How To Develop A Morning & Evening Meditation Habit (Even If You're Busy)

Written by Marlu Harris

I don't really like the word lazy.

In my practice as a therapist, I counsel people to eliminate the word from their vocabulary to discourage any negative self-talk. Not to mention, the word should is also one that I don't tolerate well.

In the interest of full disclosure, I am not telling you that you should meditate and that you are lazy if you don't.

However, even though the intention is there, my clients and friends still tell me they are too busy to meditate. In exploring further, we often uncover that they hold the idea of meditation as not only difficult and boring, but excruciatingly painful and time consuming. Many of them think they have to sit in a full lotus position on a hard wooden floor in silence, or be religious in order to meditate. "I just don't have time," is the phrase I hear most often.

I invite you to let go of your idea of what meditation is, and simply allow yourself to try something that is not only easy, but boasts many scientifically proven health benefits.

Meditation is defined as the act or process of spending time in quiet thought. Meditation can be as simple as focusing on your breath, a mantra or a piece of music. Meditation can be a mindful approach to a simple daily task such as taking a shower or a stroll on the street where you live.

To dispel all doubts I assure you that you DO have time and you already know how to focus, breathe and contemplate. You just have to put them all together with the intention to be fully present in the moment. Even when your mind begins to drift or you think of something on your to-do list, you can pay attention to the drift as a detached observer. You are getting to know yourself more deeply. This is meditation.

Here are two very easy steps that even the busiest person can do, with minimal effort:

1. Morning.

When you go outside, take a moment to look up at the sky. How does how your neck feel in that position? Does it hurt or feel good? Notice the sky. Is it blue, grey or rainy? Are there trees, clouds or snow? What sounds do you hear? Birds chirping, wind blowing, traffic sounds? Just make note of it. Is the air biting and cold, or warm against your skin? Take another moment to close your eyes and immerse yourself in the environment. Then, take a deep breath. You are meditating! Congratulations.

2. Evening.

Before bedtime, lie down on your back with your arms to your side with your palms facing up. Take a deep breath. Focus on something you are grateful for. No matter how terrible a day you may have had, recall something that made you happy no matter how small it may seem. Now, deeply inhale the gratitude and exhale any negative thoughts or aches and pains you might feel in your body. Take at least three very deep breaths in through your nose and out of your mouth. This can be a good time to listen to a guided meditation or some classical music.

Meditation can be done easily and is something worth trying, if you want to improve your life and eliminate any bad habits. Try devoting only five minutes a day in contemplation combined with deep breathing, and you've begun a practice that can be life-changing in the most positive way possible.

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