I Meditated Every Day For A Year. Here’s What Happened

Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes…including you.
-Anne Lamott

I meditated for 61 hours last year. Every morning I sit down on my front porch for 10 minutes to practice mindfulness.

It’s been one of the best things that’s happened to me since entering the real world after college (along with exercising, eating healthy, and marrying my beautiful wife).

We’ve probably all heard about the countless incredible benefits of daily mindfulness. I don’t want to go into the scientific reasoning behind each one, but I do want to share what I’ve personally noticed since meditating.

Stress and Focus

Life = Stress. Sad but true.

We’re always facing new stressful situations, whether they be work-related, relationship-related, or even insignificant (aka that jack wagon in the Range Rover who cut you off…deep breaths, deep breaths). These will never go away, but the way you DEAL with them is so important to your overall well-being.

Meditation has helped me absorb different types of “stress” and deal with them. Think of it like a post office: before, situations were thrown at me and the people at Morry’s Stress Post Office had no way of organizing them. Now they’re able to properly receive and prioritize each situation, and trust me…they understand that getting cut off on the highway is not a valuable use of my stress response hormones.

I can focus on what’s important, and I thank meditation oh so much for that.

Christmas Vacation

Patience

We live in an impatient world.

Did you know half of people online expect a web page to load in 2 seconds or less? Although that doesn’t seem like it could be affecting your health and well-being, it definitely can when you’re being impatient at work or with your significant other.

Story time!

Early mornings before work can be rushed. I was running late one day, but my wife stopped me to explain what she was having her 5th graders work on at school. It wasn’t a life or death issue, but I could tell it was important to her. I sat down and listened to everything without worrying about the clock. On the way to work, I even thought to myself, “Wow, Morry. You handled that exceptionally well!”

Sleep

Can you relate?

  • 10pm — go to sleep.
  • 2am — Topanga (your pug) is stuck sleeping on her back, so the snores are pretty bad.
  • 2:04am — you wake up.
  • 2:04am-3:30am — you sit in bed trying to force yourself back to sleep because the whole day will be ruined if you‘re tired. You stress yourself out, increase your heart rate, and basically say goodbye to a productive next day.
  • 6am — you wake up and have Topanga to blame for your sleepy misfortune.

This is a pretty exaggerated scenario, but I really did used to randomly wake up for no reason. Since I began meditating, I’ve found myself sleeping throughout the night much more often. Plus, if Topanga is exceptionally loud one night, my breathing technique helps me stay calm and quickly get back to sleep.

Sorry Dad. Did I wake you?

Happiness

This one I love most.

Mindfulness is the ability to know what’s happening in your head at any given moment without getting carried away by it. It’s a superpower to learn to respond wisely to things that happen to you rather than just reacting blindly.

Life is tough, challenging, and not always what we hoped it would be. This “superpower” of mindfulness has helped me be at ease with the tough situations. I’ve become a better husband, friend, family member, employee, and person in general. Not worrying about the jack wagon in the Range Rover, focusing on what’s important in life, being more patient, and getting better sleep have all contributed to living a happier life.

How to Start Meditating

Making time for meditation is not easy.

There were times when I had to force myself to do it, but now it’s become a ritual I look forward to each morning. It wakes me up, freshens my mind, and gets me ready for the day ahead.

I personally recommend starting out your practice with Headspace. It’s an app that guides you through your first 10 days of meditation for free, and then has different meditation packs (relationships, creativity, etc) for a small fee. Headspace was essential to helping me get started, so obviously I can’t not preach about it.

Do you have questions about meditating? Are there other benefits you’ve noticed from your practice? Please feel free to leave me anything in the comments!

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