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8 Reasons Why You Need To Start Meditating (And Stick To It)

8 Reasons Why You Need To Start Meditating (And Stick To It)

Meditation is becoming increasingly popular in the western world as we begin to wake up to the many benefits that is has to offer.

I have meditated daily for years and I will share with you some of the biggest benefits to meditation as well as a short meditative exercise that you can perform by yourself at almost any time.

1. Meditation lowers stress.

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There can be no doubt that meditation lowers stress. It reduces your heart rate and lowers production of cortisol which is the hormone responsible for the stressful feelings.

2. Meditation quiets your conscious thoughts.

If you have an over-active mind at night, or during the day, you know how frustrating it can be. One unimportant event can run through your head over and over, branching off into “what ifs” and “what ifs” of those “what ifs”. This can lead to mental fatigue.

When you meditate though you are focusing on just one thing. Your mind may slip at times but you can bring it back to that singular focus. With regular meditation you will begin to develop a quiet mind and inner peace.

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3. Meditation helps you sleep.

I used to have great difficulty sleeping until I began to meditate shortly before bedtime. Not only does meditation help you to fall asleep quicker but it also improves the quality of your sleep. If you sometimes wake up feeling more tired than when you went to bed that meditation is something you need to try.

For more tips on getting a better sleep, click here.

4.Meditation regulates your emotions.

Meditation, focusing on mindfulness in particular, is a great help at regulating emotions. If you’re someone who often feels over or under emotional then meditation will help keep you on an even keel. You will being to express your emotions in a much more healthy way.

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5. Meditation improves focus.

The entire point of meditation is to focus your mind on one thing. It stands to reason that this single-minded focus will carry over to your daily life. This can be a HUGE help in your work life or if you’re in education.

6. Meditation has anti-ageing effects.

Thanks to a combination of the previous benefits as well as “physically” affecting the brain, meditation can help you fight ageing and remain youthful beyond your years. So rather than inject yourself with toxins, why not spend 15 minutes a day meditation instead?

7. Meditation protects your mental health.

Evidence also shows the meditation can protect you against depression, addictions and other issues. While you should always seek professional advice in these matters, anything that makes the battle easier is undoubtedly a good thing.

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8. The effects of meditation last beyond the time spent meditating.

As great as all these benefits of meditation are, they wouldn’t be all that useful if they just lasted the time you spent meditating. Thankfully though the effects last outside the meditative state as long as you meditate regularly. Just 10 to 15 minutes of meditating daily can bring you all these benefits and way more (including lower blood pressure and an actual positive physical effect on the brain).

An Easy Meditation Exercise

Now you know what meditation can do for you I’m sure you’re eager to start meditating yourself. Well here’s a quick meditative exercise that anyone can do. Please read it all first before you begin so you don’t miss anything.

  • Make sure you’re in a room where you won’t be disturbed.
  • Get yourself in a comfortable position. This could be seated or laying down flat. Make sure your legs aren’t crossed so you don’t end up with pins and needles or cramp.
  • Close your eyes and begin to breath deeply through your nose.
  • Breath using your diaphragm so that your belly rises as you inhale, and lowers as you exhale.
  • Allow all tension to leave your body.
  • Focus on the air entering and leaving your body.
  • Notice how the air feels cold inside your nostrils as you inhale, and warm as you exhale.
  • Feel how it energizes you each and every time you inhale.
  • If you’re having trouble with losing focus, trying mentally repeating commands to “breath in” and “breath out”.
  • Continue focusing on your breathing in this manner for as long as you wish.

Meditation works best when it is performed regularly so try to find a regular time when you can perform the above exercise daily. Eventually you will want to move on to different, more complicated meditations.

Enjoy the journey.

Featured photo credit: Meditation by Cornelia Kopp via flickr.com

More by this author

Jake Rhodes

Jake is an entrepreneur and self-improvement enthusiast.

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Last Updated on September 16, 2019

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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  • (1) Research
  • (2) Deciding the topic
  • (3) Creating the outline
  • (4) Drafting the content
  • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
  • (6) Revision
  • (7) etc.

Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

2. Change Your Environment

Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

6. Get a Buddy

Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

7. Tell Others About Your Goals

This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

Reality check:

I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future.  Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

More About Procrastination

Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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