I’m somewhat interested in meditation, especially because the benefits of meditation are so closely related to what you get running every morning. In fact, I consider running my kind of mediation. But today’s Action for Happiness calendar says, “Teach yourself a new skill.” And I wanted to learn one that’s not going to be a drain on my time or just cause future frustration. Hence, meditation.
Benefits of Meditation:
If you need some convincing that meditation is more than some hippie mumbo jumbo (no offense, hippies!), here are some science-based benefits from Healthline:
- Improves emotional health: less stress and anxiety
- Improves attention span: You know, it helps you from getting distracted by every little thing. We’re programmed in this day and age of distractions to jump from thing to thing, which makes sitting down and getting something done—writing a paper, brainstorming new ideas, working on your finances—unreasonably difficult.
- Improves mental acuity: better memory retention, better brain pathways, etc.
- Improves sleep: Do you ever just lay awake thinking about things? It’s like the second you relax to go to sleep, your brain latches hold of everything it’s been shunting aside. So annoying.
How to Meditate:
Luckily, there’s no shortage of resources about meditation. This one I found is for beginners and not overly complicated (and there’s a lot out there about meditation: different kinds and types, different positions, different chats…it’s ridiculous):
- Choose a good place to mediate. Think quiet and without distractions.
- Sit in a comfortable position. Which may or may not be with legs crossed. Just refrain from slouching (so if you try to meditate on a bed, you might feel yourself slouching…or falling asleep).
- Breathe. Go for deep, slow, natural breaths.
- Be mindful. Think of your breathing, focus on it. Don’t think about whatever.
- Stretch. Afterwards, stretch into a standing position.
Maybe meditation’s the thing for you. Maybe it’s not. Either way, you won’t know unless you make the effort to learn a new skill.