Why Should I Meditate? The 5 Benefits of Meditating Every Day I’ve Experienced

Why Should I Meditate? The 5 Benefits of Meditating Every Day I’ve Experienced

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Do you sometimes struggle with anxiety that won’t go away?

Or do you start worrying about something and can’t stop thinking about it?

Maybe you’ve heard of the benefits of meditation somewhere but you’ve never been consistent in your practice?

Do you want to start recognizing your anxiety and feel calmer throughout the day? Do you want to start feeling calmer and being nicer to your partner?

Let’s do it!!

Reasons why I started meditation

I have been struggling with anxiety for over one and a half years now.

At first, I didn’t recognize I was constantly feeling anxious, and it started when my classes at my university became all online due to COVID.

I used to meditate ONLY when I felt very anxious, and I have several reasons why I decided to make meditation a daily habit and stick to it.

  • I realized my anxiety and anger impacted my boyfriend
  • I wanted to stop worrying about moving to Canada and feel more excited about it
  • I wanted to feel less anxious and confused about work and enjoy my work more
  • I wanted to be less self-judgemental and be nicer to myself


I’ve been meditating almost every day for two months using a meditation app, and I will share how I changed in this post!

Scientific facts about meditation

Did you know that you may be feeling anxious, worried, or angry because you are training your brain to do so?

The human brain is made of about 86 billion neurons, specializing in transmitting information to other nerve cells, muscles, or gland cells.

Attribution: FreeDigitalPhotos.net (dream designs)

Each neuron has a synapse in the ending, which lets the signal pass from one neuron to the next, and you can strengthen or create a new pathway based on your thought pattern.

According to Rick Hanson, Ph.D., senior fellow of the Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley, we can increase a more positive state of mind with proper practice by tricking our neural machinery!

This also means when you have more negative thoughts, the connection between neurons gets busier, stronger, and more sensitive. In this way, you are likely to react to certain things negatively because your brain is GETTING TRAINED to do so!

Do you want to start training your brain and feel good in general?

One way is to start meditating, Rick Hanson, Ph.D., says

“when people consciously practice gratitude, they are likely getting higher flows of reward-related neurotransmitters, like dopamine”


He explained you could even thicken certain regions of your brain, which are in charge of cognition, emotional regulation, and stress response.

This explains why meditation masters or yoga teachers seem so calm and peaceful!!!

I found some dramatic changes compared to 2 months ago when I was determined to meditate regularly, and I want to share what happened to me in the next section!

1. Fewer worries

I describe myself as a worry monster.

It can sometimes work in a good way, like I really make sure things get organized, but often I worry about things too much, bringing me trouble.

I move to Vancouver in 3 months, and I started to harbor massive worries related to my financial and visa situation. I will show you WHAT I worried about before I started meditation daily and HOW I changed after two months.

BEFORE MEDITATION

  • Because of COVID, things cost extra to move, including the cost of quarantine and COVID tests. I USED TO freak out when I found out about the new cost, and I tried to solve everything by myself and got upset with my boyfriend for not helping
  • I am going to submit a Permanent Residency visa to Canada. I USED TO worry about if I could collect all the documents before I leave Japan without feeling super overwhelmed

AFTER MEDITATION

  • Instead of hoping for some cost to go away (the Canadian government requires us to stay at a government-designated hotel for 3 days after arrival and it’s super expensive), I decided to accept the possible costs and expect unexpected payments
  • Instead of constantly worrying about IF I could collect all the documents, I decided to make weekly and monthly schedules for my visa documents and started sticking to it

2. Less anxiety

I felt the biggest change in anxiety since I started meditating regularly.

I’ve been struggling with anxiety for nearly one and a half years now, and managing anxiety was the reason why I started meditation in the first place. I want to show you WHAT I used to feel anxious about and HOW I changed.

BEFORE MEDITATION

  • I used to feel anxious and overwhelmed easily, and I had to clean the house until I was so upset
  • I was anxious in general, and I used to lay on the yoga mat and couldn’t move. I also felt super sensitive with sound when I was anxious

AFTER MEDITATION

  • I can now notice when I start to feel anxious. When it happens, I usually open my favorite meditation app and meditate.

3. Less anger

I’m confident I get angry with my boyfriend who I’m living with way less compared to two months ago.

When I get anxious or upset with something, I tended to project my anger onto my boyfriend.

I will explain WHAT I used to get angry with and HOW I changed.

BEFORE MEDITATION

  • I used to find clutter in my apartment and clean until I was super upset. When this happened, I used to project my anger on my boyfriend, and it was impacting our relationship.
  • I was not aware of what upset me (ex. I didn’t like unpacking when I came back from my parents’ house and thinking about recipes for the following day), and I used to get upset and angry with my boyfriend.

