What is your true self? If you’re like most people, you are unable to answer this question. When you can answer it, however, your life will be changed for the better.
Meditation, which helps you become more mindful of yourself and your surroundings, can help you better understand your internal self and how it coincides with the person you present to the rest of the world. It can help you go from being that irrational and aggressive individual to the thoughtful and passive friend everyone seeks. It will help you better understand others and the world around you. In short, meditation will drastically improve every aspect of your life. Discover seven ways meditation will change your life below.
1) Learn What It Means To Live With Mindfulness
Mindful living is trending these days, but unlike many other types of trends, mindfulness is one trend that has the potential to positively impact all aspects of your life and your future. Being mindful means being aware of your thoughts, feelings, and actions at all times. When you’re aware of your thoughts and feelings, you can control them better.
You may think you can control your thoughts and emotions now, but the truth is, they likely control you. Think about it—when you spill a cup of coffee on yourself, do you let it go or do you let the irritation over your clumsiness and the stain on your shirt stick around for the rest of the day. When you get stressed out at work, do you take time to think about what is making you stressed and take measures to remedy it, or do you just work in spite of the stress? Individuals who are mindful do the former, while those who do not practice mindfulness let their negative thoughts drag them along for the rest of the day.
Mindfulness means becoming more aware of your thoughts and actions and looking at them from a rational standpoint. Instead of sulking about a spilled cup of coffee, mindfulness allows you to laugh it off and move on. Instead of drowning in your stress, mindfulness can allow you to refocus your mind to more productive thoughts. At first, mindfulness will be something you need to practice, but after a while, it will become second nature to you.
2) Slow Down
Meditation gives you the opportunity to slow down and contemplate on the things that bring you joy. When you really think about the people, activities, and things you love, you vow to spend more quality time cherishing them. If you feel as if you’re just sprinting through life and not really enjoying it, it may be time to meditate on those things that bring you joy and those things that simply do not.
3) Dissipate Stress Before It Consumes You
Meditation will not necessarily prevent stress, but it can help you recognize the signs of impending stress and take measures to dissipate it before it becomes overwhelming. The mindfulness you gain from meditation will help you identify your body’s stress signals while the meditation itself will help you prevent a full-blown attack. By simply closing your eyes, taking deep breaths and refocusing your thoughts, you can stop your body’s fight-or-flight response and return to a calmer state of mind.
4) Make Better Life Decisions
Attaining mindfulness through meditation means you will gain more clarity regarding your thoughts, actions, and emotions. This means that you will better be able to recognize when a decision is right for you and when it will cause unnecessary stress or hardship. Armed with this knowledge, you can live a life in which you think before you act and one in which you make purposeful decisions.
5) Gain More Control Over Your Emotions
Emotions are powerful entities, so when they flood your brain, your brain feels compelled to act on them. While it is socially acceptable and healthy to let happiness completely take over, it is not acceptable and nor is it healthy to let anger, grief, or sadness take the wheel. Though you have every right to express your emotions and even act on them, it is important that you stay in control of them — especially the more volatile ones.
For instance, if you’re angry and want to hit something, have at it, but make sure the object you strike is a punching bag. If you’re sad and want to grieve, grieve, but don’t let your grief control your life. Realize when enough is enough and when it is time to seek out friends, family, and activities that will make you happy again.
Meditation can equip you with the tools you need to seize control over your emotions. More than that, however, it can help you recognize actions and thoughts that trigger undesirable emotions and therefore help you avoid them.
6) Live a More Fulfilling Existence
When you combine each of the aforementioned benefits—the increased control, ability to slow down and reduced stress—the result is a happier and more fulfilling life. If you’re looking for a way to feel more content and connected in the world you’ve created for yourself, take up meditation.
7) It’s Free
As an added bonus, meditation is free. All you need to get started is a quiet place and yourself. Seek out privacy in your own home or head to the great outdoors to search for a spot that invites self-reflection. This may be a beach, a park, or even a church. It doesn’t matter where you meditate—what does matter is that you do it at all.