Lately I have been watching the show called “Life in Pieces“. It’s such a funny show I can just relax to when having dinner after a long day at work.
On one episode, one of the main characters tries to pickup meditating. However, after the first try, she gives up and starts playing video games on her phone instead.
She enjoys her “me time” so much that she doesn’t tell her family what she is really doing every time she excuses herself to go meditate. Eventually, her husband catches her playing, but instead of being upset with her, he joins her!
“Meditation is powerful, not in spite of being hard, it is powerful because it’s hard.”How To Train Your Mind by Chris Bailey
Meditation is hard. When I meditate all these random thoughts come to my head, I fall asleep, I feel pain or start itching somewhere in my body, etc. I also try to convince myself why it’s ok to skip a day of meditating, including telling myself that I am too busy today or that this doesn’t really work.
It is hard to stick with it because the benefits of meditation are not something we can physically see and because the reward it’s not instantaneous. But, like my father used to tell me, “nothing good comes easy”. Meditation can make us have the ability to control our mind. That is like having a superpower if you ask me!
A few weeks ago I came across the audiobook “How To Train Your Mind” by Chris Bailey. It’s such an easy book to listen to, it’s short, and it will teach you everything a beginner needs to know about meditating.
Below I will share with you some of my favorite lessons I learned from the audiobook.
- We have less control over our minds than we believe we do. Do you believe you have complete control over your mind? Try sitting down and focusing on your breath for 5 mins. It’s not easy, is it?
- About 80% of our thoughts about ourselves are negative. Imagine if we talked to our friends the way we talk to ourselves, we would have few friends left. Those thoughts, like movies, are not real. Fortunately, meditation lets us change the channel.
- We get used to what we have, so overtime our possessions provide us with less happiness. Then, we need to buy something else in order to get that jolt of happiness again. Ex. economy vs business traveler seats.
“Productivity is not about how much we produce, it’s about how much we accomplish…productive work is work that makes a difference.”How To Train Your Mind by Chris Bailey
Benefits of Meditating:
- Meditating will help you notice the negative thoughts in your head.
- Meditating will help you experience flow. Flow is a state of mind where you become completely absorbed in your present task, and you accomplish a lot in a small amount of time.
- For each minute we spend meditating we make back 9 minutes, because we are that much focused and productive (Note: Past a certain level of daily meditation, the return on your time will begin to fall. The point of diminishing returns is about 30 minutes.)
- Meditation helps not only with emotional and mental health, but also with physical pain.
- Meditation lets us experience more moments in life. It helps us remember more moments. We enjoy life more. It helps us fully experience and focus on the present moment. Therefore, it’s like if we were living longer.
Tips for Meditating:
- Don’t worry about whether you are doing it right. When your mind wanders, just bring it back. It is in the act of repeating falling down and getting back up that you will increase how much control you have over your attention span and awareness of where your mind is wondering too.
- Meditation is just about focusing on your breath.
- You need something to sit on and a timer.
- The 2 minute rule: meditate for at least 2 minutes, you can stop after that if you like, but never do less than 2 mins.
- Regularity matters more than for how long you meditate. Consistency trumps duration.
- Meditate the time of day when you have the most energy, and when your mind can be the stillest. Are you a morning person or a night owl?
The book “Train Your Mind” by Chris Bailey covers everything you need to know to get you started meditating.
Whenever I don’t feel like meditating, I remind myself that for every minute I spend meditating, I will make back 9 minutes. That thought usually gives me the extra push I need, and after I am done, I feel so much better.
What holds you back from meditating?