My last two posts on happiness practices showed how to cultivate optimism and build social support.
Here’s another great way to build long-term happiness: meditation.
This week, I am happy to share an infographic on the benefits of meditation called The Skeptics’ Guide to Meditation, created by the website happify.com and Dan Harris, author of 10% Happier.
I have flirted with meditation for years, intrigued by all of the research that documents the benefits to one’s physical, emotional and mental health which include the ability to be in the moment, feel less stress and worried, be calmer and more relaxed, have the ability to be more self-accepting, compassionate and centered in one’s professional and personal life.
I investigated different programs and systems. I spent a lot of time contemplating, researching and ultimately avoiding meditation with the usual excuses:
- No time to do it.
- I’m not doing it the right way.
- I can’t do it the right way.
- It’s too boring.
- I’m too tired to start something new.
Blah blah blah.
And then, this year, after realizing how much time I was spending on researching meditation, I just sat down one day, closed my eyes, took some refreshing deep breaths, noticed my thoughts and let them go. 20 minutes later I opened my eyes, feeling a lot more centered and relaxed. That’s all it takes!
I am now a committed meditator, following a system known as mindfulness meditation, which teaches us how to be totally in the present moment without judgment and with curiosity and openness. Just think of the benefits of meditation for yourself as an artist!
If you have been thinking about meditation but are still skeptical, you may be interested in reading through the following chart which summarizes the research on why meditation is good for you. It also gives you a few pointers on how to get started.
Keep in mind that meditation is a long-term happiness strategy for good reason.