Why You Should Start Meditation Practice Before Life Hits You Hard

By Kenny Lee | Meditation

Jan 13

Why You Should Start Meditation Practice Before Life Hits You HardWhy meditate when life is all good and rosy? Why bother sitting down, eyes closed in some weird cross-legged posture and trying to silence your thoughts of “let’s go shopping“, “this is so boring” or “it’s a waste of time“.  In fact, why should you even start meditation practice at all, when you can’t see the need of it right now?

Recommended: 10 Aspects Of Life That Demands Mindfulness For A Better 2017

First, meditation is not about silencing your thoughts. It’s more than being at peace with your thoughts and not reacting to the negative ones. Second, most people thought that they would never suffer from any form of major setbacks in their life, that is until life hits them really hard in their face.

“Well, how could it ever happen to me?”

A relationship breakdown, divorce, retrenchment, career meltdown, business failure, bankruptcy and the list goes on. These may seem alien and far away to us until we woke up one day and find them staring in our face.

Can Meditation Fix Your Life?

You probably can’t meditate your way to a new job or manifest magical dollars to your bank account. The harsh reality is when you’re facing one or more crisis at once, your life is going to be turned upside down.

Negative thoughts and emotions making a circus out of your mind and more often than not, you’ll find yourself slipping into depression, suffering anxiety attacks and to the extreme, having suicidal thoughts.

Meditation or not, it’s going to be a long way back to recovery.  I know, it’s pretty discouraging especially coming from a site that’s been blogging about how good meditation is for you.

But I’ll lay the truth as it is. And I’ll back up with 5 reasons why you should start meditation practice before heading into a life crisis.

1. It’s hard to meditate when you’re depressed

Why You Should Start Meditation Practice Before Life Hits You HardIn fact, you shouldn’t even try to meditate alone when you are severely depressed. If you have no prior meditation experience, picking up a new skill at this point could be very frustrating. And practicing the wrong way could lead to even to more frustrating thoughts to an already negative mind.

Or you could be doing it the right way and gain some peace of mind, only to find your mental state regressing to the negative state it was in an hour or two. You’ll then start to question your practice or having self-blame thoughts on why you’re so horrible in meditation?

Not the right results you’ll want from meditation I would say.

Here’s an enlightening thought from Boddhipaksa‘ article,

“Meditation while clinically depressed can result in intensification of feelings of despondency, hopelessness, and negativity generally. The metta practice is theoretically a good thing, but in practice it can be a nightmare if all you feel is self-hatred!”

Bottom line is, if you’re suffering from depression, don’t meditate alone. Find an experienced meditation guru instead.

2. Mastering meditation doesn’t happen overnight

I’m sorry but there’s no such program like “Master Meditation In 30 minutes”, and if they are, those programs are probably not genuine and trying to capitalize on your weakened mental state to buy something that you don’t need.

The mastery of meditation, regardless of styles, is cultivated from consistent practice and from a proper guideline and instruction. Even with a meditation teacher, you’ll find that it takes an average of 1-2 months before you find yourself experiencing the peaceful calm instead of mental fatigue.

Some people take 2 weeks to benefit from the positive results of meditation. Some take longer. The point is, you just can’t expect to get meditation into your system overnight. Especially when your mind is a mess from the crisis.

If you are still thinking what could possibly go wrong with my life, then it’s the perfect time to get a FREE copy of my Mindfulness Meditation Made Simple and start right now.

3. You’ll want your brain structure to change for good.

If you think that meditation is all in your head, no it’s not.

It’s in your brain as well.

But until Sarah Lazar and her team at Harvard found that mindfulness meditation can actually change your brain structure, I don’t blame you for thinking that meditation is all sitting down and tricking your mind into happiness.

In fact, the research showed that not only does regular meditation practice increases the thickness in the hippocampus (associated with learning and memory), but it actually reduces areas of the brain associated with stress, anxiety, and fear.

This is not entirely surprising as when you engage in a behavior over and over again, this could lead to change to your brain. Watch Sarah Lazer talk about this at TEDx 2011 here.

4. Well, why not?

Brain structure aside, meditation has been a growing practice in the West for the past 30 years, and probably with good reasons too.

Why not learn to be truly happy and more positive by being more aware of your thoughts? Or grow your network of friends by being more compassionate.  (View the full list of 31 proven benefits of meditation here.)

I could find no solid reason as to why not to meditate when things are going well in your life.

