Life can be stressful and overwhelming, which is why many people turn to meditation as a way to calm down and relax. It offers the opportunity to be at peace, if only for a few minutes each day, and shut out the outside world.
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This is why meditation is often seen as a solitary activity that is practiced in a serene environment away from other people. However, silencing your body and mind doesn’t mean you have to be on your own. There are actually benefits to having friends join in on the experience with you. Because you already have a special bond with your friends it can influence the dynamic of the meditation process in ways that are not possible on your own.
It can be even more powerful if shared with friends who have the same goals and passions as you. Whether it is something you only want to do every once in a while or more regularly, group meditation does have a lot of benefits. Here are some good reasons why meditating with your friends can be good for everyone involved.
1. It Makes The Experience Much Less Daunting
One of the biggest advantages of meditating with your friends is that it makes the experience much less daunting. This is especially useful when you are still a beginner and the thought of meditating on your own still feels intimidating. Friends who are more experienced with meditation can provide assistance, but even if they are also newcomers it can make the meditation more comfortable.
Having friends close by during meditation also means that you have someone to discuss the experience with afterwards, which can help you to find even greater clarity. If a friend is experiencing the same difficulties while meditating you can overcome these obstacles together instead of getting discouraged. This is why many people find it easier to get started with meditation by doing it with friends instead of attempting it alone.
2. It Helps You To Stay Committed
People who exercise regularly know that having friends on-board can help you to stay committed and motivated. When you do something on your own, it is easy to make up excuses for why you don’t have the time to put in any effort. Instead of letting your busy schedule dictate when you can meditate, having friends meditating with you will help you to be more committed. Since you are held accountable by your friends, it means that you are far more likely to make time for meditation in your life. This way you and your friends can ensure that meditation remains a priority in your lives and becomes a consistent practice.
3. It Can Help Banish Loneliness
Although we are surrounded by so many people on a daily basis, it is still possible to become lonely if you don’t connect with someone else. Studies have found that loneliness can actually cause a lot of health related issues, such as poor sleep, depression and even various personality disorders. Meditating with friends can help you to find peace and inner calm, while still staying connected with those who you care about. This can make the experience less lonely and create a more positive vibe. Humans are social beings and thrive on shared experience, so meditating with friends can enhance the activity.
4. It Strengthens The Bonds Of Your Friendship
Because you are sharing the experience of meditation with people you care about, it can help to strengthen the bonds of your friendship. Not only does it provide you with a shared purpose, but also allows you to connect to each other on a deeper level. It creates a different kind of intimacy between people as you learn to be in the presence of each other without the need for words.
Some friends can even sense the intentions of each other without making any visual contact while meditating. This is because you are all tapping into the same source of peace and silence together, which means you are sharing a real connection. If your friends introduce other people who are also interested in practicing meditation it can even help you to widen your social circle. Since meditation also helps to decrease stress, it means that any other activities you share with your friends afterwards will be even more enjoyable.
5. It Helps To Increase Your Self-Confidence
Just because you have taken steps toward mindfulness in your life, it doesn’t necessarily mean others feel the same way. Talking to other people who do not share your regard for the practice can cause you to doubt yourself or even impact your self-confidence. However, when you meditate with friends, it can help to build your self-confidence and dispel any self-doubts. Because you know that your friends are present and sharing the experience with you there is no need to worry about them not understanding why it is so important to you. This will help to reinforce the positive aspects of meditation and keep the activity enjoyable. Since you are joining others in an environment of acceptance and belonging, it can be a big mental boost.
6. It Can Motivate You To Do Better
If you meditate on your own, it is actually easier to become distracted or shift your position constantly because there is nobody else around to disturb. Since your goal is to remain still, it can actually be positive to have friends around. This is because you will be more committed to remain still and calm while not fidgeting or making other unnecessary movements. Although it might start out as peer pressure, once you get into the habit of remaining still and calm it will allow you to benefit more from the meditation sessions. Meditating with friends will also help you to meditate for longer periods than you might have done on your own. Even if you don’t need the motivation yourself, you can inspire your friends who might need it.
7. It Can Increase The Intensity Of The Experience
Like a lot of shared experiences you can increase the intensity of meditation by engaging in the activity with friends who are like-minded. This can elevate the experience beyond what you can achieve when on your own. Meditating with others also makes it feel more like an activity done in unity, which can enhance the atmosphere. For many people this heightened sensation of unity is similar to what is felt when singing in a group compared to singing on your own or dancing with someone else instead of dancing alone.
When meditating with a large enough group of friends the sensation of peace that is generated by everyone working together can actually become tangible. Thanks to this group energy you can feel much more inspired and uplifted during meditation than what you might feel while alone.