Meditation has consistently proven to provide a verifiable scientific model that is beneficial for mental training tools and techniques that transform our brain system’s connection that can be used to boost peak performance.
As stated in the previous chapter, meditation has a way of changing our brains’ structure, and such change is often in reaction to habits, unconscious biases, distractions, and the likes. The practice of their exercise mentally helps us recover from stress, provides us with the ability to develop compassion and empathy while restraining habits for focus and concentration.
Anyone who commits to practice meditation becomes open to its tremendous benefits, including mental mastery of “self,” an improvement of the quality of our lives, and achieving peak performance. Peak performance is a state of functioning where you can manage yourself and your resources to achieve a goal, and this state of functioning cannot be obtained if you cannot mentally control and self-regulate your thoughts. Peak performance is only achieved if your neurological-based skills are honed so you’d experience a sense of ease, sustain and allocate your focus and eliminate distraction from self-rumination and mind wandering.
One significant component of meditation to peak performance is the ability to experience your mind’s inner workings. As you consistently practice meditation, you’d become able to steer away from distractions, training your mind to cut off wandering thoughts and emotions so you can restrain your habits for focus and concentration, which are vital for peak performance.
Usually, our mind is a playground for diverse forms of thoughts, emotions, and self-rumination, which can cause us to perform poorly if left unguided. Because rather than focus on the present, you’d find yourself replaying narratives about past and future events repeatedly, causing a series of mistakes. At this point, your performance is doomed, but with meditation, you’d be able to recognize when this wandering begins, and you’d make mental efforts to train your mind to refocus itself.
Visualization form of meditation, does magic on connecting your mind to your body. If you have anxiety about an upcoming performance, practising such an exercise will help you cope and manage that anxiety by visualizing “the you” performing at your best abilities. By visualizing consistently before the date, you’d become more prepared, confident, and focused on performing at the peak level.
Reaching peak performance is not a day thing. It requires consistent efforts put into training your mind; however, the rewards are tremendous. You’d be able to take total control of your mind as your mind begins to work for you!
We set goals all the time in every area of our lives, from health to business, relationship, physical, etc.; as the day goes by, we strive to achieve these goals and, in most cases, become consumed by it that we wear ourselves out along the way. We are always on the lookout for better things and often get stuck on what we have to do next to become more successful. If this never-ending loop of dissatisfaction is allowed, it can lead us to all sorts of mental and physical challenges such that our health, happiness, and relationships inevitably suffer.
That’s where meditation comes in! It does two things:
- Help you achieve your goals
One significant benefit of meditation to achieve our goals is that it maintains a single-pointed focus that will strengthen our ability to pursue our dreams. As we disallow wandering distractions, we become organized in planning, evaluating, and decision making such that doubt can never sprout out from our minds and the drive to achieve our goals would be available.
Apart from setting goals, visualizing the result is one of the catalysts for making it happen. It first starts with the end in mind, i.e., having a vision before setting the goal, putting in the action, momentum, and focusing on moving you from where you are now to where it is you want to be. By engaging in meditation, i.e., mental imagery of your goal, you powerfully train your mind to create the life you truly desire.
Also, meditation can give you a fresh perspective and clarity whenever you are stuck and struggling or at a crossroad such that you are not sure of what your goal should be. Not only does meditation clear your mind of outside distractions, but it also allows new ideas to pop into your head as soon as the chatter in your brain calms down and moves you into a state of consciousness.
Another critical benefit of meditation to achieving your goal is that it helps you change your belief systems. It first begins with your thoughts. Some forms of meditation allow you to refocus your mind from self-ruminating thoughts; it also enables you to change your thinking.
There is a familiar quote that when you change your thoughts, you change your entire world. It naturally occurs through the law of attraction, i.e., what you focus on determines what you attract into your life. Thus, meditation helps you reprogram your mindset and cleanse your mental space by eliminating your mind’s melodrama and enabling you to return to your natural state of inner peace. At this point, anything you focus on will no longer be competing with other distracting thoughts and emotions; thus, your magnetism abilities would begin to manifest at highly rapid speeds as you begin acting in harmony with your thoughts.
