The Stress of Meditation

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I have to say I’m a huge supporter of meditation. The benefits are endless: it can reduce symptoms of depression, assists with seeing life in a more positive light, it aids self-acceptance, helps forge connections with others and boosts our ability to be compassionate, it will help build your creative energy. A calmed mind allows ideas to flow more freely, as those ideas are not crowded out by incessant internal chatter. I could go on. And on.

I’ve experienced those benefits first hand. But it’s probably more accurate (and more honest) to say I’ve experienced them second hand. My husband is a walking, living example of the wonderful benefits of meditation. He is calm, centred, loving, giving, generous, optimistic, realistic, focused, kind, gentle. Again, I could go on, but I think you get it now. Before he started meditating (around 10 years ago) he was also all of these things, but in a less pronounced way. I’d say meditation has brought out the best in him, and helped bring these qualities to the surface. And now he owns them. But without presumption or righteousness. He just naturally radiates these qualities.

But he deserves to because he has practiced his meditation with dedication and commitment; most days, for a long long time. I, on the other hand, have not. I start with commitment and end, sadly, with distraction. I aspire to meditate regularly, but I’m yet to get into a routine with it. But I do think my time for meditation is dawning because for the first time in a very long time I am being kept awake at night. And not just by my children, but largely by my thoughts.

I eventually abandoned my meditation practice because I’d decide that I was going to do it every day, then I’d miss a day or two. Then I’d beat myself up over missing a day or two. So I’d reset my commitment and the cycle would continue. I’d miss, then get cross with myself. So I decided that meditation was just causing me too much stress. And I opted for a glass of wine instead. The stress-relieving benefits of a glass of wine can’t be underestimated. BUT, it doesn’t still my mind. And usually if I double up on that glass of wine (due to its superior stress relieving qualities, of course!) the insomnia actually increases. So not only┬áis the internal chatter keeping me awake, so is the wine.

So, I ask, how do I still my mind? The answer is simple – meditation. Yes, but how do I still my mind enough to meditate? Again, the answer is simple. Meditate. And so it goes. Meditation is one of those things that doesn’t come naturally to anyone. To become good at it, you need to practise. So I’m starting again and today is Day 2 of the Deepak Chopra 21 Day Meditation Experience. It’s for people like me who struggle to maintain their regular meditation practice. If you want to meditate, you can join. It’s free and you just need an email address. Once you register you’ll be sent a guided meditation to your inbox, click the link and all you need to do is make the time. You can join here.

I’ve written about the difficulties of meditation before, if you want to catch up on that, you can read it here.

I’d love to hear of your experiences with meditation. I really believe it is the antidote to the crazy, frenetic lives we’ve all signed up for. I’ll keep you updated on my progress as I go. Please share if you join up. We can all debrief together!

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