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The Benefits of Daily Meditation While on Vacation

The Benefits of Daily Meditation While on Vacation

Being on vacation is mainly about rest and relaxation, but what if you could get a lot more out of it?

What if during your vacation you could recharge yourself with more energy than ever before?

Are you ready for something that’s going to change your life forever?

Incorporating daily meditation into your vacation plans can really help you get the most out of your retreat. This guide will explain exactly how to do just that and outlines the many benefits you can reap from adding mindful meditation to your plans.

Why Practicing Meditation Makes Total Sense

Most people assume that meditation is about sitting cross-legged and thinking about whatever comes to mind, and that there’s no real practical purpose to it. Some would even call it a complete waste of time. Of course most of these people have never really meditated a day in their life.

The truth is that meditation can have a powerful impact on your wellbeing and overall energy.

Furthermore, it can help you deal with various unbalanced emotional states and bring them into harmony. However, in order to get maximum benefits it is important to commit to at least 30 minutes of meditation each day.

The more often you meditate, the better; but remember, start slow and gradually and work your way up to this goal. If you can meditate every day of your vacation for only a few minutes at a time, then do it.

To get started, let’s look at some of the known benefits of meditation:

1. You’ll Sleep So Much Better

One of the most important things about practicing meditation before going to bed is that you can be sure the your quality of sleep is going to be deep and highly energizing.

In some rare cases it can even prevent insomnia.

Since beginning daily meditation before bedtime, never before have I slept so well. The practice has radically improved my sleeping schedule. But don’t just take my word for it, try it out for yourself. You will be surprised by the results.

2. Your Energy Levels Will Soar

Your internal energy will gain a great boost from meditation.

In a deep state of meditation your body will recharge with energy in a powerful way. This radical shift will easily be noticed. This is one of the most useful benefits from this practice.

Once I started meditating regularly, my energy levels improved to the point where I started sleeping less and getting more things done throughout the day.

3. Your Balance Will Be On Point

Another important aspect that comes from meditation is balance.

Here I am describing both mental and emotional balance. When you practice regular meditation, your mind stabilizes and becomes organized and disciplined, while your emotional states become easier to control.

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You will no longer feel like thoughts and emotions are controlling you; it will be the other way around. You will become a sovereign of your life.

Before getting into meditation, my mind was all over the place; but, in time and with perseverance, I reached an internal balance that helped me overcome many stressful situations with relative ease.

4. You’ll Be Far Less Forgetful

When you meditate, you gradually become more aware of everything going on around you because the mind is no longer distracted.

It should come as no surprise that if you’re consciously more aware of things, your recall ability will improve greatly.

In the past I used to forget things easily; but after a few months of daily meditation I began to retain all sorts of details about what I’ve read, where I had placed things, what tasks I had left to do that day, etc.

5. You’ll Gain a Finer-Tuned Focus

Proper meditation also improves your focus because you learn to pay attention to your breath and not allow other thoughts to divide your attention.

If practiced enough, it will not only manifest while meditating but also while you’re in a regular state of consciousness. This means your focus will become laser sharp!

After practicing daily meditation for some time, I can easily focus on a task without becoming distracted.

This has helped me a great deal in every project that I’ve worked on. When your mind is totally present in the moment, it becomes an actual force. Things will get done properly and on time. There is little doubt about how useful this ability will become in time.

6. Pain Will No Longer Phase You

Whatever the cause of injury might be, meditation can help reduce your pain.

This is not to say that you will no longer feel that pain, it’s just that it will move into the background somewhere.

Through daily meditation you will learn pain control.

The more I meditated, the more I was able to control how much physical pain bothered me. The pain was still there, it just didn’t have the same effect on me as prior to my incorporating a daily meditation routine.

7. You’ll Become Enlightened

Ultimately meditation makes you realize that you’re something above a physical body. You’re not the body or emotions… or even your thoughts.

This will give you an unusual freedom.

You will no longer feel as limited as before and your entire perception of life will change. In some cases the fear of death will disappear altogether.

The exact internal states are difficult to describe, but when practicing daily meditation a feeling of superior happiness will manifest and will even make you question what happiness really is.

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Years back when I started meditating it just seemed like a boring activity at first. It took a while to fully grasp the depth of what meditation actually meant. At that stage it still seemed forced (and to be honest it was to a certain extent).

One of the most important things to keep in mind is to discipline yourself to keep going at the beginning. This is when it seems like nothing actually gets done, although eventually you’ll discover that there’s something to it, which will change you in many positive ways.

You might find many reasons to discontinue the practice, but you have to keep going if you want to see real results. Don’t give up!

