For the longest time, I’d wake up only an hour or so before work, giving myself just enough time to throw on some clothes, grab a doughnut, and pour a cup of coffee into my thermos before heading out for the day. I hated waking up earlier than I had to because I had grown so accustomed to giving myself just enough time to get my day started. However, I knew that if I were to begin chasing after my goals, I needed some extra time in the day. I needed to wake up earlier and be alert long before I needed to go to work. So, I started waking up at 3AM.

You may freak out when you hear this, but I start work at 6:30AM every weekday, so If I wanted time to get everything done that I wanted to get done before I went to work, I had to make some drastic changes to my sleep schedule. I began going to sleep at 8PM instead of near midnight. In doing this, I was able to actually get more sleep every night despite waking up 2.5 hours earlier than I have been. Beside the point of waking up earlier, I changed a few of my morning habits, I now eat a decent breakfast instead of the sugary mess that is a doughnut, and I take the time to fresh brew a cup of coffee in the morning. I make it using my personal favorite method, the pour over. In order to get more reading in, I fit in an extra 30 minutes to an hour to read whatever book has my attention at the time. Right now, It’s Finish What You Start: The Art of Following Through by Peter Hollins.

Anyway, after I complete my morning ritual, I get comfortable in my favorite recliner and sit back to begin meditating. Now, many people may feel weirded out by the idea. After all, what many of us learned about meditation was through movies and TV shows. Meditation was often used as a parody with old senile men gathered in a circle humming to each other, but this is actually not the case, at least, not for the most part. It’s actually just a way to calm the mind and relax. It’s a way to simply stop thinking so much about your troubles and find peace of mind.

After a little over a month of meditating daily, I have found that it actually helps me a lot in different aspects of my life. It helps me stay mindful throughout the day and helps me to take a moment to embrace the day in the mornings and wind down at night. For me personally, it has been a fantastic exercise to reduce stress and anxiety.

Here’s some of the cool perks of meditation that I discovered through research and personal experience.

1. Reduces Anxiety

After a short time of meditating daily, I began to feel more willing to conquer the day. Because I was able to take the time to create the mentallity needed in order to feel at peace in large goups or in one-on-one conversations, I began to have a lot easier time dealing with these situations. I would practice, in my mind, the proper way to handle myself in these situations, and when It came time for me to actually be in them, it was a lot easier for me to hold myself without fidgeting or darting my eyes around. I found myself being able to stay in the moment and enjoy the people I’m with instead of constantly worrying about whether or not I’m acting the right way. For people who deal with severe social anxiety, I encourage you to take on this exercise. It is so amazing to finally be in a comfortable position in this aspect.

2. Strengthens Self-Awareness

This one is quite simple. In taking the time to ponder your thoughts instead of constantly acting on impulse through split second decisions, you come to learn more about yourself. You learn more about your own thought process and become more aware of your mindset.

Many of us don’t even know why we think the things we think, we never take the time to truly question ourselves and in doing this, we get into autopilot and never turn it off. It’s nice to take a moment to turn off autopilot and truly be conscious of our suroundings, which brings me into the next perk!

3. Helps You Become More Present

Most all of us are grinding out our days. We are, like I said previously, on autopilot. Not only do we not take time to learn about ourselves, but we don’t take time to learn about others either. In taking a moment to relax your mind, you are able to throw away all of the useless noise of life. Through meditation, you are able to create more room in your mind for better things.

Meditation helps calm you and relieve anxiety, and in doing this, it allows to be more present with others. You become capable of truly enjoying the moment instead of constantly worrying about what is to come. Don’t get me wrong, its good to think about the future, but not to the point that it paralizes you and keeps you from enjoying the now.

4. Increases Focus

Focus is a hard thing for many people, but it is simply because you don’t exercise it enough. In today’s world, we are so conditioned to jump from one task to another, that it soon becomes difficult for many people to focus on one specfic task for an extended period of time.

Meditation to the rescue!

If you really force yourself to take the time to practice meditation, you will find yourself able to focus better. From simply calming your mind, you create the sense ease that allows to take life one step at a time. You create the mentallity that focusing on one important task at a time, is way more productive than fidgeting between 20 and doing none of them well.

These are just a few of the many fantastic effects of meditation. I encourage you to do more research about what meditation could do for you. I can personally vouch for how amazing it is. I was once part of the crowd that looked at meditation as something abstract and strange, but after taking the time to pursue the process, I learned that It has helped me in so many ways.

Some of these are backed by big brain scientists, others are just simply what a lot of people say it helps them with. However, since meditation is free, you might as well give it a try for a while and see how well it works for you personally. To help get you started, go ahead and sign up for Headspace, it’s a super great platform that helps you get down the fundamentals of meditation so you can truly get something out of it. The best part, you don’t have to hold your hands in a certain way and hum to yourself!

If you would like to keep track of your progress from meditation, I encourage you to get your FREE self-improvement checklist. It comes with some extra tasks as well to help you better yourself and become the best version of you!



FREE Self-Improvement Checklist

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Live Intentionally: A 90 day Self-Project

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