Updated: Nov 7, 2022
Our minds wander about half of the time and especially when confronted with new information, our minds will create elaborate worst-case scenarios. Our fast-paced, technology-powered world moves at breakneck speed. As a result, we turn to meditation to remain calm in the face of chaos. To reap all the numerous benefits of meditation, we must commit to meditating on a daily basis with gentle and deliberate discipline.
Why start meditating?
There are numerous reasons, but one of the most important reasons is that it relieves stress and allows you to unwind. Mindfulness practice teaches you to appreciate life, change habits, live simply and slowly and be present in everything you do. Meditation has been shown to improve focus, happiness, memory, self-control and academic performance. Furthermore, according to some studies, meditation has been shown to improve metabolism, heart rate, respiration and blood pressure.
How can meditation become part of your daily routine
There are numerous ways to meditate. But our goal isn't to find the perfect form of meditation; it is to develop a daily meditation practice. Here are a few ways to commit to mediation on a daily basis:
1. Commit to 5 minutes of meditation per day
If you want the habit to stick, start small. Your meditation sessions could be 10 minutes at first if you feel up to it, but can commit to 5 minutes every day as well. It will be much easier to get started this way, and forming a habit with a small start like this is a much more likely method to succeed. You can increase the time to 5-7 minutes if you can do it for 7 days straight, 10 minutes if you can do it for 14 days straight, 15 minutes if you can do it for 21 days straight and 20 minutes if you can do it for a full month.
2. Select a time and a trigger
Try meditating at various times of the day to see what works best for you. That could be first thing in the morning, right before bed, during a hectic commute, or during your lunch break at work. Try to stick to whatever time you choose. Consistency can help your new habit become ingrained in your daily routine. The trigger should be something you do on a regular basis, such as drinking your first cup of coffee, brushing your teeth, eating lunch, or arriving home from work.
3. Find a quiet place
Early morning is sometimes best, before others in your house are awake and making a lot of noise. Others may seek refuge in a park, on the beach, or in another tranquil setting. It doesn't really matter where you sit as long as you can sit for a few minutes without being bothered.
4. Sit back and relax
Make yourself at home. Fortunately, you don't have to get into a specific position to meditate successfully. Instead, simply find a position that you can hold, one that feels comfortable and natural. You can sit on a pillow on the floor with your back against a wall. Others who can comfortably sit cross-legged may do so instead. Others may prefer to sit on a chair or couch if sitting on the floor is too uncomfortable.
5. Concentrate on your breathing
Follow your breath in through your nostrils, then into your throat, then into your lungs and belly as you breathe in. Maintain a straight posture while keeping your eyes closed. Follow your breath out into the world as you exhale. If your mind wanders (which it probably will), simply focus on your breath, then gently bring it back to your breath.
6. Consider using a meditation app or podcast.
If in doubt, consult your smartphone to bring your mind back to the present moment. Many free apps can get you started with guided meditations, especially if you are new to meditation. You can also customize the app to track your progress and change your meditation approach based on your current mental state.
Meditation should not be viewed as a passing phase, but rather as a transformative process that enriches your life and the lives of those around you. By incorporating brief "reminders" or "mini" practices into your day, you can reap some of the benefits of meditation throughout the day. In this way, you'll be able to induce a brief meditative state whenever you need some calmness or creativity in your life.