Like everyone else, I become stressed at times. Family, career, friends, health and exercise, passions and hobbies, relaxation time all take effort and focus to maintain and even more effort to thrive. It’s inevitable that at various intervals, some of those pillars of your life will become strained and change. Sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worse.
During a particularly stressful point in my life, I had begun looking for an outlet just to be with my thoughts and to mentally prepare for the day’s and week’s events. That’s when I stumbled upon meditation. There are numerous studies that both support and oppose meditation as a beneficial practice for everyday life. Some studies state it can change the chemistry and make-up of your brain. Others state it has no effect on your attitude or outlook whatsoever.
What I’ve come to discover is that meditation is extremely personal and the effects vary tremendously from person to person. Here are a few of my observations about meditation and how they are connected to your financial well-being.
It gets easier the more you do it
The first few times I meditated, I found it very difficult to sit still and listen to a guided meditation, even for a mere 5 minutes. The more times I did it and focused myself, the easier it became. Similar to other things in life, if you’re able to focus and maintain discipline, the easier it gets. If you have a Starbucks addiction, trying forgoing the trip for one day, then two. It gets easier. If you have trouble saving money every month, try starting with $10, then $20, then maybe $20 a week. The key here, as I’ve said before, is discipline.
The theory of groundedness is that you slowly gain the ability to maintain an equilibrium despite periods of varying stress. This can be equated to Keeping Up With the Joneses. The more grounded and focused you become regarding your financial goals, whether that be paying off your mortgage early, saving for your kid’s college, paying off student loans, the easier it will be to push aside the feelings of not keeping up with the latest car, phone, and electronic device that your neighbors are lusting after.
The biggest benefit I have found with meditation is the feeling of calmness and peace. I’ve found that the calmer I am, the clearer I see solutions to issues, whether it be at work or with family and friends. My decision making skills are much better too. I’m able to make the best decisions for my family, career, and hobbies, with the information presented to me, without spending time stressing about the future “what-ifs.” It also helps me avoid the impulsive, unnecessary, purchases that we are all prone to from time to time.
The app I use to meditate is Insight Timer and it’s free, making mediation a completely free activity that can provide a multitude of benefits if you stick with it.
Do you meditate? Do you see any benefits from it? Comment below!