Looking to have a life where you have better focus on finding happiness and well-being? Try meditation and mindfulness. These practices can help you live in the here and now, allowing you to make better decisions, gain self-acceptance and connect with others in a deeper way. It can be an effective treatment for stress, lack of focus, relationship problems, addictions and more. Hundreds of studies suggest that meditation also has tangible benefits such as improved immunity, lower inflammation and decreased pain. Even short periods of meditation, less than 15 minutes a day, can change the brain – improving memory, mood, attention and anxiety — to help improve quality of life.
Most of us spend our life in normal waking consciousness, which can be described as a state of sleepwalking. We go through the day, interact with others and accomplish tasks without really focusing on what we are doing, our surroundings, the people around us or our conversations. We neither observe deeply nor connect intimately.
Meditation allows anyone to tap into an experience of openness and expansiveness. Those who regularly practice meditation are able to engage with others more deliberately, are more present in the moment, and are driven less by negative self-talk and emotions. They have greater control of their actions, emotions, connections and environment.
Creating a meditation habit isn’t easy – but worth the struggle
At first, sitting in silence can seem awkward and uncomfortable. Distractions and a feeling that “nothing is happening” also feed the discomfort. The barrage of thoughts, emotions and sensations that surface during quiet times early in the meditative practice can seem overwhelming. But there are rewards for being still, being patient, and trusting in a process that is thousands of years old.
Start with five minutes of meditation, then gradually increase to 10, then 20 minutes. This may be done in the morning or even during a daily commute. In time, the distractions will be less intrusive and focused meditation becomes deeper — equipping the practitioner to handle life’s challenges in a calmer, more focused, thoughtful way.
Very often, people who meditate report a greater sense of well-being, even euphoria. They experience self-acceptance and connection with others.
Meditation really is a gift to those who work past the distractions and roadblocks, as it can help change life for the better.