Mental health is important now more than ever. To help our minds, one simple yet effective practice that we can take up is Meditation.
The modern world is often skeptical of this age old practice, but this trend is shifting for the better.
I have come across (in books, podcasts, and articles) many leaders who meditate, and spend some time taking care of their mental health.
Some of the top mentions are: Vishen Lakhiani, Tom Bilyeu, Katy Perry, Oprah Winfrey, Hugh Jackman, Jennifer Anniston, Kobe Bryant, Steve Jobs, and ‘the one’ and only Keanu Reeves.
The benefits of letting go of the ever present stimulus of everyday life are immense. Its a refreshing feeling to the mind and to our sometimes troubled spirit. In these moments, we reconnect with ourselves to be our best versions.
The practice originated in ancient India and became a huge part of the early Hinduism and Buddhism. And is now spreading to the rest of the world.
The benefits of meditation are now being researched and some of the beliefs are confirmed in many studies done in modern psychology and in neuroscience.
Benefits of meditation:
There are multiple kinds of meditation, almost all of them have the task of concentrating on a particular sensation or an object, like our breath, a light source, or a feeling.
This repeated practice of focus enables us to anchor our attention on the immediate object/task in focus.
We are more Present.
Our mind has an habit of wandering away to the scenarios of the past and future, psychologists call it going into the ‘default mode network‘, commonly known as ‘mind wandering‘.
Meditation as a practice can help us be more in the present and enables us to have more control over whats happening here and now.
Meditation makes us more aware of our thoughts and feelings, and helps unraveling our true selves to our conscious mind, it also helps us to open up and lets us see things more clearly.
We also become aware of our interactions with others, the nature, and of our everyday activities.
The direct result of being more focused and decreasing the internal chatter is an increase in productivity. Also, on knowing ourselves better, we can focus more on what we really like to do and manage our time wisely.
We Realize Whats Important.
Since we see things clearly, we tend to realize what really is important, we start letting the unwanted extra go away, including some unhealthy feelings of fear, anxiety, or jealousy, its not that they become absent, but we tend to see them, acknowledge them, and be at ease with the thought\idea.
We Understand our feelings better.
The feelings arise as a natural response to our surrounding stimulus, they are not right/wrong or good/bad, they often tell us something.
Whenever we encounter a strong feeling, it helps to pause to understand that it is a result of a biological reaction, and try to understand the nature of it and what is the real reason for how we feel.
On going through such internal process we can respond better, and not let our feelings get the better of ourselves.
Reduces the Amount of Negative Chatter.
Since we become more conscious about our feelings and how and when they arise, we are able to articulate them better, and in that process, we can observe the often automatic negative self talk.
On observing it, we can redirect our self talk into something more positive that brings us hope and peace at the moment.
Helps us to Understand and Find Ourselves.
Mostly, being caught up in the day to day activities, we often lose touch with our true selves.
We start defining ourselves with our job or the place we live in or certain characteristics that others have assigned us.
But the real us is different, it is hidden behind the influence of the culture.
Our subconscious often has more insights about who we are, and only during meditation can we tap into these deep brain states and learn about our subconscious mind.
Occasionally, while meditating, we tend to tap into our subconscious or the more intuitive part of the mind.
We see many patterns in life, but our conscious mind makes connections only of the thoughts we want to think about.
Where as, our subconscious mind is always at work, it is making much more elaborate and unseen connections based on our experiences, and some of them are novel and creative.
Meditating at least 10-20 mins a day for 5 days a week, can increase our productivity, creativity, focus, and the peace of mind over time.
But the real gift of meditation is that we understand and learn much more about ourselves and about the world.
A Student of life.
PS: If this post resonated with you, let me know in the comments, also share if you think it will be useful to others. Thank you, and have a great day.
All the images in this post are a courtesy of Pexels.com