I know what you’re thinking: mediation is for hippies and celebrities. The people that have time in their day to sit around, hum to themselves, and do nothing.
But bear with me for a moment - as I have been meditating since my last year in college and would love to tell you about the benefits I’ve personally felt in my life.
Next you must be thinking: dude I thought this was a personal finance blog? Where are the compound interest tables?
And to that I say without personal equanimity, it would be impossible for me to succeed. Whether that be in my FI/RE pursuit, at work, or in my relationships. So I want to share why and how I meditate because I think it could help others along the path to their goals, whatever those may be.
I started meditating due to perceived stress in my life during college. (Perceived because, at the time, I thought the world was ending.)
I didn’t have a job lined up like all of my friends, I had just fallen out of a 3+ year relationship, and I felt like I was losing my sense of self/who I was.
I needed a way to introspect/reflect in a healthy way, but my mind was just replaying all of the mistakes I made in the past, and what I should have done differently. I had to find a way to disconnect from those thoughts and reflect on myself as a human being.
After letting this out to my closest friend, he recommended meditation and told me it would provide me with:
He likened meditating to taking a hot shower, you know how things and ideas just start coming to you when you’re in there?
So I gave it a shot. And I’m so glad I did.
Meditation takes you above yourself - you get to see what is happening from a bird’s eye view. You don’t judge it, or change it, but this perspective gives you the opportunity to make what I feel to be more informed decisions.
It’s like this feeling of being calm in the storm. Calculated but relaxed.
Here is how I was taught, and I feel it is a very good way for beginners to try meditation:
When you catch your mind wandering or thinking about random things - act as a shepherd and heard your consciousness back towards your breath.
I started by doing this for 5 minutes and was constantly herding myself back in. I would think random thoughts like:
But I would hold myself together, maintain my focus, and get back to my breath, mentally saying “innnnnnnn” - “ouuuuuuut”. I would say that in my mind for as long as it took to keep my thoughts from entering my mind.
Moments later, I fall into this feeling of intent focus on absolutely nothing. It is bliss.
No thoughts racing, no worries, no regrets, simply nothing.
I emerge from my meditation to the sound of a soothing alarm. Open my eyes slowly, give my arms and legs a little shake, and go about my day feeling dialed in and ready to rock. It quite literally feels like “waking up” as a new person.
It’s kinda tough to put into words, something so simple yet so powerful. It can be hard for someone who won’t put in the attempts and give it some effort.
I understand. I used to think that my mind constantly racing was a GOOD thing! I thought it showed how “focused” I was.
It’s just the opposite though! I now realize how terrible it truly is to be thinking ALL the time!
Thinking of your mind as a tool - to be used when you need it - is a powerful notion.
Sometimes you need to put down your tools and have some lunch.
I have seen all of the benefits my friend told me about and more. I feel focused on my task at hand and less worried about the past or the future. I now have this trajectory that I am on and fulfill the necessary tasks to stay on track.
And slowly but surely, I turn the dial a little bit more to try and land myself even further than I once thought possible.
With the help of periodic meditation, I can dial in my trajectory and execute now without worry.
I attribute much of my focus and dedication to taking these “mental breaks”. Some people meditate twice a day, but I believe that just doing it once or twice a week can change your life.
So try it out. Put the tools down and take a breather. We aren’t robots, as humans we need to take a moment sometimes to just do - nothing.
Meditation will 100% help you with that.
Give it a shot for a bit and let me know, will you keep doing it? What benefits are you personally seeing? I look forward to reading your replies :)
If you thought this was helpful, terrible, or somewhere in the middle, please leave me feedback in the form of a Direct Message on instagram @MakeDollarsAndSense, or feel free to send me an e-mail/text to the information on my Home Page. I truly appreciate constructive criticism and opposing views, so bring em on!
P.S. New blog posts coming your way every Monday!
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