This is a collection of stories and comments people have sent us on the wonderful benefits meditation has brought them, published with the hope of inspiring YOU to try meditation for the first time (or pick it up again if you’ve just been lazy with it 🙂 ).
Sure, meditation has been scientifically proven to bring numerous benefits from reducing stress, controlling anxiety, promoting emotional health and more… but just hearing dry scientifically-backed arguments and studies alone may not give you much motivation to start meditation. Rather, for many people, I believe hearing real stories from many different people is a much better motivator, and frankly more interesting.
In the comments below, you may well find people with similar backgrounds to yourself, or who were facing similar issues you are now before they started practicing meditation. We also had some great submissions from meditation teachers and/or experts (if you visit the websites of some of the contributors below, you’ll see some of their credentials and background).
Here’s a summary of what’s been submitted so far, along with a link to the full comment (and if you’ve benefited from meditation yourself, you’re very welcome to make your own submission which I’ll add to this article):
- An environmental lawyer with a new baby tries everything to be happy, but remains miserable until practicing meditation (Maricela)
- Someone with a family history of depression and anxiety finds meditation helps to look outside themselves and realize why they’re feeling a certain way (Melodie)
- Using meditation to gain control over anxiety (Hanna)
- After 4 days of frustration at a meditation retreat, having a profound breakthrough and being in “complete bliss” (Travis)
- Meditation to quiet your mind throughout the day, and control your thoughts (Scott)
- Having struggled with infertility 30 years ago, a woman finds how helpful meditation is, and becomes a meditation guide (Miriam)
- Getting into meditation at the start of quarantine to combat restlessness (Eddie)
- Meditating to be better equipped to handle work-related stress and anxiety (Kim)
- Realizing that meditation should come first, and everything else must wait (Raquel)
- A health coach details how meditation can reduce stress, sharpen focus and improve memory (Jamie)
- A meditation instructor details their experience (Dena)
- A freelance photographer uses meditation to help with a lack of focus (Andy)
- Meditation to help against grief (and later becoming a meditation coach) (Berni)
- A nutrition coach comments on how meditation can potentially help with weight loss (Candice)
- Meditation as a safe place (Michael)
- Meditating first thing in the morning while stretching (W.R.Klemm)
- A meditation teacher details their experience and how meditation has helped them (Stacey)
- Using meditation to cope during the time of COVID-19 (Lisa)
- A 25-year meditation practitioner details their experience with meditation over 4 different phases (Jacqueline)
- Meditating for relief and relaxation (Claire)
- Meditation to help recover from suicidal depression (Amanda)
- Meditating to paint a clear picture of goals and aspirations (Nancy)
- Meditation for mindfulness (Raj)
- Meditating to wake up to the nature of one’s own mind (Liam)
- Meditating to stay in the present and react in a calmer manner (Tammy)
- A meditation expert comments on their routine (Nicola)
- Meditating to hear yourself and get ideas (Sonya)
- Meditating to be present and improve focus (Craig)
- Meditation for being aware of our thoughts and thought patterns (Rebecca)
If you had told me 5 years ago I would be getting up at 5:30 to meditate everyday and that I would become a children's author to introduce kids to meditation, I would've laughed and asked how many tequilas you had.
As a stressed out environmental lawyer with a new baby. I had no idea about what was going to come my way in the next year.
Post- natal depression, vestibular migraines (the ones that make you constantly dizzy) -- I had everything i should to be happy (the supportive husband, a healthy baby, a lucrative job) and I was miserable.
I tried everything, anti-depressants, Neuro Emotional Technique, essential oils and all sorts of natural remedies and in the end it was practising meditation that brought me back to my centre.
It has made me calmer, more patient at home, less irritable and overall a nicer person (when you stop being angry with yourself, you stop being angry with others).
I learnt to understand my emotions, the why of how I feel a certain way in any given moment and it has given me the certainity that regardless of what happens I will be ok.
Because as Thoreau said, things don't change, we are the ones who change.
I saw so many benefits in myself that I knew I had to teach this to my son. So I wrote him a story, just like his other bedtime stories but this one happens to talk about a magic door inside his head, a journey inwards and manifestation.
I believe all children should be taught meditation from a young age and not have some sort of trauma or crisis for them to start.
--Maricela Robles, meditationfairy.com
Depression and anxiety runs in our family. And traditionally, no one has coped with it very well. It's hard to describe the 'fogginess', the 'busyness' and the self pity/doubt/etc. I feel when I'm in a particularly rough state. I started yoga and meditation as an attempt to relieve some of my stress and do something, ANYTHING, positive for myself when I was in a particularly low mental state. It wasn't the physical aspect so much as the mental clarity that drew me back. Meditation helps me look outside myself and analyse WHY I'm feeling a certain way, and if the situation is as horrible as my depression and anxiety is making it out to be. It's a super powerful tool that taught me my thoughts aren't me. If I think 'I'm so stupid I can't do anything', meditation has helped me realise that, even though I had that thought, it doesn't mean it's true.
--Melodie Johnson, Doga Yoga
The reason I started meditating was to get some control over my anxiety (especially the little self-critical voice in my head). I suffered from a lot of work-related and social anxiety, which also impacted my ability to sleep, my confidence and general enjoyment of life.
Meditation enabled me to retrain my mind so that anxious thoughts and feelings are no longer a problem. I still experience them occasionally, like anyone, but I’m no longer sucked in by them. I now see them for what they are: just thoughts and feelings, which come and go.
This clarity strips anxiety of all its power, mostly because it’s no longer being indulged. And with little power, it starts to dissolve away.
Nowadays I teach others the meditation practices and techniques which changed my life and relationship with anxiety.
--Hanna Milton, a little mindful
I remember going on a 10-day Vipassana retreat in Northern California. The first 4 days felt like banging my head up against a wall -- continuously focusing on the breath over and over for 12 hours each day. But on day five, I had a profound breakthrough which felt like an energetic explosion. It was like the moment in Star Wars where they go into hyper speed. I was traveling through this roller coaster tunnel faster than the speed of light and then eventually, BOOM -- all of a sudden it stopped, and I was floating in space. In that moment, nothing was missing, I felt completely WHOLE. Just in total complete BLISS. The rest of the retreat was heaven on earth!
