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10 Ways Meditation Can Help You Deal With Your Friends and Family

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1. PATIENCE – Practicing meditation is a great way to learn patience!  When you force yourself to sit still for a few minutes every day, while focusing on your breath and simply observing the thoughts in your mind without judgment, you will be able to tolerate waiting for your slow friends or siblings without getting stressed out.  In fact, you can meditate any time you are waiting for someone or something!

2. JUDGMENT – In meditation we train ourselves to simply observe our thoughts without judging them as good or bad.  They are just thoughts.  Actions on the other hand can have positive or negative impacts on our lives.  By learning mindfulness we give ourselves that split second where we observe what we are thinking before deciding what action we are going to take, this is called good judgment!  When we see our friends doing things that are going to hurt them or others we can be compassionate for them, because maybe they don’t know how to be mindful and are just acting on their thoughts without seeing what the consequences are going to be. 

3. ACCEPTANCE – In meditation we learn to see our thoughts without judgment.  We simply accept ourselves as we are with all our wishes fears dreams strengths and weaknesses.  We understand that we are simply doing our best in every moment.  Practicing mindfulness gives us a tool to help us see what our best action is in any moment.  We can be accepting of people like our friends, family, teachers and coaches who may not have this skill. 

4. SELF AWARENESS – Being self aware simply means being aware of what you are thinking, how you are feeling and paying attention to what you are actually doing.  When we practice Mindfulness we learn to pay attention to what we are thinking, and how those thoughts make us feel.  As we go through our days after our morning meditation we will start to notice how people places and things make us feel.  Does one friend always bring you down?  Does eating junk food at lunch make you too tired to go to your team practice after school?  By becoming self aware we can learn to make decisions that will help us get to our goals and avoid situations that are taking us away from where we want to be. 

5. PEER PRESSURE – Our friends can be a source of guidance help and inspiration, or sometimes not.  By becoming self aware we can begin to pay attention to how we feel, our feelings are a pretty good indicator of what we should or should not be doing.  If a friend suggests that you do something and you feel your stomach getting upset at the thought of it, that is a good indicator that you are being pressured to do something stupid.  We are often afraid that if we don’t conform we will lose our friends and that is very scary, but we all have different people in our life.  Learn to be mindful of how you feel around certain people and choose to spend time with the ones who want to do cool stuff, stuff you would be proud to tell your Grandmother you did. 

6. APPROVAL SEEKING – this is the other side of peer pressure, doing things to get attention, to get likes on a post or shares of an instagram.  Now, this is important, doing things that are good for others out of the kindness of your heart is the goal, sometimes that can get confused with other motivations.  By learning to be mindful we can start to notice when we are doing things just to get attention versus when we are being genuine honest loving in our actions.

7. PLEASURE SEEKING – Have you ever had a bad day at school or got in an argument with your mom and just wanted to run to your room and eat a whole tub of  ice cream?  This is typical pleasure seeking behavior.  Often times, we don’t want to feel our feelings when the feeling is ‘bad’.  As we learn and practice mindfulness through our daily seated meditation practice first we learn to just observe and accept our thoughts, then we can begin to observe and accept our feelings as well, as they are often linked.  When we learn to accept our thoughts and feelings we wont be as tempted to do things that we later regret just to make the pain go away. 

8. PAIN AVOIDANCE – Have you ever made a big mistake that you were sure you would get in trouble for?  Then hid the evidence, blamed someone else or somehow not taken responsibility because you were afraid you would get in trouble, this behavior is called pain avoidance.  It makes sense at first glance but as we have seen, when we meditate we build a safe place inside us where our thoughts and feelings don’t have a powerful a hold on us.  So you can admit what you did wrong and then simply observe how the authority figure is reacting and you can simply accept what is going on without judgment.  Yes you may still get in trouble but you will be in WAY LESS trouble if you admit your faults than if you hide them and get caught later. 

9. RESPONSIBILITY – As we learn and practice Mindfulness through our daily seated practice we realize that our thoughts come and go and we don’t have much control over them, but when we insert that layer of mindfulness into our lives we realize that we do have control over our actions.  Thoughts come in and we can choose to dwell on them or let them go and consciously think about something else that makes us feel good, and just like that we can do the same with our actions.  When we make this HUGE realization we no longer can blame our friends or our parents for stuff that we clearly chose to do.  This is very empowering because it shows us that anything we want in life we have to work towards, this makes us very powerful because we will start to choose our actions more carefully rather than just blaming everything that goes wrong on someone else. 

10. COMPASSION – As you can see, the practice of Mindfulness Meditation can totally change our lives for the better.  As you grow and change you will likely start to notice that you have less and less in common with some friends and you might want to start to find some new friends who also practice meditation!  Think of the quality of life you can have when you are all taking responsibility for your own actions and outcomes!  Now the flip side of that is having compassion for people who don’t have this skill.  When you see someone freaking out, sad, crying, sick or suffering you can understand that they probably have no idea how to separate themselves from their thoughts.  You can think back to how that used to make you feel. You have developed an amazing skill that helps you literally create the life you want to live, without it, life can be very challenging.  So as you go through your day, look around you and choose to be grateful for what you have and have some compassion for people around you who clearly do not have this gift in their lives. 

Maybe you will even want to teach others how to meditate?

Have Your Say

Have you meditated before?  What do you do to reduce stress?  Comment below!