This in itself is a lesson when it comes to meditation and even life itself. One must develop patience in order to succeed in reaching the deeper states. In fact anything worth going after in life will require patience and determination.

Nothing happens overnight!

Take Your Daily Practice on Vacation

So, you’re on vacation and you want to get the most out of your meditations. How do you do it? It’s actually pretty simple and can easily be scheduled into your plans.

If you’re on vacation with your kids, the good thing about meditation is that anybody can do it.

No matter what age, meditation is safe for everyone–so get the kids to join in! It can be beneficial to encourage your children to meditate from an early age, but there’s no reason to insist on it if they find no pleasure in it. Then again, you never know; kids will sometimes surprise you with their curiosity and interest in trying new things!

So no matter who has come along for vacation, whether you choose to meditate solo or as a family, it’s possible to reap the benefits even when you’re away from home.

Start Reaping the Rewards of Mindfulness Today

Now that you understand the vast benefits of meditation, and that anyone can practice meditation just about anywhere, you may be wondering: what are the essential components for a successful meditation session?

1. Embrace Silence

There’s no real meditation without first finding a quiet spot.

Unless you’re an experienced practitioner who has been meditating for decades, the noise will most likely distract and even bother you during the meditation.

You can use ear plugs to cancel most external noise if a quiet place cannot be found.

Depending on where you are vacationing, consider the idea of meditating in nature. For instance, if you are on a hike or are walking through a forest and find a nice quiet place for meditation, then go for it!

2. Get In a Proper Position

Once you’ve found the right place for meditation, choosing a position to meditate in that you’re comfortable with is essential to the quality of the experience.

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If you meditate in a difficult posture that causes pain, then you can imagine that the experience will have a negative impact on you.

Be careful about meditating in bed, as it is very easy to fall asleep.

Another thing worth mentioning is that often a meditation posture is not comfortable at first; in fact, it could take months to get used to the posture so that you feel totally relaxed while in it. While on vacation, cut yourself some slack and stick to a posture that’s already easy to relax in, such as sitting comfortably.

3. Dress for Success

It is best to wear something relaxing while meditating, otherwise it will distract your internal focus to the external aspects that make your body uncomfortable.

Needless to say, the temperature of the body has to be pleasant. You don’t want to have clothing on that makes you feel too warm or too cold. If you want to meditate outside make sure that you check the weather and that you’re prepared accordingly.

Your choice of clothing can really make a big difference when it comes to the quality of your meditations.

4. Be Mindful of What You Eat (and Drink)

It’s recommendable to drink water before a meditation to have the body hydrated.

Another very important aspect is to never meditate right after you eat.

Take a break of 2-3 hours after a meal, before beginning to meditate. I’ve ignored this aspect before and it didn’t end up well. Here would be a great place to mention that meditation has a powerful and beneficial effect on digestion.

5. Destroy All Distractions

Make sure to turn off the TV, the laptop, the tablet, the phone, etc. for the period that you will be meditating.

It’s important that you will not be disturbed from your meditation by a sudden noise. Distractions such as these could make the entire experience difficult and you won’t reap as many benefits.

It’s most unpleasant to be engaged in deep meditation and suddenly be forced out of it.

6. Plan Accordingly

It would be unwise to meditate immediately after playing games, watching a movie or listening to music for a prolonged period of time.

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In all those cases the mind will become increasingly more active with various thoughts. To meditate in such a state would be a constant struggle. I remember when I used to play video games years ago and then tried to meditate after that. Those were the most unsuccessful meditations of my life.

Ready, Set, Meditate!

Take the posture that you are most comfortable in and begin by slowly breathing in through the nose and out through the mouth.

Keep on doing that for a while until you feel quite relaxed.

Being relaxed in a meditation is a very important aspect if you want to succeed in attaining deeper states of consciousness.

After that, continue to pay attention to your breath, but breathe only through the nose now.

The true mental freedom and the real appreciation of meditation will come when you will realize that empty gap between breaths and especially between your thoughts.

That pure emptiness is the true internal peace. When you’re able to maintain that state, your body will be filled with energy and the meditation will become a blessing!

It’s essential not to become frustrated or upset because you’re unable to let go at first because intrusive thoughts keep flooding into your awareness.

Acknowledge the situation and continue forward with the meditation.

Little by little you will continue making progress as long as you keep going and maintain a calm attitude. There’s no reason to try to force things.

A meditative state should come naturally, almost all on its own. You’ll need to learn to adapt to your internal states and go with the flow, while at the same time retaining awareness.

That’s it! Keep it up and reap a ton of rewards.

