Why don’t I do this more often?
I really needed that.
Thank you for the reminder of how important it is to meditate!
I hear statements like this every day from new and experienced meditators who attend my meditation experiences. And I get it. I’ve been there many times myself. You get a nice meditation routine going and then a deadline causes you to miss a day. Then another. Pretty soon a week has gone by and you start wondering why life feels so gritty when once it was smooth.
For many of us, the hardest thing about meditating is sticking with it – making it a part of our daily routine. Like exercising and eating a healthy diet, meditation is best when practiced daily. Whether you struggle to get your meditation practice up and going or you’ve allowed your practice to fall to the wayside, here are a few tips to get you on track and stay there.
- Let go of time expectations. While it’s ideal to meditate for fifteen to twenty minutes, it’s okay – and much more approachable – to start with two minutes. That’s better than zero minutes, right? Start with meditating for five minutes or less – some amount of time you won’t feel intimidated by.Use a recording of known duration or set a timer and stick with it.
- Build a routine. Focus your energy on experimenting with meditating at various times of day and different locations.Have fun and find what works best for your schedule and your energy levels.Meditate when you are alert and find a place or two that feel good to you.You can bring beautiful things to your meditation space – a flower, crystal, or anything to help create a ritual and anchor your daily routine.
- Meditate with a buddy. Humans are social beings and meditating is often easier when done in the company of other meditators. Ask around and see if anyone would like to meditate with you. Scheduling a time will help ensure that you will follow through. If you don’t have anyone to meditate with, meditate with me! Check out my guided meditations here.
- Practice moments of mindfulness throughout your day. Surely you can take a few seconds here and there during your day to bring your awareness fully into your immediate surroundings and inner space. Take a few deep breaths. Feel the wind touching your face. Listen to the sound of your heartbeat. You can fit mindfulness into your daily commute, while waiting in line or on hold, and when conversing with someone. Practicing mindfulness in this way is akin to multiple mini-meditation sessions.
Once you get a routine going and you’ve found places and times that work for you, then you can experiment with longer meditation sessions. For some, fifteen minutes is enough to feel peaceful and renewed. Others prefer a deep dive of forty-five minutes. There is no right or wrong – only what works for you. And what works for you can change based on your home and work schedules, and your physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual well-being.
Allow your meditation routine to move with the changes in your life. And if you do miss a day or two here and there, that’s okay! Accept your humanity and practice a moment of mindfulness.