There are so many reasons to use meditation for difficult times of your life.
Meditation can help us to remain positive during the worst of moments:
- Dealing with times of grief and sorrow
- Losing a job.
- Witnessing a seemingly impossible event.
- Finding out someone has been disloyal.
- Having to suddenly move to a new city.
All these life experiences can shake our stability, make us doubt our strength, and sometimes even make us question our own sanity.
Many studies have shown the positive effects of using meditation for difficult times in life
Studies have proven the positive effects of using meditation at difficult times.
- Meditation can lower stress [Read: How To Stop Stress]
- help us concentrate and focus
- and help us weather big losses
- but one of its most powerful benefits is the effect of meditation at difficult times in our lives.
Meditation is a way to preserve our mental health and wellbeing; a constant we can rely upon when life seems to lack meaning or sense.
The Effects Of Meditation For Difficult Emotions And Memories
One of the best things about using meditation at difficult times is that helps us to deal with painful memories and flashbacks.
Flashbacks are a major symptom of PTSD (Posttraumatic Stress Disorder) – a situation in which a person who has experienced trauma can suddenly be ‘whizzed’ into the past, re-experiencing traumatic events or reliving a very difficult moment.
One of the benefits of using meditation for difficult times is that it hlps us to deal with these flashbacks.
A 2016 study published in the journal Military Medicine showed that the regular practise of transcendental meditation [here’s How To Do Transcendental Meditation] reduced or even eliminated the need for medication in a group of active duty service members with PTSD.
The ancient practise also allowed them to obtain a better control of their symptoms. The findings are key to anyone who may be suddenly ‘transported’ to a mental place in which they are uncomfortable.
This might occur if you have an astral projection experience(also called ‘out of body experience’), which can leave you breathless and anxious.
Using meditation at difficult time will help to bring you back to the ‘the here and now’, or to a more tranquil, peaceful state in which (as occurs in transcendental meditation) that arises from ‘pure awareness’.
Another reason to use meditation at difficult times is that it makes us more adaptable
As mentioned above, you may be on a set path when you are suddenly forced to move to a new place, take up a new job, or totally reframe your goals.
A study by researchers at Leiden University found that meditation can promote adaptive behavior, enabling practitioners to embrace new goals positively.
In the study, researchers tested two types of meditation: open monitor meditation (OMM) – which involves opening the mind to different thoughts and sensations; and focused attention meditation (FAM) – which involves focusing on one thought in particular
. They found that FAM was actually more useful for adapting and adjusting behavior with greater flexibility.
Mindfulness Meditation helps when Battling Disease
Around 1,735,350 people in the U.S. were diagnosed with cancer in 2018.
Because cancer can sometimes have little or no symptoms, a diagnosis can require a high degree of adaptation.
Cancer treatments like chemotherapy also bring about unexpected physical changes, including ‘chemo brain’, which affects attention, memory, and executive function.
An Indiana University study found that mindfulness meditation was able to reduce post-cancer ‘brain fuzziness’ and help lower the stress associated with cancer therapy.
You’re better using meditation at difficult times than trying to distract yourself
It can be hard to focus during difficult times.
Receiving shocking news or knowing a life-changing meeting is coming up can make it very difficult to keep our mind focused on the important work we need to carry out until the highly awaited event takes place.
But one of the good things about meditation at difficult times is it helps us to focus.
A Massachusetts General Hospital study found that the positive effects of meditation on pain reduction and memory may result from an improved ability to regulate alpha brain waves.
This rhythm helps us ‘cut out’ distracting thoughts and information from our minds, thus helping us focus even when our environment is full of different stimuli.
Practical Advice for using meditation for difficult times of your life
Clearly there are lots of excellent reasons to use meditation at difficult times.
But how do you do it? Y
ou can embrace meditation in an intensive way, by attending meditation sessions or going on a retreat that is centered on one or more different forms of meditation (including mindfulness and transcendental meditation).
Meditation lessons will teach you the right techniques and will really hone in on the proper way to breathe or focus on one thought or (in the case of mindfulness meditation) your present emotions, thoughts, and sensations.
However, if you want a small taste of how this practise can calm you down when things take an unexpected turn, a good pace to start is by trying out short exercises, many of which are available online or via apps like Calm, Mindbody, and Buddhify.
Take a look at the best meditation apps of 2019.
These apps take you through short exercises (it may just be a short mindfulness session lasting five minutes) or longer sessions for moments when you really need to ground yourself and connect with your inner world. The key is to include meditation in your life every day – be it just for a few minutes a day. The more you meditate, the more you will feel empowered and confident in its ability to make a positive change to your life.
If there is one thing to expect from life, it is the occasional difficult times. Meditatio, however, can help.
Rather than leading a fearful life and resisting change, it is important to be open to new experiences, even the most challenging ones. Meditation can help us stay focused, adapt to new goals, and weather unusual or traumatic experiences with greater strength and tranquility.
Author: Chrissy Mason
This article was submitted by a guest blogger. You can read about the author in the post above. If you would like to submit an article, please write for us (sponsored guest posts).
Paul Harrison, Editor, THE DAILY MEDITATION.