The many benefits of meditation are no secret. Similar to yoga, it has been adopted by secular practitioners and integrated into workplaces, educational institutions, and everyday schedules.
But even though meditation has become mainstream, it can still be hard to integrate it into our own daily life. I, for one, have had a hard time sticking with a meditation practice for more than a few weeks. For the last few years I have tried with no success to create a stable daily practice for myself. So I set a goal to finally make meditation a part of my daily routine. I recently reached sixty days of practice and decided to share some of my key takeaways on how to better incorporate it into your own schedule:
Even five or ten minutes makes a difference.
You don’t have to meditate for a long period of time to gain the benefits of a daily practice. Even five or ten minutes a day can change your experience drastically. It is about consistency. Creating the habit of meditating daily helps your mind to more easily access mindful states throughout your day.
Use an app!
Early on I started incorporating video lessons and guided meditations into my practice but it still wasn’t enough to keep me motivated. I recently purchased a meditation app that has really changed the game for me. It has kept me accountable. I see the app when I open my phone, and I feel a sense of obligation to continue my practice because I’ve invested in the app. This may not be necessary for everyone, but it definitely helped me create a sustainable practice.
Meditate at the same time everyday.
I usually meditate early in the morning before I get ready for work. I may incorporate some breath work or light stretching as well, but I find that keeping my meditation practice at a consistent time of day is helpful. This creates a routine and it’s not long before you don’t even have to think about it. I simply wake up and the first thing that my mind goes to is meditation.
Even “bad” sessions are good!
Practicing meditation is not like practicing a sport. Looking for signs of progression can be in direct juxtaposition to the practice. There will be days when you feel like you had a “bad” session. Maybe your mind was busy with thoughts about your day, or maybe you felt anxious or cloudy. That is okay! It is about making the time to sit and observe these sensations. It is not about making them go away, it is about being aware of them.
Carry your practice into everyday life.
Meditation isn’t just a tool for the first five or ten minutes of your day. It is something you can tap into while you’re at work, with family, or running errands. Being aware of your mind and emotions is vital to creating better relationships with yourself and those around you. The more you are able to tap into a mindful state, the more you will be able to separate sensations and thoughts from your true self. You can”check-in” upon entering a new room, before responding to a co-worker or loved one, or before you decide how you want to spend some free time.
Incorporating meditation into my daily routine has been a blessing. It has improved almost every aspect of my life, and being able to sustain such a practice, as small as it is, really helped me to gain the longer lasting benefits.
Create ways to remind yourself of your own mindful practice to hack the process of making it a part of your routine. Wear something that reminds you of meditation. The Chakra Tiger bracelet is my favorite Charming Shark piece for reminding me when it’s time to “check-in”!
Written by: AJ Letterel