How five minutes of meditation a day can change your life

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Photo by Yoann Boyer

We live busy lives.
Especially those of us who live in big cities, often struggle with the fast rhythm of life.
Apart from that, we are constantly exposed to a huge variety of information, which is forced upon us by ads, companies, TV, people.
Just try to ride a train without perceiving some of that information.
Constant visual and mental noise arises. We aren’t capable of concentrating on one thought for longer than a few seconds, maintain clarity of mind and stay focused on what really matters.
This noise, constant chattering of our mind is our biggest problem.
If you encounter a person walking on the street, talking to an invisible voice, some people might say this person is crazy, yet most of us have exactly that same voice inside our heads, all the time, judging, thinking, deciding, reviving long passed moments or fearing for the unknown future.
There are known methods to help calm down this voice and obtain at least some power over your thoughts, yet people seem not to appreciate the importance of it.
One of those methods is called Meditation.
Only five minutes every morning of a daily meditation practice can have a huge impact on your life.
Some of those aspects are:
  1. Better focus 
A daily meditation practice can improve significantly how concentrated and focused you are at work, in class or overall regarding your life. With time you will notice an increased concentration when studying, playing music, creating art or reading. For me personally, it helped a lot to enter the flow state on a more regular basis.
Meditation will also give you a better focus on what really matters in your life. It is kind of like stripping down your whole existence to what really matters to you – allowing you to invest more time and energy into important things.
  1. Quiet mind 
Our mind can be our greatest tool and our worst enemy. The constant inner noise has driven many people crazy in the past.
While we might not enter this category, it is safe to say that this inner voice, while genial at some times, is often a distraction.
Get rid of that constant chatter in your head.
There are several meditation practices which focus on exactly that – to simply observe your inner voice, or, depending on your level of expertise even to cease to think completely and therefore to declutter your mind. We clean our homes and bodies, why shouldn’t we do the same with our minds?
  1. Better mood
Meditation is proven to lower your levels of stress, which have a direct influence on your overall health and well-being. A short daily practice helps you to clear emotional and tension blockades, allowing you to face your daily struggles with more confidence, positivity, and strength. By adding a little gratefulness practice along with your meditations, you can double the positive effects.
There was not a single meditation practice in my life, which didn’t help to improve my mood at least a tiny bit. It’s kind of like recovering energy, calming down and focusing on the good things in one step.
  1. Conscious emotions
One of the most fascinating changes was probably how I learned to perceive and feel my emotions.
It is long proven that our thoughts and emotions have a direct effect on our health and overall state.
Emotions can have a direct impact on our physical body. We don’t sleep if we are excited, have tummy pain when nervous and can even develop more serious conditions if exposed to constant stress and negative emotions for long periods of time.
Especially tricky are those, that we cannot identify and keep carrying with us for days or weeks.
Meditation really helped me to be more aware of the emotions that arise with different thoughts or actions by myself or other people. By being conscious about them, be it positive or negative, I have a tool to control them.
By actively perceiving and acknowledging them, I give them no chance to manifest themselves in the physical body or force me to have a reaction which I might regret later.
  1. Improved creativity 
Two abilities are needed in order to actually be able to be creative: good memory, filled with useful information and mental rest. This means we actually need to reach those reserves of information, or so-called memory banks which include things we have seen, experienced, felt, smelled and tasted. Only paired with deep introspection and quiet can it be combined for a new spark to come up. Meditation helps us to acquire this quiet and gives us tools to evoke it when needed.
Creativity arises when our brain is sufficiently calm and relaxed to reach to those reserves of useful information.
Meditation helps to enter the state of flow, which is proven to allow your mind to create new things, have new ideas and overall create new things.
You calm down your mind, which allows you to focus on the goals for today, taking decisions not based on emotions but facts.
I might be mistaken and you are totally able to zone out – I still struggle daily to keep my mind quiet.
Only 5 minutes of meditation every morning or evening can help you improve your life significantly. If you struggle to practice on your own, there are many guided meditations available freely on the internet. I might create a list of free resources later on, in the meanwhile, should you have any questions, feel free to contact me.
What do you think about this? Do you meditate? If yes, what kind of meditation do you prefer? If not, why not?

 

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Are you working for your money?

What does it mean to be financially independent?
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Many would consider it to be a state in which you can afford to pay your rent, expenses and have a constant flow of money.
Others would suggest it to be the amount of time you can live off without working, living off the passive income you generate by intelligently managing your money.
For me it’s both of the above mentioned plus the possibility to move around and live wherever I wish to be at that moment, having enough time to pursue my hobbies and to spend with my family.
How to achieve it?
Seems like an impossible task at first.
Since very young, we are taught to act in a specific pattern, going to school, follow orders, memorize information. We don’t actually get taught to think and be individuals with our own strengths and weaknesses. Obviously, I cannot talk about everyone but it is definitely how it happened to me and many people I know.
School gave me some basic knowledge, but it definitely didn’t prepare me for life. Most of the things I know, I learned outside of school.
Our mindset is programmed from early one to follow orders, execute and all in one be a great employee.
So how do we reach that financial independence? 
Definitely not by following orders or working 40+ years for someone else’s dreams to expect to have enough by then to live comfortably through your retirement until you finally die. Maybe it sounds a bit dramatic, but the overall I would say it is how many of us live their whole lives.
I won’t argue with the fact, that people are quite different and might have different desires and expectations from life – but over years two facts crystallized over the years:
The educational institutions won’t grant me a sufficient education to live a fulfilling life and I can’t rely on the government to receive a good retirement. It’s all in my hands: my future, my mother’s retirement, my kids, should I have them.
The first step is the change of mindset.
For the start, it is sufficient to simply open your eyes to all the senseless consumption forced upon us by ads, tv, society.
We get raises and earn more money to spend it on stuff that won’t make us happy, just to stand up to the standards and expectations set by other people. Those new brand sunglasses, this new bag although we have around 5 dusting in the closet, or maybe again another night of fiesta, spending € on overpriced Gin Tonics?
I am not saying, we are supposed to live a frugal life without any spending. The problem is the amount of things we buy, we don’t actually need.
I have to admit, I also fall into this category often. Just recently I bought three pairs of shirt on Zalando, while actually the only thing that would be useful would be a new pair of winter shoes which don’t leak.
This is all money, which could be put apart. Yes, we are talking about plan and simple savings here. Savings, which eventually can be invested or used to buy assets, which in return can generate more money.
If we would invest half of the energy we do in getting a raise into thinking and educating about finances, life could look so much different for so many of us.
What do you think?
I would love to hear your opinion!
Gabriela