Published On: December 18th, 2015

Benefits of Meditation: My Insights After a Year of Meditating (Photo of white flowers)

The information on this post is from my own first-hand experience following a year of using the Headspace iPhone app. If you are new to meditation, and you have any concerns about the practice, please consult a mindfulness teacher or a mental health professional before you start.

The benefits of meditation

A few years ago, I signed up to some relaxation and yoga classes in a local hall. I also went along to the University of Oxford Meditation Society. On both occasions, I struggled to relax in a room full of people. I also found sitting on the floor gave me cramp. Not very zen!

After these failed attempts, I was convinced that mediation was not for me. I was, therefore, intrigued when a friend recommended the Headspace app, which she said you can use in the comfort of your own home.

One year on and I’m thrilled to say that I’ve been keeping up with my meditation practice. So, today I’m sharing the benefits I’ve found following a year of meditation.

1. Increased awareness of how I feel

Over the past year, I have found it insightful to stop and observe my thoughts. Sometimes I feel busy, but when I meditate, I’m surprised to find my mind is peaceful. I’m beginning to understand that there’s sometimes a difference between how I’m feeling and how I think I’m feeling. There’s a space between me and my thoughts. This is something I wasn’t even aware of before.

2. Finding some space in my day

Space in my home and in my diary make me feel calm and at ease. Through meditation, I’ve been able to find some space even when there’s too much to do. The time gives me a welcomed pause when I’m juggling a lot of things. When life gets busy, it’s wonderful to take a break and check in with how I’m feeling.

3. Easing unnecessary worry

Before I began meditating, I would occasionally wake up in the middle of the night and worry about things. One of the techniques I’ve learnt from the Headspace app is to acknowledge the thought and gently move my attention to my breath. When I find myself worrying, and I practice this technique, I feel an immediate sense of ease in my body. I wish I’d learnt this technique at school because it may have eliminated many sleepless nights!

4. Learning to be present

My daily meditation practice is helping me to be more present in my everyday life. Focusing on my breath and the world around me helps me to stop thinking about the past or the future. I’m sure this has increased my gratitude for the simple everyday moments.

5. Enjoying having nothing to do

With a full-time job and an active social life, I rarely have a moment to myself. I, therefore, enjoy having a daily ritual that involves pressing pause and checking in with how I’m feeling. I’m grateful for the stillness and the sense of peace. It’s a joy to stop for a moment and have nothing to do.

If you meditate and you’ve experienced some benefits from your meditation practice, please feel free to share them in the comments. For further information, you could visit the Headspace website where you’ll find the science-backed benefits of meditation. I also found the book Mindfulness: A Practical Guide to Finding Peace in a Frantic World by Mark Williams and Danny Penman helpful. And I’ve been working my way through the beautiful books by Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh.

Further reading

Simple everyday rituals to support your creative work and life
The benefits of keeping a gratitude journal
Finding peace and serenity in turbulent times

Thank you, as always, for stopping by. I hope you have a wonderful day. Until next time, I’ll see you over on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

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  1. Eva 18th December 2015 at 3:24 pm - Reply

    your post is all I needed! I don’t practise meditation but I would like it’s sound so interesting and peaceful! Like the pictures, we could go into! Have a lovely weekend! xo

  2. Jess @ Along Came Cherry 19th December 2015 at 1:41 pm - Reply

    Wow I really need to do this, my mind is always hectic and I worry about things ALL the time. Those photos really are so relaxing too x

  3. Lottie :: Oyster & Pearl 22nd December 2015 at 11:20 am - Reply

    I think I need to start taking time out to do this. I’ve dabbled in the past but definitely need to try again. I totally agree – it should be taught in schools!

  4. Kerry 26th December 2015 at 7:26 pm - Reply

    I’ve been trying to get to grips with mindfulness so thanks for pointing me in the direction of Headspace! I’m going to try the app, but the blog is great too.

  5. Suzen 30th April 2016 at 4:47 am - Reply

    Thanks Natasha for the practice down to earth post. I too feel meditation, allowing Silence to be my daily companion created a space, a spaciousness that allows creativity, inspiration and the intuition to expand and blossom. As you stated, it allows us to understand stillness, centering, and a entry into our core; an important place to know and go when the world distracts and overwhelms us. We understand more and more how strange it is to leave our center, the space of balance and harmony. Taking the time to still ourselves on a daily basis brings wisdom in surrendering and letting go of that which no longer works for us, and opening to knowledge which empowers, lifts energy and liberates consciousness.

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