How to start meditating daily
9 min read
9 min read
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Meditation has not been limited to Buddhist monks anymore for a while now. Each year the practice seems to gain more and more traction among people, and especially the younger generations are seeking the benefits of this mindfulness practice.
I have been meditating for multiple years now, but I have phases where I meditate daily, and then there are weeks or months where this practice slides into the background of my priorities.
About a month ago, I started meditating daily again, making it a non-negotiable priority in my day. Every time I do this, I realize how much peace this practice brings me, so that’s why today I wanna talk about why you should meditate daily (and how to do it).
5 scientific benefits of meditating daily
I will first get into some of the scientific benefits of meditation before I talk a little bit more about my own experience with it.
Meditation reduces Stress
This is probably the most widely known effect of meditation. When you are mentally or physically stressed, it will cause increased levels of the stress hormone cortisol in your body. Over time, this can lead to the release of inflammatory chemicals, therefore disrupting your sleep, leading to increased levels of depression and anxiety, increased blood pressure, fatigue, etc.
Studies have shown that mindfulness meditation can reduce the inflammation response caused by stress, and will also improve symptoms of conditions related to stress like PTSD, irritable bowel syndrome, and fibromyalgia.
Meditation helps with anxiety
As meditation reduces stress levels, it also equals less anxiety. of almost 1300 adults concluded that meditation helps to decrease anxiety. This effect was seen most in the adults with the highest levels of anxiety.
found that meditation helped to reduce symptoms of anxiety in people with generalized anxiety disorder.
These are just two of many examples of studies conducted, there is plenty of research to support meditation alleviating anxiety.
Meditation improves self-awareness
Through meditation, you can develop a stronger understanding of yourself, which will help you grow as a person. It can help recognize unhelpful or harmful thoughts and will offer a deeper understanding of your own psyche.
conducted among 153 adults showed, that using a mindfulness meditation app for 2 weeks helped with reducing feelings of loneliness and increasing social contact.
Meditation increases your attention span
Meditation is like anything in life - the more you practice, the better you get at it.
With meditation, you can increase the endurance of your attention.
have shown that people who practice meditation have improved attention and accuracy when completing a task.
Also, mediation can even reverse thought patterns like worrying, mind-wandering, or poor attention!
Meditation can fight age-related memory loss
Through meditation, you can also help keep your mind young. There is that meditation can help to at least partially improve memory in patients with dementia!
Also, regular meditation can improve performance on neuropsychological tests, increase memory and overall mental quickness in older people!
Benefits in my own experience with Meditation
Now I want to talk a little bit about my own experience with meditation.
When I say meditation has changed my life, I’m not exaggerating. Meditating daily has kept me sane in some of the most difficult times of my life so far. It’s what has helped me find a source of peace within myself, no matter how chaotic or unsafe the world around me seemed at the time.
Let’s start with personal growth. I believe that meditation has been a big catalyst for my own growth over the last few years.
When I meditate, I get more clarity on the workings of my own psyche. I have identified thought and behavior patterns that were chipping away at my quality of life in meditation.
Checking in with myself on a daily basis like this also helped me reflect on my actions in a neutral and non-judgmental way so that I can walk away from my practice and try to do better.
Forces me to stop avoiding problems
We, as a society, are terrified of silence. We have become accustomed to always being distracted, always flooding our brains with information. And it is nice, to some extent, to have distraction at our fingertips at all times, but this also enables us to ignore all our feelings and problems and dissociate.
I have noticed that through meditation, I am forced to face the uncomfortable feelings I usually try to avoid. But in the end, this is super useful, it helps me to work through these feelings and learn from them as opposed to pushing them down (and having them resurface in a subconscious way).
The world can be scary. So much is uncertain, and it is impossible to control everything. With meditation, I have learned to let go of this constant desire for control, and surrender to the fact that nothing in this world is certain.
By making peace with my thoughts and cultivating this safe space within, I have come to the realization that the only thing I do have control over in this life is my thoughts.
Knowing that there is this safe space within that can be accessed at all times has brought me immense comfort in times of crisis. Meditation acts like an anchor for me, a way to make myself feel more grounded instantly.
A different view on life
Meditation has also allowed me to gain a different perspective on life. It helps me view my own life and problems in a different light, but it also helps me empathize with the people around me and gain a greater understanding of them and their reasons to act a certain way.
In general, I believe that daily meditation has made me a kinder, more empathetic person, with the ability to take a step back from my own life and consider a different point of view.
Last but not least, meditating daily has boosted my gratitude. It gives me time every day to reflect on how fortunate I am in so many ways. It helps me feel grateful for the most mundane of things, and it really helps me to put my problems into perspective.
How can you start meditating daily?
Now, after learning all the beautiful things meditation can do for you, maybe you want to try it out for yourself.
I don’t believe that you need to sit in silence for hours a day to reap the benefits of meditation.
What is important, is to make it a non-negotiable priority in your day. No matter what is going on, show up for yourself, even if it is just for 2 minutes. But do it every single day.
A few tips:
Start with 1, 2, or 3 minutes of meditation if 10 minutes feels like too much. Meditating 1 minute every day will still get you in the habit, and even a minute of silence is better than nothing!
Try out different techniques
Mix it up!
There is no wrong or right way to meditate.
- Maybe you like to listen to 432Hz music when you meditate, but it for sure is not for everyone! Some people prefer more modern music to listen to. Maybe try nature sounds, or see how you feel without any music or noise at all!
- Try out different spots, see where you feel most comfortable. If you can’t settle down when sitting, try lying down for your meditation!
- Close your eyes or keep them open, softly focusing on a spot in front of you, whatever you feel most called to that day.
- Try breathwork when meditating, sometimes that can help you focus!
- Use guided meditations for when your mind wants to wander or you desire some input!
Listen to your body
Don’t be hard on yourself if your mind can’t settle down. On days when I feel very anxious, meditating is a lot harder than usual. These days I will allow myself to keep the meditation short, maybe only 3 minutes. I might use a guided meditation to give my brain something to focus on, and I won’t be hard on myself for shifting and fidgeting during the meditation.
Your body goes through different phases, and that’s okay! The only way to form a sustainable practice is if you honor your body’s needs as it changes.
No matter where you are in your journey, just start and see how it goes! Meditation can be a beautiful tool to not only grow as a person but to also feel better in your day-to-day life.
Daily meditation is definitely one of my favorite practices to do for self-improvement. The beautiful thing about it is how versatile it is, you can adjust it any way you like on any given day.
If you try it out yourself, or already have a practice, I would love to hear about it! Send me an email with your results, or if you have any questions / need advice!