Recently a wellness coach friend of mine posted on social media about the importance of daily deep breathing meditation. I have been practicing deep breathing techniques for a few minutes a day on and off in the past decade—primarily several years ago, and then more recently in preparation for the birth of my daughter. There were many years in between in which I simply could not take myself to practice deep breathing exercises.
Why is meditation so hard?
We live in a day and age when we can grab our smart phones and achieve instant gratification from Facebook and Instagram, etc (my personal two favorites, and at times, greatest vices—if I stay on for too long.) Meditation—breathing or other— provides delayed gratification. It ain’t fun while your doing it, especially not in the beginning when you are working to allow the stillness and not give into your mind’s wandering.
But this morning, as I recalled the post from my wellness coach friend, I paused and meditated on my breath for a few moments. And then I realized: This breathing exercise is giving me nourishment and reserve that I can tap into later in my day—going on Facebook doesn’t do that!
So while going on Facebook is the easier choice, providing instant entertainment, it doesn’t give me anything past those moments I’m on it. If anything, it drains me—egging on my mind in social comparison and/or encouraging my mind to be in a heavy thinking/doing mode as it processes all the information I have just consumed.
The breathing mediation on the other hand, while seemingly not benefitting me in the moment and much harder to do, gives me long-lasting emotional and physical nourishment. It’s not just delayed gratification, it’s longer-lasting, more impactful gratification.