Now you’re probably expecting me to tell you all the benefits of meditation and why it’s the best thing since sliced bread. Well, technically it’s been around far longer than sliced bread, so I’m not going to tell you that. I’m also not going to tell you all the benefits. It has been researched and written about over and over and over again for years now, and we all already know the benefits of meditation. If by some off chance you have no idea, here’s a few links to fill you in:
What I am going to tell you is how to start a meditation practice that you can stick to and reap the benefits from for yourself. So, if you have been thinking of starting a meditation practice, but haven’t had the time or have tried it before and found that it “wasn’t for you,” then think again. Meditation is for everyone because it is a necessary part of bringing peace into ourselves and our world.
So, without further ado, here are four ways on how to start and stick to a meditation practice.
I’m going to be very blunt with you right now. The only reason that you believe “meditation isn’t for you” is merely because that’s what you believe. It’s a negative thought that you fabricated (or that someone else fed to you) when you first heard about meditation. Then when you tried to meditate for yourself, you found it to be challenging, which reaffirmed the original negative thought.
Do you think that when I first started meditating, I didn’t find it challenging? Do you think that I just sat down, closed my eyes, took a deep breath in and achieved enlightenment? No. Not even close. Even to this day, after practicing meditation for a good 3 years almost (and sporadically before then as well), my mind still won’t shut up. I have some good days and some bad days, but I have ultimately come to understand that my overall state of wellbeing is far better when I meditate than when I don’t. If you take the time out to practice regularly, you will see that too. I guarantee it.
Set aside time everyday.
Be diligent about this part. Take 10 minutes after you wake up in the morning or 10 minutes before you go to sleep at night. C’mon, you can spare 10 minutes! No, then make it 5. If you can’t do 5, make it 2. Just start out with whatever you can, and set aside a special time each day to practice. Even a few minutes each day are better than none at all.
Decide what you’re going to focus on.
There are a variety of ways you can approach meditation. You can focus on your breath, you can focus on an idea or concept, you can visualize a situation, or you can even try a guided meditation. If you find you’re not benefitting from one form of meditation, then give something else a try. Go at it from a different approach. There are many different methods you can try, and they are all beneficial. If you’d like some ideas for meditation exercises, check out this free ebook including 5 simple meditation exercises that’ll get you going. You can also try these guided meditations as well, which provides you with a voice to focus on rather than the chatter in your mind.
Don’t give up on yourself.
This goes back to the first point in stating that meditation is challenging, and you are likely to want to give up after your first or second try. It does not come easily to some people, and for most, it may feel as if your thoughts will never quiet down. The thing is that you are never going to reap the ridiculously amazing benefits that meditation has for your life if you don’t get past the initial “hard part.” This “hard part” is otherwise known as consistent practice.