If there’s one new habit you should consider adopting, then it is meditation. Meditation is simply practiced focus and concentration.
Here, you will put yourself in a quiet environment and then focus on clearing your mind of distracting and unwanted thoughts. You will be ruminating on stressful topics, and you will gradually become better at focussing and remaining calm.
This is an incredibly powerful skill because it gives you the ability to rise above stress and panic and to remain calm no matter what is going on around you. This can make you a happier individual, as you’ll be less bothered by hard days at work or large deadlines but it can also make you more effective as you gain greater control over your emotional response, more emotional stability and the ability to concentrate more effectively on given tasks.
And did you know that meditation physically changes the structure of the brain? It has been demonstrated to increase ‘cortical thickness’, which means that there is more grey matter and a greater density of neural connections. Studies also show that meditation can improve concentration, focus, emotional stability and even IQ. In other words, meditating makes you a more focussed and even more intelligent individual.
This can be a difficult habit to get into, especially if you are someone who is unfamiliar with how meditation works, or perhaps who has never considered it in the past.
The simplest form of mediation is mindfulness meditation. Here, you simply sit somewhere quietly and ‘watch’ your thoughts go by. The idea is to allow them to pass by like clouds without engaging in them or worrying about their content. Don’t punish yourself for letting your mind wander, just make a note of the thought and then dismiss it. Not only does this teach you to rise above your thoughts and be less concerned by them but it also helps you to gain a greater understanding of the contents of your own mind so that you can predict your own reactions to future scenarios.
If you struggle to find the time necessary to commit, then try meditating for just 7 minutes a day. This amount of time is short enough that you should be able to slip it in without too much difficulty but it will be enough to start causing significant changes to the way your brain works.