Mindfulness Wherever You Go

Similarly to anything else, for lasting results you will need to meditate daily for sustained periods of time. However, on vacation is the best time to start this practice and get a taste of its power.

Once you get hooked while on vacation, you’ll be looking for other ways to integrate meditation in your everyday life.

It was only after I had been meditating for months on a daily basis that the real benefits started to become obvious to me.

However, this shouldn’t discourage you from meditating. You don’t need to meditate daily for that long in order to see a significant change in your life. And although at this point it might seem difficult to integrate meditation in your daily life when you’re not on vacation, eventually you will find a way.

I wish you the very best on your meditation journey. If you begin a daily practice while on your vacation, it will surely be one you’ll remember for the rest of your life!

Featured photo credit: Photo by Jens Kreuter via unsplash.com

More by this author

Bogdan C.

I've been trying to combine the classical martial arts with internal development and the more esoteric aspects of generating internal energy.

The Benefits of Daily Meditation While on Vacation

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Last Updated on December 2, 2019

How to Develop Mental Toughness And Stay Strong

How to Develop Mental Toughness And Stay Strong

Are you the kind of person who wants to achieve massive success in your life? Do you have the mental toughness to make that happen?

I think we can all agree that no matter your ambitions, achieving success can be difficult; and over time, the daily grind can take a toll on your physical, mental, and emotional energy.

Achievers and high performers from all walks of life face ups and downs along the path to success—they face failure, burnout, discouragement, fatigue, self-limiting beliefs, stress, and so much more.

How do some people continually strive towards their personal goals year after year while others give up on them? How do those people stay strong and persevere when there is so much stacked against them?

Studies now show that mental strength is a critical key to success. If you haven’t read Angela Duckworth’s book Grit, you should. In it, she shows that “the secret to outstanding achievement is not talent but a special blend of passion and persistence she calls ‘grit.’” In other words, mental toughness plays a significant role when it comes to achieving goals.

Sometimes, our goals wear us down and leave us feeling exhausted. Other times, our goals get difficult, and success seems impossible, so we lose hope, become discouraged, and want to quit.

At its core, mental toughness is simply the ability to stick to something when the going gets tough. People with high levels of mental toughness can push beyond these obstacles and forge a path towards success while those with lower levels of mental toughness may abandon their dreams.

Want to know the good news?

No matter who you are, what you’ve been told, or what you currently believe, you can develop the mental toughness you need to be successful.

All you need to do is learn to develop a positive mindset, focus on your why, and utilize the people around you for support.

1. Develop a Positive Mindset

If you’re going to increase your mental toughness, the first thing you have to do is focus on building a strong, positive mindset.

According to the Cleveland Clinic, the average person has 60,000 thoughts per day. Of those, 95% of those thoughts repeat each day and, on average, 80% of repeated ideas are negative.[1]

That’s roughly 45,600 negative thoughts per day!

Carrying around these negative thoughts is like going on a hike in the mountains with a backpack full of rocks. The hike is hard enough on its own, but having extra junk weighing you down is a recipe for failure.

Sometimes, building mental toughness isn’t as much about building new strength as it is about saving your strength for the right tasks. Wouldn’t it be easier to dump the rocks out of the backpack instead of trying to get strong enough to carry the extra weight?

Absolutely!

But how can we learn to spot those 45,600 negative thoughts and get rid of them? How can we empty our metaphorical backpack?

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Well, it gets a whole lot easier if you know what you’re looking for. Some of the most prominent types of negative thoughts are self-limiting beliefs, all-or-nothing thinking, and dwelling.

Let Go of Self-Limiting Beliefs

It’s pretty hard to be mentally tough when you’re constantly beating yourself up. Self-limiting beliefs are any beliefs that hold you back in some way. Here are some examples:

“I’m not smart enough to…”

“I don’t have enough experience to…”

“I’ve tried that before, and it didn’t go well, so I must just be bad at…”

When we allow these self-limiting beliefs to flood our minds, negative self-talk runs rampant, and we crowd out our ability to think positively. We’re effectively working against ourselves.

If you want to keep your mind strong on your path to success, you have to overcome the self-limiting beliefs that are holding you back by realizing one key truth: self-limiting beliefs are thoughts, not facts.

When you recognize a self-limiting belief cropping up in your mind, quickly silence it by telling yourself that it’s not true and then back that up with some positive affirmations:

  • “I am smart enough; I may just need to do some more research first.”
  • “I may not have as much experience as someone else, but that’s not going to stop me from trying. I have enough experience to get started. I’ll figure the rest out on the way.”
  • “Just because I failed at this last time doesn’t mean I’m going to fail this time. My past does not dictate my future.”