And if you need further encouragement to take up meditation practice, here’s a short list of highly successful people who made meditation a part of their life

  • Arianna Huffington, President & Editor-in-Chief, Huffington Post Media Group
  • Bill Ford, Executive Chairman, Ford Motor Company
  • Marc Benioff, Founder of Salesforce.com
  • Jeff Weiner, CEO of Linked In
  • Ray Dalio, Founder of Bridgewater Associates

5. You Could Recover Faster From Your Fall

Why You Should Start Meditation Practice Before Life Hits You HardThink of meditation like building up your mental reservoir and deepening it in the process. You’ll need a lot of reserves to get out of the pit that life throw you into.

Recovering from depression is a long and arduous journey, but with a better mental faculty to start with, you’ll probably find that snapping out of depression a much easier process.

Make not mistake, you still need to work harder than you think to put your life back, but it’s better to do that with a smile than engulfed in negative thoughts.

Recommended: 10 Aspects Of Life That Demands Mindfulness For A Better 2017

The creativity, focus, and resilient build up from years of meditation practice could be vital in determining how long you stay at the lowest peak of your life.

You may also want to check out the transformation experienced by Amy Williams, just from 6 weeks of meditation. Perhaps by starting meditation practice early, you may avoid some of the curveballs life throw at you.

 

Over To You
Has this article changed your thoughts on meditation? I’m keen to know what other beliefs and experience you have on meditation. Do share your story with me how meditation has changed your life.

You May Be Interested
10 Aspects Of Life That Demands Mindfulness For A Better 2017
How To Choose The Best Meditation Technique For Yourself
What Do You Think When You Meditate And Why It Matters
21 Mindfulness Meditation Tips To Keep Meditation Simple
Best Ways To Meditate When You Are Tired and Stressed

About the Author

I struggled with social anxiety for at least 15 years, without really knowing what I was going through. Eventually, I defeated my social phobia and conquered the fear of public speaking.

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(20) comments

SanShar January 17, 2017

Hello, Kenny.

Very interesting post. I’ve heard and read quite a bit about the benefits of meditation. I’ve been doing meditation for about 3 months or so. But, I never know if I’m doing correctly.

Some say you should quiet your mind of all thoughts and focus on your breathing. By-the-way, freeing your mind of all thoughts is easier said than done. It seems thoughts just wonder into your mind constantly. You don’t realize just how active your mind is until you try to clear it.

Anyway, I downloaded your free guide. Maybe I can get some answers from it.

Reply
    Kenny Lee January 18, 2017

    Hi SanShar,

    Thanks for the read.

    You just can’t quiet your mind. It is not the right approach. As long as you’re still breathing, you will always have thoughts. The key thing is not be attached to your thoughts and not react to it.

    It takes time to train. But it’s entirely possible.

    Do check out these two articles.

    What Do You Think When You Meditate And Why It Matters

    Meditation Experts – Why “Clear Your Mind Of All Thoughts” Is Impossible

    Hope it helps.

    Cheers,

    Kenny

    Reply
      SanShar January 23, 2017

      Thank you for the info.

      I will check out the articles.

      Reply
        Kenny Lee January 24, 2017

        Hi SanShar,

        Thanks for reading.

        Cheers,
        Kenny

        Reply
Lisa January 17, 2017

It’s too bad you recommend NOT starting while you are depressed… I feel like I am constantly battling my depression. Although, I guess that’s why you say to start meditating BEFORE life gets tough. I’ll have to remember this for when things are all rosy again. 😉 Do you have any advise for managing depression?

Reply
    Kenny Lee January 18, 2017

    Hi Lisa,

    I wouldn’t recommend meditating alone, but if you can find an experienced teacher, do start your practice under the guidance of one. And do try to get professional help for depression and use meditation in the process.

    I have yet to write any post on depression as it is a challenging issue. I’ll let you know when I have it up.

    Cheers,

    Kenny

    Reply
Martina January 17, 2017

This was a very insightful article. I am a newer meditation practicer, and I get very frustrated with how hard it is to calm my mind, and how easily my thoughts stray, or, if im meditating for longer than 10 minutes, how hard I have to work to stay awake. I will keep pushing through, I am glad to hear that it will take longer than several sessions (months even) to truly reap the benefits. Just have to work on keeping it a priority. And also I didn’t know about not meditating through depression, does that go for an advanced practicer as well if he or she happens to become depressed?

