Shortly before Christmas 2015, I made a deal with myself to meditate at least five times a week. I’ve made commitments like this on and off since around 2009, when meditation and Eastern traditions really started to interest me. Six or seven years is a long time to not commit to a regular meditation practice, especially since I repeatedly hear about the many successful and well-rounded people who practice daily meditation on The Tim Ferriss Show. Listening to that podcast is where the principle of measuring success has really solidified in my mind as a way of self-motivating. It’s also where I first heard about the Calm meditation app, which by keeping track of the meditation sessions made me feel accountable to my commitment. Today I achieved my personal best meditation streak at 19 days! I’m excited to pass on what I’ve learned from meditating pretty regularly since December 6th, 2015.
I've been thinking more clearly. To use a computer metaphor, my brain feels like it’s being defragmented during meditation. I used to feel cluttered and unable to see the big picture for my personal and professional goals. Meditation has given me the mental space to take on life one day at a time instead of being overwhelmed with a huge to-do list with no end in sight.
Another benefit I’ve experienced is feeling more capable of disassociating with all sorts of negativity. I now choose to be in a good mood more easily than before. The model of ‘happiness being a choice’ actually makes sense to me now that mental clarity allows me the option. Before, I felt less in control of my reactions to my environment. As I gain control of my “inner world” I tend to step back and ask myself how my reaction will impact my overall goals. I’ve finally internalized that it’s the resistance to life’s “negative” occurrences that causes suffering, and not so much the occurrences themselves. There will always be challenges to overcome, and taking them on in a relaxed but focused state makes all the difference.
Overall, I’m feeling less stressed, which has led to less overall body soreness. I didn’t realize how much physical pain “fight or flight” stress hormones cause until I was able to reduce them through regular mediation practice. So, in one final equation it all ties into massage and pain-management: From my experience, Meditation = Less Physical and Emotional Pain.
Thanks for reading,
UPDATE: April 5, 2016
64 Days and Counting!