5 Things That Happened After I Started Meditating
Yes, I am a Yoga teacher, but I had the hardest time when I started out meditating on a daily basis. I tried various different apps, videos, and audio meditations, but nothing really inspired me to stick with it for a long period of time. Every time I sat down to meditate my back started to hurt, my legs fell asleep or I got so distracted by my to-do list and so anxious about not getting everything done that day, that I gave up.
It wasn't till I discovered the incredible podcast “Happy, Holy & Confident” by Laura Malina Seiler (which unfortunately is currently only available in German) that I really got into the swing of daily meditation. I felt like she was speaking directly to me in her podcasts as she highlighted how much her life had changed through meditation. Of course, I have read and heard about all the amazing benefits of meditating, but it wasn’t till I signed up for Laura's “Rise Up and Shine University” that I started to properly experience those benefits for myself. The course lasted a whole month and each morning we started with a guided meditation. As I focused on my breath, my body started to get used to the position I was in and thus naturally adapted to sitting for a longer period of time. At the beginning, I still felt an urge to open my eyes to check the time, but after 2 weeks I started to look forward to my morning meditation as I could feel the positive impact that it had in all aspects of my life.
1) I have more focus
I thought meditating on a daily basis would take up too much time to enable me to get everything done on my to do list, but the truth is that because I meditate I think more clearly and instead of rushing from one task to another, I focus on one task at a time and then move easily to the next task. My mind doesn't race ahead of itself fretting about to what to do next, instead I stay in the moment and finish what I have to do and then move on.
2. I am a nicer person
Instead of losing my s*** every time something goes wrong I look at the bright side and take a couple of breaths. I am a nicer and more patient person when I meditate as I am able to look at situations from the perspective of others to see where they might be coming from. It has completely changed the way I interact with others.
3. It helps me to cope with stress and anxiety
Before I became a mom I didn’t even know how anxiety felt (I know, lucky me right!!!), but since my daughter was born that has changed rapidly. She stopped breathing the first night I took her home due to acid reflux but thanks to my husband, or should I say “my hero”, she was ok and we celebrated her 4th birthday not too long ago. That incident, and the thought of losing her triggered my anxiety: I was constantly worried that something would happen to her. Meditating is helping me to cope with that terrifying thought, as well as helping me to deal with day to day stress.
4. I sleep better
Because I was dealing with anxiety I also had trouble sleeping. While my daughter was asleep I would wake up a million times to check on her to see if she was still breathing and if she was OK. After months of sleep deprivation, I felt like a walking zombie. Thanks to meditation, I feel calm and I am able to fall asleep quickly. I manage to stay asleep, too, even on those occasions when my little monkey climbs into my bed now and then :).
5. I eat better
I have always loved to eat, but now I make better decisions when I am at the grocery store or at restaurants. I ask myself how the food will really make me feel, and I base my purchasing decisions or menu choices on that answer.
The Bottom Line
I am overall a better version of myself.
This is probably one of the best benefits of meditation. I know who I truly am and what I am capable of. I share my feelings with others more openly. I have the courage to be who I really am, I take more risks, knowing that it is the only way I can truly grow. I know what is important in life and that I can reach anything that I really desire.
Try to start meditating for 10-15 minutes every day. Find a comfortable seated position (you might want to use a meditation pillow or blanket) and start to focus on your breathing. I use a little mantra when too many thoughts pop into my head and I feel I get too distracted. As I inhale, I tell myself “Let” and with the exhalation, I tell myself “Go”. Try out a few different mantras and see what works for you. Be patient! Sit down every day for a minimum of two weeks and use a journal to write down the changes you experience throughout the day. Have fun, and feel free to share your experience with me.