In today’s blog post I’m sharing what 100 days of meditation have taught me.
If you had told me back in November or December that in the first part of 2018 I would have meditated for 100 days, I would have told you that you had the wrong person. Meditation had never been a part of my life, and I thought that there was no way that I’d be able to sit still and think about nothing for 3 minutes, let along 15 or 20 minutes. If you’re someone who was like I was, who didn’t think that meditation would make much of a change in how you felt or your thoughts, I challenge you to try it out.
Below you’ll find five things that mediation taught me. I don’t think I would have learned these things if I’d only meditated once or twice a week. I needed to do it on a daily, consistent basis to see the difference. Having a dedicated meditation practice made all the difference – very similar to how my yoga teachers always suggest that yoga be a consistent practice. The more you do it, the more of a difference you see in yourself. Do you have to meditate for 30 minutes every single day? No, I think starting with just 2 or 3 minutes daily can be beneficial when you’re first starting out.
Thinking too much can be exhausting.
It feels like I have about a million thoughts go through my head most days. I feel like I’m constantly remembering something that I have to do later or tell someone. Even when I’m relaxed and watching TV or reading, I’ll still be thinking about other things or planning what I need to get done the next day. Slowing down those thoughts – or even stopping them completely for a little white feels oh so good. It’s hard to feel present and in the moment when I’m constantly thinking about the future. I find that meditation helps to keep me grounded and just be present instead of always thinking ahead.
Anxiety doesn’t have to be something to be scared of.
I did a month’s worth of meditations just about anxiety. It was pretty eye opening. I’d always labelled anxiety as something bad, to be avoided at all costs. Meditation taught me that while it may be uncomfortable, there’s no reason to actually fear it. The only reason why I fear it is because I make it out to be some big scary thing. While it definitely feels uncomfortable to feel anxious, in reality it’s only a feeling and it will pass in time – it’s not permanent. Anxiety will be negative, positive, or neutral depending on how I label it. Do I still feel anxious? Absolutely, meditation hasn’t taken that feeling away. But the difference is that I can see it for what it is now.
Meditation isn’t about perfection.
It’s about trying and doing your best. Am I always in the present moment? Nope. Do I get distracted by thoughts about what I need to do once I’m finished meditating? Yep. Am I perfect at meditating after doing it for 100 days? Absolutely not. Will I ever be? Nope. Meditation is about doing it despite my imperfections. It’s about doing it even though I’ll get distracted. It’s about being gentle with myself when it doesn’t go perfectly and forgiving myself. Meditation has to be a judgement free zone for me, or else every single time I meditate will be a failure because I’m not perfect at it.
It’s okay to be still.
I’m one of those people who has a hard time being still and always has to be moving, even if it’s just a fidgety hand or food that’s moving. I almost never watch a movie on the couch by myself because I have a hard time sitting for that long. I get distracted and decide to turn the movie off. Meditation has shown me that that movement is almost always a distraction from something. I can be still if I want to be, I just have to do it. While it’s still not easy for me, it’s definitely gotten easier the more that I’ve meditated. Just like with the above point about perfection, I usually shift and move a little bit during meditation, but I’m much more calm and at ease being still than before I started to meditate.
Meditation doesn’t have to be “woo woo”.
I’m probably the least woo woo person I know. When I first started meditating, I wasn’t sure if it would be for me. But the Headspace app doesn’t make it too woo woo for me at all. Headspace used various techniques that make sense to me, from scanning my body to find places of tension to counting my breaths to keep my mind from getting distracted. Headspace has taught me all of these techniques that I can use during meditation that make it seem a lot less woo woo than I thought it would be before I started. If you’re interested in trying out the Headspace app, check out my review of it here, and the site is here.
Do you meditate? What has it taught you?