I've been in my head lately and I've been trying to find my way out. After excessive thought chaos a solution to my mental stress presented itself in the form of meditation. I've had an on and off relationship with meditation and I know I haven't been loyal, but I need it. So do you. I'll tell you why.
Focus and mental clarity🧠
Daily meditation, without question, levels 🆙 my mental game. I feel sharp, fluid and calm. The mental energy I derive from morning meditation feels just as good as Starbucks coffee on a cold winter morning🥶. It picks me up and provides me with supreme verve and focus.
Anxiety suppression 😌
Meditation has helped me channel my inner Bruce Lee - 'Empty your mind, be formless. Shapeless, like water. If you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup. You put water into a bottle and it becomes the bottle. You put it in a teapot it becomes the teapot. Now, water can flow or it can crash. Be water my friend.' My interpretation of this quote is go with the flow, be flexible and adaptable to whatever situation you find yourself in. I try not to be anxious about about anything because if it's meant to happen, it will. If it isn't, it won't. In-between all of that I remain formless, shapeless, like water.
That urge to respond when you feel verbally provoked? Consistent meditation will reign in that impulse. You're less likely to have an emotional outburst when your mind has been decluttered. You'll become fully aware of what it really means to think before you talk.
It's simple; sit down and keep your mind quiet for 20 minutes per day. That's it. Well, that's the summary of it all but there's various forms of meditation and many make it out to be more complicated than it really is. What works for me and likely anyone else yet to attain monk status is sitting down somewhere dark and quiet, back upright, chin up, eyes closed and you taking deep, long breaths into your belly and slowly releasing your breath out through your nose. Rinse, repeat. Maintain focus on your breathing, and only your breathing for 20 minutes straight. The idea behind meditating like this is to quiet the mind and this approach was concisely explained by J.J. Connolly — 'Meditation is concentrating the front of the mind with a mundane task so the rest of the mind can find peace.' It's simple, but it's not easy and those that find the practice unbearably boring have the untamed minds that actually need it the most.
Why 20 minutes? Because that's the sweet spot to derive any real benefits from the practice. 1 minute, 2 minute, 5 minute 'mini' meditation does the same for your mental wellbeing as jogging from your front door to your backdoor does for your physical wellbeing. Next to nothing. Put in the time if you want results.
Anywhere dark, quiet with a firm and comfortable surface. I typically meditate on a stool. This works for me and I'm sticking to it. If you're in the zone and you can handle it, then please, by all means, do what you see monks and other meditation enthusiasts do 🧘🏾♂️.
📖Side note: The first book I ever read and appreciated on the topic of meditation was Success Through Stillness by Russell Simmons. If you can get your hands on it then you'll learn a lot more about transformative potential meditation has.