Last year I gave up pursuing happiness and I am happier for it. Actually, I gave up pursuing everything. Instead of trying to be a better meditator, exerciser, sleeper and eater, I removed all the shoulds, whips and carrots, and just let myself be alive. The irony is that now I am a better meditator, exerciser, sleeper and eater.
I attribute the change to 65 years of trying things that didn’t work. I think I just ran out of ways to fail and found something that works.
The other helpful tool is that I stumbled upon teachers that inspire me. It’s the proverbial, “When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.” The teachers appeared in Dan Harris’s 10% Happier podcast. Then I read his book. After that, I downloaded a 7-day free trial of the 10% Happier app. It was so helpful, I plopped down the money for a year’s subscription. After 45 years of trying to meditate and spending most of the time wishing it was over, I now have an incredible meditation experience. I look forward to it, and am often surprised at how quickly the time passes.
Meditation is more than a tool for happiness; it’s a tool for health. Research reports solid evidence that meditating can help lower blood pressure, and decrease pain. Meditators demonstrate better cognition as well as improved immune systems. And these are just a few of the benefits.
Here are the really cool parts about meditation: it doesn’t cost anything, there are no negative side effects, and you can do it anywhere, anytime. A big upside with no downside other than it takes a few minutes every day. Is there anything stopping you from giving it a try?
Tip: If the 10% Happier app doesn’t fit in your budget, there are lots of free meditations on the 10% Happier podcast. And many of the guests on this podcast have their own podcasts and free meditations.