Making meditation a part of your daily routine
We live in a fast paced and demanding world. Thinking about adding something else into the mix, can make us feel even more overwhelmed. So how can you make meditation a daily part of your routine?
Its true, meditation will take up some of your time but it may be the most valuable gift you can give to yourself. By taking this time you can reap benefits in the other areas of your life such as your health, relationships, productivity and your career.
We know it’s important, so here are some tips on making meditation a part of your daily routine.
A clear intention – a strong why
If your reason for meditating is strong enough you will be more motivated to develop the discipline required to make it a daily practice.
Take a look at 20 scientific reasons to meditate article as a reminder of the many benefits of meditating and decide what it is that resonates with you. What do you want to get out of meditating?
Setting a clear intention will help you train your brain on the benefits and importance of meditation for you. (Remember, regular meditation practice over time will reap benefits. This is not a ‘pop the pill’ immediate solution)
Here are some examples:
Studying – Meditation will help me become more focused and I’ll have improved concentration.
Health – Meditation will help me better manage my emotions and stress helping me remain calm and balanced.
Relationships – Meditation will help me understand and better connect with my spouse/partner/child and truly be present for him/her.
At the end of your meditation take a minute to reflect on the benefit meditation holds for you. The more you reinforce the benefits and train your mind in this way the more easier it will be to practice daily.
Start small and create a habit
Sitting for a half an hour meditation can seem daunting to begin with so take the pressure off yourself and start small. 10 minutes of mediating is a great start but if that seems too much then just begin with 5 minutes. Start with a length of time you can easily achieve. Slowly add a minute and aim to build up 20 to 30 minutes a day. (This is exactly how I started.)
What you are aiming to do at this point is to make it as easy as possible to create the daily habit of meditating.
Meditating at the same time and same place will help make it easier to create the habit for daily practice. (Routine is a great way of training your mind.)
If possible, try and mediate first thing in the morning. It’s a great way to start the day and it means you are more likely to be mindful throughout your day. Also, you can start your day by giving yourself a big tick on your to do list before everybody else’s to do list starts impacting you!
If you decide that you really aren’t a morning person and you choose to meditate at a different time of the day then make sure you schedule that time into your diary. Commit to it the same way that you would a business meeting and if possible, set this as your daily time to meditate.
Are you going to meditate in the garden, your bedroom, living room or another quiet spot in your home? Whichever space you decide to choose make sure it is without distraction and available for you to use without interruptions. Try to meditate in the same place if you can as this once again will help train your brain for routine.
Make sure that you are comfortable to make your meditation easier. You may want to sit against a wall and use a mediation cushion or a pillow. If you can’t sit on the floor then sit on a chair or even lie down. Try to keep your spine straight.
Is the temperature in the room comfortable or do you need a blanket or a wrap?
Some people like to create an inspiring space to meditate in or an area with a simple altar with flowers or a sacred image.
Finally, set a timer for the amount of time you are going to meditate – this will stop you peaking at the clock!
Meditating on the go
We don’t live in an ideal world, things happen and you may find that you can’t meditate at your set time and place on a specific day. Don’t beat yourself up. There are other ways to fit in meditation into your day. For example, during your lunch break find a quiet place in your office, car or a nearby park. Or alternatively, whilst on the bus or train (I know it’s not likely to be quiet and you don’t want to look strange so perhaps you could plug in your earphones, play some soothing music and a take a few minutes to do a simple breathing meditation as you can do this almost anywhere. All you need to do is keep focused on your breathing; you’ll notice that you start breathing more deeply and you’ll feel instantly calmer.
Group meditation – is there a group meditation class in your area? You may find it easier to start meditating with like-minded people.
Meditation Buddy – do you have a friend that also wants to start meditating? It might be someone who can meditate with you. Or, if you want to meditate by yourself then you can both support each other and keep each other accountable.
You’re worth it!
Meditation is a skill that gets better with practice. In time, you will be able to better harness your thoughts, manage your emotions, be more focused and better manage stressful situations.
It’s important to be realistic. You know how important daily exercise is for your body; well meditation is a daily workout for your mind. Some benefits will be immediate but some may take longer. One gym session does not an athlete make nor one meditation session a trained mind.
Remember to start small and be consistent. It is better to meditate 5 minutes a day then have one half hour session once a week. Create this healthy habit and reap the benefits of a mind that is on your side and supporting you.
Where in your day can you claim a few minutes just for you?
Make a start; you can do it. Preserve; you are worth it.