“Meditation is not a way of making your mind quiet.
It’s a way of entering into the quiet that’s already there
?buried under the 50,000 thoughts the average
person thinks every day.” ? Deepak Chopra
You don’t have to be a Buddhist, a mystic, or a crystal-
carrying ex-hippie to practice meditation. You can
belong to any spiritual or religious faith or have no
religious affiliation at all to reap the benefits of
meditation and use it as a tool for decluttering your
If you’ve never practiced meditation or you’re not
familiar with it, you might be put off by the idea of
sitting quietly in the lotus position and emptying your
mind. But don’t let the cliches about meditating cave
dwellers prevent you from giving it a try.
In his book 10% Happier, Dan Harris says, “Meditation
suffers from a towering PR problem…. If you can get
past the cultural baggage, though, what you’ll find is
that meditation is simply exercise for your brain.”
Meditation has been practiced for thousands of years
and originates in ancient Buddhist, Hindu, and
Chinese traditions. There are dozens of styles of
meditative practices, but most practices begin
with the same steps?sitting quietly, focusing
attention on your breath, and dismissing any
distractions that come your way.
The goal of meditation varies depending on the type of
meditation practice and the desired outcome of the
meditator. For our purposes here, we suggest
meditation as a tool to help you train your
mind and control your thoughts, both when you
are sitting in meditation and when you aren’t.
The benefits of meditating translate to your daily life,
helping you control worry and overthinking, and
providing a host of health benefits that we’ll discuss
The key to finding satisfaction with meditation
is simply to practice. By making a daily
commitment to meditation, you will improve your
skills and discover how the mental, physical, and
emotional benefits increase over time.
Barrie has noticed that, on the days she meditates, she
is less anxious and agitated and more focused in her
work, especially with writing. She has also noticed an
increased ability to stay in the present moment and
redirect herself back to the task at hand whenever she
feels tempted by a potential distraction. Finally, Barrie
uses short meditation breaks during the day to help her
relax during particularly stressful times.
The steps to meditating are simple and
straightforward, but the practice is not as easy as it
seems. You’ll discover that, at first, trying to quiet your
mind and maintain focus is like attempting to train
fleas. But the more you practice, the easier and more
enjoyable the experience becomes.