After reading the title of this blog post, you may be thinking: What? Yet another benefit of mindfulness meditation? The answer to that is: Yes. Yes it is.
What is self-worth?
Many of us will struggle with self-worth, self-esteem or self-respect at some point in our lives. There is always something to change, something to improve. We can lose weight, change our appearance, buy a bigger house, buy a more expensive car. But even if we change something, there will always be something else that we can change. Even if our situation improves in one way, there are always other parts of our lives that we are not satisfied with. Self-worth comes from within, yet we often value ourselves based on things that are external to us. And because external things are often outside of our immediate control, our self-worth tends to suffer and fluctuate.
How can meditation help?
The beauty of meditation is that it works both for us and with us. We can set our intentions prior to meditating and focus our minds on what we want to achieve (e.g., by using mantras or visualisation). But we can also simply sit in meditation and observe the immense world within us, becoming aware of the thoughts and feelings that come and go, and practicing non-attachment towards them. Whichever meditation technique you use (and there are many!), your practice is likely to enhance your self-worth and self-love. Below are just some examples of how meditation can benefit self-worth, based on experiences from my own practice and knowledge gained through research.
- Meditation teaches us acceptance. Instead of seeking approval and acceptance from other people, we learn to accept and appreciate ourselves, and place value on our internal state and health, rather than on physical appearance or material wealth.
- Meditation teaches us gratitude. We learn to appreciate and be grateful for what we have and who we are, give to those who have less, and be happy throughout.
- Meditation teaches us loving kindness. When we are loving and kind to ourselves, we practice non-judgement towards our skills and abilities, and non-reactivity towards negative events and situations that are beyond our control.
- Meditation teaches us introspection. When we look within ourselves, we discover our strengths and our weaknesses. We discover our innate abilities. We discover our inner values and goals. And above all, we loosen our connection with “the self”, by realising that it is a fluid and ever-changing concept that we have created for ourselves.
- Meditation teaches us intentionality. When we stay motivated and focused on what we want to achieve, we are not limited by negative and often false perceptions of ourselves and our abilities.
- Meditation teaches us observation. Meditation takes us outside of ourselves by bringing us inside ourselves. We learn that we are connected to everything and everyone around us, which lessens our tendency to compete and compare ourselves with other people.
- Meditation teaches us that we are enough. Just the way we are.
Thank you for reading, I hope you enjoyed it! Feel free to leave a comment below and check out my related blog posts about: