I have been practicing mindfulness for about 9 months now and I am proud to say it has slightly improved my quality of life. Yes. “Slightly”.
Most articles about meditation and mindfulness nowadays are about how incredible it is and how it has changed the writer’s life for the better manifold.
This is NOT one of those.
I already wrote about meditation a few months ago about how it may be of use but didn’t deserve to be “pushed” onto others as incredible. I am now slowly discovering it isn’t that life-changing in the short term but does impact positively your life.
The reason for this half-baked opinion is simply that my life as a whole is generally the same.
My friend circle hasn’t changed. My work is still the same and my opinion on it hasn’t evolved much since I started meditating. My love life has gotten better but not especially thanks to mindfulness.
There have been some betterment but mindfulness wasn’t the only trigger of those.
So here are a few reasons why I recommend mindfulness and meditation as a whole but won’t lie saying it’ll drastically change your life.
The only thing that will really change your life is you.
1. Distance Yourself
Spending time working on yourself in silence and coming back to the present, to your breath during meditation sessions slowly builds a positive habit of letting go of your thoughts.
No matter whether you’re a beginner at meditation or not, it appears the hardest task of it stays the same: letting go of your thoughts.
I am still very much a beginner and keep finding myself lost in thoughts in the middle of meditating. However, the rate at which I can catch myself doing so has drastically increased.
This means I can now observe myself thinking and stop me from doing so. I will then go back to other thoughts moments later and catch myself again. This back and forth forces me to have a better handle of my own mind.
Recently I have noticed a different approach to some frustrating tasks or conversations. I will take a breath — not automatically a deep one as I do during meditation — and look at the thought itself, recognizing its validity and distancing myself from it.
You can distance yourself from your thoughts by cutting the flow itself and thus find a new start of thoughts, potentially with a different angle on the topic at hand.
Mindfulness is a practice of going back to the present, but in daily life, it is much harder to do so. This is why you should find a way to let go of what happens by starting anew within yourself, creating a new present as a result.
While this may not be needed every single day, the ability to do so can be of use.
Silence is scarce.
There are sounds around us constantly and even a small pause of 5 seconds within a conversation will create an uneasiness unbelievable for many people.
Meditation is one of the rare practices for which we cannot multitask.
We need to turn off the music around us, separate ourselves from the rest of the world.
Bringing silence in your life can have its advantages. A silence left in a negotiation puts pressure on the other party. Silence in the wilderness will allow you to appreciate it more if you are already at ease with silence in general.
It also, similarly to stopping your thoughts, provides a new start to whatever was happening as the silence finishes.
While I am still very much unease when there is silence, I am slowly gaining more self-confidence thanks to mindfulness training.
Again, not everyone needs this skill. It may be more or less of use depending on your personality. If you don’t know whether it’ll be. Give it a try for a few months.
3. Time management
Mel Robbins and her 5-second-rule are very well-known as an example to cut your thought-process and proceed with tasks you may let yourself procrastinate.
Meditation, thanks to the above, will provide the same results through a more “relaxed” way. Instead of forcing yourself to proceed, you will indeed make use of your thought-process to make you want to proceed.
Depending on your mindset, one or the other — or a combination of the two when one doesn’t work on its own — will be of use.
4. Be peaceful
This really was the trigger for me. I have constantly been worried and in a hurry for as long as I can remember. The opportunity to radically change this through meditation was obviously appealing.
The results of “being constantly much more relaxed, feeling happier” many YouTube videos and articles have shown to be entirely wrong.
I can say I am generally happier but meditation has been only a tiny part of the reason. In my journey to better myself, I have taken many actions and those have all contributed to my mood and overall happiness to improve.
Be careful not to think Meditation can solve all your problems and make your life beautiful. It may contribute to it in the long run but there are a few things to note beforehand:
- You won’t suddenly become happier
- You won’t learn to stop thinking entirely
- The direct impact it has on your life will be small
- Only the combination of meditation with an overall process of self-improvement will change your life