I started meditating regularly about 5 years ago. Although it’s difficult to draw a straight line between developing this daily habit and my behavior, I am going to try. Periodically I like to reassess my commitments and whether or not they are beneficial.
Meditation has made me more aware of my emotions. Awareness allows me to take proactive steps to emotionally regulate myself. It allows me to use good judgement about when to embark on a difficult conversation, and when to give myself a break.
It has given me precious seconds between an emotionally triggering event and my response. These seconds allow me to choose my response rather than just mindlessly reacting. They give me just enough time to consider the value of escalating vs de-escalating a conflict. Spoiler alert: de-escalating is almost always the more valuable decision.
Finally, I think it’s given me headspace to relish simple pleasures. I’m loving watching the sun come up with a coffee lately. I really enjoyed watching our plants mature and fruit this spring and summer. I even enjoyed watching the the rabbits devour some of our plants.
Mediation has both been a habit of mental hygiene and spiritual growth for me. But anyone can get the benefits I’ve just listed if they just pursue it from a spiritually neutral perspective. There a lots of great app to help people new to the practice get started.
I’ve used Headspace for years, and find it to be spiritually neutral and has plenty of content for beginners and intermediate mediators. I just started checking Calm out, and that too seems to be spiritually neutral and has loads of content for beginners. Give it a try. You have nothing to lose.