How many of us have heard that we should be meditating? Most of us, right? The scientific evidence for the benefits of meditation has been proven time and time again. But still, many of us seem to ignore this fact.
I know this all too well. I struggle with anxiety. I have for a long time. And with the known benefits of what meditation could do for me, I still resist to sit down and do it. Why do I have so much resistance to it?
Now that I have a technique that I practice (well practice in theory), just reminding myself that I haven’t done it in a while can bring me even more anxiety. Counterproductive right?
I say to myself, “I’ll do meditate as soon as I wake up after I go to the toilet and have a drink of water. Climb back into bed and get into it.” I feel like my day would start on the right foot if I did this. Yet, days, weeks, and months go by, and I still haven’t started it.
It’s interesting, I know that my anxiety will get better if I practice, but each day comes around, and I have a million other things competing for that time.
So, as always, the meditation gets pushed aside yet again. Other things are a bigger priority, or so I think. What are these other tasks that take priority over something that should be as fundamental as eating and sleeping, in my opinion?
Pushing through the resistance
You see, every day that I wake up and have my to-do list running through my head, meditation has long gone. The thought of practising meditation that morning has not even crossed my mind.
I always find reasons as to why I don’t have the time. However, the simple act of paying attention to the coming and going of this breath can be truly transformational and so simple.
I have to work on reprioritising my life. I can start small. At least ten minutes a day. I mean, I can surely squeeze in ten minutes somewhere every single day.
If people that are very successful in life and have a schedule that would make me want to have a heart attack can find the time to practice meditation every day, then surely I can.
On that note, renowned author, Tim Ferriss interviewed a bunch of high performing people and the common thread between them all is that they mediated. He talks about this in his book Tools for Titans.
Every interview that I’ve watched or listened to that involved high achievers when asked about their daily habits or things they can’t live without, meditation is the thing that gets mentioned every single time.
There are so many types of meditations out there, from guided to yogic style meditation, and the style where you learn techniques to deepen the experience.
Using minimalism to make that time
Using minimalist principles of eliminating what’s not essential to you so you can create space for the important things in life, is such an effective task. So, I’ll sit down and plan out what is essential and making sure I eliminate the things that stop me from pursuing other more important things.
Yes, we talk about this all the time. But we’re all on this path to learn. And I feel like I’m getting there, slowly.
So the list would look something like this.
- Watching brainless TV shows or movies most evenings
- Spend less time on social media
- Checking my phone too often
Make time for:
- Meditation, meditation, meditation!
- Eating at the dining table
- Massaging my feet
- Homemade chai
Now, how can I make these things feel essential in my life? Creating those habits over time will make them become an essential part of my day. I can certainly say that looking at the list above; I can feel that benefit from all of those things but one. Meditation.
Meditation, to me, isn’t something that I get excited about. It’s also not something that I finish and go “wow, that was amazing!”, but the thing with meditation is to persist. And persist even though you may not feel any different straight away.
I mean, one thing that it will always make me feel is more relaxed, almost sleepy. This is why I never do it in the evenings because I’ll more often than not just fall asleep. That is a clear benefit, feeling relaxed. But is that enough? Is that all that I’ll get out of it? Who knows at this point.
So I’m setting myself a challenge to start to focus my attention on feeling the benefits of meditation, rather than seeing it as a waste of time or a higher expectation for my return on time invested.
Quietening my busy mind and giving myself some space (besides sleep) to not feel anxiety on days like today. I know it sounds simple, but for me, it’s not. The main point here is that I’m willing to try.
I’d love to hear from you. Do you meditate? Do you struggle with it? What have you done to make it a habit in your everyday life? Has anxiety caused issues in you getting started with meditation or other healthy habits?