Hi Zen Organizers,
Today, we’re going to talk about the cornerstone of mindfulness and zenitude: meditation.
A month ago, I decided to start meditating regularly after attending the course The Science of Well-Being on Coursera. You’ve probably already heard about it since it’s Yale’s most popular class of all time. And I totally understand why that is: it is very well structured and full of useful scientifically-backed tips about how to be happier. Whether you’re currently happy or not, I highly recommend taking this course since it provides valuable life-changing tips that can help anyone increase their happiness. It’s also completely free, so there really is no excuse for you not to enroll right away!
Anyway, I decided to start meditating daily after hearing about all its benefits on well-being. Here are some of the facts discussed in the course that personally persuaded me to get serious about meditating. I hope they’ll convince you to start meditating and enroll in the course as well.
For me, the most impactful fact was this one: on average, our minds wander 46.9% of the time (Killingsworth & Gilbert, 2010). This means that almost half of the time, we don't pay attention to what we’re doing or to our immediate physical environment. In other words, we don’t live in the present moment for almost half of our life! I think that’s incredibly sad. Moreover, this research also shows that mind-wandering impacts negatively our happiness since we tend to dwell mostly on negative feelings.
After learning about mind-wandering, I began paying more attention to my mental phenomena. I realized that I indeed spend a lot of time lost in my thoughts, usually thinking about the past or the future, getting worried, anxious, frustrated, or sad about something that happened but cannot change anymore or making elaborate plans for a future I have little control over. It struck me that I was losing a lot of time and energy dwelling on these useless thoughts.
Therefore, I decided to start meditating to gain more control over my mind-wandering.
And after one month of daily meditation, I have to say I’m astonished by the results! I never thought I would see such a big difference and such progress in a relatively short period.
Indeed, following less than two weeks of daily meditation, I could already feel calmer, more patient, grounded, energized, and focused. I felt less easily frustrated by small and insignificant matters and more in control of my emotions and thoughts. I also rapidly noticed that my body was much more relaxed than usual. As a result, some physical issues I’ve had for years have dramatically improved.
In general, I would say I’ve seen a significant improvement in my overall well-being and happiness since I started meditating daily. I highly encourage everybody to give it a try and see the positive impacts for themselves! I think the short amount of time necessary to meditate daily is derisory compared to its many positive benefits. Indeed, you can start with just five minutes per day and increase from there until 15 or 20 minutes. The important thing is to be regular in your practice to reap its benefits.
What about you? Have any of you started meditating recently or been meditating for a while now and noticed similar benefits as I did? Why did you decide to start meditating? What motivates you to keep meditating? Share with us in the comments below, on Instagram, or on Facebook!
I wish you all a zenly organized life,
Killingsworth & Gilbert. (2010). A wandering mind is an unhappy mind. Science, 330(6006), 932–932.
Santos, L. (2020). The Science of Well-Being. On Coursera: https://www.coursera.org/learn/the-science-of-well-being