One Year of Meditation

As of this month, I’ve officially hit one year of meditating.  I remember when I first started, I would always wonder where I’d be at 1 year from then.  Would I be able to conquer my mind? Would I acquire patience? Would my attention be laser-focused? Would I be naturally relaxed? I worried a bit about sitting in one spot doing absolutely nothing and it is for absolutely nothing.  One year later and all my questions and concerns have all been answered.  Here’s a list of what meditation has done for my life:

Anxiety – Throughout most of my life, I’ve had terrible anxiety and this would be the catalyst for my venture into meditation.  I gauge my daily anxiety on a scale from 1 to 10, with 10 being riddled with anxiety and 1 being a near worry-free day and my nerves completely calm.  What I found through the past year was that as the days and months passed, my anxiety gauge would lower.  Though I would have the odd day where it would skyrocket, the majority of the days would stay pretty level.  As for how I’m feeling lately, I would say that the majority of my days are at a 3.  I’m very happy and proud to be at a 3 but I don’t plan on stopping there and hopefully, someday I’ll be at a 1.

Mindfulness – Before starting meditation, the word mindfulness was something I knew the meaning of but didn’t grasp the importance of how it could benefit my life and because of this, I would say that I was very ignorant of my thoughts and actions.  What I’ve learned through meditation is that just because you have a thought, that doesn’t mean it holds any weight.  When I get a negative thought I look at it as just that, a negative thought.  Once I identified it, I can then change it from a negative thought to a useless / non-productive thought.  After a while of doing this, I noticed that negative thoughts were less frequent and I started living more in the now and not the past or future.

Mood – Due to not acting on negative thoughts, my mood stays pretty positive. When I am in a bad mood, I know I have to get centered and that involves a 20-minute meditation session.

Patience – No longer do I lay on my horn when a driver cuts me off or that car in front of me just won’t get out of my way.  I feel a lot more laid back and not in a rush to get anywhere.

Sleeping – I used to have trouble sleeping all the time due to my brain going 1000 miles an hour before bed.  I now sleep like a baby and feel fully rested when I wake up.

Concentration – I still have a problem with concentrating at times, but meditation taught me how to stay a little more focused and in the present.  This is an area I’m still working very hard on.

When it comes to meditation, I’m still just a young student with a long road to developing different levels of mindfulness.  To be able to notice a difference in your life, you have to stay committed to the practice and not give up when you don’t notice any changes right away.  It’s a very gradual process and when I look back is quite amazing.  It makes you stop sometimes, take a deep breath, and take in the moment.  I’m very happy that I started this journey and to know that it’s just begun, leaves me with a big smile on my face.