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.