For every movie, book, or story with an anxious character freaking out, there’s always another character there to console them. The first thing they do to help calm them down is telling the person to breathe. Either they’d give them a paper bag to breathe into or have the afflicted friend just take long deep breaths. I became so tired of these portrayals because it seemed like an endless cliche. But when you stop to think about it, and actually use that method, it’s practical; it works.
Just recently in my life, I’ve had many problems come up with family, school, and even just myself, but who hasn’t? We all have issues in our lives, but not everyone does something about it. I decided to do something about it, and I looked at meditation.
I’ve always considered meditation as a possibility but never thought that it could help. I’ve done it a few times before, but it never stuck because I didn’t feel improvement afterward. The concept seems easy. You sit for 10-15 minutes, think about “nothing”, and just breathe. The previous trials that I attempted were much more difficult than I thought they would be. When I meditated, I found it almost impossible to do nothing. I found myself doing the opposite. Lost in thought, I started thinking about what I’d needed to do the next day, what homework I needed to finish, or what I was going to eat for breakfast the next morning, Minutes would pass by and I would realize the entire session was a bust.
But with all the problems that I faced, I thought that I needed motivation, or more importantly, that I needed to challenge myself. So one day while I was browsing through YouTube, I found a video by a YouTuber, Matt D’Avella titled I meditated 1 hour every day for 30 days. I discovered that we had very similar problems when first meditating. After the video, he didn’t have much improvement in his life. It didn’t seem like the hour everyday of meditation did much for him. So I decided I should challenge myself and D’Avella by meditating for 30 days, to see if real improvements would occur.
Before I could do anything I had to tweak the “challenge”. He is a YouTuber and has all the time in the world to do an hour a day, so I changed it to ten minutes the first ten days then added five-minute increments to each 10-day period, or when I felt I was ready to do more. I changed the meditation duration to conform to my needs, which is what anyone should do for themselves as well. Meditation is all about making it comfortable and manageable for you.
Then it was time to start. For the first five days it really just felt the same as the previous trials I had done before. I remained optimistic, but I realized I needed some information or a foundation to go off of in case I was to ever lose direction. Essentially, I wanted to know how to meditate. Just sitting still for 10 minutes couldn’t have been what it is all about. The stereotype of not thinking about anything when meditating is impossible. Everybody has thoughts appearing in their minds every second, every day. To regulate thoughts while meditating, focusing on the breath and the physical movements around you, you can push emotions/ thoughts in the background of your mind and actually meditate.
Leading up to the tenth to fifteenth days I began to feel a lot better about meditation and my overall well-being. It was actually the first time that I felt like I really meditated. I wouldn’t say that prior to this experiment I had anger issues. But I was the type of person that would bottle things up and just snap at people, or displace my anger on a door that just wasn’t cooperating with me. But ever since I started, I haven’t bottled any feelings up or felt the need to be angry.
The entire experience wasn’t always so holly jolly. My attitude didn’t suddenly change to “Oh man! My whole life is so much better!” I went through many ups and downs/ slumps and jumps over the course of the month. There were a few multiple day streaks of me just falling asleep while meditating. And even days where I felt horrible and just didn’t want to do anything at all. But every time that would happen, the next day I’d try to just get back into it. Everything you do is always your responsibility. You can choose to get annoyed by life or not. It’s your attitude that can dictate your life.
Everybody can sit down and meditate, but everybody could also have different outcomes from it. What I feel meditation can do is fix or at least help you with your biggest problems in life. It really helped me become more of an optimist and happier in my day to day life. But for somebody else, it could assist them in their love life, or help them accept the death of a loved one. It seems as if it’s a magical pill that you can take without the worry of any unforeseen side effects.
A day to day benefit that meditation could provide for you is the ability to be in the present moment. It actually helped me listen in class, when before I wouldn’t care to finish an assignment. Even when I’m having a conversation with somebody I can notice how much more engaged I am. It may seem to only have that “being present” ability, but it leads to so much more. For example, when conversing with somebody I’m not only present, but I feel that I care more about the conversation than just wanting it to end.
Meditation can be the solution to many people’s problems. However, nobody even tries to fix their problems. It’s that first step to mediating that can really make an impact in the long run because it means that you’re not putting it off anymore and that you’re trying. All I’m saying is that if you at least attempt it, you might like it. In my opinion, it is the ultimate remedy for your issues in your life. All you need to do is to just make an effort.