There are many people who are interested in meditation these days because it seems to help them improve their lives. However, because they are not sure how it helps, there is a good chance that they will just try it once or twice and they will forget about it. The purpose of me writing this blog post is to lay out how meditation has helped me and hopefully that will get more and more people to try that for themselves. I have listed some of the most noticeable effects meditation has on me. They are not just items that you may found in a scientific research but they are things that I found from my own experience of meditating.
Being Able to Think Rationally
To me, the number one benefit of meditating is that it helps to clear my mind and allows me think more rationally. It is very easy to have human misjudgement to do the born in biases of our mind. The danger is that a lot of time we can hardly spot our bias unless we really slow down and think logically. Meditation is a good way to clear my mind and it allows me to have a more clear look at things before I have to make a decision. Charlie Munger, one of the best investors and studiers of human misjudgement, said that being rational is the key to succeed and I do agree on that a lot. When is the last time that your emotional based decision turned out to be good. If I let my emotional control me instead of letting my logic drives my action, I would eat a lot of fat junk food everyday because it simply feels good. Yet, giving up our health for short-term pleasure in not rational.
Reduce Your Ego
Being able to reduce my ego by meditating is one of the reasons that it allows me to think more clearly and rationally. After each meditation, my mind is often more clear and quite. And at that stage, I can have a more clear picture of my goal. Knowing my real goal and separating that from what I desire due to my ego is very important. Very often, I confuse what I desire with what I really need. Although meditation is not the only way for me to get calm and quiet, it is one of the most effective and efficient ways. For example, I can have a similar clear mind after 45 minutes of walk, comparing to 10 minutes or meditation, but I honestly can fit a 45 minute walk into the schedule every morning. It is important to have something I can rely on and do everyday, no matter what the weather is like.
Reduce Fear of Current Challenge
There are so many challenges in life that we sometimes can’t help ourselves from having fear of them. Some people may think that fear is good as a motivation. I only agree partially while I would prefer not to have fear while working on overcoming my challenges. By having a clear mind after meditating, I can more easily see things as they are. That allows me to work in a more logical way and that often increases my chance of overcoming the obstacles.
Allows You to Plan Your Day Better
Meditating for 10 minutes before I start my day is the best tools that help me improve my productivity. Although I like to plan my day the previous night, I like to do an update on the plan when my mind is absolutely clear and working in a rational mode. I basically pick up my journey everyday after I meditate and work on my prioritization-based to-do list. Then I will work according to this product of my clear mind and usually good results happen.
Improve Decision Making Ability
Life is filled with decisions after decisions. You can also see results of every life event being the summation of luck and the quality for the decision. While we can’t control luck, we can certainly look for ways to make better decisions. One key, probably the most important one, is to make good decisions is to think rational instead of to act emotionally. As mentioned a little earlier, meditation helps clear your mind and allows you to think more rationally.
Stress usually comes form problems we can’t solve. There is no way that meditation is so magical that it can help solve problems for you. However, it can make you look at the problem as it is, which oftentimes is smaller than you intuitively think it is. Sometimes, whether a problem can be solved is completely or partially not controlled by you. If you can tell that it is something that is outside your control and stress doesn’t help, stress does reduce even though the problem may not.
Your stress or emotional in general affects your health. One example is something called the placebo effect. To briefly explain it in simple terms, if you are given a pill that is suggested by the doctor that it is going to cure your sickness, there is a good change that it actually improves your recovery process even though it is actually a vitamin pill.
Reduce Emotional Eating
For those of you who like to eat a lot of junk food or bread like me, it is difficult to stop ourselves from eating even though we don’t want to get unhealthy and fat. What meditation has helped me is that it helps me clear my mind and, therefore, makes me more aware of the fact that I am valuing the first order consequence of the joy from eating that bread over the second consequence by gaining fat. That is a thought that a clear and rational mind wouldn’t allow.
Reducing stress and having my mind gets more quiet help significantly make me improve my sleeping quality. Another indirect but effective way that meditation has help my sleep quality is that I am less addicted to surfing on the internet and other irrational activities at night which allows me to sleep earlier.
Improve Relation with Others
Having a clear mind after each section of meditation allows me to reflect and realize how bad or good I have treated my family, friends and coworkers. By learning more the relationships I have with them and rationally observing that fact that people are wired differently, it gets a harder to get angry at someone I should care about.
Meditation has really helped me a lot. I just hope that you can give it a try. Even spending only 5 minutes everyday to meditate is going to improve your life.