You’ve probably heard the word ‘meditation’ a lot and assume it’s maybe not for you – but the truth is, meditation is scientifically proven to have an abundance of benefits on the body and your general day to day life.
Let me start off by saying that years ago I’d use the word ‘pessimistic’ to describe my views on most things – including myself. Not because I’m an overtly negative person, but because I always thought that if I thought the worst and the outcome was marginally better, I was onto a winner and that I wouldn’t be disappointed. I know, glass half empty, that kind of scenario.
I needed something to help me view things more positively, not just about myself, but how I viewed the entire world and how I could help myself become more charged with resilience and confidence – rather than let stress and anxiety rule my life. In fact, if I’m honest with myself, I just wanted to be an all-round better person in general.
A friend had told me to look at meditation but, like many, I simply shrugged it off and said ‘I’d look into it’ – I never did – until I found that there is science behind meditation. Me being me, I have to know that something is matter of fact – and when I found there was science behind meditation – I entrenched myself in the rabbit hole of reading everything I could.
To this very day (honestly) I cannot believe how much one simple meditation a day affected my life so powerfully.
Let me first say, meditation transforms every single part of your life positively and if you’ve ever thought to yourself “I could do with a re-wiring” then I cannot recommend meditation more.
What I needed to address and how meditation helped
So there were two clear areas that I needed to improve on immediately and that was to reduce my stress levels, improve focus and build resilience. I had always felt like a natural born leader but hadn’t made any in-roads to actually do anything about it. I found myself in the monotony of ‘falling in line’ and just doing things ‘by the book’ – I never once stepped out of my comfort zone. I wanted those three things and that would get me started.
So no doubt some of you can relate to this, let’s look at how meditation really did change my life in those areas.
- Stress / Anxiety
I’m a constant worrier. I worry about pretty much everything in life and I carry the world on my shoulders all the time. Meditation helped me immediately reduce stress and anxiety. Remember, I’m very matter of fact – so in each of the areas outlined above, there is scientific proof that meditation helps – and I’ll point you to the resources needed.
I remember reading that one study found that mindfulness and zen type meditations reduced stress significantly over a period of just three months (roughly how long it took me). Another study shows that meditation literally reduces the density of brain tissue that we know are associated to anxiety and worrying – wow.
- Improve focus
This was always a big one for me. Whether I was at home simply socialising, talking with relatives or working to stringent deadlines, I always seemed to lose focus. I always wanted a razor sharp edge of being continually focuses. Meditation (again from scientific research and real-life experience) improves cognition and increases your ability to carry out tasks far more efficiently that require focus.
I used to think coffee boosted my focus – but after finding things like transcendental meditation – I found a new lease of life, you should do too.
- Build resilience
This one was probably the one that helped me excel in such a way in my work life – building resilience. I wanted to learn how to not fold under pressure, become independent and work seamlessly as part of a team (and being able to lead that team).
Through the process of meditations on both my failures and successes – and then being able to observe myself without attachment – really allowed me to build a resilience that I hadn’t previously thought to be possible.