5 Reasons To Fall in Love with Meditation. ~ Nicole Liloia

Via Nicole Liloia
on Mar 7, 2014
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Meditate

There has been quite a bit of recent information about meditation and the importance of practicing it, so it’s easy to wonder what can possibly be so great about it.

The thought of sitting still for that long seems torturous, so many people never even give it a shot. That’s definitely what happened to me. Others try it out a couple of times, but become discouraged. It’s easy to feel that it isn’t working when we can’t clear our minds. It’s hard to understand what all the hype is about.

I first began a meditation practice a little over a year ago and while I enjoyed saying that I meditated, I really didn’t experience all of the benefits until I spent a weekend at Kripalu for a mindfulness training. During the training, we meditated several times a day for a minimum of 30 minutes each time. It was during this weekend that I fell in love with meditation and all that it does for us.

Here some of the reasons why:

1. Meditation is there for us whenever we need it.

Meditation is like a loyal friend: it always has our back. Having a bad day at work? Count to 100 breaths, or set a timer for five minutes. Having a fight with our partner? We can go to a quiet place and focus on breathing until we feel relaxed. Maybe we are feeling down and we don’t know why? Trying a loving kindness meditation can make us more compassionate with ourselves. The reasons we need to meditate don’t even matter. What matters is that we can turn to meditation day or night, for however long we need it.

2. There is no wrong way to meditate.

We often give up on meditation because we feel that we are doing it the “wrong” way. We think that because we are still experiencing thoughts or sensations in our body, it means that meditation isn’t working. However, this is just part of the process of meditation. Thoughts will come in and out, and it doesn’t matter if we get distracted for a bit because we can always go back to focusing on our breath. Just noticing that we are off-track is an important part of the process, and means that we are are meditating.

3. Meditation doesn’t cost a thing.

There are not many things that are free nowadays, but meditation is one of them. We can invest in fancy cushions to sit on, guided meditations to follow along with, or even an app for our cell phone that will time us and remind us to do it, but we really don’t need any of those things. All we need is ourselves, a desire to meditate, and a quiet place to sit or lie down.

4. Meditation helps us learn to trust ourselves more.

We’ll develop a stronger intuition and sense of self by focusing on the feelings and sensations of our bodies while meditating and learning to identify what is causing them. We learn to recognize when we are experiencing something in the present moment and stay in that moment, rather than reliving the past, or becoming anxious about what may happen in the future. By trusting ourselves more, we’ll also begin to notice the times that our bodies need the relaxation and rest that meditation will provide us.

5. Meditation is a friend with benefits, without all of the drama.

There are benefits that we get from practicing meditation, without any drama. After all, it only requires that we sit quietly by ourselves and focus on our breathing. Some of the benefits that we can experience include increased focus and clarity, decreased feelings of anxiety, improved energy, increased productivity, and feelings of peacefulness.

Give meditation a chance if you haven’t tried it yet. If you already have a meditation practice, then contemplate the reasons why you love it. There are many styles of mediation that we can experiment with until we find the ones that work best for us, and that we enjoy the most.  Being kind and compassionate with ourselves as we become accustomed to meditation ensures that we will be grateful for the experiences that it brings us.

 

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Editorial Assistant: Chrissy Tustison/Editor: Bryonie Wise

Photo: Natesh Ramasamy via Flickr


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About Nicole Liloia

Nicole Liloia, LCSW, is a stress+less coach and therapist who helps smart-yet-stressed women center themselves, develop self-care plans that stick, and transform their relationship with stress for life. Explore her ideas on her lovely website, or follow her on Twitter. She believes that learning to be kind and compassionate with ourselves will help us find peace in the midst of chaos.

Comments

13 Responses to “5 Reasons To Fall in Love with Meditation. ~ Nicole Liloia”

  1. Jessica says:

    GREAT article, Nicole!!! Thanks so much for sharing this!!!

  2. nicoleliloia says:

    Thanks! i'm so glad you enjoyed it!!

  3. Shannon says:

    nice article! especially the #2 .. i have always believed in meditating and wanted to do it, but never could turn my mind off long enough to really do it, but that is helpful.

  4. kristynowbethechange says:

    I especially love your point around there being no wrong way. So often (in much more than meditating) people search for the 'right way', when the best way is simply to start.

  5. Lisa says:

    You know, the other day I went to the doctor thinking I had lung cancer because I had serious trouble breathing. After several clean test results later, my doctor asked me a series of questions and determined that I was in fact just really stressed out and my shortness of breath was actually panic attacks. He prescribed Xanax (pretty easily too…) and suggested I drink more alcohol (I had told him I stopped drinking for a while). I'm not sure why this is but doctors in HK just LOVE to overprescribe medication.

    Anyway, so a friend of mine suggested I do more yoga and try meditating. He walked me through some breathing exercises and within seconds, my breathing became stable and I experienced the best sleep I had had in over a year. The power of meditation!

    I have since been on and off but this post has inspired me to make this a daily go-to for finding my inner zen.

    Thanks for sharing!

  6. Kendra says:

    Like you I had tried meditating several different times throughout my life. But I never seemed to "get it". I also tried it again last year and oh what a difference it has been. I think part of the problem for me was just being in the right frame of mind. But also realizing that it really doesn't have to be 30 minutes. That you can meditate for even just 5 minutes and it does wonders for you. Great article…thank you!

  7. nicoleliloia says:

    So glad that this was helpful for you! I was obsessed with doing it the "right way" so i'm glad to help others recognice that there is no wrong way to do it!

  8. nicoleliloia says:

    yep! Just doing it is the right way 🙂

  9. This is a wonderful article, Nicole. I just love how you've taken away all the reasons that keeps people from trying meditation. Especially that there's no wrong way to meditate. The longer I'm alive, the more I realize that it's the simple things that give me the most peace and pleasure. I've tried meditation and I find that my yoga practice and walks with my dog are also great variations of meditation. Anytime I slow dow to appreciate the moment and be quiet seems to put me at ease and allow life to come back into perspective. Thank you for this.

  10. Paula says:

    Yes! I found meditation about a year ago and have become a completely different person. Its the peaceful time away from the everyday life that makes us a better person, it makes you slow down and it gets you back in tune with your true self. Sadly alot of people think it's the kind of practice for people who are a bit 'woowoo!' so they don't do it. fear is like that. Its good to be around other people who meditate! thank you for your article :0

  11. Kate Lindsay says:

    YES!!! You have really shown the practice to be as it absolutely can be. Easy. Free. Simple. Take away all of the mystifying details and be left with steady easy breath and an appreciation of a quiet moment.

    I come and go from a regular mediation practice as such but I find that I am doing a variation of one all the time. When out walking or even driving, just to turn off the radio and breath while really looking at the world in front of me (and the road of course) Any moment where breath and awareness come together in calm is good for my body and my soul.

  12. nicoleliloia says:

    Glad to hear that you have found meditation too! It's too bad for the people who miss out on it because they think it's "woo-woo"

  13. nicoleliloia says:

    Hey Lisa! let me know if you need any resources on good meditations — I went to a great retreat this weekend!

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