1. Meditation boosts productivity.
The common misconception among men is that when you meditate, you are meant to completely clear your mind of all thoughts. Another one is that you just sit around and think about nothing – and somehow the practice is supposed to make you more calm. How could that help with productivity?
The truth is, you can’t just close your eyes and turn off your mind. You are not meant to clear all of your thoughts during meditation. Instead, a meditation practice gives your mind permission to go where it may – to not have an agenda and just have an experience.
In our modern, frenetic lifestyle, we love to make mental to-do lists. Meditation gives you permission to let go of the brutally overbearing task of planning everything in your life. So, when it’s time to think critically and get work done, you are operating as efficiently as possible.
2. Meditation helps you reduce stress and tackle challenges.
On the battlefield of day-to-day life, you face many challenges. Meditation trains your mind to stay focused on the bigger picture. So, when small stressors pile up, they don’t weigh you down. When you meditate, you develop an awareness of your thoughts and breath. Then, when you feel yourselfbecome anxious, you can deepen your breath and mentally coach yourself through it. With that peace of mind, you can face your obstacles head-on.
3. Meditation advances your athletic prowess.
Forget the popular 1,000-hour rule to accomplish mastery in any given skill. How you practice matters. If you practice a deadlift for years with bad form, for example, what will you gain? Chronic pain in your lower back – not mastery.
Meditation helps you pay attention to the details. If you need to take a step back and make adjustments to move forward, meditation gives you the wherewithal to do it. When you meditate, you force yourself to pause and really take in the moment. You also develop a keen awareness of sensations in your body and how you move. This awareness is key for injury prevention and allows you to train more frequently at a higher intensity, which is a formula for monumental results.
4. You can meditate to lose weight.
If your goal is to burn fat and lose those pesky 10 pounds, the problem is most likely your approach. It’s disheartening to obsess over a number on the scale, your diet or how you look. You become compulsive and cranky. Everyone around you suffers. The point is: You are not going after the real problem.
Weight loss is a mental game. Meditation makes you conscious of what you eat. If you arecompulsively eating – healthy or unhealthy foods – it will lead to failure. Meditation is a game-changer to transform compulsion into strong, yet compassionate, self-awareness. Meditate and you will make real, lasting changes in your nutrition plan, rather than jumping from one diet to the next and losing and gaining weight in a seemingly endless frustrating cycle.
5. Meditation promotes better sleep.
If you are having difficulty falling asleep, try to meditate right before bed. Even meditate in bed. (Yes, it is OK to lie down, meditate and fall asleep.) I find that when you meditate in bed, your mind is more at ease – you’re not trying so hard to fight it from overthinking.
You do not have to be in a seated position to meditate. In fact, most guys should not sit in a cross-legged seated position without props. It could be painful for your knees, ankle and back. If you are more muscular than flexible, sitting for any amount of time with your knees above your hips will quickly make your feet go numb. Instead, use a meditation app like Headspace while you lie in bed. It will help send you off into a deep slumber.
6. Meditation makes you look younger.
With all of the healthy decisions that meditation will naturally assist you in making, the practice will show not only inwardly, but also in your physical appearance. Nothing will make you age faster than being an overworked, overwhelmed, anxious American. Through a steady meditation practice, you will be less stressed, more confident and more pleasant to be around.