You might’ve heard about meditation and all the benefits that come along with it. But is it worth practicing if the effects would only last for the short term, or for the time you do the meditation? I’d say yes, but fortunately, that’s not the case.
However, meditation isn’t just set and forget, it’s as important as brushing your teeth and it becomes all the more obvious once you’ve successfully integrated it into your lifestyle.
Brushing and flossing your teeth consistently takes continuous practice, but your future self will thank you for it. The same can be said about meditation.
Fortunately, the rewards you reap from meditation don’t go away as soon as you start meditating, in fact, there’s research suggesting that the effects of meditation last for 7 years.
But that’s the research side of things, and meditation can’t always be approached as a science that will have replicable results for everyone.
And based on the overwhelming amount of testimonies from meditation practitioners having their life changed, it’s safe to say that the effects of meditation can last for a lifetime.
And I’ll explain why. Meditation is not only useful for cultivating peace within, but also getting us to improve our focus. Peace and focus on their own are subsets of meditation, like any other benefit, and they can feed off themselves.
Thus, perpetuating that focus and peace and amplifying, without meditation having to be present in the equation for that to happen. Almost as if meditation gives birth to qualities that are self-sufficient.
The Fruits of Meditation Are Here To Stay
While it’s recommended that you follow your meditation practice throughout your entire lifespan, and while you’re more likely to sustain the good qualities and habits you’ve adopted with meditation, in theory, these habits can go on even if you choose to abandon the practice.
But abandoning the practice would prevent you from going any further into yourself and becoming your best version, as we are constantly evolving.
If you stop doing meditation after doing it for years, you may start experiencing withdrawal and you may not want to leave meditation.
There’s no reason to give up on something that has brought you to a better point in your day-to-day, assuming you’re one of the small percentiles that stuck through with meditation.
But the peace you cultivate from within becomes a new normal for the mind. Your brain is physically rewired, as well as your subconscious.
You’ll want to hold on to this state of mind subconsciously, therefore, while it’s fully possible for you to relapse on your meditation and revert back to the old lifestyle where you weren’t meditating, it’s unlikely to happen, unless you actively make an effort for it.
Then again, during the span of the 7 claimed years, you can pick up the practice at any moment, replenish and make up for any lost progress.
As for focus, you don’t just become unfocused. Focusing on its own is possible to achieve without meditation, but meditation facilitates attaining focus and discipline, even if it’s only one path towards that direction.
Any anxiety or stress you’ve lost along the way is also likely to stay at bay but to increase the likelihood of the rewards you get from meditation sticking through, keep a consistent practice, and you’ll experience continuous growth. Your potential is unlimited, but that’s if you put an effort into it.
One thing about meditation is that there’s a threshold of progress, once you reach a certain level, it becomes your new normal, and it keeps going up from there. Much like leveling up in a video game, but in real life instead.
Short Meditations Are Enough To See Lasting Changes
While you’re unlikely to see any of the proclaimed benefits from the start, or at least, substantially, as progress can be slow, simply meditating for 20-minutes is enough to achieve a more peaceful day to day, without necessarily renouncing anything else you’re doing or devoting your life to meditation and becoming a monk.
While there is something special about meditating for hours, and while you always can progress gradually, to achieve the most basic long-lasting effects from meditation, consistent but short meditations are enough.
Of course, there’s a chance that once you reach this place of consistency, you’ll want to up yourself further and test your limits.
You can even amplify your practice by choosing different meditation spots and mastering certain breathing techniques you can apply outside the meditation, which could be useful for being in a meditative state without meditating.
However, one way you can track your progress is by taking note of how you feel at this moment, if you’ve never meditated before, and then meditating for two months, (which is an approximation of when people start seeing the benefits) and compare your life then and now.
Assuming you are focusing on your breath or keeping your awareness at the moment, you’re unlikely to want to give up the practice. In contrast, you may be one of the few that find that meditation isn’t for them.
Meditation Is Like Losing Mind-Weight
Aside from meditation being able to make you burn calories indirectly, by making more mindful choices, meditation significantly reduces the burden of stress and worry in your life. Which often can get in the way of many people enjoying their daily life.
You let go of what doesn’t serve you with consistent meditation, and it doesn’t take tremendous commitment for that.
Even if you just start with 5-minute meditations or get your feet wet by using a meditation ring, it can set a start for a mindset shift that leads you closer to your goals.
After all, how you do one thing is generally a good predictor to how you do other things, so if you’ve proven to yourself that you’re capable to stick with the practice, you’ve proven to yourself capable of sticking through your goals.
The easier you make the meditation on yourself and the more you break it down into pieces, the faster you’ll see results.
Many lack the motivation to meditate, but the motivation only comes when you start meditating. So allow the meditation to start before you predispose yourself negatively to the practice.
As much as your mind hates meditation when it starts, it will end up thanking you if it becomes part of your daily routine.
You’ll find anything you do becomes easier once you’re no longer held back by negative thoughts or emotions. Thus, you’re unlikely to want to give this up, even for a day.
Not meditating for a day is completely okay, however, you can always pick up the practice and resume where you were at, and you’re not gonna hurt your progress.
It’s important to be aware of this since there’s the notion that missing a single day will set our progress back. As long as you make it the exception and not the rule, you should be fine and you’ll be able to build on the meditation effects.
Don’t Underestimate The Practice
If you’ve never meditated before, living with stress may seem normal to you. But it’s hurting you more than you realize.
It’s the equivalent of quitting a destructive habit like smoking, but you may not see it that way until you have first-hand experience. If this is true for you, I recommend small commitments with meditation.
Small steps lead to bigger steps, and before you know it, you’ve reached a point you don’t want to renounce. I myself have been on and off meditation years back and still managed to experience the positive aftermath of meditation.
Meditation teaches you to handle your own internal conflicts and thus, any conflict you may face outside of meditation will become easier to handle. Meditation can also improve blood circulation and provide other additional health benefits.
If you find that meditation isn’t for you, you can always quit the practice but still hold on to the positive effects years down the line, even if you happen to be in the beginning to mid-stage of your practice.