If you told me 5 years ago that I’d be meditating almost every day, I would have likely laughed out loud.

I now spend at least 5 to 15 minutes each day meditating. I had preconceived notions about meditation. I pictured sitting, legs crossed, for at least an hour at a time. I pictured humming, chanting, or trying to force my mind to go blank. It just seemed impossible.

You see, my mind runs non-stop.

I’m always thinking, always trying to figure out the next thing, how to make things better, how to come up with ideas for my business, what to do with my family, how to improve my home, and trying to figure out when I’ll ever find time to clean the toilet. It just never stops. Can you relate?

Add to that the fact the thought of chanting made me uncomfortable and I didn’t want to touch meditation with a 10 foot pole. Then, my yoga teacher training happened.

In the year it took me to get my 200 Hour certification with YogaFit, I was introduced to meditation. I had no idea that meditation had so many forms. Walking meditations, repetition of mantra or affirmations, guided meditations (my favourite), and focused attention meditation are only a few of the types available.

I also learned that it’s next to impossible to completely clear the mind and that in fact, it’s totally normal!

Add to that the fact that I didn’t necessarily have to sit the whole time or do it for an hour at a time and I was tempted to at least give this meditation thing a try.

I’ve now come to the conclusion that I love guided meditations, mantra meditations, and believe it or not, chanting. I guess that only makes sense since I love music and singing.

Over the past few years, I’ve learned to make meditation an almost daily practice. Some days I meditate for 5 minutes and others for a half hour.

Here are the 5 ways meditation has changed my life and can do the same for you:

More Patience
Since taking on a regular practice, I have more patience with people, including myself and my family. I’m able to take a few deep breaths before reacting to a situation. Many times this is the amount of time it takes to make or break the moments that follow.

Higher Capacity To Deal With Stress
When stressful situations occur, I always turn to my meditation. The practice allows my mind to quiet down, to look at a situation from the outside in, and to at least momentarily detach myself from the drama. By doing this, I can assess and choose how I will react to the stress that is presenting itself. Often times, the stressor becomes trivial once I’ve had a chance to quiet my mind and put things into perspective.

Gratitude & Attitude
Part of my daily meditation practice includes being grateful. I take time to write in my journal in a section I call “Gratitude and Attitude”. Each day, I list at least 3 things that I’m grateful for. By finding gratitude in even the smallest of things, it has allowed my mind to shift gears and in turn has allowed my attitude towards daily life change for the better.

Increased Sense of Happiness
Life isn’t perfect. It never is. Sometimes we’re happy, other times we’re sad. That’s just the way life is. It’s normal. Despite this, it’s certainly nice when you realize that our life is happier more than it is sad. It’s even better when you can find the good even during bad times. My meditation practice has allowed me to find a greater sense of happiness in my life and has given me the capacity to flow through tough times with more ease.

Finally, meditation gives me a greater sense of clarity in my life. I have a clearer vision of what I want and the steps I’m going to take to get it. Because of this, I’m more focused in my efforts and am finding greater success in all areas of my life.

Do you meditate? How has it changed your life? If not, what’s stopping you and are you willing to try? Comment below.