So why do so many of us resist doing the meditation which stands as a mainstream part of the finest and most comprehensive medical, psychological and wellness approaches?
The chasm between what we know mentally and what we choose to act on can be vast.
Here are some ideas for getting yourself to start and maintain a healthy meditation practice:
- Start small. Meditate for short periods of time—no more that 2-5 minutes to begin. Stay with that timing until it feels utterly familiar and effortless. While meditating, allow that sense of urgency to do something else to quiet down and ultimately disappear. Establish the habit of meditation as frequency is more important than the length of time you spend in practice. Once it becomes embedded in your mind as part of your daily routine and it feels pleasant—it may feel good to lengthen the time that you sit.
- Breathe abdominally. If the idea of meditation seems too daunting, just sit for two or three minutes in the morning and breathe abdominally. Breathe in and breathe out at your own pace. It doesn’t have to be more than that to get started. That can be your practice. Just keep bringing your attention back to your breath when the mind wanders.
- Link your meditation practice with a habit that’s already in your life. For example a great time to meditate is upon awakening in the morning. You can get up, relieve yourself and meditate—either sitting up in bed, on a chair, a cushion or wherever you’ve chosen as your meditation spot. Or if you tend to go for that 3:00 coffee or snack, consider that time to regain energy and perspective by meditating. Linking this new behavior with an existing one that is automatic takes much of the decision making or will power out of the equation. This will increase the likelihood that this new behavior will become established.
- Keep your practice consistent. If possible create a space that you use exclusively for your practice. Ideally practice at the same time and at this same place whenever you can. You will be building associations in your mind that when you sit here—you are going to meditate. Your mind will start dropping into a meditative space more quickly when you strengthen these connections.
- Listen to guided meditations. I have some available on my website or just google ‘guided meditation’ and many will pop up on YouTube and you can choose the one that appeals to your senses. Stay with that one for as long as it resonates and then explore others if you so desire. There are also lots of free apps now with guided meditation.
Over time you may choose to switch off the outer guidance and turn inward. There is no right or wrong, just a matter of preference.
With time and practice this will begin your sense of calm, clarity, resilience and wisdom. Meditating can become one of your most powerful inner resources with even a 2-5 minute daily practice. You may even grow to love the inner peace and stillness that sets the tone for your day.
Let me know how this works for you and if you have any questions about making this YOURS.