AFTER MEDITATION

  • I started to recognize WHAT makes me feel anxious and upset. So I try to avoid what makes me anxious and angry. Or sometimes ask my boyfriend for help.
  • I can now recognize when I start to feel anxious and upset. When those emotions arise, I try to stop doing what I’m doing.

How did meditation help me reduce worries, anger, and anxiety?

Neuroscientist Sara Lazar and her team at Harvard University conducted an interesting experiment.

Her team gathered 18 people who are not familiar with meditation, and they joined an 8-week mindfulness program at the Center for Mindfulness at the University of Massachusetts Medical School.

She scanned people’s brains 2 weeks prior to the experiment and after the experiment.

As a result, they found differences in brain volume in certain regions after 8 weeks including enlarged left hippocampus which assists cognition, and shrinkage in the amygdala which is in charge of fear and stress response.

What does this mean?

This means anyone who meditates regularly has a chance to change HOW your brain perceives stress, including anxiety, worries, anger, overwhelming feelings, and stress!

Not only did I become better at managing stress, but I also became less self-judgemental and more productive with work!

Let’s continue looking at my positive changes :) 

4. Less self-judgment

I can sometimes be quite self-judgemental.

I’ve been working on my issues with a counselor for 4 years now (I switched to online counseling after graduation due to cost), and self-judgment is one of the biggest issues I often discuss with my therapist.

(Related post ➡️ Online Counseling App Review- $50 A Month For Unlimited Online Counseling )

I’m particularly harsh when I have arguments with my boyfriend, and I will show you WHAT I used to get self-judgemental with and HOW I changed.

BEFORE MEDITATION

  • I often had thoughts “I shouldn’t live with my boyfriend because I’m annoying him” or “I shouldn’t exist”
  • I used to feel worse and worse about myself when I had an argument with my boyfriend and I always had a conclusion “My boyfriend must be happier without me or with someone else”, and would cry for an hour.

AFTER MEDITATION

  • The thoughts I mentioned above still come up from time to time. However, I can now notice when HARSH criticism comes up. So I criticize myself way less compared to before and things are easier for me.


For me, self-judgment is the most tricky area and I want to be able to be nicer to be through continuing to meditate.

5. More productivity

Blogging is fun but HARD.

There is tons of information online mentioning different strategies, and there are so many topics I can tackle with blogging. I often felt stuck and that I was wasting money. I will show you WHAT strategies I used to deal with difficult times with work and HOW I changed.

BEFORE MEDITATION

  • I used to feel overwhelmed and anxious with which task I should pick next or when thinking about what I need to do this week

AFTER MEDITATION

  • Instead of focusing on feeling anxious or overwhelmed, I can now think about WHAT I can do about my anxiety. (ex. I decided to hire a blogging mentor who can guide me through my blogging journey)
  • I can notice when I start to feel anxious or overwhelmed. When it happens, I can pause my work and meditate for a couple of minutes.

Related posts ➡️ 8 Healthy Working From Home Habits You Can Start Today

       ➡️ How To Maximize Your Productivity Using A Free Time Management Tool

Why did I become less self-judgemental and more productive?

You may think productivity and self-judgement are not related.

I have a perfect explanation for you!

Dr. Elizabeth Hoge, a psychiatrist at the Center for Anxiety and Traumatic Stress Disorders at Massachusetts General Hospital and an assistant professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, says you can train yourself to shift your distractive thoughts.

She says,

“Mindfulness teaches you to recognize, ‘Oh, there’s that thought again. I’ve been here before […]'”

Recognizing your emotion is the first step to dealing with problems.

For me, I became really good at recognizing my emotions, and it’s keeping me less critical and more productive.

  • Before I become TOO self-judgemental, I can stop
  • I can recognize I’m getting anxious and overwhelmed from work tasks, then I can take a break or meditate.

I changed a lot in the past two months, but I’m still struggling with self-judgment. I want to learn about meditation more and I decided to take a meditation class from Masterclass! I will write a review about it so stay tuned on my blog!

How Long Should I keep meditating?

You may be wondering HOW LONG you should keep mediating before you see the effect.

Neuroscientist, Sara Lazar who I mentioned earlier, answered this question to Washington post, saying

“Our data shows changes in the brain after just eight weeks.

In a mindfulness-based stress reduction program, our subjects took a weekly class. They were given a recording and told to practice 40 minutes a day at home. And that’s it.”

WOW! 40 minutes a day sounds like a lot. She also added that there isn’t enough data yet about how long someone needs to meditate to benefit.

Me?

I practiced meditation almost every day ranging from 3 to 5 minutes for two months at this point.

I believe the effect will differ depending on the person, but you may want to make meditation a daily habit if you want to feel less anxiety, anger, worry, self-judgment, and increase productivity!

If you are interested in starting meditation, you should read this post I wrote ➡️ Meditation For Anxiety – Easy Beginner’s Guide to Meditation


Leave a comment about this post or if there is anything you want to know about meditation!

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