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Meditating used to be something that was very intimidating to me. I knew there were so many reasons to meditate, but I often felt unable. I would sit with my eyes closed and breathe, trying to push all thoughts out of my head. It would be fine for a minute. Then I would start thinking about something and immediately feel like I failed. I would quit right then, knowing I would never be able to get it.
I did this about once a year.
Then, earlier this year I read an article about meditating that said most people don’t get through their meditation without having thoughts come into their head that they have to push out again. That’s right, maybe you are as surprised as I was? Most people? Well, I guess most people fail at meditating, right? Wrong.
It’s called practice for a reason. Most people will be practicing meditation for a long time, sometimes a lifetime, before they are able to get through an entire session without thoughts popping into their head. The point is, to keep pushing the thoughts out. Make note of what comes into your mind, then release it. You can even sit with a notebook, jot down your thoughts that make their way in, and then refocus on your meditation.
Over the past few months I have been working on my meditating, making sure to set time aside daily for at least 5 minutes. There are so many reasons to meditate daily, but these are 5 benefits I have personally experienced.
5 Reasons to Meditate daily
1. Learn how to center yourself quickly in moments of stress.
When we are going through something stressful, it is normal to react negatively. Allowing anger or fear to run our reactions, and even our interactions with others.
Having a regular meditation practice teaches you how to center yourself. For me this means if I start to become stressed and angry, I can focus on my breath and bring myself out of the negative reaction state.
Being able to center also allows me to more clearly think of solutions to my situation, or evaluate if it’s really worth being so upset over.
2. Increase your overall patience levels
I have noticed since starting to meditate daily that my patience has been affected. Things that used to bother or quickly upset me, no longer do. I am able to remain calmer and control my sharp temper, even without much effort.
Specifically I have noticed a change in my instinctual reaction to my children when they are doing something that I have asked them not to. Or if they are screaming, breaking rules etc.. You know, all of the fun parts of parenting. My initial reaction used to be to immediately yell. Now if I raise my voice it is very pointed and planned, with a purpose.
3. Gain clearer focus in your goals
If you are anything like me and the hundreds of other women I know, you constantly have 20+ different ideas, plans, to-do items, concerns, and focuses all swirling around in your head daily. Just your daily life takes up so much room in your mind that finding time to focus on your goals and future plans and clearly see them, is almost impossible.
Enter meditation. The few moments calming your mind is a great way to get some clarity. While you aren’t exactly thinking during those few minutes, the calm in your head kind of settles everything. Making it much easier to see and focus on what’s in there.
4. Discover new ideas
Have you been trying to solve a specific problem? Meditating can help solve it for you! Clearing your mind and settling your thoughts can help you see answers you may have been missing because of how busy your brain has been. Especially if you focus on the problem at hand before and after your meditation.
5. Feel more rested with less sleep
Meditating has helped me feel more rested, even without getting more sleep. In fact some days I have less sleep than I used to and still feel more rested. At first I thought I must be making things up, or eating better, or just feeling better and more healthy in general. Then I researched a bit and found that in fact there have been studies that show meditating can help your body feel more rested with less sleep.
You can read one of those studies here
These are 5 benefits that I have already actively noticed in just a few months of meditating. However, there are a ton of other researched benefits. For a much more complete and in-depth list, you can check out 108 Benefits Of Daily Meditation from Meditative Wisdom.
Meditation is a great practice for yourself and your family to inspire mindfulness daily, but for children it can sometimes be a tall order. Try checking out these Gifts for Children which will help Inspire Mindfulness without trying to make them sit still for too long.
What are your experiences with meditating? Have you noticed any of these results, or other benefits? Tell us in the comments below!
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