Meditation is the act of turning our attention away from the material world, turning it inward, tuning in to our body, our breath, and the present moment, and becoming fully alert, and fully conscious of our environment and our body. Without looking at it through the cloud of thoughts and opinions and judgments.
Here’s how meditation can help you become a better person:
1. Meditation Will Strengthen Your Family Bonding
Have you ever noticed how when families spend time together, they always look for something to do besides actually being present with each other? We watch sporting events together, we watch movies, we play games, we eat food, drink, and so on.
The idea of actually just being with one another is becoming almost unheard of. We always try to fill in family time with something more exciting because our whole lives we’ve trained our mind to distract ourselves from the “boring” here and now.
Meditation can retrain our minds to tap into the infinite source of bliss that lies in the peaceful present moment.
From this mental state, we can enjoy the presence within ourselves and we can enjoy the presence of others. We’ve so trained our minds to only enjoy hyper-stimulating experiences, but meditation can help us rediscover the beauty and wonder in every moment so that all our experiences become more enjoyable.
When we meditate, we can learn to just be with others, acknowledging and appreciating their presence. We become closer, more connected, and more whole.
2. Meditation Will Improve Your Relationships
Relationships can be tough when you have two people reacting unconsciously to each other. Any time a couple argues, yells, or feels hurt by their partner, this is always because of our ego reacting unconsciously.
If we were fully conscious and present, the words and actions of our partner would have no negative effect on our own mental wellbeing. But instead, our egos get hurt and we react unconsciously.
Meditation literally trains our minds to be present so that we act rather than react. When we remain present in arguments, we respond thoughtfully and effectively. When we react from anger, we say things we regret.
By training our mind every day to be clear and present through meditation, we strengthen the neural networks so that remaining present throughout our day becomes second nature.
3. Meditation Will Help You Focus Better
When you get right down to it, ADD and ADHD have to do with a lack of ability to focus and calm the mind. With social media and an endless supply of bite-sized videos, it’s no wonder we are having a more difficult time staying calm and focused. But meditation trains the mind to stay focused despite the distractions.
Many studies have shown that meditation can improve behavior, reduce the symptoms of ADD/ADHD, and raise test scores and grades. I was personally diagnosed with ADD when I was in elementary school, but ever since I discovered meditation in college, I have been medication-free and I’ve seen meditation work for many other kids with ADD and ADHD.
4. Meditation Will Improve Your Work Productivity
There’s a reason more and more CEOs and Fortune 500 companies are turning to meditation. Nothing relieves stress, increases focus and concentration, and reenergizes us quite like it.
The moment you begin meditating, the frequency of your brain waves change and become closer to what happens during deep, restful, restorative sleep.
In meditation, even for just a few short minutes, our brains can take a break, detoxify, and allow us to go on operating at our full potential. This leads to fewer mistakes, more creativity, and better performance at work.
5. Meditation Will Help You Deal With Illness, Stress, and Anxiety
All problems exist only in the mind. It’s the mind that says, “this is bad,” or “I don’t like that.” In reality, what’s happening is that the ego—that voice in our head—is taking a complex situation and reducing it to a simple label or judgment which only ends up creating suffering.
By learning to meditate, we learn to observe all phenomena and sensations without judgment or labels. Even pain can be experienced without generating suffering. We can instead say to ourselves, “Ok, I feel pain. Let me look closer to the nature of this pain. What is the root of this pain? What are the sensations of pain?”
We always tend to want to ignore pain, but by simply observing without reacting, we don’t generate needless suffering from the pain or illness. As a Buddhist monk once told me, “Life tends to fire the first arrow at us, but our aversion to the arrow is like us firing the second arrow at ourselves. The trick is to turn the second arrow into an acupuncture needle of healing.”
6. Meditation Will Help You Navigate Through Uncertain Times
Sometimes, when we’re not sure what to do, we overthink and over worry. By learning to quiet the mind in meditation, we’re able to tap into our higher intelligence of intuition—the 4 billion years of brilliant DNA programming that lies in each of us. In the stillness, our hearts can speak, and it always knows what to do.
In times of COVID-19, quarantining, economic and political uncertainty, finding peace and tranquility is more important than ever. With social distancing and extra free time on our hands, a uniquely wonderful opportunity to turn our attention inwards and meditate has been given to us.
7. Meditation Will Help You Accept Loss
The richness of our inner world is infinite and vaster than the limited material world, but when we spend our lives attached to the material, we lose sight of the infinite. We focus on things so much that we lose sight of the space that connects all things.
In truth, we can only hear and see a small fraction of the light and sound spectrum. The matter is made up of almost entirely empty space and energy, but we almost completely fall for the illusion of permanence. Thus, attachment and change cause suffering.
Meditation teaches us to let go of attachment by recognizing the temporary, illusory nature of all reality. In meditation, thoughts come and go, pains and sensations arise and fall away.
Moreover, by staying present we are constantly learning to let go of any attachments that come up in meditation. It’s one thing to know that all things change, but by experiencing that in a regular meditative practice we can begin to truly accept every loss and change in our lives.
8. Meditation Will Help You See the World Differently
Remember when you saw a flower for the first time? Remember the 100th time you saw that same flower? The flower didn’t change, but your perception of the flower changed.
When we reduce a beautiful flower down to a word, we stop seeing the flower and we start seeing the world.
Through meditation, we can stop seeing the world through the clouded mind and we can start seeing it as it really is: a beautiful, miraculous, wondrous place.
9. Meditation Will Add More Happiness and Positivity in Your Life
Material pleasures may cause fleeting happiness, but pleasure is always followed by suffering. A bite of chocolate cake feels good for the brief moment it’s in your mouth. However, that feeling is always followed by a craving for more.
If you eat too much, you suddenly experience uncomfortable stomach pain. The only thing that truly generates lasting happiness and positivity is to turn your attention inwards.
This is where meditation will help you. It will help you disconnect from the material world, and connect with the spiritual.
When we experience pleasure, the brain creates dopamine and serotonin. However, we don’t let it last too long. It gets followed by a crash of these chemicals, leading to a depressed mood.
In meditation, we increase the body’s ability to produce dopamine and serotonin. This helps our moods become elevated for extended periods of time, leading to lasting joy and positivity without the crash.
10. Meditation Will Help You Live Longer
Recent scientific studies have shown that meditation slows the rate of cellular aging. It lowers stress and increases the positive physical and mental states that can lead to longer, healthier lives.
11. Meditation Will Help You Make This World a Better Place
There is so much going on in the world. From COVID-19, civil unrest, a divided nation, and an uncertain future. In these times, meditation can help.
It can help every single person in world become more joyful, more conscious, and more peaceful. When we take care of our own psychological well-being, we can better be there for others. Meditation is the perfect way to start.