Home Meditation 7 Compelling Reasons To Start A Meditation Practice

7 Compelling Reasons To Start A Meditation Practice

by Vidya Sury February 21, 2013 51 comments
Meditation Practice

That’s the title of a book by Tim Brownson, the no-BS, no-nonsense, non-mincer of words, makes-complete-sense-to-me life coach who blogs at A Daring Adventure.

Okay, I got my breath back.

A word (or few) about Tim first. Tim Brownson is a Certified Life Coach and has been unsticking people and helping them reach their true potential since 2005. I first “met” him a year ago when my three-part post “Take time to smell the flowers” was featured in his round-up of ““20 of the Greatest Self Development Posts Ever Written”.   Happy memories.

Anyway, I got hooked to his blog and his work and stalked him.  He has enriched my life with his great nuggets of wisdom since – and I’ve been a happy follower. And…I confess – I love the British accent, too!  Not sure if Tim will approve of this – but almost always, I am laughing my head off by the time I am half way through his post. Humor is a pillar in my life.


Then,his book: “Don’t hesitate, Meditate”, directly spoke to me. Now I am a big fan of meditation but, as you know, with good habits it is not enough just being a fan. It is important to cultivate a meditation practice.  Thing is – I’ve read a lot about mediation and even practice occasionally (oh yes, that “occasionally” is the problem). I have a fabulous guided meditation program. I tend to either doze off or make lists of things to do in my mind when I “meditate”.  So I do end up feeling good – but that’s not the entire point, right?

Anyway, Tim’s book – the way he presented it – triggered me into action and I resolved to set aside ten minutes to practice mediation every day. I continue to do it. (and that’s why I am cheerful even though I am limping around!). I am determined to enjoy the benefits of meditation.

I wanted to write about the book and share it with you. So imagine my delight when Tim wrote the perfect guest post for me. I am thrilled to have him over here today!

Welcome, Tim!

If you haven’t already, here are:

7 Compelling Reasons to Start a Meditation Practice

By Tim Brownson

Would you like to be happier, healthier, less stressed and more adept at dealing with the vagaries of life? Of course you would, who wouldn’t?

Fortunately recent scientific studies have started to prove beyond any reasonable doubt what millions of people in the East already knew, meditation delivers such results.

So without further ado, here are 7 compelling reasons why you should take up a meditation practice now.

One. – Improved Mental Health

Research has indicated that a regular meditation practice can help people who are suffering from depression. It was shown with the use of fMRI’s that after as little as 8 weeks daily practice there were beneficial structural changes taking place within the brains of those people who were meditating.

Two – Reduced Stress And Anxiety Levels

Stress is caused when the sympathetic part of the autonomic nervous system is in a heightened state of arousal and triggering the fight or flight response.

Meditation allows the parasympathetic nervous system to get involved more than was previously the case causing a slowing down of breathing and even heart rate. If you are in control of your breathing and your heart rate is normal it’s physiologically impossible to be in a state of high anxiety at the same time.

There has also been some recent research to suggest that regular meditators live up to 10 years longer than non-meditators. It’s still not clear why this is, but as stress is such a pernicious and destructive problem it seems plausible that simply by lowering stress levels we allow the body to heal itself more quickly.

An interesting note: Expert long-term meditators can be in both a state of high arousal (almost bliss) and total calm at the same time with their heart rate fluctuating considerably between the two states. Some also have the ability to take control of their blood pressure, something that was believed to be impossible until relatively recently.

Three – Improved Cognitive Function

By and large regular meditators are able to think more clearly, concentrate for longer periods of time and tend to have better memory recall. So if you spend half your life wondering where you left your car keys, meditation can help.

Four – Increased Happiness Levels

With meditation there is a great deal of emphasis on accepting what is and not trying to cling on to or grasp after ideas, things, or even people. If you can truly accept that your life is in constant flux and the vast majority of it is out of your control, you will become a more content, peaceful, and thus a happier person.

Meditation Practice

Thank you, Molly Hahn

Five – It’s Free

There aren’t many things in life that are so beneficial and so free! You may want to buy a meditation cushion (zafu), but even that is an optional extra, as are Buddha statues, incense, saffron robes and head shaving.

