There are many factors to consider when wanting to know How Long Does It Take for Meditation to Show Results?
Why?…. Because we are not all the same. The way we practice our meditations, the type of meditation we engage in, and the intensity with which we practice may vary from what others are doing.
However, there are some uniform results that we all seem to achieve regardless of how we meditate.
So, let’s explore what results you can expect by continuing your practice…..
How Long Does It Take For Meditation To Show Results?
Your meditation practice will, undoubtedly, return positive results. However, they may not be immediately obvious to you. And others may likely notice the changes before you do. The time it takes depends on the results we are wanting as well as other factors. These include the point we are starting from, the type of meditations we are doing, and the quality of our meditations. Regardless, some people report feeling less stressed after just one session, and research proves our brains are positively altered within eight weeks of practice.
What results can we expect and how long will it take?
In general, short-term results, including a lighter mood, a calmer more stable mind, an improved ability to focus, mental clarity, lower blood pressure, a reduction in stress, etc. all commonly occur after the first couple of weeks of consistent practice.
You can imagine your practice as being similar to going to the gym to build muscles. They definitely do not appear overnight but do reveal themselves over time with consistent practice.
At first, any new practice is difficult as your body and mind adapt to the new conditions that you impose on them. They may initially be fidgety, rebellious, and looking for any excuse to ‘get out of here!’
However, as you continue to practice regularly, once your body and mind know what you expect of them, they will settle into the routine and even come to enjoy the experience and look forward to it.
This is especially so once the benefits we receive from practicing begin positively impacting our lives. And now we can look forward to the longer-term benefits of sustaining our practice.
Longer-term benefits are harder to ‘pin down’ as to when they will occur. However, research has consistently shown that significant life-changing results can be achieved within eight weeks.
These benefits include enhanced memory and communication skills, improved motivation, greater self-awareness, more compassion, and improved empathy. Practitioners also tend to become more tolerant, more patient, have greater confidence, and improved self-esteem.
With these benefits also comes improved health due to a reduction in anxiety and stress. Our personalities tend to transition so that we become less reactive and more proactive in our choices. And we will generally feel ‘wiser’ and more content with our lives and our place in this world.
How Do We Measure The Results We Achieve From Meditating?
Since our intention for meditating may not be the same as everyone else’s, results will have a different meaning for each of us.
So while our neighbors may meditate to just get a few moments of relaxation by themselves at the end of a busy day, others may be meditating to reach a state of ‘enlightenment.’ The first process can return results within a few moments of deep relaxed breathing, while the second may take successive lifetimes to achieve.
However, how long we meditate isn’t always the best indicator of our progress. This is because we will all apply a different consistency and intensity of focus to our practice, and have ‘other factors’ to consider.
Therefore, measuring results is not as simple as doing a math equation where 2 + 2 always equals 4. I say this because while we are meditating and changing over time, we are also changing other aspects of our lives. We may move cities, change our relationship status, change jobs, have kids, etc.
All these things add up to us not being the same person we were last year or the year before. And how much of the changes are due to your meditation practice and how much would have happened if you didn’t practice meditation is an impossible metric to accurately define.
Why Results Are Not Generally Considered Important For Experienced Meditators?
We are programmed by society to believe that we have to compete for what we want….. that it is the highest achievers who have the best lives. This means that our focus is often on doing something now
for the rewards that it will return us in the future…. i.e. a better job, more money, easier retirement….
However, the focus of meditation is to ‘be more accepting of who we are in the present moment’ and experience THIS MOMENT as it is. This is the reward, here and now. And with that in mind, many meditation teachers will suggest that we shouldn’t even worry about the ’results.’
If we practice consistently over time, we will strengthen our positive aspects and make our lives better in many ways. However, because we are living with ourselves every day, it’s possible we don’t notice the changes in our personalities as easily as someone else who only sees us occasionally.
So, if you are feeling discouraged because you don’t think you are achieving results, maybe ask others for their opinion, or better still, just take a moment to do some self-reflection.
You can reflect on the positive aspects that you have gained, as well as the negative aspects of your personality that may not be prevalent anymore. Are you now less prone to anxiety, stress, anger, fear, doubt, worry, etc….. These are all positive results!
Generally, short-term results including improved sleep, less stress, improved wellbeing, peacefulness, clarity of mind, etc. are noticeable within a couple of weeks.
Significant longer-term results, according to research, occur within eight weeks. They include improved health, improved memory and motivation, confidence, and a better understanding of ‘SELF.’
However, my wish for you is that you will stick with your meditation practice until you find the space where you meditate just for the joy, the peace, and the contentment that it brings you.
Because it’s in this space that life opens up in a whole new way…. It’s the place where we do things for the sheer pleasure of doing them, not for the rewards that they may or may not return to us……
….. After all, life is all about the moments, the journey…… not the results at the end.