- Meditation helps balance out other aspects of your life as you pursue your goals
As we relentlessly pursue our goals, we often forget every other aspect of our lives that needs attention. As the going gets more demanding, we become so engrossed in these activities; however, engaging in this exercise would help release the steam and enable you to build and maintain an all-round balance in every area of your life. Therefore, while meditation helps keep you focused on your goal, it also keeps you focused on maintaining other aspects of your life, so nothing suffers.
Meditation can also become a success story around your goal setting. For instance, non-meditators can combine meditation with their goal-setting so that, over time, it can be used to help with goal achieving. You could start first by setting a goal for your meditation practice, and as you become consistent with it, you’d end up knowing exactly what it takes to achieve a goal because you’ve already done it with meditation. So, all you are expected to do is apply the same energy on how you did it to anything you want to be, do, or have.
I’m starting my meditative practice.
● Set a time and day you’d be committed to doing this exercise on your jotter or table calendar
● Put a deadline on your meditation goal then it’s most likely not going to happen.
● Be flexible with duration, i.e., how long you want to meditate. Ten minutes of meditation is better than doing nothing at all.
● State how frequently you will meditate: once or twice a day, thrice a week, daily, etc.
● Link meditation habits to an activity. For instance
● After breakfast/lunch/dinner, I’ll meditate after bathing/brush my teeth, after a walk or a swim, etc.
● Set a reminder to remind you of your commitment: it could be in your calendar, phone, or a note somewhere visible.
● Attach a reward each time you follow through with your commitment. It will motivate you to keep doing it. Rewards can be as little as a warm shower, a date at the spa, a new cut, or even a cup of ice cream, as long as they make you feel good about yourself.
● Keep a feedback journal to write out how you feel after every meditation. It will enable you to track your success and help you see your progress, motivating you to keep up with the practice.
The modern lifestyle makes an average American adult severely stressed out by the end of each day. This is attributed mainly to the hustle and bustle in trying to make ends meet, the pressure of maintaining a social life that looks great on Instagram, and other external distractions. Therefore, as we lay for a night’s rest, which isn’t enough, we are already in a state of exhaustion, be it mentally or physically or both. With exhaustion becoming our everyday life, we are more likely to burn out, severely draining us, and zaps out the joy out of family interaction, our career, and friends.
Burnout, however, isn’t always easy to spot, and adversely, it makes it challenging for people to cope with stress and handle day-to-day responsibilities. This state of exhaustion doesn’t go away and, if not properly looked into, can lead to depression, heart disease, diabetes, and other psychological illnesses.
Meditation is one of the several ways to prevent burnout by promoting relaxation and letting go of worries. Most forms of meditation practices increase positive feelings, making us more tolerant, understanding and also lessening our chances of engaging in unhealthy stress-relief habits that cause damage rather than bring relief. Meditation also builds our mental strength to get rattled whenever we are in a tense situation.
Apart from its relaxation benefits, meditation helps us prioritize tasks so we don’t end up burnt out at the end of the day. It’s pretty funny how most “busy” people perceive meditation as a time-consuming activity added to their already over-scheduled day. However, by taking just a few minutes out of your day to practice meditation, you not only feel relaxed, but you’d also be able to live in the moment, prioritize and complete the task effectively on time.
Research has shown that over 75–90 per cent of all doctors’ visits are linked to stress; Being exposed to stress would leave you anxious, exhausted, and isolated from friends and family. Undoubtedly, getting a good night’s sleep, eating a balanced and regular exercise can prevent stress; meditation can also work magic on your stressed state. It is a powerful happiness tool, and it’s free; all that is needed is your time.
