[Photo: Tenerife/Spain. Taken by author]
There are moments when you realize that you feel like you’re trapped in a hamster wheel which endlessly keeps on spinning. Usually, there are some triggers which may help you to notice this feeling before comes in the big “explosion”. Pay attention to your feelings, listen to yourself. Do you feel exhausted? Cranky? Sad, for no obvious reason? You notice pessimism even if usually you’re quite positive? Lack of motivation, enjoyment? Do you experience long-term fatigue? Lack of concentration? Lack of productivity? Maybe even anxiety and/ or depression? Also, some health problems could arise and so on. Generally, you feel like it’s too much and you can’t take it anymore, you would like to put your middle finger in the sky, drop everything, take your bags, catch the first flight to the Bahamas or some other place close to being “paradise” and just take a nice sip from a glass of cold drink, lay on the beach with warm sunshine on your face and mild, refreshing wind from the ocean gently touching your warm body and most important – you would “switch off” your mind and just enjoy the moment. I call it “explosion” but there are terms like emotional exhaustion and burnout to describe this.
The key words are “this moment”. Most of us get so tight up in things we need to do, that we barely notice whats happening at the moment. That’s what kills your happiness. And this is the part where comes in meditation. It can be so helpful at moments when you’re “hamster wheel” starts to take over especially if you notice some triggers before the big “explosion”. It’s not that you need to take out everything that’s happening in your life, you just need to learn to hear and feel the silence and peace that is already within you and let it take over for a while.
“Meditation is not a way of making your mind quiet. It’s a way of entering into the quiet that’s already there”
– Deepak Chopra
Benefits of meditation:
improvement of concentration and attention
improves your sleep
reduction of stress
reduction of anxiety
reduction of some health diseases
increases self- awareness
increases the sense of gratitude
increases the level of patience
more thoughtful breathing
These are just a few of the benefits that meditation offers. Practicing it long-term you will experience a lot more. Other positive effects of meditation you can see here. Remember that to experience most of the benefits you need to practice meditation consistently but at first don’t think about how you will find the time for that if you already don’t know how to deal with some things here and there and just try, you’ll see. There is always enough of time for the things we care for.
Meditation is a good way how to calm down your mind and body. And no, it’s not only for spiritual people and monks which lives far away in mountainous areas in hidden monasteries. One of the best things about it is that everyone can do it anywhere. I will get into some more precise and practical advice about how to meditate in another post, but now, I want to mention this app called Insight Timer which I’m using and I’m absolutely satisfied with it. If you’re a newbie at this it can be quite useful and helpful for your meditation journey. You can find guided and unguided (timer, music) meditations. You can find more spiritual or more basic ones, long and short, with or without music and sounds from guides all over the world. Basically almost all sorts. You can put headphones and use this app at home, on public transport, in the car (hopefully not while your driving), while taking your dog for a walk, before going to sleep, after waking up, etc. You can find also different kind of groups, you can join in and participate in conversations or just read and get some useful information. You can build your friends list. Location available, it is quite interesting to see all sorts of people from all over the world, it just reminds me how different and unique we all are. And most important, it gives you the chance to track your meditation sessions, in this way, especially if you are a beginner at this, it is easier to keep on going. It keeps track and you can see your progress. I love it! There are days when I’m using it, and some when I don’t, like in those days when I feel like meditating with no distraction, in silence and even without a timer, I won’t reach for my phone just to switch on this app.
I hope to see you on this meditation journey! Stay present. Breathe deep. Be aware. Love yourself, others and this world. Just be and enjoy!
What are your favorite methods of meditation?