With meditation, there are many benefits, some of which were unintended at first, but serve such a significant purpose in your life that you didn’t think anything of it until you saw these changes benefitting you uniquely.
However, what isn’t much talked about is that mediation can make you mentally stronger. Either by detaching you from worries or preparing you for what’s about to come.
We tend to anticipate things to be worse before they actually happen. And it’s when they actually happen that we feel some relief that the scenarios weren’t as chaotic as the mind had imagined them to be.
However, that’s not to say that worry doesn’t serve a purpose, as it’s been a survival mechanism.
But sometimes that worry becomes too much, and rather than strengthening you mentally, you may feel exhausted.
In that sense, the mind is sometimes fighting its own possibilities to become tougher, just like you subconsciously may fight adopting habits that you know are good for you, but because they are hard to do.
Change can sometimes only come from a changed environment or something that makes change appealing to the mind. Especially the subconscious mind. But in this case, I’ll talk about in what ways meditation can toughen your mind up.
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Mastering Your Reactions
While it’s impossible to control your emotions one hundred percent and choose how you’ll feel, to a large extent you can choose your reactions to different situations. Often by taking one step back and looking at things from a third-person perspective.
Analyzing how a certain thought or situation makes you feel, and rather than reacting to it, decide what your reaction will be.
When you give in, you’re not always letting your true self react to it, but you’re only letting a temporary emotion dictate how you’re gonna feel about that certain thing that just happened. Of course, that’s not to say that there are times when strong reactions are warranted sometimes, and meditation isn’t about toxic positivity.
But rather control of yourself and what surrounds you. Meditation is partially a journey into getting to know yourself.
You simply can’t control what happens to you, but what meditation allows you to do is to observe things more logically, because the mind has been allowed to do so, rather than functioning on autopilot without rest, something which it has been programmed to do throughout your life.
There will always be things outside your control, but there will also always be things within our control. Your mind is more geared to finding solutions to these problems instead of suffering the consequences of a bad situation when you’ve cultivated the habit of meditating.
During mindfulness, you are thought to not react to your thoughts. That carries on in your day-to-day life. The habits you cultivate during meditation and what you learn while practicing often stay, and it’s far more lasting than any quick-fix external substance.
How Long Do You Need To Meditate To Toughen Your Mind Up?
While it’s always recommended to meditate for prolonged periods, long meditation practices are intimidating for novices, and that’s okay. But the good news is that you don’t need an hour-long meditation to notice the most basic benefits of meditation, as in this case, increased mental strength.
Twenty minutes a day at the bare minimum is enough to experience a notable increase in your mind’s tolerance to unpleasant situations.
That, in turn, can make it easier to do other forms of deeper meditation that would’ve otherwise been unpleasant to confront at first, such as shadow work meditation.
In general, meditation teaches you to be accepting while finding ways to improve. Meditation is a natural booster, and for some, the recipe to move forward, without negative effects, that is, assuming you’re not being brainwashed or visualizing detracting thoughts during meditation.
How Long Does It Take To See The Effects of A Stronger Mind?
Assuming you’ve built consistency with the habit of meditating for twenty minutes a day, you’re likely to see the effects of 3 to 4 months of practicing, which is an average estimation, since there are too many elements that can influence how soon you see changes in a meditation.
But that timeframe is often the standard rule of thumb for meditators to see any change whatsoever. Now, these changes may be subtle at first, but depending on how deep you go with your practice, mental strength is just the tip of the iceberg.
Less Flooded WIth Thoughts
The practice allows you to clear your mind of thoughts, not all the thoughts you have are negative, but the source of what’s causing you to feel exhausted in your mind can cause unpleasant thoughts overflowing you.
When you clear your mind, while you haven’t completely gotten rid of those thoughts, you’ve allowed yourself to take a rest from them and come back stronger.
It’s not so much that the challenges you face in your day-to-day life become easier, but instead, you get more prepared both on a mental and spiritual level.
The less flooded you are with thoughts, the more clear the path becomes, and the more you open the door for new thoughts and angles to solve a challenge you’re facing.
Meditation is simply an exercise for your mind, where you, at times, will be flooded with thoughts, but over time, it’ll be easier to navigate your own mind and identify which thoughts you want to keep and which thoughts you want to stop being bothered by. It will not happen overnight, but it will be worth it if you stick through.
Even if you stick through with less than half a year, assuming you statistically fall within the range of time it takes to see any changes whatsoever with meditation. It’s rare for meditation to take years to see any significant change, but even then, it makes the practice totally worth it, considering the effects of restructuring the mind can be permanent.
Disassociation From Your Thoughts
Meditation allows you to separate from your thoughts, and view things from a third-person perspective, which is perhaps one of the biggest contributors to being able to become mentally stronger.
You are not your thoughts, your thoughts are just there, and you don’t have to believe every thought you get. And not every thought you have is of your own.
The more you understand this concept on a subliminal level, the easier it becomes to detach and just let be, as things are meant to be following the traditional definition of what a meditation practice is.
You don’t control what thoughts you get many times, but you control your response to that, which in many cases, can be more powerful than the thought in question you’re being presented with.
Becoming Ready For Shadow Work
Shadow work doesn’t tend to be the first meditation people jump into when they meditate. The idea that you have to confront a side of you that you’re not happy with, and that possibly brings a memory you want to stay away from doesn’t sound attractive.
But with mental toughness (something that can be achieved with a 20-minute-a-day meditation over the span of months), you could set your mind up to be more tolerable for thoughts or emotions that would in normal circumstances disturb your peace or detract from it.
Shadow work is likely the hardest meditation, but not as much when you’re ready to tap into deep levels of discomfort based on what you learn yourself after prolonged sessions of meditation. But you can prepare your mind for even deeper, more immersive, and longer meditations.
When it comes to shadow work, the mental toughness you achieve from 20 minutes of meditation doesn’t guarantee you’ll meet the threshold to face what could potentially be the most challenging parts of yourself.