Why Meditation and What Benefits
Meditation is a non-negotiable for me because the mind can be your greatest supporter or your greatest destroyer. Without meditation, I can easily get swept up in stress, worry, and negativity. But with my meditation practice, I cultivate gratitude, clarity and wisdom which supports me in my health, relationships and career.
--Travis Eliot, Inner Dimension TV
In my twenty-five year exploration of meditation, there are four reasons why practicing meditation has changed my life. The first is that it has taught me how to quiet my mind. Not just for a few mins here and there, but throughout the day. There are numerous benefits to this; relief from stress and anger are the top two. The second reason is that it is helping me gain control of my thoughts. The goal is to focus on positive thoughts and minimize the negative. Thirdly, it is helping me learn to observe everything in my life without judgment. This means that whatever comes into my awareness during the day, it is neither good nor bad until I consciously decide what label I am going to apply. The last reason meditation has changed my life is that I became aware that I am not my thoughts. After hundreds of hours attempting to quiet my mind, I realized I am an observer and separate from my thoughts. For me, this reminds me of my divine nature.
--Scott Guerin, angelintraining.org
I’ve been meditating for 30 years and have been teaching meditation for over 15 years. The greatest benefit mediation has brought to my life is the ability to go through challenging situations with calmness while staying worry and anxiety free. My story is quite personal - I started meditating 30 years ago after being diagnosed with infertility. Throughout the eleven year struggle and many treatments, meditation helped me stay relaxed and centered. I was able to go through this very difficult challenge without fear and depression. Because of my personal story and knowing how much meditation helped me, I chose to become a mediation guide and share the practice with others. It has brought purpose to my life knowing that the meditation I offer helps them. (and to end on a good note - after 11 years, I had a wonderful son who is now 21).
--Miriam Amselem, Naturally Healthy by Miri
My area of expertise where it concerns health is definitely more on the physical side, but I got into meditation at the start of quarantine as a way to combat restlessness. I decided meditation was the best route to learn how to feel calm and summon that calmness whenever possible, although I didn't anticipate it would happen quite so quickly - I stayed disciplined and set myself a goal of 15 minutes a day, and after a week I found I was less prone to fits of agitation, and I was able to enjoy simply sitting still and reflecting on my day and my life without feeling pressured to do anything or be active. Now, when I do occasionally get the desire to start burning myself out like the Energizer Bunny, I can take a moment and summon that serene feeling I get when I sit in meditation and wait for the restless feelings to pass.
--Eddie J, Anabolic Bodies
I started meditating about eight years ago because work-related stress was causing me to have anxiety attacks. I just couldn’t calm down, and based on some google research it seemed like meditation was worth a try.
While I don’t believe meditation is a quick fix solution for anxiety or stress, I can truly say that meditation has changed the way I approach stress and negative situations. I feel so much more well equipped to handle the negative parts of life. Meditation teaches you to just accept what is. The more you fight these natural parts of life, actually the harder it is to let them go.
I continue to meditate frequently, often daily, as it is a practice that brings me peace, and I recommend it to many people.
--Kim Hefner, Wild and Found Photography
Meditation has greatly enhanced my life. Through my daily practice I focus on breathing which allows me to quiet the mind and shut down a tiny portion of the 70,000+ thoughts we have each day.
Over the past twenty years I've had an on and off again relationship with meditation. Like so many others, I didn't always have the time. There were more important things to tend to like solving the problems for my business and building relationships with clients. It took a burn-out, total exhaustion and visit to my doctor to understand that I needed to reverse my perspective: Meditation comes first and everything else must wait. It took time to heal my busy habits but I now live in a calmer space.
Practicing stillness has benefited me in numerous ways such as better decision-making, sharper focus and better sleep. In turn, when we're rested and healthy we're able to make a greater impact. My life is fuller and I'm more present to my relationships and that brings me a lot of pleasure.
--Raquel Eatmon, raqueleatmon.com
I am a Licensed Medical Acupuncturist, Health Coach, and long-time meditation lover! I've listed a few of the primary benefits of meditation below.
1. Reduce stress. Possibly the most common reason for people turning to meditation is in an attempt to lower levels of stress. Research has consistently demonstrated that meditation can lower stress levels when practiced properly, including lowering levels of cortisol - a hormone associated with stress.
Meditation represents a natural stress reduction option, in contrast to popular yet dangerous over the counter medications designed to achieve the same effect. Meditation should be practiced daily for stress because stress is one of the most damaging negative lifestyle effects to suffer from over a prolonged period of time. The less stress you have, the stronger your long-term health and outlook will be.
2. Sharpen focus. Particularly in today's world, people have an increasing amount of difficulty achieving and maintaining proper focus at work or in their personal lives. Technological distraction and a higher level of need for instant gratification have contributed to societal trouble with focus. Meditation helps people to train themselves to gain and hold their focus, sharpening attention spans and training the mind to hone in on one particular task.
The higher your level of focus, the stronger your performance will be at work and carrying out any tasks which requires a high level of cognitive functioning. That is why daily meditation for focus is warranted - it can help in virtually all aspects of life.
3. Improve memory. Meditation has been proven to have the ability to improve both long- and short-term memory when practiced correctly. Age-related memory loss is one of the most commonly cited reasons for pursuing meditation, as the practice represents a holistic and safe counter to the effects of age-related cognitive decline. Due to sharper clarity and stronger mental capacity, meditation
--Jamie Bacharach, Acupuncture Jerusalem
I'm a meditation instructor and I started meditation about 2 years ago. I was heartbroken from a painful breakup and needed something to comfort me and help with the sadness and pain.
I tried various meditation styles and in 2019 went to a 10-day silent Vipassana retreat which was precious and really eye-opening for me.
I trained with a Buddhist teacher, Susan Piver, and got certified to teach a specific type of mindfulness-awareness meditation in late 2019 (Shamatha Vipashyana). This is how powerful meditation was for me, I wanted to learn how to teach it responsibly to others!
