Meditation is by no means a new practice. Some records date it back to 5,000 BCE, which predates the invention of writing. While it might seem like meditation has been a buzzword in the West for only the last decade, the reality is that it’s been here since the 18th century. That being said, there has been a growing body of research around the psychological benefits of the practice over the last several years.
Much of this research has found its way into the media and popular science, prompting people to adopt the practice and creating a demand for apps, tools, and podcasts like Headspace and Calm that teach people how to meditate. I’m also not ashamed to admit that I’ve fallen asleep to Deepak Chopra’s delightfully soothing podcast on more than one occasion. What a guy.
If there’s one thing to take away from all of this so far, it’s that you don’t need to be an orange-robed monk or a stoner to enjoy the benefits of meditation. It’s, like, all groovy, man.
What I’m about to share should be taken with a grain of salt. I encourage you to read about other people’s experiences. Hell, I encourage you to try meditating for yourself to experience things first-hand. I’ll type up another article in the future with some misconceptions and myths surrounding meditation, but there are a few caveats that I’d like to highlight here and now.
Misconceptions about meditation
- You will not notice the benefits right away. Some people expect to feel calm and refreshed after one session, but the truth is that it can take up to weeks to actually notice anything. It’s important to go into each session with a clear and open mind-without any sort of expectation. Getting frustrated at yourself for not feeling calmer or having your mind wander off will not help you.
- It will take practice to get good at it. And even when you get into the swing of things, you will have days where it’s more difficult than others. Most people find it a lot easier to meditate when they make a routine out of it. This usually means doing it at the same time everyday and working yourself up to longer sessions. You don’t need to sit cross-legged for half an hour for your first session. Start with five or even two minutes.
- Meditation will not get rid of all…