Six – It’s Easy To Do

So many of my clients, when I mention meditation to them, will respond with something along the lines of “I couldn’t do that, my mind is going a million miles per hour”

Well – welcome to the human race because all our minds are going a million miles per hour. That is what our minds are trained to do.

There are dozens of different meditation practices from all corners of the globe.

Below is one simple option, but if this doesn’t gel with you, search the Internet and you will find something that does.

  • Sit on the floor (you can lie down, but no napping!)
  • Focus your attention on your breath coming in and out of your nose
  • Wonder where all those random thoughts just came from that you swear weren’t there before
  • Don’t judge the thoughts (or yourself for having them), merely let them go and re-focus on your breath
  • Rinse and repeat for the next 40 years

Seven – There Are No Negative Side Effects

Meditation will not give you a hangover, it will not require you wean off it slowly should you decide to quit and you’re highly unlikely to pull a muscle doing it.


Think of meditation as being like the gym for your mind. Some people complain when they don’t see immediate results, but would you go to the gym once and complain after that your body doesn’t look like a Greek God (or Goddess)? Of course not, because you know that such a status has to be earned over a period of time.

People do get immediate results with meditation, but it’s more likely to require patience and persistence, which ironically, meditation will give you more of!

With very little to prove otherwise it was easy to be skeptical as little as 10 years ago, but over the last decade science has eradicated any reasonable doubt for anybody prepared to look at the evidence.

Seeing as you read Vidya’s blog, I’m pretty sure you’re an open-minded sort and as such cannot wait to fire up the incense and get going, right?

Thank you, Tim!

Benefits of Meditation

Tim Brownson is a Certified Life Coach, NLP Master Practitioner and Internationally published author. He runs A Daring Adventure and regularly blogs on self-development mixing humor, science, brutal honesty and occasional sarcasm.

I cleverly bummed Tim’s email signature to help you connect with him:

If you aren’t already, please do Read Tim’s Blog

Follow Tim on Twitter – now heres a guy who doesn’t clog your Twitter stream

Say Hi On Facebook – I guarantee you that his posters are some of the best I’ve seen

Get His Books For Free – ‘nuff said. I gloated over this long ago.

Download Don’t Hesitate, Meditate – and a whole lot of other priceless (free) stuff here

And so, now. Question for you:

Do you practice meditation? 

How does it help you?

Update:  Just as soon as Tim wrote this post, he went off on a Retreat. He shares his experience in this post:

The Loud Mouth Life Coach Goes On Retreat

I loved it. You might, too! 🙂

Meditation Practice

Check Out My Favorite Guided Meditation Program

(affiliate link – any affiliate earnings go to charity)


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Tim Brownson February 21, 2013 at 8:33 pm

Thanks a lot for having me Vidya and I hope I haven’t killed your comments section! 😉
Tim Brownson recently posted…There’s More Than 50 Shades of Grey

Vidya Sury February 22, 2013 at 3:01 am

It will be quite the opposite, Tim. Privileged to have you here today! 😀

My Inner Chick February 22, 2013 at 11:39 pm

Tim and Vidya,
I believe in Meditation…Now, if only I could take time to practice it!

Thank you for this most interesting post. Xx kiss
My Inner Chick recently posted…I Rise I Rise I Rise

Vidya Sury February 25, 2013 at 3:56 pm

Dear Kim! Love you! I admire you for all the things you do. Hugs!
Vidya Sury recently posted…Be Happy. It is easy

Debbie February 21, 2013 at 8:38 pm

Yes, Vidya I do. It is really a stress releaser. And makes the world right. I’ll have to go check Tim out. Love it when people can teach by throwing some humor.

My tech guy is from the UK and I love his accent, so i know what you mean.

Thanks for sharing this info on Tim.
Debbie recently posted…The Shocking Truth About Violence in Today’s Society.

Vidya Sury February 22, 2013 at 3:03 am

Dear Debbie, It is one of the things I look forward to every day. If nothing else, the quiet time feels just great.

Tim you’ll love. I am a big fan. I find his humor very refreshing. 😛 Almost like being with my gang of close friends!

Thank you for being here today!

