Many of us don’t meditate for the same reason we don’t accomplish many other wellness goals: we just don’t have the time. Or maybe we don’t know where to start. But if we can incorporate meditation into our regular routine — the same way we do brushing our teeth or getting dressed each day — we will do more to improve our mental health, and in turn our overall health. Here are seven tips for getting started on your meditation journey:
- Commit to finding 5 minutes each day to meditate. When you make a commitment to yourself you are more likely to remember to incorporate the activity into your routine. We can all find 5 minutes in our day to commit to ourselves – any 5 minutes, any time will do.
- Make it part of your routine. Just like taking a medication or exercising, when we make a new practice part of our everyday routine it becomes easier to remember and more possible to keep up with. If you add a 5 minute meditation at the start of your day, or listen to a guided meditation as part of your bedtime routine, you’ll have a better chance at success.
- FInd a quiet space to meditate. You don’t need a spa-like space to find zen. You just need a place that is quiet. For some people that might be in their car during a morning commute. For others, it might be in the shower. If you are in a noisy or chaotic environment you can try using noise cancelling headphones to create a quiet space.
- Find a guided meditation you enjoy. There are apps like Headspace and Insight Timer that have tons of meditations for every kind of mood. Whether you need help sleeping, are looking to grow your practice of gratitude, or need help with anxiety — there are many options to choose from. Having guided meditation options helps take the pressure off of creating your own focused meditation practice — you just listen to the words of someone else in a guided practice.
- Focus on your breath. Many times when we meditate our minds tend to wander, especially if we are beginners. But focusing on your breath — breathing in through your nose and feeling your belly rise; breathing out through your mouth and feeling your belly fall — helps keep you mindful in your meditation. In fact, just doing 10 deep cleansing breaths can serve as a helpful meditation when needed.
Do you meditate? Do you have any favorite tips for beginners or short meditations you love?