Get Rid of the All-or-Nothing Thinking

Another form of negative thinking that could be preventing you from building mental toughness is all-or-nothing thinking.

All-or-nothing thinking is the concept of thinking in extremes. You are either a success or a failure. Your performance was totally good or totally awful. If you’re not perfect, then you’re a failure.

But this isn’t true!

If you’re trying to lose 30 pounds and only lost 28, isn’t that still better than not losing any weight at all? I’d say so!

If you allow all-or-nothing thinking to rule your mind, you’ll be on cloud nine when you succeed, but you’ll beat yourself up when you “fail.” Acknowledging the shades of gray in between will allow you to see success more often and it will help you celebrate your smaller wins.

When you recognize an all-or-nothing thought, remember to look for the positive in the situation. What did you gain by trying? What would you have missed out on had you not tried? Could you do better if you were to try again?

Ditch the Dwelling

Self-Limiting Beliefs and All-or-Nothing Thinking can lead to a bad case of dwelling on the negative. If you want to build some mental toughness and keep your mind strong, you have to ditch the dwelling.

Every day, bad things happen to each of us, and while there’s nothing we can do to prevent that, we can control how we react to these situations.

When we dwell on our misfortunes, we waste massive amounts of energy that we could be using to achieve our goals. When this happens, we’re more likely to quit altogether.

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But that doesn’t mean you’re not mentally tough; it just means you’re misusing your energy.

The next time something bad happens, it’s important to allow yourself to feel the disappointment and frustration, but work on reducing the amount of time you dwell on the situation.

Easier said than done, right? Try these:

  1. Call a friend or mentor and talk it through with them. Get some outside perspective on your situation.
  2. Time block your dwelling by allowing yourself to dwell for no more than one hour.
  3. Then, tell yourself to move on, that you’re human, and you’re allowed to make mistakes or experience setbacks.
  4. If all else fails, find a good way to distract yourself until you can calm down and reexamine things with a clear mind.

The faster you can focus on the positives and move past the problem, the quicker you can get back to achieving success in your life.

Be Patient about the Process

No matter which negative thoughts tend to run around your mind, working to replace them with positive thoughts can take time.

Learning to spot self-limiting beliefs, all-or-nothing thinking, or dwelling is one thing, but learning to quiet those thoughts is another thing entirely.

If at first you don’t succeed, don’t fret. Instead, take a deep breath and try again. As you work towards improving your mindfulness and your mental toughness, remember that you’re going to get better with time.

To make things a little easier, it helps to connect with your purpose.

2. Connect with Your Purpose

One of the most critical elements to building mental toughness and keeping a strong and focused mind is having a strong ‘why’ for everything you want to do.

If you set out to achieve a huge goal that you don’t have a ‘why’ for, you’re going to find yourself distracted, discouraged, or disengaged as soon as you experience your first setback.

Think about the last time you were working on a goal or resolution and things weren’t going well, maybe you even wanted to quit. Perhaps you thought you didn’t have enough willpower. Maybe you told yourself that you didn’t have enough discipline.

Here’s the truth: you just didn’t have a strong enough why.

Simon Sinek has been spreading his message “Start with Why” across the globe.[2] In short, he says that:

“Your ‘why’ is the purpose, cause or belief that inspires you.”

One of the biggest drains on your mental energy is pursuing a goal or a task that you don’t have a ‘why’ for. This is when we tend to look for external motivation or question our willpower, but those aren’t the issues.

Often, we set goals because we like the idea of the goal, not the reality of the goal. Without connecting to our why, we can’t intrinsically motivate ourselves to achieve our most challenging goals.

Find Intrinsic Motivation

Intrinsic motivation is our innate desire to do something and it comes when we work towards something that satisfies ourselves above all else—not our parents or our bosses or our teachers.

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Let’s say you think you want to quit smoking because you know it’s bad for you, but you really enjoy smoking. If you don’t truly want to quit smoking, it’s going to be nearly impossible, regardless of your willpower or mental toughness.

But if you want to quit smoking because you just had a baby, and you don’t want your baby growing up around smoke, then that ‘why’ is going to give you intrinsic motivation. Intrinsic motivation is far more powerful than sheer stubborn willpower, and it’s far easier to maintain over the long haul.

If you’re trying to develop mental toughness, connecting a why to everything you want to achieve will reduce the effort and energy it will take to achieve those things. Once you’ve found a strong why for all of your goals, you’ll find that you’ll have significantly more energy to pursue your more difficult challenges.

