Today’s blog post is going to be a little bit different. I want to share with you what I learned from meditating over the past few years, but
If you prefer audio, here’s the podcast episode where I discuss the same topic:
Long-Term Benefits of Meditation
I started my meditating journey at the beginning of 2015. First, I tried the app Pacifica and I liked it, but I knew it wasn’t going to do it for me in the long run. So, I decided to keep searching for an alternative. Then, I stumbled upon Headspace and decided to give it a go.
I tried to turn meditating into a daily habit, but I struggled with it in the first few months. I saw an improvement in my anxiety levels, I generally felt calmer and more aware of my breath throughout the day, but was still struggling to commit to it every single day.
One day, I saw that Headspace had a pretty cool feature: they were counting your so-called ‘meditative streak’.
For example, if you meditate 3 days in a row, that is a new record, and you receive a badge for it. Being the competitive person that I am, I realized that a little gamification would definitely spice things up for me and get me even more excited to show up every single day.
I began waking up every morning excited to meditate. There were mornings I felt like crap, but still wanted to check off the day, so I brought myself to do it nevertheless. Funnily enough, once I started meditating, it was no longer about getting the ‘gold star’.
My mind would finally calm down and sound like a soft buzz in the background, and I would feel my muscles relax and sink into the bed.
One day, I got really sick and I meditated a few hours after my regular schedule. There went my streak! 🙁
I was a little bit sad and a little bit mad, but I realized that although my ambition to tick off the day was helping me meditate, I was not meditating for the right reasons.
So, I began again, with an open mind, and most importantly: an open heart. I didn’t care whether or not I would achieve my big goal (365 days straight). I meditated for a way bigger reason: to feel more grounded, to be able to give love to others, to heal my wounds from the past, worries about the future, and learn to enjoy the present moment.
I meditated not only for myself but also for others.
If you’ve never meditated before, there’s a chance you may find this sentence obnoxiously cheesy. But if you’re a regular meditator, you’ve definitely experienced that wholesome feeling as if you’re not separated from others. That feeling of joy, surrender, belonging. That feeling that you’re a part of something bigger: the Universe itself.
What I Learned from 1,000 Days of Meditation
Meditation taught me that I’m responsible for taking my mind too seriously or not. Every day, we have more than 90,000 thoughts. That is A LOT!
Imagine what would happen to you if you’re thinking negatively all the time. You could literally make yourself sick, and I’m talking from experience here.
Meditation taught me how to become the silent observer of my thoughts and tune into my body instead. It taught me how to slow down, take a few deep breaths, and observe the sensations in my body objectively. It taught me to step back from the inner chatter and focus on what’s happening right in front of me.
Meditation taught me that my past is something I’m never going to
Meditation taught me that I am exactly where I should be right now, at this moment, and there’s no reason to resist anything. It taught me how to express my feelings in a calm and kind way, to respect other people’s boundaries, and give unconditional love to everything and everyone.
Meditation taught me that I’m not separate from others. It taught me that wishing someone else love and being kind for no particular reason was some of the biggest joys in life. It taught me that being grateful for every breath I took made me appreciate life even more and live it with the intention to create, serve and love.
Meditation is still to this day, the best practice I’ve ever found when it comes to calming down anxiety, becoming more aware of racing thoughts, and helping with depression. It’s truly something that has the potential to change your life, as long as you’re open-minded and really want to give it a fair shot.
You may not start to meditate for the right reasons or feel like a failure if you can’t do it consistently, but that’s exactly why you need meditation in the first place: to stop such intrusive thoughts from ruining your life; to stop defining yourself based on what you accomplish; to realize that you’re not alone in this and there is no reason to beat yourself up if you can’t achieve a certain result.
It’s about developing the consciousness to realize that you are enough right now, at this moment, and you don’t need to go anywhere else to achieve happiness.
You are here, in this moment, and there will be no moment like this ever again, so instead of drifting off to the past or the future, meditation helps you calm down and come back to the present moment.
Meditation can be your best friend. You just need to trust the process and let go of your judgments.
Close your eyes, take a few deep breaths, and let’s begin…
Here’s a link to try out my three 5-minute guided meditations. Happy meditating!