Meditation is an ancient practice that has proved to continually be useful for thousands of years. The practice of meditation was first found recorded in a Hindu text dating to roughly 1500 BCE, though some historians believe it dates back to 3000 BCE. While meditation became widespread in eastern countries, it wasn’t until more recent history that meditation became a more popular practice in western countries. 

For many, the idea of being mindful while “doing nothing” is the very definition of a waste of time. How can you be productive if you’re “doing nothing”. However, there are five easy reasons to meditate that are universally helpful:

  1. Lower your stress
  2. Connect to yourself better
  3. Improve your focus
  4. Concentrate your mind
  5. Understand your pain or process whatever is occupying your thoughts

The benefits of meditation are long-lasting and can become foundational to your growth as a person. 

The best part about meditation is how accessible it is. Anyone can do it! All you need is a comfortable place to sit, patience, and an open mind. Meditation is both tremendously simple, but it can be maddening at the start. Here are seven steps on how to start meditating:

  1. Sit down.
  2. Give yourself a time window. At the start try out just 5 or so minutes. 
  3. Notice how your body feels and get comfortable.
  4. Follow your breath as you inhale in and exhale out.
  5. When your mind wanders, gently focus again on your breath.
  6. Don’t be annoyed or upset when your mind wanders. It will wander no matter how many times you refocus.
  7. When your allotted time is up or you feel ready, gently open your eyes and reacclimate yourself to your surroundings noticing any sounds, sights, or smells. 

Try to set up a regular schedule for meditation, so that you can integrate it into your routine. Being able to clear and focus your mind in the middle of the day can work wonders for your schedule and mental wellbeing. Another huge benefit of meditation is properly managing stress, which can lead to improved health, mannerisms, and productivity. However, for some, managing stress still has a stigma wrapped around it. It’s extremely important to understand that stress affects everyone and learning how you deal and cope with stress. Other ways of alleviating stress besides meditation are through hobbies. 80% of diseases are lifestyle-related, so whatever you can do to lead a healthy life greatly improves your long-term health.