3. Find Strength in Unity

The final aspect of developing mental toughness is embracing the idea that you’re not in this alone. It’s a fact, anyone who’s ever achieved success in anything didn’t do so alone.

Bill Gates didn’t build Microsoft alone. Oprah didn’t build her network by herself. Steve Jobs didn’t invent the iPhone without a team. Michelle Obama didn’t implement the “Let’s Move” campaign on her own.

Behind all of these successful people were countless other people who were there offering support, mentorship, guidance, and encouragement.

If you want to develop unmatched mental toughness, you need to understand that you don’t have to go it alone. Even the toughest Navy Seals have a team backing them up.

If you want to stay strong in your endeavors, you need to build a team of supporters who will step in and back you up when it counts.

Find a Mentor or Committee of Mentors

The benefits of having a great mentor are far too many to list, but to boil it down to the basics, a mentor is someone who will help show you the path to success.

A good mentor will help you discover your greatest strengths, spot and overcome your blind spots, and work through your weaknesses.

If you’re struggling to deal with your internal negativity or with finding your purpose, talk it through with a mentor. Sometimes we lose the forest for the trees, and a mentor can help us take a step back and see the bigger picture.

Here’s how to find the right mentor for yourself: How to Find a Mentor That Will Help You Succeed

Recruit Some Cheerleaders

If you want to stay strong, it never hurts to have a group of personal cheerleaders. Unlike mentors who are going to jump in and help you address your problems, a group of cheerleaders will help keep your spirits up.

Even if you have a strong ‘why’ and a positive mindset, it’s nearly impossible to maintain a positive attitude 100% of the time. It doesn’t make you weak to need some help from time to time. Having a group of people cheering you on will make all the difference in the world.

As you work towards your goals, tell a few close friends about what you’re doing, and when things get tough, tell them about it. And when they give you the pep talk you need, don’t resist their positivity or counter it with your self-limiting beliefs or your all-or-nothing attitude.

Allow their optimism to refill your energy and use that energy to press on.

Form an Accountability Group

Cheerleaders are great, but sometimes we need someone to give us the kick we need to keep going. You might have a strong ‘why’ for running a marathon or losing 30 pounds, but that doesn’t mean it’s going to be easy; and trying to force yourself to follow through is a sure way to tax your mental energy.

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Why not save some of your mental energy by forming an accountability group?

Find a person or a few people who have similar goals, or at the very least, the need for an accountability partner. Then, form an agreement within the group to push each other every day.

Even if your goals aren’t the same, accountability partners are great for giving us the push we need when we need it most.

Regardless of which relationships you choose, sometimes we have to be able to work through things on our own. Mentors, cheerleaders, and accountability partners are a great way for us to combat our naturally negative mindsets, but occasionally we have to be able to pick ourselves back up.

4. Learn to Pick Yourself Back Up After Setbacks

Building a strong mindset and developing mental toughness isn’t easy! Anyone who’s ever achieved massive success knows that obstacles, setbacks, and failure are inevitable, and you’re no different.

As you work on your goals, you’re going to face many ups and downs, but this doesn’t mean that you don’t have mental toughness, willpower, or discipline.

We all struggle. We all fail. It’s what we decide to do after we fail that truly counts.

When you find yourself in a low spot, ask yourself these questions:

  • “Am I being too hard on myself?”
  • “Are negative thoughts such as Self-Limiting Beliefs or All-or-Nothing Thinking distorting my view?”
  • “What’s the positive side of this setback/obstacle/failure?”
  • “Why was this goal important to me? What was my purpose?”
  • “Is this goal still important to me? Do I still have a ‘why’?”
  • “Who can I ask for help? Who can mentor me or cheer me on? Who can help hold me accountable?”

Asking yourself these questions is a great way to check in on your mindset. When we get lost in negative thinking or lose connection to our purpose, it’s far too easy to become discouraged. When we feel discouraged, we start feeling weak, maybe even a little hopeless.

Also, this article provides some useful tips to help you get back on track: How to Deal with Failure and Pick Yourself Back Up

Tying it All Together

Are you still with me? I know I’ve thrown a lot at you, from developing a positive mindset and combatting your internal voice to connecting with purpose and building a committee of mentors. It’s a lot to take it!

But here’s the bottom line:

A crucial part of developing mental toughness is learning to recognize these tendencies and taking action to correct them early on. Developing mental toughness is not about eliminating weakness, but learning how to deal with it and overcome it.

No one is perfect, but when we focus on the right things, we can develop a mental toughness worthy of life’s biggest challenges.

More About Mental Strength

Featured photo credit: Zulmaury Saavedra via unsplash.com

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