Meditation has probably been around as long as humans have. What else was there to do in a cave in front of a roaring fire? We may not have known exactly what we were doing back then but it was a form of meditation.
I’m not going to write about the benefits of meditation. You can read about some of them in an article written by Soldiers of Fitness Athlete Katie Bigras here.
I first learned about meditation techniques from Mark Divine. Mark was a Navy Seal commander and now teaches classes in the United States on being “Seal Fit.” Part of the process of being as tough as a Navy Seal is in meditation practices. Mark teaches the box breathing technique of 4 x 4. For a Seal member, being able to process a high stress situation, assess it for what it is and act on it is a skill. Battling through hell week (a 7 day physical fitness week that tests soldiers mental and physical limits) couldn’t be done without strong meditation practices. Many seals have credited their reasons for passing hell week to meditation and mental strength.
I remember being sworn at and cursed during basic training in the infantry. My response was to put on a smile. I knew they weren’t trying to hurt my feelings. The course staff were testing my ability to handle stress. My mental state of not letting anything they said bother me got me through basic training. My ability to switch on and off that inner dialogue during high tense situations has also helped me in many facets of life. I believe having a strong mental state is crucial to happiness and success. Sometimes you need to cut out the inner dialogue in your mind. Inner dialogue isn’t really you. It’s you telling yourself about a situation only in the way you saw it. Reality isn’t always what your inner dialogue tells you.
I’ve tried a few guided meditations because they help me in my daily life. While they all had their positives and negatives, I liked Calm the most. Calm is a phone app that has a free trial but like all apps you have to pay eventually. Calm offers goals for the day and seven and twenty-one day guided meditations so you feel like you have a goal to accomplish every day. Those little goals drive me to return. Other phone apps have similar concepts but more complicated back ends and sometimes recorded voices I can barely understand. Try it out and see if it works for you.
Quiet the voices in your head so you are able to make clear decisions for yourself based on what motivates you. Feel the benefits of 10 minutes of meditation every day if that’s all the time you have. You might be surprised how much happiness is buried within you. Meditation goes great with being thankful, a blog post about writing something down every day you are grateful for. It can be found here.