How can meditation help me feel better?

Q:

How can a meditation practice help me feel better?

A:

Meditation is one of those rituals that makes me feel good, but I didn’t always feel this way. Why? Feelings are subjective for everyone and when you’re a new meditator, you may worry about what you should be feeling.

(One feeling you may be asking yourself is Why do I feel vulnerable when I practice yoga?)

The truth is, though, that there’s no right answer. However, here are some thoughts that can help you to keep in the back of your mind. Meditation, whether you’re new to it or have been doing it for years, requires patience. I can’t emphasize this enough! It’s easy to be distracted by thoughts, to-do lists, hopes, fears and worries. Those distractions can interrupt the natural cycle of the breath, preventing us from reaching the benefits of our practice.

When I started incorporating a regular meditation practice in my life, some positive changes I started to feel were:

  • More present — Even outside of meditation, my concentration improved dramatically. Meditation makes me feel like I’m able to concentrate on the task at hand more effectively and live more in the present moment.
  • Physically better — With meditation in my life, my sleep got better and energy levels became more stable. Because I physically feel better with meditation, I feel like I’m putting my best self forward. The world can see my positive energy.
  • More aware — Whether you’re aware of your breath, your thoughts or your feelings, this means meditation is doing its thing. Thoughts should be fleeting and the key is to resist analyzing. When your mind is neutral—like a blank slate—that’s when you know you’ve made progress.

So, don't be afraid to feel through all your feelings that may come up during your meditation practice and continue to ask yourself, "How am I feeling?"

(Read on for the answer to a related question, What can meditation tell me about myself?)

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Written by Joanna Nicholson
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Joanna’s an enthusiastic citizen of the world who’s passionate about yoga, cycling, uncovering new territory and spreading positive vibes. Outside of yoga, she blogs about health/wellness and can often be found experimenting in the kitchen (she’s a certified chef). Words to live by: “Love more, worry less.”

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