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Why Meditation Is More Essential Than Ever

Why Meditation Is More Essential Than Ever

We are living in crazy times. In the midst of all this madness, there has never been a better moment than now for you to learn how meditation could help you put a bit of balance back into the world.

Meditation is a bit of a funny topic. Everybody knows what it is, in theory, but in reality they may not really understand it all that well at all. The great thing is, that despite what some people might want to tell you, it really is the easiest thing in the world to bring into your life.

Here is a quick look at five reasons why you should start thinking about working meditation into your routine, today.

1. It’s Free

When I was in New York recently, I was very surprised just how heavily meditation was being “sold” on the subway. I don’t have any further information about the advertisements I saw all along the L train stops, but it did strike me as probably being some form of manipulation of what meditation really is. It also further reinforced my belief that a lot of people will take up this kind of commodified form of meditation because they are just not really sure about what meditation is.

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In my personal opinion one of the main beauties of meditation is that it is so simple and involves nothing more than a quiet space and a little bit of your time. If you have never done it before, there are lots of free guides at the click of a switch on a Google search, or right here on You Tube.

The meditation time itself, for me, should always be free and one that is 100% personal. If you are interested in learning about some of the methods of how best to get into meditation techniques, I’d suggest buying a book on the subject rather than paying for a led course.

2. Meditation Is Not Religion

One big myth that needs debunking is the one that meditation is some form of religion. Meditation is all about you, not any way of praying to Buddha or any other form of God. If you are religious then, meditation should in no way run into conflict with any existing practices.

Whereas religion most often looks towards an external deity, meditation is all about taking some time out and learning to feel better within. If your religion already does that for you anyway, that’s brilliant. It also doesn’t mean that meditation might not be helpful for you in other ways, too.

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Meditation is of course very often tied in with spirituality, but it need not be. I believe this is one of the things that scares some people away from it. Meditation can be spiritual, if that is what you are looking for. Meditation can also not involve any use of that word at all. Meditation should at the start be about nothing more than finding some peace and equilibrium in your life.

3. Meditation Can Improve Your Health

A lot of people don’t realise just how damaging stress is to our health. Whether this comes from work or personal situations, it is something that everybody reading this will have to some degree in their lives.

Meditation is the ideal way to take ownership of the stress that is so harmful to our day to day existence. By simply sitting in silence for a little while each day, you will be taking a proactive step to combating stress. Not only will you be taking a huge step to combating stress by meditating, but you will also be creating a brand new dynamic in your life. You are taking back control.

Meditation in and of itself is a brilliant way for you to start improving your health, but in my opinion it is also a gateway to a more mindful way of living. By introducing meditation into my life, I then started to think more about the food I ate, how to eradicate some of my bad habits, and even about the things I read each day. I also started to implement a daily exercise programme into my routine that complements my meditation.

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4. Meditation Can Help You At Work

As mentioned above, stress is a big killer, and the majority of it in your life probably comes from work. In some ways this is almost certainly true. When looked at another way, it could also be said that the real stress you feel there is being magnified by the over importance that you attach to it.

Meditation allows you to take a step back from the stress in your work life and put things into perspective. In terms of your job, this can mean that meditation allows you to approach previously stressful situations or people in a brand new, much more positive way. Meditation will not turn you into a Zen master overnight, but it can help you listen to others more, feel more empathy, and feel in control.

Think for a second about how positive an impact introducing some of the above qualities into your workplace could be. Give it a try and you’ll start to see how meditation could potentially revolutionise your 9-to-5.

5. Meditation Makes You Happy

Ok, this may be a little bit of an exaggeration. Meditation cannot guarantee to make you happy and fall back into unconditional love with this mad world. It will, however, almost certainly make you, by some degrees, a happier person. I know this is true as I benefit from it myself everyday, but you don’t just have to take my word for it.

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Meditation has been proven to improve the behaviour of children in previously troubled schools, and it has also been used successfully in prisons too. Meditation does this by allowing you to reconnect with yourself. It puts you back in touch with your emotions and it can literally bring a smile to your face for no reason at all.

In our very unstable world, which seems a particularly angry and conflicted painful place at the moment, there is no better way to start making things better outside by starting to feel more positive and happy within your own skin.

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Last Updated on July 10, 2020

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

Boundaries are limits

—they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

1. Self-Awareness Comes First

Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

  • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
  • When do you feel disrespected?
  • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
  • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
  • When do you want to be alone?
  • How much space do you need?

You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

2. Clear Communication Is Essential

Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

Sample language:

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  • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
  • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
  • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
  • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
  • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
  • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
  • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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Final Thoughts

Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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