I meditate 15-20 a day, along with guiding others daily online through my website theonefireceheart.com.
- Meditation has brought me clarity, awareness, and courage to deal with my bullsht and those of others. I've reconnected with my self and the world around me in a different way.
- Things that stressed me out and brought me anxiety before are more manageable. This doesn't mean I don't get stressed, it means that the stress around the stress no longer has a tight grip on me.
- I've also discovered a new way to show compassion to myself and others. Somehow my heart has opened to more experiences, more concepts, and things aren't as rigid or confining in my mind anymore...I feel more in a way, more of life I guess.
These are big concepts, I know, and it's hard to believe that the simplicity of meditation (literally sitting down, breathing, and doing nothing) has had such an impact but this has been my experience! It doesn't mean everyone will have these, no one will know what meditation will bring them until they try it and make their own discoveries.
After years of being silenced and emotionally abused, I've connected with my inner strength and found my voice in guiding others to meditate. It's been a helpful tool to have in my life.
--Dena Argyropoulou, theonefierceheart.com
I'm not a meditation expert by any means, I do however meditation two or three times a day most days and I have found significant benefit from this practice.
Why do I meditate and what benefits does it bring you?
I've never considered myself particularly stressed. Quite the opposite in fact. I'm probably a little bit too laid back for my own good. Which became a problem when I moved from Ireland to Vietnam and became a freelance photographer. Without the structure of regular working hours (and a boss) I found my days lacked focus and would waste a lot of time on unnecessary tasks.
Meditation didn't fix this problem completely but it helped a tremendous amount. After taking part in a week-long meditation retreat, I began to build regular short meditations into my regular daily schedule. After my morning coffee, after lunch, etc. I now find that each one is like starting the day afresh. After just 5-10mins of meditation, I am better able to order my thoughts, identify which tasks actually matter and I am far more focused on then completing them.
I came to meditation out of a sense of grief. A number of years ago, I went through three major losses in a relatively short period of time, my mom died, a long term relationship ended badly, and my dog died. I floundered for quite while and a friend invited me to a weekend retreat. Part of the weekend was meditation and as a science teacher with a master’s degree in Biology, I was a doubter and sat there with my arms crossed. Then I felt a shift when we did the meditation and went “Oh, that’s what everyone is talking about!
Long story short I attended another retreat and went on to get certified as a meditation coach and ultimately left a 25 year career as a science teacher to teach meditation full time.
Why do I do it?
I meditate because it helps me hot the reset button. It works faster than a nap. When I was teaching science and coaching sports and running an overnight summer camp, I went on adrenaline for decades, giving to others and not taking care of myself. Around the same time I was facing a ton of grief in my life, I also started facing health issues from the wear and tear stress put on my body. After being in great health for so many years, one health issue lead to another, each more serious than the last and I ended up with pneumonia and in the hospital for 5 days. I remember laying there saying secretly to myself “I finally get to rest.”
So why do I do it? I deal with emotions better, my health is better, and when life knocks me down I can get up a lot faster. I have not less guilt about making time for myself and have greater self-awareness.
The people I teach meditation to also report being less reactive and more responsive with their children, partners, and colleagues and generally have more joy in life and improved health.
--Berni Kozlowski, Berni K's Rest Revolution
I am a licensed clinical psychologist, a certified personal trainer, and a certified nutrition coach. I work with people on lifestyle changes for weight loss and weight maintenance so they no longer need to worry about dieting (the dreaded D word!)
Meditation certainly doesn't provide any kind of magic in creating weight loss. But, it can have a significant impact on certain aspects of our wellness and eating, that DO have a major impact on weight loss. Here are the 3 major areas I believe it has an indirect impact on weight loss:
Meditation has been well-established as a tool to manage and reduce stress. But how this that connected to weight loss? Well, the answer is two-fold. One- stress is often a driver to push people to eat emotionally and eat in a way that feels out of control. People under chronic stress often end up using food as a coping mechanism and overeating (and ultimate weight gain) is a natural result. Managing this stress via meditation is a great way to stop that connecting of stress to eating and control your stress levels so comfort eating becomes unnecessary. A secondary implication of stress on weight loss has to do with hormones. When you are stressed, your body released cortisol to deal with it. The more stressed you are and the more frequent, the more cortisol is released. As a result of all this cortisol, your appetite increases and your body starts storing more belly fat. Both of which severely thwarts your weight loss efforts. Meditation releases oxytocin and serotonin which both counteract the effects of serotonin.
Meditation is a great way to help you become aware of and connected to your thoughts and actions. This is especially beneficial when it comes to eating behaviors. A lot of us eat quickly or without attention so we don't truly appreciate or enjoy our food, nor do we appreciate our hunger or satiation levels. Mindful meditation during mealtimes can help slow our eating and allow up to focus on how we are feeling during our meals. Over time, this can help us learn to acknowledge signals of satiation so we stop eating when we are full, rather than when our plate is empty. It makes eating a conscious behavior rather than an impulse an can ultimately stop overeating and binge eating.
Meditation can also be used as a tool to connect your body with your thoughts and really feel your goals and the actions needed to achieve them. During meditation, to picture a goal, repeat a mantra, or see yourself engaging in behaviors that lead to your goals, are all great ways to make those things actually happen. It's the law of attraction, or positive visualization, in that we attract to ourselves what we want and what we focus on. Use this type of meditation to push out any negative thoughts an pump yourself up. Use a mantra like, I can accomplish anything I set my mind to, or I will follow through on my plans or anything else that makes you feel strong and capable!
--Dr. Candice Seti, The Weight Loss Therapist
For me, meditation is my safety place. It`s in these moments that I reconnect to me TRUE self and face everything that`s going on in my life. It allows me to focus on my mental, physical, and emotional well-being, at the same time connecting to my spiritual side and speaking to God, as well as my unfortunately deceased father and sister, who I miss dearly. I`m reminded in my meditation sessions who I am currently as a growing adult and feel/see where God is changing me into the man I want to be.