Betsy/Zen Mama February 22, 2013 at 4:29 am

Thank you Tim and Vidya,
Every time I meditate, I love it! But I need to get on a regular practice schedule which I never seem to be able to do. Right I probably meditate once a week. I just love guided meditations, too. Your tips are so right on and I think I’d better get your book! I’ll check out your site and other social media!
Thanks you two!

ps Love your last Zen quote!
Betsy/Zen Mama recently posted…Cherish This Ordinary Day…

Tim Brownson February 22, 2013 at 2:51 pm

Betsy, I’d start by changing that need (which implies a lack of choice and can create internal resistance and stress) to a ‘want’.

If you want to do it, cool, do it!

And change this:

“which I never seem to be able to do”

to this:

“which I have never seemed to be able to do up until now (or yet)”

Sorry if I’m going all coachy, but the first phrasing includes a presupposition that it will remain the same and thus you deliver that message to your unconscious.

The latter suggests it that was a temporary condition and it can change and you also push the problem into the past.

BTW, the book is free, you don’t even need to sign up for my newsletter and there is also an audio version if that’s easier for you.
Tim Brownson recently posted…There’s More Than 50 Shades of Grey

Betsy/Zen Mama February 23, 2013 at 4:58 am

Love your coaching response! And if it’s free…. it’s for me! I”ll check out your website and newsletter, too. Thanks!
Betsy/Zen Mama recently posted…Cherish This Ordinary Day…

Vidya Sury February 22, 2013 at 4:07 pm

One thing that helped me make many changes and cultivate habits is rephrasing my thoughts, Tim. Of the simplest was this: from “I think I can” to “I will”.

In fact, it was the phrasing in the book that spurred me into action. I felt ashamed about “planning to do it” and simply decided that I’ll incorporate it into my day from ” 11 am to 11.30 am”. It was as simple as that. Having made the decision, all I had to do was stick to it.

Now I look forward to it. Why that odd time? Because I wake up at 5.30 am everyday and feel slightly drowsy at 11 – and I was pleasantly surprised to find that meditation made me feel very much present and awake. 🙂 My folks see the difference in my stress levels.

So Betsy. 🙂 Tim’s suggestion to you is something that will work beautifully.

Thanks, Tim.
Vidya Sury recently posted…The Gift Of Friendship

Betsy/Zen Mama February 23, 2013 at 5:04 am

I’m looking forward to reading his book because I know the time has definitely come for me to meditate on a more daily/weekly basis. Great post!
Betsy/Zen Mama recently posted…Cherish This Ordinary Day…

Cathy Taughinbaugh February 22, 2013 at 5:38 am

Hi Vidya and Tim,

Love this article about the benefits of meditation! I started practicing yoga and went from there to meditation a few years ago. I do miss a few days here and there, but am working hard to practice regularly. I can feel that it helps me and is definitely a way to calm the mind chatter. Thanks so much for a great post. I will check out your other materials.

Tim Brownson February 22, 2013 at 2:53 pm

I must the occasional day too Cathy, usually because I forget! I have no set practice as I hate sitting in the morning, so sometimes ‘stuff’ takes over.
Tim Brownson recently posted…There’s More Than 50 Shades of Grey

Vidya Sury February 22, 2013 at 5:20 pm

Just grab the book, Cathy. You’ll love it!
Vidya Sury recently posted…With Love and Gratitude

Mayura February 22, 2013 at 6:43 am

Hi Tim,

Wonderful topic to talk about and I can see many people being fond of meditation by now 🙂

I believe Meditation is a greatest gift I’ve given since my childhood 🙂 Actually I started with it when I go to temple to educate about my religion and back then it was kind of fun to think about breathing and sending love for everyone including animals in the World from my heart.

I had no idea how it would benefit me but in long run, I start feeling the change. I was able to have more control in my life and flexibility is one of important thing there. It’s much better to take control of mind instead of letting it control us 🙂 Now it’s even more easy for me as I do it in a short time while sitting in front of my computer.

I like how you elaborate the 7 reasons and I can’t see a reason why someone wanna avoid that after reading it Tim 🙂 Well, the choice is always in our hands.

