Have you heard about keystone habits? If not, you're probably missing a big opportunity to transform.
According to The Power of Habit author Charles Duhigg, “keystone habits influence how we work, eat, play, live, spend, and communicate”, and they “start a process that, over time, transforms everything.”
Keystone habits are the kind of behaviors or routines that have compounding effects. Like a powerful lever, they often catalyze a cascade of multiplying benefits and habits.
Perhaps the most well-known and documented keystone habit is running (and exercise in general). When people start running, studies show that they eat healthier, drink less, sleep deeper, work harder at their jobs, and feel more confident in bed.
Is Meditation A Keystone Habit?
Just like running, meditation can trigger a cascade of positive physical, psychological, emotional, and spiritual effects. It can open your mind and change your perspective on life in subtle and not so subtle ways, leading to major shifts in your behavior.
What, exactly, is a keystone? It's an architecturalterm. A keystone is the foundation you build on. It’s the stone without which the whole building crumbles. As you work towards creating your own bulletproof meditation habit, this keystone idea is important to keep in mind, because it will keep you inspired and motivated.
You may have already found evidence of meditation’s halo effect in your own life. What you may not know is how that evidence is corroborated by recent findings from neuroscience.
Your Brain On Meditation
According to Dr. Kelly McGonigal, author of The Willpower Instinct, neuroscientists discovered that meditation is one of the most powerful tools for cultivating for self-control. People who meditate regularly, she says, have brains that are “finely tuned willpower machines.”
Regular meditators, it turns out, have improved impulse control, attention, focus, self-awareness and stress management.
As Duhigg suggests, if you can harness the power of keystone habits, you can transform your life. In fact, Business Insider magazine points to meditation as one of the eight keystone habits that can change you life.
3 Qualities Of Keystone Habits
According to productivity expert Chris Bailey, keystone habits have three qualities you should look out for.
1. They give you a sense of many small victories.
2. They create the soil from which other habits can sprout.
3. Finally, they give you the energy and confidence to do more.
Based on more than two decades of experience, I find that meditation fits this definition perfectly. I’ve seen an incredible array of positive benefits from my daily meditation practice.
How about you? Have you noticed that meditation is a keystone habit in your own life? Of course, you need to practice regularly to see these kind of benefits, but if you do, I guarantee you won’t regret it. On the contrary, you might find that you’re power to change is greater than imagined.
To learn more about how to turn meditation into a daily habit, check out my Beginner’s Guide To Creating A Meditation Habit That Lasts.