I’ve been meditating for almost 50 years now and the good news is that it has transformed my life for the better. The bad news is I still have to meditate in order to maintain the benefits. I enjoy meditating but I always hoped that I would reach a point where either I didn’t need to meditate or I could get lazy about it and just do it now and then.
Well, I haven’t reached that point yet and perhaps I never will. That being said, I experiment from time to time not meditating just to see what will happen. When I don’t meditate regularly I notice an eroding of the benefits. Over time the erosion has become less and less but over the years I would notice definite changes that would remind me to get back to my regular meditation practice.
5 Signs To Get Back To Meditation
Here are 5 signs I notice which remind me to get back to my regular meditation practice. These are signs that non meditators notice as well, sure signs that opportunity lies ahead if they take the time to meditate.
1. Boredom Or Restlessness
One of the first reminders that it is time to meditate is when I start feeling bored and/or restless. I believe there is some good science behind this phenomena. Meditation relieves stress and lowers the adrenaline in our system.
High adrenaline levels keep us on edge and when we don’t sustain those high levels we begin to feel bored and restless, a kind of drug withdrawal phenomena. Meditation will break that cycle of adrenaline dependency and withdrawal.
Energy is everything and without it we don’t get much done and we don’t feel like getting much done. Energy also supports our system and keeps it healthy.
I notice that when I am not meditating my energy levels go down and I feel tired. When not meditating my stress levels go up and my breathing goes from slow, deep belly breathing to rapid, shallow chest breathing. We know that the key to energy is oxygen and when we breath correctly as a result of our meditation practice, we get plenty of oxygen and energy and are no longer tired.
This is another issue that appears when you don’t meditate. The reason is related to the same phenomena that brings about boredom and restlessness, an over abundance of adrenaline. The adrenaline which results from stress keeps us constantly stimulated and we are unable to turn it off when we want to go to sleep. Reducing stress through meditation will reduce adrenaline and make it much easier to sleep.
3. Fear Or Anxiety
Fear is a very specific response to fight or flight and is designed to help us survive. During long term stress, fight or flight remains active and so does the fear. With chronic long term stress the specific fear becomes more generalized and we call it anxiety.
In either case, it is a sure sign that we need to intervene with meditation since meditation is known to take us out of fight or flight thereby eliminating the chronic fear and anxiety. Fear is a great motivator for survival but we don’t need to carry it around all the time.
4. Feeling Distracted
The inability to focus and pay attention is rampant in today’s world. At the core of meditation practice is the skill of focused attention. Meditation has proven to be a very successful tool in reversing ADD and ADHD.
The constant practicing of focus on the meditation subject eventually builds up the skill of sustained attention. Whether the subject of meditation is the present moment, an image or a mantra, that skill of focused attention is being developed. Meditation also reduces adrenaline which is a major contributor to being distracted.