The Habit Society

⚡️ It’s Not Coal Mining

To: Society Members

Good Morning!

On our minds today: meditation. This Monday, we want to get past all the fluff of mindfulness. That word floods our Instagram feed, but does anyone know what it actually means?

Spoiler alert: It’s not just sitting with your eyes closed.

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It’s Not Coal Mining

We’ve heard it time and time again: meditating is too hard, I don’t have the patience for it, I get too bored. That’s like saying you can’t go to the gym because you’re out of shape (?!?!?!). Joe Rogan said, “[meditation] is not easy, but it’s not hard. Coal mining is hard.” There goes that excuse.

One of our writers took this to heart and taped this quote to her door. Talk about a morning cue.

It's not Coal Mining

Why Meditate?

When it comes down to it, our minds are all we have, all we’ve ever had, and all we will ever have. So, wouldn’t it make sense to get it in the best shape of its life? Everything in our lives is experienced through our minds, and the ultimate goal is to enjoy these experiences. But, if your mind is filled with negativity, worry or your ex’s new boyfriend… your successes will be worthless because you won’t enjoy them. So, what’s the point?

The Meditation Misconception

Yes, meditating relaxes you and is a great means of de-stressing during a busy day. But, it’s more than that. Waaay more than that. Meditating is the practice of noticing when you are thinking, which you’ll begin to realize isn’t so natural. Our minds are racing all day without us even being aware of it. Virtually all of our psychological suffering comes from being lost in thought. When your thoughts are angry, you are angry. When your thoughts are sad, you are sad. Meditation teaches you how to stop yourself from being helplessly lost in your thoughts by noticing when this is happening.

Replaying (cringing) that 2012 Moment

You’re sitting down, eyes closed, meditating. You try to clear your mind, but you notice pretty quickly that it’s impossible. Your mind is racing. Thought after thought keeps popping into your brain. Did I say the wrong thing? Does this shirt make me look fat? Does my boss hate me? You start to realize, my thoughts are…pretty crazy. That’s the value of meditation. It’s the noticing that these are just thoughts. If you learn how to notice and stop these thoughts, you may just become a little happier. Dan Harris, creator of meditation app, Ten Percent Happier, says, “each time you notice it, it’s a bicep curl for your brain.” This tool of noticing when you are lost in thought is incredibly powerful because you’re not held hostage by that voice in your head that loves to amplify every experience for the worse.

I'm meditating - shut up!

It’s a Meditation ~Practice~

Most people don’t give meditation a shot because they don’t believe they can clear their brain. Guess what? No one can. It’s impossible. The victory in meditation is not to clear your brain. It’s noticing every time your brain isn’t clear, aka when you’re lost in thought. That’s what successful meditation looks like.

Changing Your Brain, Like Literally

Each time you notice you are lost in thought and return to the breath, it actually changes your brain. The Harvard Medical School ran a study with 33 students who had never meditated and scanned their brains. After 8 weeks of 27-minute meditation sessions a day, their updated brain scans showed an increase in grey matter concentration which is important for learning and memory processes, emotion regulation, and self-awareness. This proves the notion that the benefits of meditation go beyond the relaxation component by making physical changes to brain structure.

We can’t stress enough how important a meditation habit is. Wait, no. We’re not stressed. We meditate.

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1. Find a spot to meditate. A chair in a relaxing, quiet room… perhaps away from other family members.

2. Allocate a specific time to meditate. We recommend right when you wake up so that the rest of your day doesn’t get in the way.

3. Start with only a 2-minute meditation, then increase the duration gradually. Don’t forget we don’t want to overwhelm ourselves with too much at once. Check out our ‘Start Slow’ issue.

4. If you are new to meditation, we recommend using a guided app. Scroll down to ‘What’s Going On Next Door’ for our favourites.

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But it was in this moment, lying in bed late at night, that I first realized that the voice in my head—the running commentary that had dominated my field of consciousness since I could remember—was kind of an asshole.

– Dan Harris, Author of Ten Percent Happier

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Want a daily meditation right at your fingertips? We highly recommend using the app Waking Up. Reply to this e-mail for a free month trial. Other apps we recommend: Calm, Headspace, Ten Percent Happier.

https://wakingup.com/
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This is one thing you don’t have to meditate on. Share The Habit Society. Share Your Link

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