Vidya – Gosh you write while all sickness and injury? :O Brave girl, eh? 😉

Have a wonderful week there, Tim and Vidya 🙂

Mayura recently posted…How to Deactivate Your Pinterest Account

Tim Brownson February 22, 2013 at 2:54 pm


I know right? You’d think anybody reading this would be off to start a practice immediately, but a tiny proportion of people do. Humans, we’re weird like that 😉
Tim Brownson recently posted…There’s More Than 50 Shades of Grey

Vidya Sury February 22, 2013 at 5:23 pm

Hey Mayura. I know you are spiritual. 🙂 So spread the message.

Yes, I am a cheerful cuss…with a little help from my friends 😉

Thank you for coming by!
Vidya Sury recently posted…The Gift Of Friendship

Rachna February 22, 2013 at 4:19 am

Thank you Tim! That is a truly enlightening post. I do meditate off and on, but I think I will aim to be more regular at it.

Tim Brownson February 22, 2013 at 2:45 pm

Well there are enough great reasons Rachna now is as good a time as any 😉
Tim Brownson recently posted…There’s More Than 50 Shades of Grey

Vidya Sury February 22, 2013 at 4:02 pm

Ah, Mission accomplished, Rachna. Next time I meet you, I’ll ask you. 😀
Vidya Sury recently posted…7 Compelling Reasons To Start A Meditation Practice

Elle February 22, 2013 at 11:55 am

Great interview Vidya and Tim – knowing the benefits of meditation is one thing (yes I do) the doing part, at least consistently…another story. Funny isn’t it how we recognize the benefits of something and still it doesn’t become an entirely integral part of our daily life.


Love Elle
Elle recently posted…Life – A Super-simple Way To Improve It.

Tim Brownson February 22, 2013 at 2:58 pm

Elle, it is all about how we see ourselves. I am making meditation part of my identity no different than regular exercise. It is simply what I do.

When we see at as something we feel obliged to do then it will always be a struggle. Knowing the information is not enough, you need to integrate it into your neurology.

BTW, 10 minutes a day is a loooooot better than nothing, and most people can commit to 10 days, right? 😉

Check out my free ebook on it because that may be the gentle push you need.
Tim Brownson recently posted…There’s More Than 50 Shades of Grey

Vidya Sury February 22, 2013 at 5:40 pm

Elle, I know you’ll enjoy the book. Want to do it is often easier than need to do it. 🙂 Today, setting aside that half hour to practice meditation is as important to me as brushing my teeth. 😀 I love the taste of the toothpaste, too.

Vidya Sury recently posted…7 Compelling Reasons To Start A Meditation Practice

Inspiring Citizen Rafi February 22, 2013 at 6:45 am

Hi Vidya,

I am not a cat and I just have one life – loved that self introduction of yours..

It was through Steveaitchison that I stumbled upon your blog and have fallen in love ever since..Its a great surprise to see some one like you from India who has started blogging way back in 2003 (from your archives)because people like Steve Pavlina started only in 2004..So you are a veteran..

This post on meditation is awesome and I do programs on meditation, mind power, nlp and fire-walking for happiness and peak performance..

With your support we can do a program in Chennai if you are open towards the concept..I am a cross-breed – half tamilian and half malayalee.

Please see my work and give me your kind feedback..

Inspiring Citizen Rafi recently posted…Why Is God So Cruel? Get Well Soon, Both Hyderabad and Sneha!!!

Vidya Sury February 22, 2013 at 5:30 pm

Thank you, Rafi, for your comment. Glad you dropped by. Credit for the superb post goes to Tim Brownson, who is a very solid life coach and I admire him very much.

Interesting to know about your programs. I live in Bangalore and focus my time on blogging, freelance writing and enjoying my family. I am not qualified to conduct the programs you mentioned. :-)I’ll definitely be happy to visit your blog.

Very sad about the Hyderabad blasts. So many friends in that area – I grew up in Hyd, spending almost half my life there and consider it my spiritual hometown.

Vidya Sury recently posted…I am Enough – An Affirmation

Inspiring Citizen Rafi February 23, 2013 at 4:44 am

Dear Vidya,

Thank you so much for supporting me and reading my blog..

What’s your feedback about the content and the benefits that people get from inspiringcitizen.

And just wanted to see whether you would be able to connect me with your friends whom you feel would need help and would be interested in attending an NLP and meditation workshop..

