How Meditation Helps In Overcoming Bad Habits

All of us have something that we wish we could change about ourselves. It may be something small like biting your nails or spending too much time on Facebook when you should be doing more important things, or it could be something with more serious consequences for your health like smoking, drinking or eating too much.
There are so many different ways that people will suggest to you to control such habits that it can be difficult to know where to start. In fact, you may have tried something already, and if it was unsuccessful then it can make overcoming your bad habit feel even more insurmountable. The good news is that meditation is one of the few techniques which is proven to work in increasing self control and subsequently overcoming bad habits. The best thing about meditation is that it can be used to supplement any other techniques that you want to try to overcome your bad habits and will make them more effective.
There are no negative side effects, but meditation does have a wide range of positive side effects. It is good for your health, possibly decreasing your risk of heart disease and boosting your immune system. It will also make you more calm and focused in general.

How Meditation Helps

Most bad habits are done subconsciously. Often we do not mean to do it, but we end up doing it anyway. It is particularly easy to fall into this trap if you are a little bit stressed or tired. This is because your prefrontal cortex, which is important in exercising cognitive control over your actions, becomes less effective if you are stressed or tired. Meditation increases the effectiveness of your prefrontal cortex. It develops your awareness and therefore your ability to control what you are doing. The more you practice meditation, the more you develop your mental and physical control.
It will then become easier to think before engaging in a bad habit. It will help you focus on what you really want, and it will become possible to think, “Do I want to engage in this behavior?” rather than just doing it and thinking about it afterwards.

Steps In Meditation

If you have the time, then it is best to do meditation for 30 minutes or even an hour per day. It is best to decide on a set time every day for your meditation practice. Find somewhere where there are no distractions and where you will not be disturbed. Focusing on your breathing can be an effective way of meditating. You should not try and change your breath – just focus on the sensations of your breath going in and out of your body.
Another option is to practice a “body scan”, which involves shifting your attention to different parts of your body, for example start with your foot, then your leg, then your arm and so on. What sensations do you feel in each area of your body? Try to imagine that your breath is going in and out of that part of your body.
Most beginners find it best to use guided meditations to limit the inevitable wandering of the mind.  You can access a wide variety of free guided meditations on the internet or in any app store. Next time you’re indulging that habit of surfing the internet, turn this potentially bad habit into something useful and find out more about what is meditation and how it can help you overcome your bad habits.

Recent Stories