Why I bother to meditate
I have been teaching meditation for more than ten years. Like many people my own personal meditation practice has varied in its consistency at different times. Recently I started doing a short meditation before I sit down to do admin work at my computer. Sometimes I need to do some work on my accounts, sometimes I’m answering emails or, like today, doing some writing. Depending on what the task is I may enjoy it to a greater or lesser degree and some days are easier than others to get this kind of computer based work done. So I thought beginning with some meditation might help and I want to share with you my reasons why.
Of course meditation doesn’t always work miracles but I find that even if I sit for just a few minutes the three things I always feel , as a result, are calmer, more focused and more refreshed.
1. Greater Calm
We live in a stressful and demanding world. I have written previously about relaxation and both how important it is AND how hard it can be to do. Many of us don’t even notice stress and tension until it reaches a considerable level. People often talk of feeling overwhelmed, anxious, busy-headed or unable to settle. Sitting still, anyway that is comfortable for you, and taking some gentle deep breaths helps to slow our breathing and our heart rate. This in turn can help us to feel more relaxed and in control even though nothing has changed in our environment.
2. Increased Focus
That feeling of overwhelm and busy headedness can make it very hard for us to focus effectively on any one thing. We may find ourselves flitting from task to task not finishing anything or feeling so overwhelmed we get paralysed and end up doing nothing. Of course there is something to be said for giving ourselves some proper downtime if we genuinely need it but sometimes what is required is a better ability to focus and meditation can help with that. Personally, I find it easier to decide which task should have my priority, and to get that task done to the best of my ability, if I give myself even just five or ten minutes of meditation before I start.
3. More Refreshed
Our busy lives inevitably mean we may have days where we feel tired or lacking in energy, or perhaps every day feels a bit like that! Taking naps in the daytime rarely works for me and isn’t always practical anyway. If I am having a bit of an energy dip a glass of water and a short meditation can work wonders. If you work in an office with others why not agree a short time every day when you will all stop and do a short meditation or at least switch your screens off and sit quietly taking some deep breaths for a few minutes? Or you could always do a short walking meditation or even just take ten slow deep breaths wherever you are.
So those are my main reasons for continuing to take the time to include meditation in my week. I don’t always manage every day and I don’t give myself a hard time if I miss a day or two but I am finding it really helpful before tackling my computer based tasks. There are things that I have often avoided that I am finding much easier to get on with and even catching myself enjoying! When I did a nine to five job many years ago in London I would often meditate when I first got home. This time of day was a great time for me to be able to switch off from work and make a relaxing transition into my evening. There is no right time to meditate so experiment and find a time and a way that works for you.