I’ve been meditating for several years, and I’m certainly not perfect when it comes to my own meditation practice. At first, I wasn't sure that meditation was right for me, but I have found some tips that have helped me practice more regularly. Over the years, my practice has continued to grow and evolve and it's now a part of my daily life. Remember, when it comes to meditation, even a little is better than nothing!
Here are seven ideas that you can try to help you start and maintain a daily meditation practice:
1. Start small.
It’s a myth that you have to sit for at least 30 minutes a day to gain any benefit. Try starting with one minute of switching everything off and sitting in silence, and see how that goes. If it feels good, you might even try working your way up to five minutes.
2. Incorporate your practice into another daily habit.
Where can you add a little meditation into your daily routine? For example, maybe you make coffee every morning. After you get your coffee brewing, could you do a short meditation? Your nose will tell you when it’s time to stop!
3. Make it easy.
Meditation doesn’t have to be complicated or hard. You don’t need a special cushion or space. You don’t need to learn any special skills. Just sit on a chair and use a timer if you like. Try closing your eyes and focusing on your breath. Observe any thoughts as they drift through your mind. Start with the simplest practice possible.
4. Do what feels good.
There are lots of styles of meditation. You might have tried some already. Experiment to find what feels best for you. For example, you might prefer setting a timer, or repeating a mantra, or counting your breath. Don’t be afraid to experiment and choose the method that you enjoy most.
5. Don't force it.
A meditation practice is called a practice for a reason. It’s something to work on, slowly, every day. Some days you might fit in 10 minutes; other days only a minute. Some days you might feel totally present and inspired; other days your mind might be overwhelmed with thoughts. Don’t beat yourself up or feel guilty. Instead, appreciate yourself for showing up.
6. Get curious.
Why not mix things up and try a new style of meditation and see how that feels? Changing your mindset around meditation will make it feel lighter and more doable.
7. Let go of expectations.
Don’t worry about what you think a meditation practice is supposed to look like, be like, or feel like. Your personal meditation practice is just for you. So meditate like no one is watching!
Most of all, pay attention to what your mind, body and spirit craves. What do you need to fill up your cup? Get curious, and give it a try. You might surprise yourself!
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