Building a Daily Meditation Practice: 7 Imperative Tips
Have you tried to adopt a new habit or teach yourself something new? You likely got early to know that daily practice is key to success. Well, that's right for meditation, too.
"It's imperative to meditate daily because you're promoting a habit," says Sadie Bingham, a clinical social worker specializing in anxiety. She is also a long-time meditator.
"Many people don't notice the positive results instantly, so you require daily practice to get the desired results," she added.
Developing a daily meditation practice can be challenging, but many people find it easy once they notice its benefits.
Are you still jumbled about whether you can add meditation to your life? It's possible and achievable by just following these seven tips.
Daily meditation is a prodigious goal; you don't need to jump right in at 30 minutes or longer.
Five Minutes, Three Times a Week
Sadie Bingham suggests novices start with five minutes of properly guided meditation three times a week and gradually increase the minutes as meditation becomes a vital part of your routine.
At the start, you may not feel calm or mindful at all. But that’s not a big problem. Just make it a habit to take five minutes to sit with your thoughts. Be inquisitive about them, but don’t force it.
Bingham explains, “Eventually, you’ll feel the tug to sit and meditate.”
If you don't get up to 30 minutes a day, don't sweat it - meditating for a minimum of 10 or 15 minutes every day has countless benefits.
Choose the Right Time
You'll find that various sources suggest different ideal times to meditate. But your perfect time is whenever you can make meditation work. If you try to meditate at a time that doesn't suit your routine, you'll feel lazy and discouraged.
Therefore, try to meditate at different times to notice what works well for you. It might be the first thing in the morning, before bed, during your break at the office, or during a busy commute. Whatever time you select, try to stick with it. Regularity can assist your meditation habit, just another part of your routine.
You have seen images of people meditating in the classic lotus position. That position isn’t comfy for everyone, and it’s tough to meditate when you’re doing something that makes you feel uncomfortable physically.
You don't need to be seated in a specific position to mediate successfully. Instead, get into a posture you can hold that feels easy. Lying down or sitting in a chair – both are OK. If you have trouble sitting still, try meditation while standing or walking. Some people find concentrating on every single step helps further the meditative procedure, just as focusing on breath does. Moreover, consider arranging a relaxed meditation space or building a ritual around the process. Combining candles, peaceful music, or images of loved ones can help enhance meditation.
Bingham adds, “The advantages of the rituals are also essential, as the process becomes a statement that your wellness matters.”
Try a Meditation App or Podcast
Are you still confused about how to meditate? When not clear, take help from your smartphone. There is an application for almost everything these days, and meditation is no more exception.
Bingham recommends many free or paid apps to start you with guided meditation. She explains, "A guided meditation can help the active mind quickly back to the present moment."
You can also use apps to access:
- Calming sounds
- Breathing exercises
- Meditation for different needs
- Tools and graphics to help you learn about meditation
You can also personalize the app to track your progress and modify your meditation approach based on your present state of mind.
Keep At It
It requires time to add a new habit, so don't worry if meditation doesn't seem to click for you at first. Instead of finding out why the meditation couldn't work out, explore any complexities you have with an open mind. The challenges you face during meditation can guide you toward a more efficacious practice.
Bingham explains that practicing acceptance and curiosity within meditation can help you translate these feelings more quickly to your daily life. It can help you have an easier time developing awareness regularly.
Think it this way: If you start meditating when you feel anxious and upset, you might feel better. But if you do regular meditation, you might easily manage your stress before your emotions overwhelm you.
Know When It’s Not Working
You may overlook the immediate advantages of meditation. That’s OK. And no matter how long you’ve been practicing, your mind might still stray from time to time. That’s normal, too.
Neither of these things means you can’t thrive with meditation. Recognizing when your mind has wandered away is good —it means you’re developing awareness. When this occurs, refocus yourself smoothly. With regular meditation practice, you’ll begin to see benefits in time.
It’s not common, but some people report increased feelings of depression, anxiety, or panic. If meditation consistently makes you feel worse, you might want to get a recommendation from a professional therapist before continuing.
So are you willing to give daily meditation a try? Here’s an easy meditation to get you started:
- Find a comfortable place where you can unwind.
- Set a timer for three to five minutes.
- Start by concentrating on your breath. Notice each inhale and exhale. Breathe slowly and deeply in a way that feels natural.
- As soon as your thoughts wander, concede the thoughts that come up, let them go, and focus on your breathing. Don't worry if this keeps happening.
- When time is up, open your eyes. Focus on your surroundings, your body, and your feelings. You might feel different; you might not. But over time, you’ll notice yourself becoming more mindful of your own experience and surrounding environment. These feelings stay long after you end up meditating.
The Bottom Line
There is no right or wrong way or time to meditate. You’ll have the best results when you practice in a way that suits you, so try distinct practices until you find one that fits well.
When you begin noticing greater peace, pleasure, compassion, and acceptance in your life, you’ll understand its working. Just have patience since these advantages won’t show up overnight. Last but not least, show up for yourself with interest and an open mind, and you’ll stay on the success track.