The first time someone told me to meditate, I wanted run far, far away.
You feeling me?
Who the heck wants to sit still and quiet down when our minds are like kids doped up on too much candy?
I didn’t. That’s for sure!
But, I kept hearing about how it was all the rage, so I went out and bought one of those fancy meditation cushions and a journal, hoping to get myself motivated.
Both items sat in my yoga closet for six months.
The first time I sat for five minutes, it felt like five years. No joke. Five minutes. Good lord.
I fought it.
I tried to convince myself that yoga was my meditation, but again, yoga is active; I was doing something.
Sitting still was awful.
Then I listened to a talk by a man on transcendental meditation and how the health benefits of an integrated brain can be life changing.
I had tackled my health issues with food, exercise, and skin care, so how could I let this aspect of myself go? And why was I having such a hard time with it?
I guess I didn’t even know I was. I was butting up against something. Obviously. We all have some obstacle that we have to overcome, right? If not, we’d all be super heroes.
Meditation is not easy.
I am not going to sugar coat it. It is easier to live in the brain of a restless child than to work through how much it sucks (in the beginning) to quiet your own mind.
Like all challenges in life, you can get past the difficulty, and once you do and see the change in your life, it is so worth it.
Listen, a hangover is worse than learning to meditate, so keep that in mind as you sit there breathing, wondering who the heck signed you up for this sh*t anyway.
Three major health benefits of meditation
Our brains are normally stressed and taxed. This ultimately ends up creating rigid thinking, impulsive-restrictive behavior, distraction, and memory loss. Got too much going on? Your brain all over the place? Can’t think straight? Focus? Yep, it’s normal.
With meditation, you are able to correct the discord in your brain. Meditation can transform your brain’s erratic mental conditions to a more stable conditioning. Your potentially rigid thinking can be transformed into a more purposeful way of thinking, and your impulsive-restrictive behavior can transform into more proactive behavior. Meditation can also sharpen your memory and awareness.
Most people have a stressed physiology, which shows up in sleep issues, health problems, a weakened immune system, and high blood pressure. Gawd, I know I did. Three hours of sleep at best before I could calm my brain down. Now, I sleep like a baby. Seven to eight hours without even waking up to pee.
Meditation can transform a stressed physiology into energy and vitality. It can also strengthen your immune functioning and help you create a more balanced and, thus, healthier physiology.
Have you ever felt ruled by your emotions? When something bad happens, are you completely thrown off into the pits of despair or depression? Totally common. One thing goes wrong, and you anticipate your life is over, right?
Imbalanced emotions can then lead to all sorts of mental issues, including low self-esteem, worry, anxiety, fear, depression, dysfunctional relationships, and poor choices.
Meditation can help ground you. And once grounded, you can deal with the turbulent waters of your chaotic emotions. You’ll feel more confident and safer.
You want to feel good, don’t you? I know I do. I am all about making better choices and finding freedom from my runaway mind. I want to be able to handle good and bad feelings in my body—the ebbs and flows of life with more grace and awareness.
I have just given three huge reasons why meditation is necessary for optimal mental, physiological, and emotional health. Life is hard. What are your fears around meditation? Do you practice? Do you have tips to share? I would love to hear from you.
Hayley Hobson is an author, speaker, business coach, yogi, Pilates instructor, and holistic nutritional expert based in Boulder, CO. Her unique and intelligent style promotes strengthening while softening—empowering her clients to heal not only their physical bodies but their hearts and minds as well. To learn more about her nutritional courses, events, and custom programs, visit hayleyhobson.com or follow her on Facebook or Twitter.