Meditation is the practice of taking a break from our daily activity and quieting the mind’s thoughts.
But like playing golf or making the perfect boiled egg, meditation sounds a lot easier than it actually is. After all, you just sit there with your eyes closed—until, inevitably, you can’t stop thinking about your endless to-do list, the cute guy at the gym or your leg starts to cramp. And sitting down with yourself and confronting your own thoughts can be intimidating. So how can you incorporate meditation into your lifestyle and enjoy all of the wonderful benefits (boosting our cognitive function, strengthening our immune system, and reducing symptoms of depression and anxiety to name a few)?
1. IDENTIFY YOUR WHY
Why do you want to practice meditation? How do you want it to make you feel? What do you want to get out of it? If you’re clear on your goals and expectations of your practice, you’re more likely to see the benefits.
2. START SMALL
Even a few minutes of meditation can have a great impact on you. Start with a few minutes a day and work your way up to 20-30 minutes if it suits you.
3. PICK A MODALITY
Maybe you prefer a guided meditation to give you more structure, or you like to repeat a mantra in your head. Experiment to find out what works for you, and don’t limit yourself to what your friends are doing or what’s popular. Try alternative meditation styles like walking or dancing meditation.
4. STICK TO IT
Even if you only choose to practice a few minutes per day, establish a routine. Consistency is key – a few minutes each day is more effective than one hour once a week.
5. BE A JOINER
If you enjoy group settings, consider a group meditation class that may allow you to feel more connected and engaged.
If you want to take advantage of the science-backed benefits of meditation—better sleep, stronger relationships, less stress, and a healthier heart, don’t be a crisis meditator! We all have a few minutes every day to connect to the stillness within us. And when we can slow ourselves down, our mind quiets. And if you can experience present moment awareness everyday, your life will continue to blossom and bloom.