here.
I mean you either see something spectacular, hear something extraordinary, smell something beautiful, feel something amazing, taste something delicious, or some other feeing that one just cannot describe (such as orgasms…).
Once you get into your body, not analysing but just feeling, then the internal voice stops, and peace comes to you. Meditating is getting back into your body, and your feelings, your senses, and your emotions, and just letting them be with no judgement. With practise, the peace of mind lingers on, longer and longer. And everything seems to have more to it than it used to, because there is a sharpening of the senses with the practise.
You will also catch yourself being angry, catch yourself judging someone in a way you don’t like, and that first step of acknowledging you are not your thoughts is a great breakthrough.
I hope you enjoy this.
2) More Focus
What meditation helps you do is also stop your mind from wandering off, and bringing it back to the subject at hand.
I am a bit A.D.D., and reading a book was completely impossible for me until I was 18 years old. I have trouble focusing for long threads of time and I found this really helpful to say… write articles like this one :).
As you work on just ignoring thoughts that pop up in your head, you naturally tend to be able to spend more time working on a single subject and not have to use your willpower to force you back into what you are doing… which is great because you also get….
3) More Willpower
Willpower is a finite resource we use up every single day.
We wake up hopefully with a full stock (unless you haven’t slept enough… if that’s the case read the article HERE and get sleeping!), and every decision you make that day takes a small chunk out of your daily reserve of willpower.
I am not sure by what process this happens, either by cutting off useless decisions, or simply creating more willpower space, but after 3 weeks of meditation, I discovered I could just get more things done with less effort, and these decisions made other decisions easier. My willpower muscle had grown.
4) More Happiness
The same goes here. Is it because the process of meditating helps master yourself and getting closer to whom we really want to be that it makes us happier? Or is it a physiological response that releases « happiness hormones »? I don’t know.
The why may sometimes not be as important as the result. I suppose being at peace and doing what you want to do when you want to do it is a good enough reason to start meditating as soon as possible.
I hope you enjoy this, and get your 30day meditation challenge starting NOW!
Take it easy.