If you were to talk to me today, you would probably say that I seem like a mellow, focused and down-to-earth type of person. The kind of individual that you would see daily trying their best to help others while also tackling their own goals. But if we were to reverse the hands of time by a mere five years, you would see an entirely different person. Although I consider myself a mindful person today, years ago I was the exact opposite.
I fell into the typical trap of the modern-day individual where I worked ungodly hours while trying to maintain a semblance of normality to those around me. Underneath it all, however, I knew it was a self-destructive path to follow. After I clocked out of work for the day, my mind would begin to flood with images of missed deadlines, poor health, lack of motivation and goals that never got accomplished. The scariest part was that, as time moved forward, this became my reality.
A Different Approach
When I began to realize that something may be going on under the hood, I took the typical approach of finding a psychiatrist, performing extensive bloodwork and undergoing a physical. “There has to be some sort of chemical imbalance going on,” I would often tell myself while lying in bed at night. Although I was a little out of shape and was prone to indulge in junk food now and then, I was a healthy person. My psychiatrist also told me that the way I felt on any given day was normal, and something that millions of people around the globe experience regularly. This answer wasn’t good enough for me.
A Holistic Approach
After being poked and prodded by medical professionals, I decided to turn towards an alternative means of finding my ‘zen’, as I put it. I went on the internet and found meditation gurus and spiritualists that seemed to understand the mental baggage that was holding me back from my true potential. I soon discovered the power of meditation and how it could produce tangible results that could be used in my day-to-day activities.
After a brief period, I began using guided meditation as a way of slowing down my mental chatter and focusing on my biggest aspirations. I would engage with a ten or twenty-minute session upon rising for the day; before the rest of the world wakes up and gets going. On the days that I followed this schedule, I felt my anxiety and worry begin to melt away into nothing. My work and the commitments that I had in my career seemed to become easy, manageable and, oddly, something that I enjoyed.
Once I began to notice that my worry and stress was dissolving, I became skeptical. I would often second-guess my experience and wonder if this was a universal side effect of meditation, or was it a placebo effect derived from how desperate I was. Once again, I took to the internet and found that the art of meditation has been explored and studied for years with tremendous results. I found two different studies that showcased practitioners who were able to calm their stress and tackle life’s challenges with greater efficiency by meditating regularly.
The findings were posted in the Harvard Gazette where they found a captivating link between mindfulness and overall brain health. The study followed two groups of people for sixteen weeks to measure their reactions and results from various forms of meditation. Although the study was split into two sub-groups, the results proved that both groups practitioners were able to calm their minds, become more mindful and induce a sense of relaxation.
Is Meditation Your Solution?
To put it simply, I think everyone can benefit from meditation as it will help them relax and focus on what’s truly important in their lives. However, I will not say that meditation is a one-size-fits-all cure for every problem we face. As a brief experiment, start by incorporating a few minutes of meditation two or three days out of the week. You can do this in the morning before getting ready for the day, after you get home as a means of unwinding from the office or before heading to the gym. Whenever you experience stress and anxiety, opt to become mindful for a few minutes. Even though you may chalk this up as an impractical action, it can revolutionize how you feel both physically and mentally.