Self-Care | How To Transform Your Life Using the Power of Meditation
There are many reasons that make meditation practices life changers. Thanks to meditation, you can learn how to calm your mind on demand. Your concentration and creativity improves…You can train your brain to cultivate positive over negative and even manifest what you always dreamed of in the real, tangible world.
Did you know we have 50 to 80 0000 thoughts a day and that 97% of these thoughts are completely useless AND repetitive? That means our mind focuses on things that are completely insignificant when we could actually just be present in the moment or cultivate thoughts that push us to take beneficial AND well reflected actions in our life.
We usually talk about meditation in a spiritual context, but I’ve written this article specifically for people who have never tried meditating and don’t really understand the concept of it. For the sceptics who think meditation is only for the loonies, yogis or hippies.
If you think meditating can only be done sitting down, legs crossed, eyes closed, you’re wrong.
If you think you need to be a spiritual person to meditate, you’re also wrong.
If you think you don’t have time to meditate, you should know that meditation can actually improve your productivity and help you achieve more in a day by improving your concentration faculties. According to the study of neurologist Suzanne Lazard (Harvard) the action of bringing back your attention to the now, and then bringing it back when your mind wanders, is actually how you build your prefrontal cortex, which is implied in the decision making process, executive function, compassion and awareness…It also shrinks your amygdala which is where stress is held.
Apparently, if people could see how flabby their brain is, they’d get on it now.
What if I told you that even big tech companies like Google make a priority of teaching meditation to their employees. In fact, meditation has been taught at Google in a program called ‘’Search Inside Yourself’’ since 2007.
Yup, Google decided one day that they would make contemplation methods accessible to their teams to help them succeed in the pursuit of happiness AND improve their performance at work, you know, while they’re at it.
Train your brain
The Google ‘’Search Inside Yourself’’ program, which you can also find in a book I highly suggest reading (it personally changed my life) teaches google employees the following :
2.Self-Knowledge and Self Mastery
3.How to create useful mental habits.
The goal is to help you optimize yourself and function at an even higher level than what you’re already capable of.
The impact on Google’s employees (specifically in the tech department) has proven to enable three important skills sets : stellar work performance, outstanding leadership and the ability to create conditions for happiness.
Can I remind you we’re talking about engineers here? According to a study on Social Intelligence, the top six competencies that distinguish star performers from the average performer in the tech sector are :
1.Strong achievement drive and high achievement standards.
2.Ability to influence
5.Initiative in taking on challenges
Of the top 6, only two (conceptual thinking and analytical ability) are purely intellectual competencies. The other four, including the top two, are emotional competencies, which can be developed through contemplation practices.
Moral of the story, being strong in emotional intelligence can help anyone become outstanding at work, even engineers.
Have Power Over Your Thoughts
Now on a whole other level, mediation has a huge impact on the way you control your thoughts and emotions and personally, this is what I find the most useful in my day-to-day life.
To have power over our thoughts, therefore our emotions, is undoubtedly one of the best tools one can have in life.
See, practicing meditation is like training the muscle of attention and focus. It takes time and practice, but once you learn to master it, you can use it to chase useless thought patterns that arise in your mind or create powerful mindsets that help you strive in your endeavours.
As Human Beings, we’re affected everyday by exterior circumstances. The outside circumstances create thoughts inside our brains, that activate emotions which inspire actions that form our reality.
Based on a perception of a situation, you might react in a certain way…And you might regret that reaction minutes later because you acted on emotion instead of acting on pure rational consciousness.
How many times in your life have you reacted to a situation, and regretted it only a few minutes later? That’s because you didn’t distance yourself from a rising emotion. And that’s why you should learn to meditate now!!!
Because it teaches you to see yourself from a higher place and tell you to shut the f*** up when you’re about to put your foot in your mouth (sorry for being so harsh here).
Sometimes, we even ruminate those futile ideas, over and over.
You know, these obsessive thoughts. These thoughts that don’t make us feel good? Most of them are based on a perception we have of a situation, which can be totally inaccurate, sometimes 100% fictional ! Yet, they will consume us from the inside and make us miserable.
Again, this is when meditation comes in handy. A regular practice of meditation trains the muscles of attention in your brain to take notice of a negative or useless emotion rising, and simply let it go.
In addition to that, you can learn how to cultivate only positive thoughts, pre-selecting the positive from the negative before they take control over you. When you learn to master your mindset and focus on ideas that elicit strong, positive emotions, you liberate an infinite power to create anything you desire. You’re simply in the right state of mind, not only to be happy, but to make your dreams come to reality.
How to Meditate
Meditation is actually quite simple, and there are no better ways of mastering it than practicing it. I’m not an expert AT ALL but I have noticed practicing it 5 minutes daily drastically improved my quality of life. Personally, I still struggle with having a daily, steady practice, it kind of comes in phases, but I notice a HUGE difference in my life when I meditate on a daily basis.
Basically, meditation is about quieting the mind yes, but it’s also about the dance between thinking and being present.
What I’d recommend doing, is starting with 3 to 5 minutes a day, then increasing it slowly day by day.
Sit or lay down somewhere quiet and try emptying your brain. You can focus on your breathing, but I find it helpful to focus on something visual like a candle for exemple…When your mind wanders, you bring it back. Your mind wanders you bring it back…
That’s why they call meditation practice a practice, because it’s the practice of bringing your attention and awareness to the now. Don’t get discouraged, you’ll 100% start thinking about what you’ll make for dinner later or where the heck did you put that sweater again??? But when it happens, it’s important to not judge your thoughts and let them go.
Eventually, you’ll start seeing progress…You’ll notice is gets easier to let go of negative thoughts in your day-to-day life. You’ll start using it to your convenience and noticing how helpful those mind skills can be.
You’ll discover answers to questions unravel during meditation. Often, when my mind is overwhelmed and going crazy on the hamster wheel, I sit down and find answers to important issues whether they’d be personal or professional…We should always listen to our intuition. (But that’s another topic!)
Sitting in stillness also helps when you have so much work that you don’t know where to put your focus on…You stop, pause 5 minutes and find clarity.
If you absolutely cannot find the time to sit down, you can even meditate when walking to the metro station in the morning. Just quiet your mind, be present, when your mind wanders, bring it back. That’s also meditation.
There are many apps you can download if you need a bit more guidance and motivation to start your practice. I became convinced I should meditate and learned how to do it by reading the three books below.
But at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter how you do it, where you do it or when you do it. You should absolutely try it. When something stops working, you unplug it right? Well it works for your brain too. The benefits of meditation are simply countless and you should get onto it NOW.