There aren’t many of us who wouldn’t benefit from meditation. In our hectic modern world, simply dedicating 20 minutes a day to peace, quiet and reflection is an act of self-care, giving us the space we need to slow down and switch off. However, there are times in life when the need for meditation can feel particularly keen, and if you recognize these signs, it may be time to start, ramp up or recommit to your meditation habit.
1. You are tired more often than not
Feeling exhausted all the time is a common issue for us modern humans. So many of us drag ourselves out of bed, power ourselves through the day with caffeine and then – despite feeling tired all day – find it difficult to sleep at night. Every month in the USA, people type “tired all the time” 18,100 times into Google, a small hint of just how many of us feel dogged by fatigue.
This kind of weariness seems to be a symptom of our increasingly demanding lives, and many of us wish for more motivation and energy. With more energy, we wouldn’t spend our work days in a waking doze, banking up unfinished tasks and creating stress. It would also be easier to achieve our goals in other areas of life – it’s not unusual to find ourselves crashed out on the sofa when we do have any spare time, rather than doing any of the stuff we aimed to do.
Meditation gives us some of the rest we need in life. By focusing our mind on a mantra, practicing yoga or embracing mindfulness, we soothe our mind and body into a state of deep relaxation, allowing ourselves to switch off in a way that’s otherwise hard to achieve. This, in turn, gives us the energy boost we need, and generally makes us feel that little bit more awesome throughout the day.
2. It feels like you have no time
Time is something of a preoccupation in today’s culture. Our whole lives are defined by the almost arbitrary whims of the clock, in a way it would probably be difficult for our distant ancestors to imagine. Instead of following the cyclical, seasonal and celestial-based timekeeping of early humans, whose major concern was keeping the tribe fed and safe, we sacrifice much of our time to earning money and squeeze everything else in whatever time we have left.
The result is a feeling that we simply don’t have enough time to pursue our own hobbies, build our relationships, or to just laze about if we fancy it. The speed at which the world zips by imbues us all with a false sense of urgency, where any delays or mishaps feel like an absolute disaster. Amongst the rush, we can forget about what’s actually important.
While meditation can’t stop the clock, it can slow the pace of life a little through a change in our perception. Meditating every day provides us with a sense of calm, increasing our focus so we can appreciate the small things in life. Furthermore, because meditation can make us more productive, we tend to work through tasks with more speed and accuracy, giving us more time to simply enjoy ourselves.
3. ‘Stressed’ is your default state
It’s pretty normal to get stressed out every now and then, but being stressed all the time is a completely different matter. Unfortunately, like tiredness, the feeling of being constantly under pressure is something an awful lot of us can relate to. Chronic stress can make life feel far less enjoyable, as we are rarely “in the moment” but always thinking about whatever’s nagging away at us. Too much of this, and life begins to feel like it’s nothing but a meaningless list of chores and worries.
One of meditation’s most famous and well-research benefits is reduced stress. With stress causing havoc for our health, sleep and mental wellbeing, it’s this benefit which is perhaps the most far-reaching of all.
In many respects, meditation (in all its forms and throughout the ages) has been developed to direct the mind away from the mundane and everyday, in order to experience glimpses of the deeper truths in life. It may well be this which helps us rise above persistent worries and daily frustrations, making stress something we can manage without becoming overwhelmed.
Editor’s note: This is a guest post by Holly Ashby. Holly is a wellness writer who works with Beeja Meditation, a meditation center offering an alternative to mindfulness in London, and holds meditation events such as the music-based Shavasana Disco.
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I guess I need meditation then. This was a great read! I thoroughly enjoyed reading this because currently they relate to my life. I am a college student and all of these things fall right into my lap. I honestly believe that I do need to meditate, however, I feel like I have no time but maybe I just need to make time to do that.
Meditation itself can be a difficult art to master but the benefits are obvious.
Great notes, Holly! I think all of us could benefit from a little silence in our heads.
Especially nowadays, when even our free time is saturated with social media or even emails!
very impressed , being me as an indian it was shocking to see how other countries strat following yoga and why shocking ? as the being birthplace of yoga is our india . and we are much far behind to practice this .yet there are much gurus who have great knowledge of yoga . some time when some one come to india i would like you to introduce such great yogis ,
and as i am also a impressed because of you following such a beautiful way ,and i have started also a blog on yoga but i don’t know with a little knowledge of computer, would i be able to continue it or not.but i will try my best.
I love the opening statement, “There aren’t many of us who wouldn’t benefit from meditation.” This is so true, it is so beneficial to all. Thank you for the interesting article!
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So true. I like to imagine what society would be like if we all took the time to meditate, slow down and take a collective exhale. And it doesn’t always have to be 20 minutes, that can be daunting for a lot of people. Just to sit in silence for five minutes would be an amazing start!
Yes so true… Meditation is an art by which we can just control our body and brain according to us.So why not YOGA. Yoga can be a good practice also. Here i am suggesting some Yoga Tactics .Take a look.
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Really nice blog! posts are relevant and quality! Thank you
Wow….thanks for sharing
Thank you for sharing these insights. We lost touch with ourselves so much that we now need to call our nature “meditation”, like it is something to be achieved and master. It is actually our nature, to be, and to allow life to be as it is. But we don’t know how to do it anymore. We don’t know how to let go, how to surrender to life. We are lost so we need the practice of meditation to come back to ourselves and connect to this moment. When we practice meditation in our conscious living center, we simply observe and let whatever arises to be without resisting it.
Thanks for sharing such an informative post with us.
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