Not too long ago I posted how to start a home yoga practice, another area I have personal experience in is meditation. Starting a daily meditation practice can seem daunting, like it’s difficult to find the time but the truth is you only need 5 minutes. These tips will be familiar to you, they are the same as I recommend for starting a consistent yoga practice, the steps are transferable. Let me take you through the tips and how they can be implemented to help you start a daily meditation practice:
- Environment – find a space to meditate. Ideally somewhere without bright lights and not too noisy but really just anywhere you can sit! A chair or a cushion is all you need. I wouldn’t advise laying down, it’s so easy to fall asleep that way, especially if meditating after a long day at work!
- Routine – often we have a daily routine and habits – what we do when we get out of bed in the morning, what we do when we get home from work, what we do before bed, etc. Adding meditation into your daily routine can help to make it become something which just becomes part of your daily routine. For me, I have a morning routine and each day after I do yoga, I meditate. If you have an irregular schedule this can be more difficult but you can decide each day it will be after work (whatever time your shift is) or as soon as you get out of bed in the morning. You can even set a reminder or alarm each day to remind you to meditate.
- Join a challenge – it’s been said that it takes 21 days to form a habit. Some groups on social media platforms will create challenges to meditate for a certain number of days in a row. Or just set yourself the task of meditating for 21 days in a row and see what happens!
- Just sit down, close your eyes and see what happens – on those days where you don’t feel like meditating, sit down, close your eyes and see what happens. These are often the times you will benefit from meditation the most. You may still have a million and one thoughts racing through your mind and you may feel like you aren’t doing very well and there’s no point but there is a point, there is no such thing as a bad meditation. Just slowing the breath, taking time to settle will help, if you stay with all those thoughts and persevere through you may just start to see the mind clear a little.
- Find inspiration – if it seems just too much to get started on your own or you just don’t know where to begin look into apps, there are loads of free apps with different types of meditations like calm or headspace. There are also guided meditations on YouTube but I’d make sure you can’t see the screen so you don’t get the urge to look at the video!
- Have a why – why do you want to meditate? It is so much more powerful, so much easier keep up a consistent practice if you have a reason why. This way, if you have a day where you don’t feel like you want to do it, you can come back to your why and remind yourself why you wanted to meditate in the first place.
- Make yourself accountable – tell a friend, a family member, your social media, anyone. Tell someone what you’re doing and why and ask them to check up on you. Another option is to meet up with someone to meditate or join a group or a class. We are often more likely to do things for others than we are for ourselves!
- Be kind to yourself – you are human, allow yourself space to be imperfect. If you don’t quite make your goal or your aim it’s ok. Recognise what you want to do differently next time and move on and do that the next time. Don’t beat yourself up if you missed a day, that’s ok, just get back on it the next day!
Bonus tip – journal after you meditate, reflect on the experience, take just 2 minutes to write about how you feel it went, what came up, how you felt before and after. Personally I’ve really found it interesting to see if something particular keeps coming up that I want to look into and how my practice has evolved.
Just remember we all have to begin somewhere and wherever you are on your meditation journey I’d love to hear your experience or any tips you might have.