Why You Should Start Meditation Practice Before Life Hits You Hard
Why 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 a meditation practice at all, when you can’t see the need of it right now?
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
In 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 an 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 about 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 a 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
- , Founder of Bridgewater Associates
5. You Could Recover Faster From Your Fall
Think 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 throws 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 no 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.
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
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21 Mindfulness Meditation Tips To Keep Meditation Simple
Best Ways To Meditate When You Are Tired and Stressed