10 Things I Learned From Meditating Every Day For a Year
On October 1, 2021, I committed to meditating every day for a month. By the end of that daily experiment, I enjoyed the experience enough that I decided to keep it going.
And here I am today, just over a year later, and still doing it.
Has it radically changed my life, as some claim it does? No. However, I have noticed subtle positive changes in my attitude that I can attribute to the practice.
1. After a year, I still feel an urge to reach for my phone during meditation.
The longer the session, the more true this is.
2. I prefer guided meditation.
I find it more relaxing and I'm more engaged in the experience than simply sitting in silence.
3. But, I come up with more new ideas and breakthroughs when I'm sitting in silence.
My monkey mind goes all over the place in silence, but sometimes that's a good thing.
4. My favorite guided meditation app is Insight Timer.
Highly recommend. Most of the meditations are free. insighttimer.com
5. Thinking back on a meditation usually gives me a sense of calm.
One of the best outcomes of consistently meditating is that I'll think back on a mantra or topic from a meditation later in the day when I'm experiencing some difficulty.
6. I am more open-minded.
I'm not particularly woo woo, but some of these guided meditations flirt with that world. At first, I resisted them. But now, I at least try to keep my heart and mind open to ideas and experiences that I would have previously rejected.
7. I find it to be most effective after exercising in the morning.
I experimented both ways, and for whatever reason, I am more into meditation after I'm done with my morning exercise.
8. There's a lingering sense of calm after meditating.
But as the day goes on, it tends to wear off. Sometimes I think I should do it 2-3 times a day to keep that feeling going, but I haven't built that habit yet.
9. I've gotten better at remembering to take deep breaths when I want to calm down.
There's no better way to soothe the beast than to sit for two minutes and engage in deep, relaxed breathing.
10. While I greatly enjoy the daily ritual, I could take it or leave it.
I appreciate the benefits meditation provides, so I plan to keep doing it. However, if I had to stop tomorrow, it wouldn't be a major change in my life. Admittedly, I was hoping for some sort of greater transformation, as some people proclaim can happen with meditation. Perhaps I'm not doing it correctly. In any case, I find it a helpful tool for life, but not an essential one.