By Katherine Pham
A few years ago, when I started my first job in the professional world, I quickly realised that I had the attention span of a gold fish and did not have the focus required to sit and complete my tasks without getting frustrated. I hated myself for it. I knew that I needed to address this habit to have any chance of keeping my job or succeeding in the world. So I turned to meditation as a way to train my mind to stay focused and, much to my delight, I loved it.
In addition to focus, meditation and its benefits became one of the most profound transformations I could have gifted myself. Yes, I am now able to focus on the task at hand without getting distracted, but that is just the beginning of how much my life has changed.
I’d like to share with you the benefits of meditation and how it will make you the most powerful operator you can be.
1. YOU ARE LESS CONSUMED BY YOUR THOUGHTS AND EMOTIONS
Meditation helps you to become a spectator of your thoughts and emotions. You will see your emotions arise but they wont control and consume you.Think of it like a train station. You are on the platform, your thoughts and emotions are on the train. You could very easily get on to the train and let it take you miles from where you want to be, for example, on a rampage or vindictiveness about someone’s wrong-doing.
…or you can let the train pass and stay where you are, not reacting irrationally due to the coercion of your emotions and thoughts.
2. YOU MAKE BETTER DECISIONS
By not allowing your emotions to get the better of you, you are much more able to make good decisions. Meditation allows you to stop reacting to your emotions. If your emotions can pass without fully consuming you, you can see things more objectively and hence take appropriate action.
Its about responding, not reacting.
3. YOU BECOME HAPPIER
There are numerous scientific studies that correlate happiness to meditation. From decreasing cortisol (which causes stress) to re-writing your brain. The results are in! Meditation makes you happy.
From my personal experience though, my being happier is also related to the ability of not letting negative emotions overcome me. I used to spend a lot of time beating myself up and down-talking myself. Since my meditation practice, I can much easier let those thoughts go, let them pass and not be bothered by them.
This isn’t a practice of not feeling your pain, it’s a practice of not suffering from your pain.
4. YOU WILL START TO SEE YOURSELF AND YOUR HABITS
One of the greatest gifts of meditation is a greater awareness of how I am. For example, I have become aware of the fact that I can withdraw and not speak up when surrounded by people who I perceive as more clever than me. I am one to put others before myself. I am not great at putting myself forward and prefer to sit back.
While some of you are likely already aware of some of your own characteristics and traits, meditation makes you more aware of them and these awareness’s are the doorway to your next opportunity of growth.
When I became aware of one of these habits or ways of being, I have a chance to do something different, and create a new way of being and completely change the trajectory of my life.
Contrary to what most people think, meditation is a state of full focus and concentration, not a state of full relaxation. Consequently, you will train your mind to stay focused on whatever you choose.
The ability to focus has opened up so many doors for me. It has allowed me to start my own business, start writing blogs and a book and spend time with my loved ones being more present with them.
Both Warren Buffet and Bill Gates attribute focus to being the single determinant of their success. So, you don’t have to take it from me, take it from two of the most successful people in the world as to why better focus can be crucial to your success.
6. YOU APPRECIATE YOUR LIFE MORE
Meditation trains you to stay present in the moment instead of living in the past or in anticipation of the future. I once heard that depression is a state of dwelling in the past and anxiety is a fear of the future. That in itself has been a great lesson and has relieved me from a lot of unnecessary pain.
Just give it some thought right now though, of all the things that you are unhappy about, do they relate to something that is happening in this actual current moment? Or is it something that has already happened that you are still stewing over. Or is it something that hasn’t occurred yet and you are worried about it?
If you remove the constant need to live in the past or the future and instead live a more ‘in the present’ moment, there is less to fret about, and you can stay present and enjoy each moment more, instead of being in your head about parts of your life that you cannot control.
Meditation was not the easiest practice to start and continue, but I persevered and after only six months, I was never the same person again.
So, do yourself a favour. Meditation might feel hard in the beginning but if you can persevere and remain consistent, I assure you that you will be performing and enjoying life in a much more profound way.
To see more of Katherine’s wonderfully insightful writing visit her website here.