Inspiring Citizen Rafi recently posted…Why Is God So Cruel? Get Well Soon, Both Hyderabad and Sneha!!!

M Nirmal Anandh February 22, 2013 at 8:13 am

Hi Vidhya,

Nice Article about meditation. I am blogging for more than 2 years about spiritual gurus in the world. Actually i saw your website from your comment for “The real blogger status. Keep working like this. Congrats.
M Nirmal Anandh recently posted…The Collected Works of Ramana Maharishi

Vidya Sury February 22, 2013 at 5:37 pm

Thanks Nirmal!

One of my Uncles was a fan of Ramana Maharishi – I still have the book he treasured. 🙂
Vidya Sury recently posted…Paradise Found

Terri Sonoda February 22, 2013 at 4:55 pm

Excellent article. Lots of good reasons to meditate! Going to download Don’t Hesitate, Meditate now. Thanks!
Terri Sonoda recently posted…Research, wrinkles, lyrics and stuff

Vidya Sury February 22, 2013 at 5:42 pm

It is a fantastic book Terri and you’ll enjoy Tim’s writing style. Let me know how you like it! Do check out Tim’s blog – you’ll smile a lot!
Vidya Sury recently posted…I Just Received A Gift

Carolyn Hughes February 22, 2013 at 5:07 pm

Thank you Vidya and Tim. You have ignited my interest in meditation. I do take time to pray which isn’t quite the same thing I know, but I’m always interested in ways to improve my ‘quiet time’ at the end of my day.
Carolyn Hughes recently posted…Alone doesn’t have to mean lonely.

Tim Brownson February 22, 2013 at 6:57 pm

Carolyn, in some respects prayer and meditation are quite similar and scientific research has shown they can have similar effects on well being.

Having said that and from what I understand, prayer doesn’t tend to create the structural beneficial changes that meditation can and is a lot more limited. However, that may be in some small part down to the fact that people who pray tend to not do it for sustained lengths of time.

Just an assumption there that, that may play a small part.
Tim Brownson recently posted…There’s More Than 50 Shades of Grey

Vidya Sury February 22, 2013 at 5:49 pm

🙂 Carolyn, you’re one of the most grounded yet loving persons I know. I used to believe prayer was good enough until I made meditation a habit. Then I found that they were complementary making the whole experience more valuable.

Vidya Sury recently posted…Let’s Be Friends

Tim Brownson February 22, 2013 at 6:59 pm

Thanks a lot for the comments everybody.

I’m bailing out now because guess what?

Yep, rather ironically I’m off to Tampa on a weekend meditation retreat with my teacher, Bodhipaksa from wildmind.org

BTW, his site is excellent resource for information on meditation and mindfulness.
Tim Brownson recently posted…There’s More Than 50 Shades of Grey

Vidya Sury February 22, 2013 at 7:09 pm

Thank you, Tim. Practicing what you preach! Enjoy your Retreat! Catch you when you return, refreshed!
Vidya Sury recently posted…7 Compelling Reasons To Start A Meditation Practice

Julie Barrett February 22, 2013 at 11:37 pm

HI Vidya and Tim, I absolutely do meditate. Actually, every time I work I’m technically in meditation, so I do it a lot, but that’s different than what I do when I meditate for me, which has more to do with grounding, protection, and chakra clearing. Wonderful to see Tim here and promoting meditation, which can be a bit tough to get started on.
Julie Barrett recently posted…Mercury Retrograde Blasts A Perfectly Good New Shiny Post on Soul Groups and Sacred Contracts

Vidya Sury February 25, 2013 at 4:01 pm

Hugs, Julie! As much as the thought always appealed to me – I never took action. I should have been inspired by those in my family practicing it right in front of my eyes – yet I lazed off. I guess the right time is the time when one resolves to do it, and then does it! This was that time for me. My morning prayer is more than a prayer – so perhaps that keeps me serene 😀
Vidya Sury recently posted…Be Happy. It is easy

Vishnu February 23, 2013 at 8:08 am

Glad to see a couple of my favorite people together.

Tim, I’m going to pick up this book asap and try to sell it on ebay…wait, what do you mean it’s free?