I regularly meditate 3- 5 days a week, often multiple times on each of these days. The benefits are more than outstanding and uplifting! After every meditation session I feel a mix of everything from empowered, self-assured, and loved to de-stressed, peaceful, and overall healthy. Another factor which improves my meditation sessions are my regular practices of yoga and pilates. In my experiences, meditation overwhelmingly goes hand-in-hand with these 2 practices, and is the cherry topper for my emotional, physical, and mental stability!:)
--Michael James Nuells, michaeljamesnuells.org
I meditate first thing every morning in a unique way that gives me mental peace and relief from physical pain all at the same time. Many of us wake up stiff and sore in the morning. I relieve the soreness by stretches, and part of the routine is to lay down with my read against the wall and legs raised against the wall. This greatly relaxes my aching back. I augment the stretch by placing the heel of one foot on top of the toes of the other foot. All the while, I practice mindfulness meditation by thinking nothing of slow, deep breathing in through the nose, out through the mouth. All this is also training my brain to focus, which I find helps my ability to memory.
I am a mental health counselor, a yogi, a meditation teacher, and a parent of three teenaged daughters, among other roles. Yes, I meditate. And I teach meditation because I understand the powerful science behind the practice, the centuries old tradition and I've experienced the benefits of meditation firsthand. I've also seen the life changing results of meditation through my counseling clients and students who have moved into this practice.
In my experience over the years, people tend to be interested in meditation. Some will patiently listen while I explain how meditation is beneficial because it helps to regulate our central nervous systems, lowers our blood pressure, regulates our breathing, and controls our fight, flight or freeze responses so we can be more fully present. When we are present, with a quiet mind, our thinking has clarity, access to our wisdom, discerning, patient and less reactive. Everyone is onboard with the neuroscience it seems UNTIL I try to teach them how to do it.
Learning what meditation is truly all about... stilling the roaming quality of the mind and focusing on just one thing... is helpful. Folks think that they can't meditate because their minds are too busy. That's the point. So, we must first learn how to sit still. Then we learn how to use our breath to calm our central nervous system down and physically relax our bodies. Then, we can meditate... focus on just one thing at at time. The mind wanders, so meditation practice is all about continuing to bring our minds back to our point of focus. It really does take practice, which is why so many people tend to give up or avoid trying altogether.
For me, meditation has given me an overhaul. I am truly no longer anxious or overreactive. Meditation has helped me to move myself into a state of calm much quicker when I am triggered by something internal or soething in my environment. I am more patient as a parent. I'm more effective as a counselor. I am more resilient and I have more stamina in the face of sustained stress like deadlines, mounting pressure from work, or a pandemic. During the pandemic, I know that my meditation practice has helped me stay comfortable being still. I have been just fine staying at home, being more mindful of safe practices and nutrition, being in tune with my physical body so I can listen to the message and rest if I need to rest, etc. I'm more attentive to my daughter's stories, more compassionate when they are having uncomfortable feelings and Im more reasonable in my approach to life. In general, there is more balance... much fewer extremes with my attitude, behaviors and actions.
--Stacey Brown, staceybrowncounseling.com
During the pandemic, I have discovered a new appreciation for meditation and have found it to be a very effective way to increase my focus and keep me calm. There is no doubt that working remotely and having to deal with complications as a result of the pandemic has created more distractions throughout the day. Before the pandemic, arriving at my office in the mornings automatically put me into work mode, and I was generally able to put in several solid hours of focused work. Now, working remotely from home, I find that much more effort is needed to create boundaries and an environment which ensures that there is time and space to put in the hard work necessary to advance the business. While this leads to challenges, I find that starting the day with a thirty minute meditation exercise with deep breathing can have a profound impact on the quality of my work day. If I find myself losing focus as the day goes on, I will take shorter meditation breaks - generally no longer than few minutes. Although these sessions are much shorter, I find that they tend to restore the initial focus and serenity felt after the longer meditation at the start of the day. Although I have come to appreciate meditation much more during the pandemic, I am confident that I will carry on with this practice once the pandemic is over.
--Lisa Davis, Shanti Bowl
Meditation has become a life practice for me, and has evolved over the past 25 years with me, in 4 phases. The evolution has been unanticipated, and without expectations. Its evolution continues because of the continuous and ever unfolding gifts it brings to me. And I want to share these gifts with others so they can self-discover the benefits of meditation for themselves.
Phase one began as a young business professional looking for more meaning in life. I began meditation as a means to connect to myself and explore who I really was. When I first began, the practice calmed my overactive mind and through the quiet/centeredness moments of meditation, I would emerge more grounded, peaceful, and able to gather a new perspective on life. It was very structured though, and I often had a hard time just sitting there in my meditation slingback, and trying so hard. I however was strong minded and determined, because I felt the changes, and continued on.
Phase two, as I continued the practice, I began to adjust it to a style that best suited me. This took away the effort, and provided more and more quiet moments to expand my awareness of self and life around me. At times, I would just sit open eyed in a meditative state of being, staring out the window at nature, the water, or at something beautiful, as I grounded into peace, silence, and time for myself.
Phase three, as the moments like these grew, I became more aware of the opposite experiences, such as the stressors of work, people, and demands of an ever-growing technologically driven world. In the face of that, my meditation pivoted to become more of a tool in my everyday life…I used meditation as a means to deal with stressors, and reduce the anxiousness and distress of daily life. My meditations mirrored the needs of the moments and times of day that called for this mechanism of balance. The meditations become more in flow with what I needed at the times I needed it. While an incredible dynamic was unfolding, I still wanted to bridge the expansiveness states of what I had experienced with the meditations that served to keep me in the real world.
Phase 4, with a simple intention of what I wanted my meditation to become, I just let it flow. I didn’t know how it was going to be possible to allow that to happen, and I surrendered. Over time, slowly, slowly, it started happening to the point where now at times, I bring that meditative, open expansive mind set into my every day living. Some days it flows better than others, and I have no judgment. Meditation has become a practical tool and mindset that serves me every day.
