Meditation has been practiced in Eastern culture for thousands of years but now it’s gone global. Meditation and spiritual practices are not synonymous with long-haired hippies or monks. With everyone from high-achieving CEOs to celebrities now attributing much of their success to regular meditation the stigma is finally being removed and it’s becoming mainstream.
When I was younger I was afraid to express too much interest in such things as spirituality or other such esoteric beliefs because they would’ve been dismissed as nonsense and I didn’t want to be judged as weird. However, having gone through such an enlightening spiritual awakening over the last few years I’m now all in. The more I learn about the three M’s (mindfulness, meditation and manifesting), the more it makes sense. There’s a reason this wisdom has been taught in eastern cultures for thousands of years: it works.
We are gradually catching up with what the ancients knew all along here in the West. It is essential that you have calm and presence. Fear, stress and angst are detrimental to a fulfilling life. We have been conditioned to believe that if we’re not doing everything at a hundred miles an hour, burning the candle at both ends and spinning all the plates without breaking a single one we are, at best, not worthy of our success, at worst, complete and utter failures.
It is becoming more clear that being more present, to let go of our emotions, and to then release them is key to having a peaceful, balanced, happier life. Art is a fantastic tool for getting started or if you have difficulty staying focused during traditional ‘eyes closed’ meditation. A mantra can’t be as effective as a mindful study of a painting while you control your breath.
These are the three best reasons to start your meditation practice.
1. More Sleep
I’ve never really had a problem falling asleep but Stay asleep, well that’s different. I remember getting up every night at night to go out and catch mice, feed cats or use the bathroom (more frequently than any other!). However, since I’ve upped my meditation practice to twice a day I have slept a good six to seven hours straight every night.
My morning starts with 20 minutes of visualisation meditation. This helps me to wake up more slowly and more mindfully. Just by getting up half an hour earlier than usual to do this, we can start the day feeling happy and relaxed. This then has repercussions throughout the day meaning that we’re able to navigate any obstacles that may appear with ease rather than panic. Taking ‘mindfulness breaks’ using tools such as art can help to maintain calm during our waking hours.
There is very little stress by the time you go to sleep. Any remaining can be relieved during evening meditation. Our bodies are able to get the rest they require at night rather than losing stress. It results in deeper, more restorative sleep.
“Meditation is not about stopping thoughts, but recognizing that we are more than our thoughts and our feelings.” – Arianna Huffington
2. Improved Productivity
Now that you’re sleeping better and getting the proper rest you need during the night it follows that your days will be more productive too. We can focus and accomplish more in less time with less fatigue, brain fog, and mental clarity. When we are constantly existing in fight-or-flight mode it’s difficult to think straight and we often make bad judgement calls under pressure.
Combining meditation with mindfulness practices that use art as an anchor to help us stay present can significantly improve cognitive function. The practice calms the nervous systems, makes it easier to get rid of stress. Meditation over time can literally change our brains. Studies have shown that meditation reduces fear, anxiety and impulses. It also increases the size and strength of the brain stem. This is where dopamine (and serotonin) are derived.
3. Enhance your intuition
If you find you’re constantly second-guessing yourself or have difficulty making decisions on a daily basis then meditation is your new best friend. We use our left brain most of the day to solve problems and analyze them.
Meditation helps to strengthen the connections between these two sides of our brain. This increases our intuition and allows us to intuitively make better choices. Art also has this ability to unite the two sides of the brain – the left is analysing and trying to make sense of the picture as a whole while the right taps into the emotions that we feel when looking at it. You can visual meditate using art to boost your practice. It’s like giving your brain a HIIT-style workout.
Although you may not want to become the next Jeff Bezos, meditation can help you be more authentic. No matter what your goals are, you will be able to make them come true if the pace is slow and the music stops. It’s not necessary to have a haircut or put on robes.
Addicted 2 Success originally published the post Meditation: 3 Ways to Make You More Successful.