I’ve been meditating for five months now using Headspace.While there are many ways to meditate and different benefits for everyone, there are two practical reasons why I meditate and why I suggest it to everyone else.
Meditation helps me fall asleep faster. In Headspace, Andy (the creator of Headspace and the voice in your ear when you meditate) makes it clear that the point of meditation is not to rid yourself of thinking. Thoughts will always arise. There’s an animation in headspace of a man running out into traffic. Our thoughts are always going to arise much like cars passing on the freeway, but instead of running out into the traffic and chasing our thoughts down, through Headspace we can began to just observe our thoughts. We can stand on the side of the road and just notice what goes by. After a month or two of practicing this with Headspace, I began to notice that I fall asleep really fast. I used to get into bed and race after every thought that popped into my head. Now when I go to sleep, I start to notice my thoughts coming up. I see the distance between myself and my thoughts. I can distance myself from those thoughts by simply noting them and focusing on my breath, as I usually do in meditation. I fall asleep faster than I ever have.
Meditation helps me focus easier. When it comes to doing hard things, I can focus more intensely than ever before. When writing or coding (or doing anything else that requires concentration) thoughts inevitably pop up. It’s so much easier to latch onto a thought involving a nice daydream or a memory than it is to stay concentrated on the hard task at hand. Yet because I’ve been meditating, I’ve learned how to not be so carried away by my thoughts. Because I’m no longer carried away by my thoughts, it’s easier to concentrate on the hard task at hand.