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  • Writer's pictureCris

Does meditation really make you happiest?

Literally every book I came across about self-improvement, life-work balance, stress management, and mental health has in common a pillar: meditation.

Many studies demonstrated how only 5 minutes (less than 0.4% of our day) of meditation are enough to improve focus and attention for the rest of the day, improve mood, and reduce stress. Also, meditation helps to enlarge our "attentional space" (as explained in "Hyperfocus"), allowing us to keep more pieces of information in our minds. [Writing a post about how to enter into hyperfocus mode is near the top of my list]

The most important fact, however, is that people who regularly meditate seem happier than those who don't! It's not a mere question of memory, attention or mood anymore; it's something bigger than that.

During a meditation session, it's common to focus on something small, easy to keep under control (your breath or a portion of your body, for instance). Every time your mind wanders away, you force it to focus again.

Matthieu Ricard, called the "happiest man in the world" by scientists, seems to know how meditation works. Ricard is a Tibetan Buddhist Monk who participated in a study (12 years long) about the brain and meditation. The results confirmed that, during his meditation session, his mind was extraordinarily light, and he was in a general state of happiness.

In my opinion, five to ten minutes of meditation are enough to experience the first benefits (Ricard says to meditate for entire days without getting bored).

I added meditation to my morning routine about three months ago. I admit that during the first sessions, I couldn't focus for more than 15 seconds; I started thinking meditation wasn't my cup of tea. I often thought of having lost ten precious minutes of my life (I could have spent this time replying to emails or reading a paper). However, after the first week, I started feeling more relaxed, focused, and open-minded.

Step by step, I was improving my "ability" to focus only on the very moment.

What do you think? Did you reserve a "meditation slot" in your morning routine? Let me know!


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