Ever had an intrusive thought? Are you fully present when you have breakfast, or are you already thinking about your next meeting? Are you unable to sleep because you're embarrassed about a conversation?
Almost every person in modern society, too. The constant stimulation from social media makes it really hard not to think, to relax and feel at ease. Growing up as a teenager can be weird. Everyone around you has negative thoughts and feels like they are being judged, whilst everyone is only thinking about themselves. Social pressure just hits different nowadays.
I don't speak for everyone, some teenagers and especially adults are pretty calm. But what can you do when that isn't the case?
Just look at the title
Yes, I'm talking about meditation. A simple thing you can basically do everywhere. No, I don't mean meditative techniques associated with spiritualism. It's always possible to have some religious relation, but I'm referring to just taking a few minutes to sit in a quiet place and focus on your breathing.
You probably underestimate it in every aspect. You know how hard it is to focus on your breath and think nothing for 10 minutes? Those 10 minutes feel like 10 decades, especially when you start off. But I'm also referring to the effects of meditating 10 minutes every day long term.
It only had positive effects for me. In short: I'm thinking much less. I found it amusing that people were continually recommending meditation to me, but I never started. And one stupid reason for that was that I thought “thinking less” is a less intelligent way of living because you won't be able to see concepts from multiple perspectives. In other words, if you think a lot about the conversations you had, you also think more about a math problem, which makes you more efficient?
The actual reality was the opposite, at least for me. I constantly thought about negative things that happened and wasn't able to focus on the tasks in school.
But after around 20 days of meditation, I really started to feel the positive effects:
I got more calm
I normally got annoyed/angry easily, but now I just care less about negative things that get thrown in my face. Likewise, I'm able to keep my cool in stressful situations and arguments.
They say strength lies in stillness, and I completely support that saying.
My focus got better
I was always terrible at focusing. It might be my biggest weakness. I do things impulsively and jump from task to task. Normally, before I even realize, I already googled something completely irrelevant for 2 hours. Whilst that stuff is still present. When it comes to school and tasks which are boring, I am able to focus more than before.
I'm thinking less
Bye bye overthinking! One of the worst mental problems I've had was thinking too much. It felt like a curse. I discovered moral paradoxes that were never present. I constantly confused myself. Just in general, it was a lot of chaos. The funny thing is that I transformed from a stressed human in a hamster wheel to a relaxed mountain. But you know how good it feels to be as calm and collected as Mount Everest? Ok, it's an odd metaphor, but I think you get the concept.
Overall, I was happier after trying meditation, and I strongly recommend you try it yourself. You just need a quiet place to sit alone and not be bothered. It's important for you to keep your limbs relaxed and take slow, deep breaths through your nose. During the entire session, focus on your breathing and, if you find yourself zoning out or thinking about something, simply return to focusing on the present.
I recommend you start with 3-5 Minute sessions and go up to 10-15 minutes. 5 Minutes can feel like an awful lot of time, especially to beginners. The length of your sessions aren't that essential, though. The thing you should prioritize is your consistency to get the most out of meditating. Moreover, you could use an app for guided meditation, but honestly, you don't really need that.
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