29 May How Meditation Can Translate into Everyday Life
People often think that to have a regular meditation practice, they need to be yogis, or living a slow off-the-grid life. Yoga postures and meditation are two different things. While they go perfectly hand in hand and can help each other grow and develop, you can have a meditation practice without stepping into a yoga class. And you will see just as many benefits as any yoga asana practitioner.
Here are some of the ways anyone and everyone can benefit from a regular meditation practice.
We start to see patterns in the way we think and respond
The act of meditation or mindfulness is to simply sit and watch what happens in the mind. It’s not about stopping all the thoughts, that’s almost impossible. But what does start to happen, if we sit and watch regularly enough (once a day for 5-10 minutes is a good place to start), we can start to see the kinds of thoughts we have and how we come to them. You’ll start to notice the kinds of thoughts that are more common than others, thoughts that trigger other thoughts, and how you start to feel as a result. This gives us the ability to see patterns unfold and stop them in their tracks if we want to.
We can become more productive at work
When we engage in a regular meditation practice, we can hone our focus. We get better at keeping our mind from wandering, we get more engaged in the present moment, and we can see when we start to go somewhere else. This can have lots of benefits in a range of places, but it does help us stay focused and on the tasks in our workday.
We start to make better choices for ourselves
When we know the kinds of thoughts we’re having, why we have them, and the consequences they have on our heath, we can start to see if we’re making choices to feed these thoughts or whether we’re making choices based on what’s best for us right now. Feeling low and down on ourselves can lead to using food or alcohol for example as a distraction. When we know why we’re feeling low, we can often make choices that help us feel better (like call a friend, go for a walk, go to yoga), rather than a choice that masks the feelings.
We can stop useless worrying
Meditation and mindfulness teach us to live in the present moment. Usually, there is very little to worry about in the exact moment we’re in. If for a moment we release the past and stop thinking about the future, there is not a whole lot of stress. While that’s incredibly hard to do, meditation does teach us to live within smaller amounts of time. And when we do that, we limit the amount of stress we have to deal with in any given moment.
We get tools to use anywhere and anytime
You don’t need anything except yourself for your meditation practice. Whenever you’re feeling overwhelmed, stressed, upset, angry, whatever it is, you have the ability to come back to your body, your breath, and the present moment. When we have a regular meditation practice, these tools are already in our toolbox and it’s easier for us to come back to and centre.