Reply
    Kenny Lee January 18, 2017

    Hi Martina,

    It is normal for you to get sleepy after 10 minutes. Your mind is used to bouncing here and there like a wild monkey. As you struggle to train the monkey mind, you are bound to feel mental fatigue, even for a short 5-10 minutes. It’s like working your mind in the gym.

    While meditation is good, I wouldn’t say it is a cure all miracle pill. For people with serious depression, I’ll suggest to consult professionals for assistance and use meditation as part of the treatment program.

    Cheers,
    Kenny

    Reply
Scott January 17, 2017

I have always been interested in meditation but never really understood how to get started. I always had the common misconceptions of it, and never knew it offered some of these benefits. I thought it was just sitting in silence breathing deep. It’s very interesting to find out that it can change your brain structure. Being in sales it would be nice to practice something that can reduce stress and anxiety, I have plenty of that!

Reply
    Kenny Lee January 18, 2017

    Hi Scott,

    Meditation is definitely more than sitting still and breathing. In fact, you can apply the techniques into your life to get the most benefit out of it. There are many online meditation courses but I’ll recommend to find a local meditation teacher if you’re new to it.

    Do get a free copy of my meditation guide if you’ll like to know the basic method.

    Cheers,
    Kenny

    Reply
Dushan January 17, 2017

Hi, I’m involved in stock trading which can highly stressful at times particularly during decision making. I’ve tried many approaches to manage emotional ups and downs but always returned to meditation as a way of calming the mind and getting into the right state before sitting down to trade.

I didn’t realise how meditation could impact on depression but it makes sense when you think dwelling on negative thoughts leading to them becoming more intense.

Reply
    Kenny Lee January 18, 2017

    Hi Dushan,

    I’m glad meditation helped you in your stressful career. I believe it has helped others as well. I wouldn’t recommend beginners who are depressed to meditate alone.

    It is easy for the mind to stray into negativity when we are not adapt of bringing mindfulness to it.

    Thanks for reading.

    Cheers,

    Kenny

    Reply
Ibrahim Basma January 17, 2017

Thanks for sharing this. I really never had an idea of what meditation really is. Since its a practice that has been growing over the years, i dont see why people wouldn’t want to try it, even those who aren’t interested. It seems like it does help and relax your mind. Does it actually change your perception of things around you though?

Reply
    Kenny Lee January 18, 2017

    Hi Ibrahim,

    How you perceive things depends on the state of energy you are in. If you’re positive then you’ll see hope and possibilities instead of doom and gloom. And people who meditate regularly are more positive in their life.

    Cheers,

    Kenny

    Reply
Joseph Mo January 17, 2017

Hey There,
This is really a great read, I often wondered why people meditated and true as it is even the successful people do it, even my inspirational guy (the guy who I want to be when I grow up) Timothy Ferris, meditates before he starts his day.
I’ll have to learn how to meditate and have a peace of mind when approaching any difficult situation in the future.
Thanks again!

Reply
    Kenny Lee January 18, 2017

    Hi Joseph,

    Meditation is a useful technique to collect our mind and focus before we start a day.

    Cheers,
    Kenny

    Reply
Matt's Mom January 17, 2017

These are all very good reasons to start meditating now. I can see how this would help me recover from a fall a lot easier. I didn’t think, though that mastering it would be that big of a deal. So this was interesting to read. I have always wanted to start, it seems like something that could help keep things in perspective and not out of hand. I guess it is time to start!

Reply
    Kenny Lee January 18, 2017

    Hi,

    It is easier to learn and pickup meditation when we are not so much in stress.

    Cheers,
    Kenny

    Reply
Brent January 20, 2017

I used to just plain think too much. It was so annoying. I really didn’t know what was going on. A friend of mine really seemed to be happy and have his shit together. I found out(not by asking but just observing him and hanging out) that he read a book called Handbook to Higher Consciousness. The book changed my life. I did not start meditating till years later actually but just knowing what is going on in your head-being aware of how your mind works-helped me in a major way. My journey is still moving along. Meditation is part of it and always will be. I don’t want to be super anything…just optimized. That is what I want to be.

Thanks for sharing. You have made my reading list.

Reply
    Kenny Lee January 21, 2017

    Hi Brent,

    I’m glad that you found the key to your peace of mind. Many people sought for happiness and peace externally, without realizing it’s within us all along. All the best with your journey.

    Cheers,
    Kenny

    Reply
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