Meditation has been all the rage during the past few years.
But the fact remains that meditation is the most useful habit for every single rebooter out there. A bold claim, so let’s take a look at the reasoning behind it.
I have heard all kinds of hype out the asshole about meditation during the past few years. I even chose to write my 4000 word essay on it in my psychology studies. I wanted to know if meditation increases happiness in regular practicioners. Spoilers: it did. A lot.
The advertised benefits range from peace of mind to almost psychedelic experiences to the lengthening of lifespan. So it’s good if you raise some healthy critical thinking there.
Down the rabbit hole…
But it would seem I will be joining the cult soon as well. The cult of meditation preachers that is. I promise to be super annoying too.
Seriously speaking, I have personally noted massive life changing benefits after just a week or two of regular practice. I have fixed most of my procrastination and at least doubled if not tripled my overall well-being.
Needless to say that I’m never going back (to not meditating).
I have become a believer and after discussing the main benefits you might be one too.
Reduces cravings and urges
Whether you are trying to stick to a new diet or aiming to live porn-free meditation might a key component.
Never in my life have I been able to stick with anything long-term. My personal record might be a few weeks, but I can count projects where I actually reached completion with one hand. Certainly nothing of value.
Especially sticking to a healthy diet and losing weight was a near impossibility for me.
Years and years I spent starting and quitting all kinds of fad diets. Each diet seemed more extreme than the last, aiming for faster results to compensate for my lack of patience.
With meditation the difference is night and day. I’m calm, collected and do not have as many cravings. The ones I do however, are easily manageable.
The implication for rebooting is clear. If meditation reduces withdrawal urges, then of course everyone is going to do it!
Less urges means less chance of messing up and relapsing.
Less urges means less struggle and discomfort throughout your recovery.
Increases willpower and reduces laziness
The more I meditate the more energetic and focused I am in my day to day life. As a result my flat is regularly clean and I get my laundry done on time. Another two sticking points for me wiped off the slate.
Taking action in either of these or other life’s annoying little tasks was a battle. That’s putting it mildly, it was more like trench warfare with daily barrages and a lot of burned ground in between.
Nowadays they just happen. I don’t even feel like I am using any willpower to get them done. On the contrary, I feel excited to soon be able to enjoy a cleaner flat and a sense of accomplishment that comes with it.
We all need willpower for rebooting. In fact, it’s fucking critical. While we cannot rely on it to be at our will-call when urges strike, it is what bails us out of those tight spots.
Since meditation recharges and strenghtens willpower, making it a daily practice is like firefighters keeping themselves in top physical shape. You never know when you need to carry someone through an inferno.
Brings you to the present moment
Now this is some rah-rah bullshit that you’ve certainly heard a million times, right? You probably glossed over this paragraph. Oh well. But being in the present moment, what the fuck does that shit even mean?
It means exactly what the fuck it says. Instead of thinking about yesterday or tomorrow I am focusing on what is right now in front of my face.
And while the reality isn’t fancy, the effects are much more interesting.
I’m not a person with much general anxiety, but I feel more relaxed on average. As a result I focus on different things than I perhaps have in the past. Instead of obsessing over my weeks plan in my head I have taken a time to appreciate the beautiful sunset red sky.
I also take slightly more action, probably due to the previous point of willpower. More to the point though is the fact that unless I can take action to do something about it today, I don’t give a shit about it.
The flip side of that has been the actualization of this idea:
Nothing that I don’t take action on today will ever manifest in the future.
My future me isn’t some magical superman that has suddenly woken up successful.
Nah man, it’s me, just older.
And I have begun to do something about that. Thus I now take some kind of action towards the things I give a shit about. Every day I walk the long road to my dreams a little more.
Makes you happier
This relates strongly to being present in the moment. You can probably imagine how much of an improvement it is to not be rewinding the stressful situations from your past.
Or imaging horrible ones about your future.
Or just simply being stuck in your head, analyzing the current situation.
My personal ones were obsessing about the future and over thinking my own words and actions. Neither were too notable most of the time, but both still have definitely gone down.
Which makes happiness go up. As simple as that.
Most of us masturbate excessively and watch porn to drown out negative feelings. In other words, we use them as a buffer.
But when there’s less negative emotions to numb, there’s less need for the buffer as well, right? It’s not the happy moments when you relapse, it’s the dark ones. Improve your enjoyment and you help your recovery.
So what about the science?
I really don’t give a shit.
Don’t get me wrong, I used to obsess over the science and I’m still a geek at heart. I specifically wanted to make this post very on the nose, with no science to back it up.
Because the truth is that action trumps all and results are the only viable measure of success.
I could explain well established scientific reasons as to why and how meditation affects A through Z, but if you don’t see any effects… why would you care?
However, I will reference my claims with scientific literature in the future and include the professional opinions of the pro’s as well.
And speaking of the pro’s, the hard science is there. Many, if not all, of the commonly proclaimed benefits of meditation have been put through rigorous scientific study and found to be acccurate. If you feel doubts or otherwise wish to take a look at the results, I highly suggest you do that.
But wait… how do I meditate?
With probably the exception of your neighborhood homeless guy, I am the furthest thing from an expert on this as one can be.
The only thing that I can offer is a basic practice you can get started.
This way you can’t procrastinate with the excuse of “doing research”. HA! (I know because I do that a lot).
Here’s what you do:
- Sit, stand, lay down or switch between positions
- Focus on your breath
- Whenever (and it will be aplenty) your thoughts stray, refocus on breathing
- Do this daily for 5 minutes for a week
- After a week, start meditating 20 minutes daily
PS. Never bullshit that you don’t have 5 minutes, you always do. Your brain will come up with this an a myriad of other reasons to not do it. This just means that you do need to do it. Never give into excuses.