--Jacqueline Rinehart, Limitless Healing Meditation
At a time like this where we can't help but have feelings of fatigue and anxiety, it helps a lot when we meditate for relief and relaxation. Meditation is a great way of coping with stress and having the best products that help alleviate stress and anxiety are essential to practicing meditation these days.
There's certainly a lot to choose from that we can have and use depending on our day-to-day activity. For instance, when I'm outdoors, I have with me my Mala meditation bracelet. In my house, I have a meditation table complete with incense and then I also enjoy the relaxing benefits of aromatherapy oils before and during bedtime. Aside from using stress-relief items and practicing meditation, I also limit my daily intake of news and always make it a point I get to communicate with a loved one.
--Claire Simmons, Dating Sidekick
I'm a speaker and writer in the mental health, eating disorder recovery, and addiction space. Meditation has become a pillar in my recovery from severe suicidal depression.
I began meditating with as little as 5 minutes a day because I couldn't manage any longer than that. That 5 minutes became the only 5 minutes of mental relief and peace during the depths of my depression. It brought me this moment in time when my depression couldn't touch me and I was free from it. I just focused on my meditation teacher's voice (Insight Timer app) and my breathing and this would disconnect me from my depressive and suicidal thoughts. It became a lifeline and I've built it into being a cornerstone of my recovery as my depression has lifted, now meditating every morning and night.
In the morning, my meditation now connects me with my purpose and what is important to me, and at night, it now takes whatever the day has challenged me with and creates a space for me to acknowledge that I did my best with it and to let it go. These are both gifts to me.
--Amanda Gist, amandagist.com
It sounds crazy to believe but I’ve been meditating ever since I was in high school. My aunt gave me this book about creative visualization and I’ve been using it to visualize my studying and getting good grades in school. Surprisingly it worked. It helped me become a good student, giving me B pluses and the occasional A from time to time.
What I didn’t know that what I did in high school was in fact a form of meditation and I’ve been improving on this technique ever since. Nowadays I use this technique to meditate about achieving my goals, ambitions, as well as calming myself when I’m stressed. I use proper breathing techniques to slow down my breathing and calm my mind. This helps me visualize my goals more clearly and I am able to make more rational decisions after a quick 5-10 minute meditation session.
So to summarize. I use meditation to paint a clear picture of my goals and aspirations. I then work on those goals and do it. It’s honestly amazing how simple visualization techniques in a meditative state can help you with goal setting.
--Nancy Baker, Childmode
For several years, I suffered from severe anxiety, depression, and panic attacks. I was under heavy medication, making me lazy, tired, stoic, and gaining weight. In 2016, I was tired of living such a life and started looking for alternative solutions to get back mental and physical stability. That is when I stumbled upon mediation.
I am a very skeptical person, so I thought mediation was voodoo stuff. Then a friend of mine recommended the Headspace app (you have other similar apps like Calm, Aura, and much more). I started using this app and loved how they have different meditation packs (a series of exercises) for anxiety, depression, happiness, and other feelings I was experiencing at that time. Each of these exercises could be customized for 5, 10, 15, or 20 minutes. So, I gave this a try.
In three months since I started doing meditation, I was able to gain mental peace, control, and focus, I worked with my doctors and stopped my medications, and have been medication-free since mid-2016. Doing meditation made me more mindful of the different things around me. I started paying attention to small acts of generosity, kindness and developed an appreciation for having all the things I need to live a life with meaning and purpose. My stress levels and anxiety reduced drastically and started viewing the world in a different lens— the lens of gratitude and forgiveness.
I believe meditation can help people navigate different struggles and make you happy, calm, and make you start loving life again.
--Raj Subrameyer, rajsubra.com
I first started meditating while working a stressful job in finance. I'd heard that some of the most successful people on the planet, from actors like Tom Hanks to hedge fund billionaires like Ray Dalio meditate regularly and so wanted to give it a try. I thought it could help improve my productivity and make me more money. But then something happened. I found that beyond the initial surface-level benefits of heightened focus and calm there was something far more important occurring.
My meditation practice began to wake me up to the nature of my own mind that was previously unconscious. There was a 2010 Harvard study titled A Wandering Mind is an Unhappy Mind that found we spend about 47% of the day lost in thought. Sitting for just a few minutes each day allowed me to spend less time absorbed in mental stories about future catastrophes (which likely never occur) and replaying past memories (often unpleasant ones). I began to notice the difference between a fully present conversation and one carried out with a divided attention. In short, despite all of the scientifically-validated physiological benefits of meditation, the primary reason I meditate is to spend less time lost in mental simulations and more time being in the moment, where life actually happens.
--Liam McClintock, FitMind
Aside from the benefits of meditation on the physical body, such as lowering blood pressure, decreasing heart rate, etc., meditation has been scientifically proven to rewire the brain and change a person’s reactive nature so when things go wrong in life – as they inevitably do – they are not as rattled or shaken by them. The biggest benefits of meditation are not what happen during the actual practice of it, but in what happens outside of the practice in every day life. They react in a calmer manner than before.
Additionally, the act of meditation brings a person back to the present moment, rather than in the state of worry about the future or past, which only creates fear. I also teach people how to open themselves up the signs and synchronicity happening in their lives from the Universe and loved ones who have passed on – and these signs are happening in the present moment. The more we can bring ourselves back to the present moment, the more we are likely to notice the signs being sent our way to guide and direct us through life.
Finally, it’s important to note that meditation does not have to sitting for 20 minutes or more at time for it to be beneficial. Neuroscience research shows shorter bursts of meditation spread throughout the day have the same brain re-wiring effects. I often tell people to try what I call “60-Second Retreat” throughout the day by setting an alarm on their phone. They can close their yes, take a deep breath in and out and then repeat the mantra “Release” or “All is well. I am safe” for 60-seconds and then return to their day. The benefits are astounding.
--Tammy Mastorberte, tammymastroberte.com
I am a meditation expert and specialise in teaching a spiritual meditation technique to students all over the world for the past 10 years.
Why do I meditate and what benefits does it bring me?
Daily meditation is my way of staying grounded, feeling connected to myself and the divinity of the universe – I would describe it as my spiritual connection,
I use a technique which allows me to slow my brain waves down to a Theta cycle ( 5-7hz per second) which is that lovely woozy state you feel naturally twice a day, when you first wake up and when you are dropping off to sleep. By accessing a Theta state, it enables me to feel a spiritual connection whenever I choose to during the day.
I consciously meditate with purpose daily and follow a routine that brings me peace and enables me to feel love for myself, others, and the world around me. This is a synopsis of the routine that I follow and its benefits:
1. I imagine that love flows into me and balances my spiritual energy (chakra), and fills every cell in my body, so releasing anything negative that no longer serves me such as resentment or fear.
2. I seek guidance for one thing that I should do or remember during the day for myself and one thing for another person.
3. I express gratitude for things that happened the day before.
4. I imagine things that I would like to create in my life are already present and in my here and now - manifesting
5. I imagine that love shows in my eyes, in my voice, and in my actions to others around me.
--Nicola van Dyke, nicolavandyke.com
I started meditating regularly in 2015 and I loved the experiences I was having. At the time I was considering starting a second business, and I ended up getting the name for the new business while meditating! I found that often I was flooded with new ideas, full programs and their titles, and even copy for social media posts! For me meditation has been both a very practical way to hear myself and get ideas, as well as tapping deeper into spiritual realms and a fuller understanding of my purpose here.
I use meditation regularly with my clients (who love it!) and they find it brings them calm in their bodies and minds, a chance to tune out the noise of life and recenter, as well as hear from their higher selves and inner wisdom guidance. It produces a shift in energy, releases stress, and allows them to refocus on what's truly important to them.
I spread the message that the original definition of wealth was the condition of well-being. And meditation touches on mind, body, and soul for an effective and holistic approach to that kind of wealth.
--Sonya Highfield, Real World Creatives
I practice meditation first thing in the morning. I do it before checking social media, responding to emails and even before my morning run. Personally, I’ve found morning meditation to be the most effective, as you’re not flooded with to-do’s, fires to put out and/or dealing with an existing mental breakdown.
Whether setting aside 10 or 20 mins, meditation has helped me in a multitude of ways. As a copywriter and creative, I have the task of creating content for other brands. This often requires a mindset conditioned to analyze and digest visual imagery non-stop. In personal interactions, I found myself either rarely listening to what was being communicated, or overly dissecting things, hurrying to get to the bottom line.
However, meditation has allowed me to be present in both, the moment and in my own thoughts. It has improved my level of focus, while allowing me to be mindful at the same time. Often, I’m able to pause and catch myself whenever negative or useless thoughts find their way into my inner chat. I ask myself things like, “Why did that just enter my mind?” or “How does that way of thinking help me to to achieve the task at hand”? Those tiny little moments can either move you forward in life or keep you right where you’re at. Although I certainly wouldn’t consider myself an expert, it has become a daily habit, and I don’t see that changing anytime soon.
--Craig Singleton, 4K Copywriting
The common misconception about meditation is that the goal is to reach a state of thoughtlessness. As much as we may all love to be in that state, that's not necessary in order to meditate. The best benefit of meditation is that it helps you practice awareness of the breath and the mind.
Meditation helps us to become aware of our thoughts. It allows us to disengage from the autopilot setting that so many of us are on in our everyday lives. As we become more aware of our thoughts and our thought patterns, we can begin to understand the root causes that drive us into those patterns. Dedicating a time to simply observing your thoughts without judgement can be a huge benefit to all of us.
--Rebecca Koehn, Yogapedia.com
Earlier on in my life, I struggled with attention due to being diagnosed with ADHD and had a mind racing trillion thoughts a second. I found at that time guided meditation very helpful to relax and calm myself. more. I would listen to these guided meditations every so often but not steady. For those with busy minds than guided meditations are perfect.
However, going into silence is another story. I heard about the benefits of attending a Vipassana meditation retreat centre. It took me about 10 years before I attended a retreat. It's a 10-day silent meditation retreat where you only focus on yourself. You are accommodated and fed. the only thing you need to do is follow what is laid out. You are meditating with eyes closed from early morning to just before you go to sleep for most of the day with breaks to eat and even walk around in silence around the centre.
Since attending more than half a dozen retreats in this nature sitting and serving, I have found my thoughts are clearer and the little thing that used to bother me are not important anymore. I am calmer and now prefer silence more so than listening to actual music on a regular basis when at home. I've developed a stronger connection to my intuition as well. It may not stop completely the chattering mind but I do have better control. When you meditate great ideas come to you and you are more productive. Now when I attended a Vipassana centre. Afterwards, i found that my focus was so heightened that it was a great time to put into action what I wanted. Even just a simple closing of the eyes for a few minutes breathing in and out to calm yourself when you are out in this busy world of ours does wonders.
--Andrew Mondia, andrewmondia.com
I've been meditating daily for the last 10 years. It has radically transformed my life. I deal with anxiety and some depression and since I've begun a regular meditation practice I have been able to manage these conditions and stay focused on building multiple businesses and more deep, meaningful relationships. When I first started meditating I followed meditations found in apps and YouTube. A few years ago I went to a meditation center in India and learned several breathing exercises which I now use as my daily meditation. They help not only calm the mind but stay focused on my breath which is paramount to calming stress in my daily life.
--Erik Levi, HolisticNootropics.com
In my early 30's I started running. Over some time I stopped running and missed the meditative results I got from it. I began doing sitting meditation to help heal my own suffering. I suffered from depression and body image issues.
The benefits from meditation for me has aided me to understand my thoughts. People think meditation is about sitting still and clearing your mind. Well that is impossible. Meditation is about learning how your thoughts talk to you. I learned to understand how some of my thoughts were not my own beliefs, but beliefs absorbed from others and society. I realized the thoughts were my own subliminal negative self talk. I know this sounds complicated. What I will say for someone starting a meditation practice, don't put high expectations on yourself. Set a timer that is doable for you, sit and breathe. The results happen over time and often are not noticed right away, keep practicing.
