I couldn’t sleep. I was tossing and turning in bed. I was stressed from work. I was anxious about life.

I called up my girlfriend who was out of town. I talked to her and explained my problem.

She has taken an interest in yoga and meditation recently. She loves doing them and finds that it lifts her spirits.

She suggested I start doing yoga and meditation to help with my anxiety. She sent me a couple of guided meditation videos to help me get started.

“Just give it a chance,” she said.

Naturally I resisted. I knew meditation had many benefits. But for some reason I could never bring myself to do it.

I’ve experimented with meditation in the past. I’ll admit, I liked the way I felt. But for some reason I resisted.

I didn’t think it would help in this situation. Besides, some of those videos were just too far out there. It was too touchy, feely for me. You know, the kind of stuff where you have to “find” yourself.

“I’ll do it later” I said.

“Okay, your loss.”

She was right. It was my loss.

I Finally Had Enough

Last Monday I got home from work feeling exhausted. I had eye strain and a headache thanks to staring at the computer all day long.

My back hurt. I was tired and grumpy. I felt lousy.

“Enough. Let me try meditating” I told myself.

I downloaded the Headspace app from Google Play and got to work.

I did the first 10 minute guided meditation session from the app. Afterwards I felt amazing.

I was relaxed throughout my body. I was awake and alert for the first time that day. I was more aware of my body and mind. I felt more present and in the moment.

My sour mood evaporated. I was no longer grumpy. I felt as if I had woken up from a blissful sleep.

I thought to myself, “I could get used to this!”

Could I Replicate This Feeling?

The next day I meditated during my lunch break. The result was the same.

I felt more productive and focused throughout the afternoon. I was energized, but relaxed, if that makes any sense. And I was more aware and mindful of what was going on.

“Why have I put this off for so long?”

Maybe you’re like me. You’ve put off meditating because it’s too touchy feely, or “woo-woo” type stuff. Trust me when I say, it has completly shifted my thinking.

When you mediate, your analytical, reasoning mind shuts down and you have an increased sense of awareness. This state of mind has been described as “Satori,” “Zanshin,” or “enlightenment” in martial arts.

Meditation Has Powerful Physiological Effects

Studies show that people who meditate recover from stressful situations quicker than those who don’t.

Science shows that skin resistance decreases in states of anxiety and stress, and increases when we are relaxed.

Researchers have found that mediators have a large skin resistance, thus allowing them to recover from stressful situations more quickly and better cope with stress.

Your Brain on Meditation

Your brain has various different brain waves, depending on your situation.

When you meditate, you encourage an increase in alpha brain waves. These wave are conducive to creativity and the assimilation of new concepts.

Some practitioners are able to achieve a more relaxed state of mind, which encourage theta brain waves. These types of brain waves are associated with deeper insights and intuition.

Not only that, but those who practice meditation consistently continue to exhibit alpha and theta brain waves after meditation sessions.

This increases relaxation, creativity, and emotional connection for a time period after meditating.

Getting into the “Right” Brain

We have a tendency to use the left hemisphere of our brains. Practicing meditation allows us to “turn off” this verbal, linear, analytic style of information and processes.

This means we become more right brained. Our sense of time and logic no longer dominate our conscious thoughts when we meditate.

Instead we become more holistic, receptive, and think beyond language and logic.

Meditation and Psychology

Finally, research literature suggests that meditation produces feelings of self-transcendence, increased meaning in the world, and more connection with the world.

Other research shows that people are more confident, have better self-control, more empathy, and become self-actualized during meditation as a result of meditation. Finally, people report a decrease in anger and better ability to control their attention thanks to meditation.

Do You Want to Give Meditation a Shot?

I started off by using the Headspace app. You can also find guided meditation videos on YouTube. Here are a few to get started:

Can’t sleep, Meditation For Insomnia, Guided Voice, Gentle Music For Sleepless Nights, Relaxation

The Five Minute Miracle – Daily Guided Meditation

10 Minute Guided Meditation to ease Anxiety, Worry, and Urgency

The benefits of meditation cannot be denied. I was ignorant and held off meditating for so long. Being a bit of a skeptic (and slightly ignorant), I can say that I was completely wrong. Don’t wait so long like I did, try out meditation for yourself and let me know how it goes.

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54 thoughts on “How Meditation Improved My Monday

  1. The meditation I had been practicing was a form of the contemplative prayer. I first started it after reading OPEN HEARTS, OPEN MINDS. Now my practice is to take one of my religious images that I have collected on my computer and just watch it for twenty minutes or so while emptying my mind. When away from my computer I just relax as much as I can and let my mind empty. The Silva method is just enough different that I have trouble, so far, in staying with one or the other and as a result my meditations don’t happen as well as before.

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    1. That’s pretty interesting! I’m completely new to all of this, so I’m not too familiar with The Silva Method. Excuse my ignorance, but how does that method work?

      Thanks for the comment!

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    1. I’m glad to share everything I can, thanks for the comment Megan!

      I’ve noticed a big difference in the past week already. Overall I feel more energetic througout the day. I also feel like I focus better. I’m not sure if it’s directly because of the meditation, but I’m going to keep in doing it anyways!

      Have a great day!

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    1. Thanks for the comment Elizabeth!