Meditation has made a big difference in my life for calmness of mind, peace and tranquility. I don’t think we can change the world, we can change ourselves and a mindfulness practice allows us to be mindful of the world and make positive change.

I try to schedule meditation the first thing when I wake up every morning. That way I can squeeze in a few more minutes of sleep. (joke!) I do meditate after I am physically awake.

Vidya Sury February 25, 2013 at 3:51 pm

Hi Vishnu. 😀 What a nice thing to say! I must confess I am surprised you haven’t read the book yet! Oh wait – you just referred to selling it on ebay – which may or may not mean you haven’t read the book.

I find meditation a very soothing practice I look forward to, every day. I wish I could start my day with it, but I am busy in the kitchen from 5.45 to 8.15 am, cooking and doing all the Mommy stuff.

🙂 Cheers!

Maggie Amada February 25, 2013 at 2:40 pm

Thank you, Tim. I think I’ll give this a shot. I haven’t meditated since childhood, but my life is so hectic, I could use a little calm in my day. 🙂

Vidya Sury February 25, 2013 at 3:00 pm

Hi Maggie! Welcome! Have you read Tim’s book: Don’t Hesitate, Meditate? Besides being a fun read, it shows you ways to get going. 🙂 Wishing you lots of calm!

Tim Brownson February 25, 2013 at 11:15 pm

And boy was the weekends retreat awesome! You have to try one people it’s well worth the effort.
Tim Brownson recently posted…How to Stop Choking Your Own Happiness

Tim Brownson February 26, 2013 at 8:28 pm

Vidya, I hope I’m ok doing this, but I just wrote a post about my experience on the retreat and thought some of your lovely readers maybe interested in getting a better feel of what a retreat is like.

Tim Brownson recently posted…How to Stop Choking Your Own Happiness

Vidya Sury February 27, 2013 at 3:19 am

Yes. Absolutely okay, Tim. Love the post! In fact, I added it as an update to the post – scroll up and look! :-)Thanks again!
Vidya Sury recently posted…Online Shopping @Myntra – Loving It!

Ekta March 6, 2013 at 10:31 am

Namaste Vidya and Tim,

I am trying to medidated from last 3 years now. I tried Raj Yoga and ended up sleeping every time i was left alone to concentrate. I felt scared to be left alone in all that silence. Now i am trying heart chakra. The moment i am calm. Everything rush in like to do lists, past and some sad memories. What am i suppose to think / concentrate while i medidate?



Vidya Sury March 6, 2013 at 1:28 pm

Welcome, Ekta. I used to have the same problem while meditating – feeling drowsy – but I would awake feeling very refreshed – and I thought, mission accomplished. But I know there is more it meditation than that. It is to feel energized as we become one with our soul with zero distraction. May I suggest that you try guided meditation – I found that it helped me tremendously. See the link “Check out my favorite guided meditation program” at the end of the post. Do also read Tim’s book, which I’ve referred to – it is wonderful! I’d love to hear how it worked for you!

Thank you for visiting!

Shub October 6, 2013 at 6:05 pm

Namaste Vidya ji,

Great article! Could you please give me pointers to where I could purchase a Zafu Cushion in Bangalore?

Thanks and Regards

Vidya Sury October 6, 2013 at 6:14 pm

Hi Shub! Thanks. I’ve found that mattress stores might have them. I got mine from Mantri Mall. 🙂 It wasn’t called a zafu cushion, but it is a round six inch cushion that’s very comfortable.

Shalini October 12, 2016 at 4:33 pm

Thanks for sharing this Vidya. I have taken to guided meditation for a year or so since I feel I ca t meditate on my own. I loved Tim’s 7 pointers and now will try to meditate on my own for 10 mts daily. Let’s hope I can come back and report happy progress. Cheers.
I am smiling as I read your post. ?

Vidya Sury October 12, 2016 at 4:36 pm

Thank you Shalini. I am glad you enjoyed the post. In fact, I love guided meditation and have a few mp3s with fabulous voices that are so soothing. These days I am trying to practice mindfulness meditation, which basically involves focusing on the present moment. I’d love to know how your 10-minute meditation goes.

Hugs for smiling! 🙂
Vidya Sury recently posted…Too busy collecting smiles on #WorldSmileDay

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