My meditation game is good. Today I have managed 800 minutes of meditation during 2018.

Last month I wrote about the large dents that were appearing in my positivity armour. I decided that I needed to make a significant change in my approach to life.

When life starts throwing multiple curve balls at your head, you either have to try to catch as many as you can or try to find a way to become impervious to their impacts. Well, dear readers, I have chosen the latter.

I took the time to re-read 10% Happier by Dan Harris, and as luck would have it, I discovered that Dan had also produced a meditation app of the same name. I have also managed to get a huge discount on a Headspace subscription through an offer I found on Spotify. Things have been falling into place like that for some time now?!

So, I decided to make time every day to sit down and try to quiet my mind. The technique that I have chosen to try to do this is the simple breathing meditation, as recommended by both Headspace and by 10% Happier. It goes something like this…

Sit in a quiet place, close your eyes and take a few deep breaths, before allowing the breathing to return to its natural rhythm. Then, focus on the sensation of breathing in and then out. If you become distracted by thoughts or if you find yourself drifting off to the land of nod, acknowledge what is happening and just return to the breath. You just start again.

This is a simplified version of where I’m at with my meditation practice right now. There are many layers of subtle complexity involved with meditation, especially as you begin to realise that you are opening yourself up to thoughts and memories that had stayed hidden for a long time.

After a while, I began to find my attention shifting from worrying about the past or becoming anxious about the future. With each session, I started to notice myself focussing on the now. Being present in the moment has had a profound effect on me. Most of the time I now only focus on what needs to be done today, I don’t worry about what happened yesterday, it has gone, and I cannot go back and change anything. All that I can do is learn from those experiences and move forward.

But, even moving forwards has to be kept in check. By being mindful of what I am doing right now, I am not worrying about the things that haven’t happened yet. The future is uncertain, and by allowing myself to become anxious about things that have not yet become a reality, I think that we can often create small deviations to occur. It’s almost like a self-fulfilling prophecy, but on a smaller scale. By keeping my focus on the whatever it is that I am doing right now, I have managed to reduce my anxiety levels.

This last month of meditation practice has begun to give me the tools that I need to become a happier person. Taking the time to be mindful of my feelings is helping me to see the wood for the trees. I can see the space in between the curve balls and can start to see a way through the world on a more positive, happier path.

Meditation works for me, why not give it a try yourself, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

Until next time.