      I’ve taken an interest in those areas as well lately. Too often I get pulled away from the present by thinking about the past or the future, which ends up stressing me out. Becoming more mindful helps overcome these feelings and understand what’s really important to me.

      Have a great day,

      Justin

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  2. Hey welcome to the party! Meditation is the greatest thing that has happened to my life. You can speak directly to your subconscious once well practiced. I personally find that meditation isn’t necessary “turning off” anything, but thinking about “one thing”. This can be your breathing, the relaxation of your body, your day as you reflect or a mantra like “Aum” or even full blown sentences like “I am what I am”, or “Be the change you wish to see in the word” – Gandhi. Mine is “Carpe Diem.”

    Once again. Welcome.

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    1. Thank you very much!

      I agree that meditiation isn’t just “turning off.” I think this is one of the misconceptions of meditiation. For me, it’s almost like being a passenger of a car and watching those thoughts as they come and go.

      I will have to try using a mantra next time. Do you feel that this helps you gain more focus or clarity?

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      1. Wow! I’m so impressed that you researched that so thoroughly. As a long time meditator and meditation teacher, I say you hit most of the important points except the breathing. Deep, slow breathing and a mantra are very important to 1. illicit the relaxation response and 2. keep the focus.

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      2. You’re right, breathing is so important! I can’t believe I forgot to include that info. I also need to start incorporating a mantra as well. Thanks for the suggestions Cynthia!

        Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree completely! I think some people can be a bit out there when they discuss this, which can turn off others (like myself for so long lol).

      Great to see you sharing your interests with the world I well. I think it’s an important message to spread!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for the kind words!

      Chilling out and just “being” is so important. Sometimes things get a bit overwhelming, but being able to center myself is a real game-changer.

      I’m glad to share any resources I can. Have a great day.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Brilliantly informative and helpful. This is an article which should be shared throughout corporate workplaces and schools. Meditation is so important in my life but I wouldn’t have found it without serious research. Love your blog!

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    1. Thank you so much for the kind words Mike, I really appreciate it.

      Meditation could be a huge game-changer in the workplace and help so many people.

      I’m glad to connect and look forward to seeing more from you.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I actually have been practicing insight meditation for a few years. But I feel lazy sometimes. So your experiences reminded me the importance of meditation. 🙂 Have a nice day too!

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      2. I look forward to learning more about your experiences. I read your question above. I learned a mantra from a monk before to detach myself from overthinking. It helps me building focus and compassion. So you are right 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

  4. Yay, to meditation! Recently I’ve been doing yoga and although in the past it didn’t stick and soon after it became something I tried, I’m all in this time around. I can definitely relate to this post. Thanks for sharing! – W38

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    1. I need to start doing yoga myself. I’ve started and stopped in the past, and I would always feel good when I did it. Best of luck to you and thanks for the comment!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m like you. I haven’t done much true meditation lately, but I will certainly give it a try because apparently I’m getting to the point where I have “stress spots” in my back. I’ve been integrating yoga a few times a week and I love the results.

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      2. That’s great! I’ve done a little bit of yoga myself, and the results are quite nice. Good luck with you meditation!

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  5. Pingback: Yoga & me | wake38
  6. Hi Justin, this is a great post! I also resisted practising meditation regularly for years. Now, I’m almost 70 days into my daily practice using the headspace app. It’s really worked well for me as a tool to keep the habit.

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    1. That’s awesome that you’re almost to 70 days! I need to do a better job of being consistent and making it a habit like yourself.

      Thanks for the comment Pat!

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  7. Hi there!
    Thank for stopping by and following my blog 🙂
    I’ve recently started yoga – only using an app – but the deep breathing alone has had massive benefits, making me feel calmer and more refreshed. I’d tried it in the past but like you thought it was a bit new-age, touchy-feely. My grandfather has been an advocate of deep breathing and meditation for years though and he’s 96, so there must be something to it!

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    1. Hi Haylee!

      I have found deep breathing to be a great exercise as well. Even if I’m just working or going for a walk deep breathing really helps me relax. Your grandfather sounds like a smart man! Thank you for sharing that story, it serves a motivation for me to continue meditation and deep breathing myself.

      Thanks for the comment, have a great day!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Philip,

      I need to get into yoga more myself! I’ve done it off and on. Now I just need to make a habit out of it. I think you will really enjoy meditation as well. It gives me a sense of calm and clarity that I was unable to achieve before.

      Thanks for the comment, have a great weekend!

      Like

  8. I have also recently started meditating during my day – I also put it off for a long time. I will give the app a go!

    I also publish a Monday meditation on my blog if you want to look out for them. X

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  9. I’m a meditator from way back, teach others how to do it, and hold weekly meditation session for others. It’s good for so many things. One of the most powerful for me, is getting in touch with my Self and for spiritual development. Welcome to the world of meditation 🙂

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  10. Meditation definitely changed my Monday’s, and Tuesday’s and the rest of the week, and life. It helped with being present and harnessing that gratitude and quieting my mind from all the craziness of parenthood and of the day after n general. The quietness of it all helped start the day and end it on a good note. Namaste.

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    1. Agreed! Although I personally need to do a better job of both starting and ending my day with meditation.

      Thanks for the comment!

      Like

  11. Pingback: God Among Geeks

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