Recently I have been asked by many people, "When will I see/feel results of my mediation practice?" It's a great question and a very important one if you are interested in gauging your progress from adopting a new habit.
For most people I try to lower their expectations of the process. Whether you have just been trained in Transcendental Meditation or have learned some simple breath work, the desire is usually to improve or change some undesirable habits and venture towards a more calm state of mind. Who would not want to move toward nirvana and quickly?
During my mindful meditation class we review the basics of breathing and letting thoughts drift in and out of our brains without attachment. Somehow this very focusing on your breath alone can sometimes even whip the torrent of thoughts we so often try to escape.
It's the practice that is really the means to an end. Some meditations are peaceful, some are not. It's been scientifically proven that your brain will change in response to mediation over time.
Some things you may notice; less frustration with being cut off in traffic on the expressway. More joy popping up for no reason during unexpected times of the day. More connection to the people that you love and interact with during the day.
I always remind people that meditation is often slow process especially if you expect to practice it over a lifetime. The benefits are worth it. It is always my first prescription ( in fact the only thing I can prescribe!) along with exercise, better eating, more sleep and a little more sex!