How Long Does it Take for Meditation to Work
So when can you expect to see some results from your meditation practice. This is a very common desire a lot of us have… to know what to expect and when to expect it.
If we start a diet, we want to know how long it is going to take for us to lose weight. If we start a new workout, we want to know when we will see some muscles. And when we start meditating, we want to know when we will be able to experience some of those wonderful benefits people talk about. But this mindset will only make us impatient and stand in the way of the most essential key to meditation… Presence.
When you meditate, you need a calm and patient mindset. You need to take in the moment, and truly experience the present moment for what it is. Your mind should not be focusing on the future or the past, but you should allow yourself to simply be… be in the moment… and be with yourself.
But if you are waiting for meditation to “work”, then you are missing the point of meditation. Sure, we all like to know when we will be able to notice a different, and that is completely natural, but you should always remember that meditation is a lifestyle… not a quick fix to a problem. You need to give yourself the time you need to get into meditation, and truly enjoy the entire journey. You must allow yourself to just relax and be present… allowing yourself to just be mindful and peaceful.
What Does it Mean to “Work”
So what does it mean when we ask when meditation will “work”. Obviously, we are thinking about when we will begin to feel the benefits of meditation. But phrasing it like that, could seem a bit odd, as we won’t just wake up one day, and suddenly feel the meditation “working”. It is a subtle and gradual process, and over time you should slowly begin to notice the changes in your health and happiness.
Short Term Benefits
Some people use meditation as an “in-the-moment” kind of thing. So they will use meditation as a quick way to release stress or reduce anxiety or a panic attack for an immediate effect. This is a wonderful way of using meditation in the moment, whenever we need to calm down right now. This is a great tool for anyone suffering from anxiety, stress or depression, and need quick and easy ways to manage their anxiety in a specific moment.
When you use meditation like this, you should notice an instant effect, as you are releasing stress and allowing your mind and body to return to a calm and balanced state. By altering your breath, you are able to significantly change your stress level and reduce that fight-or-flight response that might be going on in your body.
But only using meditation whenever you need a quick way to relax, will not have a major impact on your overall heath. It may be able to calm you in the moment, but it won’t create any long term benefits.
Long Term Benefits
If you decide to make meditation part of your daily routine and practice it daily, meditation can have some long term benefits on your body and mind. From regular practice, you may be able experience a feeling of inner peace and happiness, and a sense of mental clarity and balance.
Your body will also benefit from regular meditation, as it can help reduce stress and anxiety and thereby improve your sleep, lower your blood pressure, reduce the production of the stress hormones adrenaline and cortisol, and increase the production of the brain’s feel good chemicals.
When you meditate daily, and make it a part of your everyday life, you should slowly begin to notice changes in yourself.
When you first start out, it will take some time for you to get used to it. In this period of time you are simply learning how to meditate. Learning to do something new takes time and practice, and so does meditation. So as you are just starting out, you may not be able to feel much for the first couple of weeks, as you are simply experimenting… learning how to breathe properly, how to empty the mind, how to sit, and so on. Once you get into meditation, this will feel more natural, and you will be able to enjoy it a lot more. So let us call this phase, the Phase of Learning.
After a Month
Once you know how to meditate, you are now able to actually enjoy it and it will begin to feel more natural to you. After a month or so, you may notice how you begin to feel a bit addicted to it… like you look forward to it and can’t wait for your next practice. You should also slowly begin to notice some subtle changes inside. You may notice how you find it easier to focus, both when you meditate but also in your daily life. You may also notice a calmness inside, like you are not as tense or stressed out as you used to. We could call this phase, the Phase of Understanding.
After Several Months
Once you have meditated for several months, you should begin to notice some great changes inside. You may have this strange feeling of inner peace… like you are in total balance and calmness. The small annoyances that used to upset you, no longer have the same effect on you, but seem unimportant and not worth your energy.
You may notice that you feel a greater sense of emotional balance, and you feel stable and in control of your emotions. You may also begin to look at life differently… like you feel connected to a higher purpose or meaning, and see things with more clarity. You may begin to sense the world differently in a more understanding and patient way. Let us call this phase, the Phase of Balance.
So How Long Does it Take for Meditation to Work
So how long does it really take before you will notice a change in your body and mind? So instead of going into meditation with the mindset of “what will I achieve”, try going into meditation with the mindset of “what will I experience”. Focus on the experience and enjoy the entire process… from learning, to understanding to inner balance.
So if you want to learn how to meditate but don’t really know where to start, I have a course that may be able to help you… the Meditation for Beginners course.