TIPS TO START YOUR MEDITATION ROUTINE
Most of us have read about the benefits of starting a meditation practice: less stress, more attention, less depression and anxiety … and the list goes on. However, even though we know that meditation is good for us, from practice it can seem daunting, in the midst of our busy schedules.
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The good news is that you only need a few minutes a day to start a meditation practice, and it can be easy to fit into your daily life.
Here are 7 tips that can really help:
CREATE A SPACE
When you begin your meditation practice, create a quiet space without distractions, but that does not prevent you from meditating anywhere. All you need is a cushion or chair where you can sit comfortably and in a relaxed position. You can take a few moments to meditate while you wait in the doctor’s office, during your trip, or in your office.
START WITH SMALL STEPS.
Set your goal every day, even for a short period of time. You can start with something as small as taking a few conscious breaths each day, paying attention to the air that enters and leaves your body. You can do this, for example, when you’re waiting for the semaphore to change or while you’re standing in line to pay for something.
TRY A CONSCIOUS BREATHING EXERCISE.
Many people begin to meditate with exercises such as conscious breathing, where they focus their attention on their breathing for a period of time as it flows in and out of their body. By doing this, you will realize that your mind inevitably rests from so many thoughts. The simple process of reassuring your mind and redirecting your attention is the key to conscious meditation.
USE AN APPLICATION
Many of us are attached to our phones and tablets, so why not put it to good use with a meditation application? The use of an application can help guide your practice and stay the course. One of my favorites is Stop, Breathe and Think , which allows you to visualize how you feel emotionally, mentally and physically and then personalize your meditation based on your current state.
Often, the best way to accommodate practice in our busy daily schedule is to put it on the calendar. Once done, make an effort to fulfill it. You can use a timer to help keep you focused without having to control the clock. Five or 10 minutes of meditation time is a good time to start, and then you can increase from there as you feel comfortable. But even if it’s only a minute … that’s great! The important thing is to create a habit of meditating daily.
ENJOY THE PROCESS
You want to develop a friendly attitude towards you. Where possible, try to make your meditation time enjoyable! Sometimes, when we meditate, negative or unwanted thoughts come to mind. If we fight against them, they simply become stronger. But if we see them with a sense of friendship, they can soften and even potentially dissolve.
BE PATIENT AND OPEN.
You will not be an expert meditator immediately. That is why it is called a meditation practice. It really helps to be patient and open. Try to set realistic expectations, and always take a moment to celebrate and appreciate all the time you have been able to spend meditating and the benefits that you feel, however small they may be.
Sometimes the most difficult step is the first to establish a new routine such as meditation, but once they have been part of your daily habit, even 5 min. A day can do wonders to improve your sense of calm, clarity and joy. Meditating happy!