Daily Meditation Practice
There is a lot of literature that backs up the benefit of a daily meditation practice. So, whether you’re concerned about changing unhealthy habits, concerned about a difficult work situation or just plain anxious about the future, you might be wondering if practicing meditation every day could help your situation.
There are a few important fundamentals to consider.
In order to change, we need to:
- Acknowledge where we are (recognizing our current situation, habits or unproductive thinking).
- We need practice what we would rather be doing instead.
With meditation, we can actually rehearse being relaxed and experience having a peaceful and empowered state of mind. As Thomas Sterner writes in his book The Practicing Mind: “With deliberate and repeated effort progress is inevitable.”
In the case of meditating, we are practicing thinking powerful, positive thoughts- deliberately and repeatedly.
One of the ways that practicing meditation shifts perspective is by helping us to focus on the present moment. We all know that obsessive focus on future results takes us out of present enjoyment.
This kind of obsessive focus on the future impedes the progress of actually getting what we desire because we hold onto an ideal of what “should” be happening. We get frustrated and stressed because we also tend to hold onto ideas of how fast and exactly how we should be progressing.
Internal dialogue on the order of, “I should have lost ten pounds by now” is a recipe for self-doubt and poor results.
Instead, a mindset that reduces stress and frustration while actually improving your state of mind is essential for real progress to be made. In other words, you have to be enjoying where you are right now in order to succeed.
What happens when I meditate regularly?
Meditation helps by slowing things down in your mind (stopping the negative mental chatter that can be so damaging). The result is that meditation practice can help us to begin to trust ourselves again and to move into a place of empowerment. This doesn’t mean that we forget about results. Results are in the background and they are invisibly guiding the process.
Oddly enough, the focus really changes. We have found that once our clients are able to focus on the quality of what they are actually doing in the present instead of on some idea of how it should be going, they feel better.
This relieves a huge burden of stress and frustration while keeping them in that positive, empowered state of mind. Working with the easy to learn meditation process that we teach, we can calmly step back. We can then observe if what we’re doing is moving us in the right direction.
At that point, it’s easy to make adjustments if they’re needed. We can learn how to observe what works and what doesn’t, for us individually. We can do this, as objectively as possible and without self-criticism. We can adjust our present actions; move past old habits and negative thinking patterns in a comfortable, relaxing way.
As one who has meditated for over twenty years, I can say from experience that choosing to follow a daily meditation practice has helped me to enjoy living in the present and has improved every aspect of my life.