It gives a sense of control over your life and resources; it also brings you to a state of inner peace and happiness as you develop a state of self-awareness and consciousness. Therefore, despite the complexities of life, you are saved from the stress attached to these complexities.
Meditationhas been found toincrease the balance of good bacteria in your gut. These bacteria, once raised, would help promote overall health and well-being and be beneficial to your skin, too.
Your brain is the powerhouse for the very message that transmits throughout your body. With meditation, your brain begins a change in its structure; it also helps increase the ability to process information, reduce inflammation, control the brain’s response to pain, and in women, it reduces symptoms of menopause.
Several studies have shown that our immune system is one of the most critical aspects of the mind-body connection because the immune cells, responsible for attacking invading disease organisms, can participate in any chemical message the brain sends to the body.
Thus, whatever thoughts, moods, sensations, and expectations your brains emit, get transmitted to your immune cells, be it positive or negative. However, when you meditate, these messages change significantly, and a positive mental environment is created for your immune system to improve and flourish.
Practising meditation also help improve blood pressure, helping you feel more balanced and connected and lower your risk of heart disease
The positive health outcomes of meditation are not limited to the younger generation; meditation is also beneficial to senior citizens in that meditation slows down the development of the losses and challenges of ageing. With meditation, you age gracefully as the year progresses.
Meditation has tremendous benefits for ageing people, and it’s as follows:
● It enhances digestion
A major challenge of growing old is that your digestive function becomes more finicky. Still, with meditation, you become relieved from digestive issues because naturally, during meditation, blood circulation improves, and oxygen levels in the blood increase.
● It slows down the progression of Alzheimer’s
As we age, illnesses such as Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia become prevalent. We observe we lose memory, our mental functions disrupt, and we become rattled quickly. Meditation has been proven to help the aged with dementia related-disease cope better with the anxiety, stress, and depression that often accompany memory loss.
● It helps you manage moods and emotions
Also, physiology changes as we grow older, and this change impacts our mood stability, i.e., we’d have more difficulty controlling our emotional reactions. This, coupled with loneliness, sadness, and even despair, could make the elderly kick the bucket. However, with meditation, these senior citizens can observe their emotions without being compelled to react to them. Also, they are enhanced to show forth positive emotions of well-being and empathy for everyone.
● Aid them to develop a sharp, focused mind
As the elderly engage in meditation, they obtain the ability to sharpen their mental alertness as their brain’s physical structure begins to change. Meditation provides an excellent boon for elderly meditators to experience improved focus, creativity, and cognitive function.
● Promoting relaxation and calmness
Regardless of age, meditation has a calming effect that’s mind-blowing; it helps the elderly organize their thoughts more efficiently, enhance relaxation and maintain a clear perspective about life.
Meditation, especially mindfulness, is an excellent option for people suffering from insomnia and daytime fatigue. It helps to get one to sleep and also significantly improves sleep quality with moderate sleep disturbances. These benefits are restricted to the younger generations but the senior citizens too.
Meditation is a practice most people ignore or perceive as time-consuming; it only requires a few minutes, and it costs nothing. Unlike other medical treatments, meditation has no side effects; it is safe and can be done by anyone.
So, tell me, what’s stopping you?
In achieving your goals, here are the following steps to practice meditation:
● Go to a quiet place with a notebook and your phone on flight mode
● Choose an area where you have been struggling or would like to experience some transformation.
● Begin to imagine the highest possible outcome that you would like to have, the life you envision if your dream comes true. Do not allow limitations to restrict your mind from exploring.
● Now breathe and connect a goal you’d like to achieve in the next three months. This goal should be a good one, and it should be something that would leave you with a high level of accomplishment after you have reached it.
● Write out that goal in the SMART structure, so it meets all the criteria.
● Drop your pen, then create and imagine a picture or movie in your mind of what your life will be like once you have completed this goal.
● Breathe! Then step out of the picture you’ve created and use your breath to energize the image, filling it with positive energy and intention.