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All of us could do with less stress and a clearer mindset. Many men achieve this through exercise or spending time with mates. However, meditation isn’t something we all necessarily have considered having a go at. Here’s why maybe we all should.
Set aside your image of wearing yoga pants, burning incense and drifting into the cosmos, because meditation needn’t be anything like that. Meditation is better thought of as a workout for your brain. The result: a clearer and more stable state. This is how it works:
You are sitting comfortably and focusing on your breathing with your eyes closed. Naturally, after a few seconds, something pops into your head - your job, your ex, what you’re having for dinner - you recognise this distraction and refocus on your breathing. That’s it. That’s meditation.
Each time you ask your brain to return to the present (your breathing) rather than the future (the dinner) or the past (the ex), your brain is doing it’s equivalent of a bicep curl. You’re training your brain. The idea is that the more often and consistently you meditate, the stronger your brain will get.
You might be thinking this is a load of nonsense but it’s really not - there’s actual science behind it. Research by Harvard University and UCLA have both shown that meditation can help the brain to grow - this can help to regulate emotions, increase concentration and willpower, lower stress levels, and more.
With all these benefits to be had, why is it that men are still unsure of meditation? There seem to be three hang-ups. The first is that you have to wear yoga pants and a tank top with ‘Zen Lord’ written on it. The second, that your mind is simply ‘too busy’. Third: Not a manly hobby/look.
Meditation doesn’t require yoga pants for starters. It can be done anywhere, by anyone. If you’ve got a commute (that doesn’t involve operating a vehicle - please), you can meditate on your way to work. Secondly, for those with ‘busy minds’, the first session or two might be a tad frustrating. However, stick with it. Meditation is like any other form of training, it just takes practice. Lastly, meditation won’t make you meek. If you do it properly, meditation will feel more like a workout than you would ever have imagined.
There’s really no excuse not to give meditation a go. You might try it for a few weeks and decide it’s not for you - you’ll never know if you don’t try. Our advice is to start with fifteen minutes a day, sitting comfortably upright, focusing on your breathing and refocusing when you get distracted. You’ll be amazed at the positive influence it can have on your day-to-day life.