“In today’s day and age, many people think you get peace by resolving all your external problems, but there are unlimited external problems. The only way to actually get peace on the inside is by giving up the idea of having problems.”
When I heard the above quote by Naval Ravikant, founder of AngelList and a modern day philosopher, I immediately thought of my father. My father is the most optimistic person I know. When you so much as mention “problem” his instinctual response is, “what problem?” Not to say that life doesn’t come with its list of challenges, but he simply provides perspective from a neutral observer. He simply makes you feel empowered and not trivialize your problems – sort of like a therapist. He is wonderful.
meditation and self-therapy
What if I told you that you can act as your own therapist – your very own neutral observer? A great life changing habit I’ve adopted in the past few years is meditation after realized how important it is to spend some time alone. To me, meditation is self-therapy. Instead of paying a therapist to sit there and listen to you, you’re listening to yourself.
I know the science-backed benefits of meditation – some of which include:
- Improved immune function, decreased inflammation, many other improved health markers
- Decreased anxiety, depression, stress
- Increased positive emotions, decreased negative emotions, more happiness
- Improved relationships, increases in social connection, less feelings of loneliness
- Improved focus and attention, memory, creative thinking
- Improved self-control, emotion regulation, concentration, introspection
Meditation has been shown in multiple studies to physically alter the structures of our brain, increase grey matter, grow cortical thickness, and increase volume in areas related to self-control, emotion regulation, positive emotions, and paying attention. It simply allows you to bring your problems into perspective and manage the inevitability of life.
In addition to my daily meditation, I try to go to a meditation course once a year. It is a 10 day course away from technology and it is silent – no talking – to anyone! It is quite intense. Meditation has changed my life and it can seem intimidating and impossible to someone just getting started. Something I’ve decided to take on is delivering guided meditations in the workshops I deliver. I like to create interesting ways to ease people into this life changing habit.
Here are my selling points…
simple case for meditation
Meditation is one of those topics that evokes passionate enthusiasm, blank stares, or repulsion because of its association with a kind of hokey spiritualism that a lot of us feel is untrustworthy. However, here is what it boils down to…
As we go about life, all this stuff happens to us – some we process and absorb, but lots of it we should spend much more time thinking about! Unfortunately, due to many reasons – the hustle and bustle of everyday living, general busyness, or simply avoidance, we fail to reflect –this results in tons of built of preferences, judgments and issues.
simple way to get started
So, here’s what you do:
Sit down, close your eyes, get in a comfortable position, and whatever happens, happens. If you think, you think. If you don’t think, you don’t think. Don’t put any effort into it.
Let all the issues, thoughts, whatever come to you – process them.
Meditation is not a sit down and close your eyes activity – although it helps in minimizing stimulation. You can meditate throughout your day.Meditation is just basically watching your own thoughts like you would watch anything else in the outside world and saying, ‘Why am I having that thought? Does that serve me anymore? Is this just conditioning from when I was 10 years?’