Meditation seems to be a big topic of interest at the moment, to the point where almost all the Youtube videos I watch or podcasts I listen to will mention it, even if just in passing. I’ll be honest and say that I never really understood what meditation was until a year or two ago, thinking that it was primarily a religious act that someone like me couldn’t really participate in without traveling to a Buddhist temple.
But, after looking into it a bit more and with the help of the app Headspace, I’ve learned that the act of meditating, even for just a few minutes a day is a great mental exercise that encourages focus and a calmer mind. So, when I sprained my ankle a few weeks ago and couldn’t really do much else with my time other than work and sit on the couch, I decided to really give meditation a go and try to stick with doing it regularly in order to see if it made a difference. For today’s post I wanted to discuss a few of my experiences and how they have shaped the version of myself I am today verses a few weeks. ago (yes, it can change you that quickly!)
Less Wild Thoughts, Less Anxious Feelings
I’ll be honest, at first I really didn’t feel anything when I started meditating for only 3 minutes at a time. It felt good to sit still and focus on my breathing, but it also felt like I was doing absolutely nothing. It was only after a few days, when I would notice less invasive and negative thoughts clouding my judgement, that I realized even the small amount of meditating I was doing was creating a shift in my perspective of life.
I had gone from feeling anxious about mundane things (as I usually do) to feeling a bit more in control and relaxed when I was faced with similar situations a few days down the line. Things began to seem less severe because, in reality, they were and my mind was beginning to recognize which thoughts were constructive and which were destructive, pushing the bad ones aside more effortlessly.
Another improvement I noticed fairly quickly was my ability to focus on the daily tasks I set out for myself to complete. During this time I got another freelancing client who I was about to start producing a bunch of content for and meditating every day before I started working really helped me focus on the task at hand rather than wanting to take a break to do something less productive. I noticed my priorities had shifted and my mind was able to stick to one thing at a time and give it all the energy it needed in order to complete the work.
A Feeling Of Accomplishment
Much like working out your body, meditation is like working out your mind. It helps you learn how to push aside unimportant thoughts that fill up your head and make you anxious or unfocused and give that attention to more constructive, happy thoughts instead. Being able to distinguish between the two is a skill and takes a lot of practice, which is why it’s important to maintain a meditation routine. Like any skill, you need to do it over and over again in oder to master it. I’m not saying I’ve mastered meditation, not by a long shot, but it has made me feel very capable and accomplished to stick to the routine and shows me that if I can accomplish that, then I can accomplish anything I put my mind to.
Instigating Physical Mindfulness
The fact that I was putting more effort into improving my mental well-being began inspiring me to focus on my physical well-being as well. Since moving to London I had been eating a lot of unhealthy food and drinking way more than I’m used to, to the point where I was beginning to feel a bit uncomfortable. The mental clarity that meditation was providing me allowed me to recognize that I wasn’t being kind to my body and since then have made it a point to also be conscious of what I put in my body in order to feel good all around.