While you may be uncomfortable with the concept at first, I’d like to ask you to suspend your disbelief or distaste for it and just give it a shot. This is a common theme in several of the best selling positive psychology books and it’s also a common practice amounts the most successful men and women in the world. I myself went full circle with meditation. I was taught to meditate as a child and grew up in a family that practiced this daily. I knew I felt something wonderful when I did it. I felt calmer, more relaxed. I could even tell that my face seemed brighter that day, which I couldn’t quite explain. Still, religion was forced onto us and if we didn’t practice, it was a punishable offence, so I pushed it away. Years later, after reading many books on the study of success and the study of happiness, I found it was always on the list as one of the top five common tools to help you achieve more joy, more connection, more peace, more success in your life and so….. reluctantly, believe me…. I gave in and decided to try it.
It took me a while to figure out a way to do it that resonated with me. Elkhart Tolle talks about the stillness of a tree. Just take a deep breath and imagine you’re sitting on a beautiful beach…a tall palm tree beside you. Observe how the leaves blow gently in the wind and also observe how still it is….how grounded in the earth…how peaceful. In that moment, reading about the stillness, I got it. It was that elusive feeling that had escaped me for so long…. how to go beyond thought to find that still space where the mind can be quiet. I cannot tell you how lovely an experience it is to hush those voices in your head…to slow down the swirl of thoughts that circle us most of the day. It’s a beautiful and peaceful feeling unlike any other. So how do you do it?
Start with just five minutes a day. Sit in silence or sit in nature, take a few deep long breaths to slow down your breathing and your heart rate. If this is difficult for you, then find a guided meditation online, like the Ah Meditation by the late Dr. Wayne Dyer, and do it for as long as you can. Soon enough, you will start to feel lighter, more calm, more energized, more focused and more at peace.
Practicing meditation has been proved to have enormous health benefits. It can bring you happiness, improved health, increased energy and can maximize performance. Scientific evidence has shown that meditation can improve focus by up to ten times, can boost your immunity and decrease the risk of disease by 50%, it reduces depression by 75% and anxiety by 30% and increases your overall sense of well being by 65%. In terms of emotional well being, it lessens worry and impulsivity, reduces stress, fear and loneliness, enhances self-esteem and self-acceptance, improves resilience against pain and adversity, increases optimism, self-awareness and relaxation. Meditation can help prevent emotional eating and smoking. It helps develop positive social connections and improves your mood and increases emotional intelligence.
I can’t think of a reason not to take five minutes a day to do this. It has become my favourite part of the day now and, while nothing in my day changes, everything changes, because it just feels like everything comes together more easily.
Try to work your way up to twenty minutes a day…. but just start with five minutes… just five minutes a day to invest in yourself…. to focus on yourself without outside noise…. you’re so worth it.
By Zahra Karsan