For me today I cherish my mediation practice, even if it is for only 10 minutes. It allows me to be still and let the thoughts that are dragging me out of my head so I can show up to the world being my best self.
--Charity Collier, meditatingtogether.com
I'm a yoga teacher and meditation guide. I've been practicing meditation for over 10 years. If I don't, I go crazy!
Seriously, my life gets infinitely more difficult when I don't take 10-60 minutes a day to sit with myself.
Meditation helps me solve my problems without angst. The other day, I was feeling overwhelmed and miscommunicated some crucial details to my team. I had tens of messages waiting for me to fix it, and I was feeling frantic.
So I stopped everything.
I walked to the beach.
I sat for 20 minutes.
I cried a little, frustrated with myself.
Then I laughed at myself, and realized exactly what I needed to do.
Probably the end result was the same: the problem got fixed, clients were happy, the kingdom was calm once again.
But the difference was how I felt about it in the moment. I could have used those 20 minutes to frantically respond to every message, to push through every blockade that had appeared. But when I took a break, all the blockades disappeared, and the problem practically solved itself.
That's the difference: meditation makes life easier.
--Morgan Balavage, Splendid Yoga
Meditation is one of what I call “keystone” habits - habits that when you adopt them, they result in significant and positive changes in other areas of your life as well.
I have meditated on and off for years (maybe 15 or more) and it helps me manage the negative mind chatter I have. It helps me sleep at night and be more present. Since the pandemic I have been meditating twice a day now most days. I find it helps me manage my emotions better so I get more “good days”.
The research shows that sustained meditation actually changes the brain (neuroplasticity) and those that meditated have greater awareness, are better able to regulate their thoughts and emotions and show slower aging of the brain. People who meditate have greater self compassion, empathy and more feelings of being in control. They have better decision making capability, improved attention and memory. The research is compelling.
It gets us out of that chronic stress response that many of us live in. I often suggest my clients start to meditate if they don’t already.
--Laura Macdougall, LauraMacdougall.com
I'm the founder of Pretzel Kids yoga. We're a kids yoga and mindfulness company offering children's yoga classes nationwide, as well as an online teacher training for those who wish to bring Pretzel Kids yoga into their communities. I started meditating about 20 years ago to help me find peace while recovering from an illness. It has since become an integral part of my life and career.
I meditate to help calm my racing mind and quell anxiety. It also gives me a sense of calm. While I'm meditating I often get my best ideas. Why? My mind is quieted and subconscious thoughts often float to the surface. Many people think that meditation means your mind will be still and therefore devoid of thoughts. Quite the opposite. Meditation allows you (me) to witness thoughts from a quiet place. If I am stressed about making a decision or don't know what to do, the answer will often appear while I'm meditating. I sometimes keep a journal or notebook next to me. After I meditate, I can then jot down my inspiration and thoughts that come from the clarity I experienced. My meditation practice has resulted in decisions ranging from quitting a job to joining a gym (an expensive one!)
--Robyn Parets, Pretzel Kids
One reason I meditate is that it makes me a better person. After meditation, I find that I am so much more patient with my kids and react to the chaos of family life more thoughtfully. When I neglect mindfulness and let my practice slip I notice that I snap at my kids and am more judgemental of others. Meditation makes me more pleasant to be around!
--Peggy Lundquist, Gen X Mindfulness
I'm the founder of GONG, a sound meditation studio based in Central London. The top three benefits our clients say they get from our meditation sessions are 1) good quality sleep, 2) relief from anxiety, and 3) a better mood. One client also recently told me she's getting fewer gray hairs after attending our sessions every day for a month!
I first came across sound meditation on a yoga retreat in Thailand. I wasn't even going to attend the session, but a friend urged me to try it and I was blown away by how profound the experience was. I felt like I had just had the deepest, most restorative sleep after just 45 minutes! My next sound meditation session was in London, where I found it was such a welcome relief from a stressful job and over active life. That led me to seek out more sound meditations (specifically gong baths) and eventually start a studio to offer this powerful practice to more stressed, anxiety-ridden Londoners.
In case you're not familiar with sound meditation (also known as a sound bath, sound healing or sound therapy), it uses the soothing sounds of ancient instruments like gongs and singing bowls (we primarily use gongs) to help entrain brainwaves into a meditative state. Especially for people who find it hard to sit still and meditate in silence, sound really helps to anchor the mind and ground you in the present moment. It helps people reap the benefits of meditation without any experience.
--Selma Studer, GONG
As a health and fitness blogger, I encourage my audience to give meditation a try. We live in such a fast-paced world, making us more susceptible to stress at work or at home. When stress piles on and is not addressed, it can evolve into something much worse.
A few years ago, I was diagnosed with severe anxiety resulting from a buildup of stress. My therapist recommended meditation to ease my symptoms. As an active, on-the-go kind of person, I initially found it difficult to sit still and do all those breathing exercises. But it became easier the more I committed myself to the practice.
Today, I’ve managed to keep my anxiety in check and can remain calm and focused on what needs to be done during tension-filled situations. Overall I would say that I have a much better quality of life now.
Healthy isn’t just about achieving a fit physique. It’s also about existing in a positive mental and emotional state.
--Linda Chester, The Health Hour
I never realized just how beneficial the practice of meditation was until I became a mom.
Raising children is one of the most intense awakening experiences. Your children ask you to grow in ways you never imagined possible.
Before becoming a mom, I had a picture in my mind of the mom I wanted to be. After becoming a mom, I found my reality didn't look quite like my vision of motherhood.
That's when I started leaning into the power of meditation. And I began to find peace amidst the chaos of mom life.
The most challenging times of day, such as dinnertime and bedtime went more smoothly. Everything seemed to flow better when I created space to sit and practice meditation.
That was all the proof I needed to create a consistent meditation practice.
My experience led me to become a yoga and mediation teacher. It's my passion to coach moms in the art of self care so that they can be the moms they want to be.
