How Meditation Improved My Life
Most of my close friends know that meditation is part of of my daily ritual. I decided to learn how to meditate because I felt that there was something missing in my life, a certain X factor that I had heard could make a profound impact in a person’s life. Here is how regular meditation has changed my life:
I am much happier now than I ever was before I learned to meditate. Not only is my level of happiness higher than before, I also am happy more frequently and for longer periods of time. Sure, I do experience some sadness, frustration, and anger like anyone else, but these occur much less frequently and with less intensity.
2. More Calm, Less Stress
Compared to before, I am much calmer when I encounter problems or challenging situations. Stress is no longer an issue I deal with often, even when circumstances seem dire. Most of the time, I am able to notice stress as it arises and quickly defuse it before it causes me to react and make bad decisions. The sense of calm I feel makes me feel free and at ease. And even when I do feel stressed, it rarely lasts as long. This is such a relief from the constant tension I used to experience before I learned to meditate.
3. More Focused
One of the wonderful benefits of meditation is that it allows me to focus better on whatever task is at hand. Whether it is writing this article, reading a book, solving a problem, exercising, or spending time with a friend or loved one, I am now much better able to focus on what is important right before me.
4. Sleep Better
Like many people, I often had a very difficult time falling asleep at night. Even when I was tired or sleepy, my mind would race and I would toss and turn in bed, often for hours on end, before I managed to fall asleep. This rarely happens now and I am able to fall asleep relatively quickly, allowing me to wake up earlier and feeling more rested.
5. Better Perspective
One of the wonderful benefits of meditation is that it has allowed me to have a better perspective of the world and situations at hand. I am able to see things more clearly now with less distortion. Whether the situation I am facing is negative, positive, or neutral, I am much better able to see it for what it is, and, consequently, make better decisions on how to react. This is closely related to the next advantage below.
6. Less Impulsive
Because meditation has allowed me to have better perspective, I am much less likely to react to a situation impulsively. This is an area of my life that I had wanted to improve for a long time. I am now more able to take a step back and analyze the situation rather than merely react and then regret it later. In other words, it is much easier now to make the correct decision.
7. More Productive
Meditation has definitely allowed me to be much more productive. Because I am more focused and less impulsive, I accomplish much more in a shorter period of time. I am able to resist distractions much more easily. It is, therefore, no surprise to me that more and more corporations are encouraging their employees to meditate on a regular basis.
8. Better Listener
Being a better listener is another benefit that results from regular meditation. I had no clue that I was a bad listener until I learned to meditate. Listening intently to what others have to say is an important skill and I have learned to do it willingly and happily.
9. More Compassionate and Empathetic
One of the wonderful discoveries I have made as a result of meditation is how to be more compassionate and empathetic. Rather than be quick to judge and criticize someone or a situation at hand as I used to do, I now find it easier to be more compassionate and to display empathy. This is very much like what Atticus said to his daughter, Scout, in the book, To Kill a Mockingbird, “You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view… until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.”
10. Less Judgemental and Critical
Regular meditation has also led me to become much less judgemental and critical of others, an area of my life that needed a lot of improvement. Rather than blame everyone and everything for my problems, I am now more likely to be accepting of them, looking inwards rather than outwards for solutions. This has not always been the case in my life.
11. More Patient
In the past, when I wanted or desired something, I used to expect it immediately. My impatience often led to frustration, anger and unhappiness. After learning to meditate, I have noticed that I am much more patient and understanding, eliminating much of the negative feelings associated with not having things happen quickly enough.
12. Better Relationships
The previous four points have all allowed me to cultivate deeper and more rewarding relationships. Whether it is with a friend, family member, a work colleague or a stranger, there is more trust, love, joy, and understanding in my relationships. I recognize how selfish I was in the past and have even rekindled some wonderful friendships.
13. Less Addictive Personality
Regular meditation has allowed me to have a less addictive personality. Whether it is smoking cigarettes or overeating, it’s much easier for me to forgo habits that are unhealthy and addictive as compared to before. While there is always room for improvement, it is much easier to spot unhealthy urges and control them now.
14. More Confidence and Discipline
As a result of all the advantages of meditation, I am a much more confident person today than I ever was. I also am much more disciplined and better able to invest in my future by making good decisions in the present moment.
Because I am less stressed, more calm, sleep better, and have cultivated healthier habits due to learning how to meditate, I feel much healthier and stronger. This is a far cry from my pre-meditation days when I would devour a pint of ice cream in one sitting while leading a sedentary lifestyle watching TV on my couch.
16. More Fun, Better Quality of Life
I can honestly say that meditation has allowed me to experience a better quality of life. I have much more fun these days than I did before and there is an underlying joy that I experience everyday. I feel more connected to people and the world in general.
Meditation has truly changed my life. It can change yours, too.