--Catherine Wilde, Soul Care Mom
As a new mom, my "me-time" can feel far and few between these days. I am challenging myself to wake up before my son and find a quiet place to meditate has been critical for my overall health and wellness. It's incredible what carving out space in your day can do for you, even if it's just a few moments.
Throughout my meditation journey, I've become to feel more grounded and centered and find that I am more at ease when something challenging presents itself. The days that I don't create space to meditate, I am more irritable, unhappy, and anxious. Although it's not always easy (or ever!), practicing meditation is something I am committed to working on daily.
--Carley Schweet, carleyschweet.com
I am an online entrepreneur who sets my own schedule and does much of my work alone. It is crucial that I begin the day with a clean slate and silence through meditation and/or breathwork. I find them the best ways to help me set off the right foot and ensure that all of the thoughts in my head are my own. Learning to be the master of our thoughts and feelings is an important step towards getting over self-doubt, and learning to work through our fears as entrepreneurs. In addition, I’ve become much more of an observer of my thoughts and feelings, which has been helpful for getting over unpleasant thoughts and also knowing that whatever feelings arise, whether I label them good or bad, are part of life.
A quick tip for beginners? keep your phone on airplane mode until you've already done your meditation. It's too easy to let emails, social media and messages steal your day away, plus life gets better when you are disciplined!
--Kristin Addis, bemytravelmuse.com
As I toiled for a lifetime to be a better human and a better leader, I realized that we will not cure the pervasive problems of our workplace or the world in our current condition.
We have overdeveloped the material aspects of life, the resume-type skills but we are underdeveloped in the deeper areas. Heart, empathy, compassion, kindness and courage—a deep and profound character cannot be taught in a leadership skills workshop.
Working with managers, leaders and organizations, I saw abundant strategies for career success and skills development and few ideas for developing the depth of character that anchors one in the better side of human nature.
It is one thing to talk about the decline of the moral fabric of society and quite another thing to do something about it at the level of cause.
The place of infinite potential is with Self.
What you are is the result of who you were. What you cultivate now will influence who you become.
When you add meditation to your life-long learning it connects you with essential human qualities that soften and enlighten from within.
Understanding how meditation helps is comforting. Discovering for oneself that meditation works is liberating.
Experience is still the best teacher.
Meditation has a way of molding your character and making you deeply aware. It helps you understand and gives you insight into the human condition.
Meditation will not only train you it will transform you!
--Brian Braudis, BrianBraudis.com
Daily Christian & Biblical meditation is a way of life for me. Beyond the practice is the opportunity to be in the presence of God despite the realities of this world. I meditate so I may rest in the breath of God. This is not a means of escape but access to what is true, what is good, what is pure. As a black woman I have faced daily microaggressions and systemic racism my entire life and a daily prayer and meditation are crucial to my mental and spiritual health and well-being.
When the words of my prayers end my meditation begins with an open heart and sounds and groans. I let go of striving and surrender totally and fully to God.
It is my daily intention to honor stillness and silence with my presence. I walk and listen and sometimes I sit and listen. During those times I am able to center my thoughts and realign my spirit with God. In the presence of God, the eyes are of my heart are awaken with fresh perspectives and ideas on being a better person and how I can be of service to my community.
These are some of the benefits of my Christian meditation practice:
1. I am able to relax and truly breathe.
2. I am able to feel and experience the divine presence of God.
3. In the safety of God I am able to feel those emotions that I had to suppress in order to survive.
4. I am let go of the noise and hear God more clearly.
5. I am able to return to me.
--Sherrell Moore-Tucker, sherrellmooretuker.com
My first exposure to meditation was during a great shift in my life, around 2010. After a divorce and an underlying dissatisfaction with what I thought was important, I discovered guided meditation. My first one was "ask your higher self a question," and through visualization, I was able to answer some deep questions about the direction of my life, which I then acted upon. Since then, I've had a great relationship with meditation to help me with relaxation, insight, and discipline... so much so that I started writing and producing my own guided meditation apps and albums. In the last 9 years, I've discovered that there are many different forms of meditation, and I have learning many, then using my gifts to teach these techniques to others. Since then, I've produced 6 albums of guided meditations, and with my technology background, I've also incorporated binaural beats, somatic awareness, and cognitive psychology into these techniques, which have helped me immensely over the years. Based on the feedback I receive from others about my project, "Guided Meditation Treks", it's helped them as well.
--Russell Dobda, Guided Meditation Treks
I started meditating 7 years ago after the sudden dead of my mother. It was a very tough time in my life because my mum was my best friend and confidante. Meditation was an escape from the grief and a connection to my inner core.
I so remember those days when I will set up a quiet area to meditate and after playing the relaxing music, I will be flooded in tears. On days when I cant meditate, I will go ahead to journal my thoughts.
Meditation is not just beautiful but it is also a very powerful tool because it helped me to face my emotions in a 'safe space'. I always feel calmer, reassured and comforter after a meditation.
I am now a Mindfulness Practitioner and I am using my experience in addition to the knowledge and skills from this course to write articles and share live videos to support my audience during this very difficult year in lives.
--Yvette Kaba, upliftingandinspiringcontent.com
I was having a strong opinion that "Meditation" is overrated. Each motivational video says to practice meditation and I was like, really?!!!
To testify those coaches I started meditation before 8 months. I am not an expert in meditation but I do simple 10 min meditation exercise. I just sit and try to concentrate on breathing. For more than 8 weeks or so I can't concentrate on breathing as thoughts are running in my mind so fast that I was not able to control them.
It's really okey if you can't get success like a complete balanced mindset while meditating. You need to focus on giving yourself 10 minutes to think fearlessly. Let all thoughts go away, sometime you fell asleep, some time you will cry but that's all normal.
I show numerous videos but I found my own way to meditate. There are tons of good information available on this blog too. Find out what you believe and implement that type of meditation in daily routine.
After mediating regularly, I feel more focused on what I want each day. I am now able to enjoy the present moment rather than chasing happiness.
Remember, meditation is long term beneficial, you will never see final result of that inspirational video in a week. So keep finding those 10 minutes and believe in yourself.
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