How to Practice Meditation Even When You’re Busy
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Do you ever wish you could dedicate more time to your meditation but constantly find yourself being held up? The moment you think of starting your meditation practice, you remember that you should be doing something else.
Maybe you have to be at work early, the kids need to be at daycare, you always run late, you need to prepare breakfast or dinner, or you simply choose to workout in the morning instead of doing some meditation… Your excuses are valid. If you’re leading a hectic lifestyle, your to-do list is quite likely very long. But that doesn’t mean you can’t make time to meditate.
If you make meditation a priority, then you’ll definitely make the time for it. If Oprah Winfrey can get a minimum of 20 minutes for her daily meditation practice, then we all can.
Are you wondering how to do it? Just follow these simple steps for meditating even when you’re busy:
1. Have a special place for meditation
Do you have a particular space in your home that you have dedicated to your meditation practice? If you don’t already, then you should create a special space that is specifically meant for meditation. This should be a corner or space within your home where you are assured of calm and silence, without any distractions. Note that distractions could include electronics and phones, which are bound to interfere with you during meditation. This space should be free of such items.
You don’t need to dedicate an entire room to your meditation practice. It can simply be a small corner with a comfy cushion. This space should have inspiring and peaceful flowers or plants, vision boards, crystals, incense, statues, or images.
I want to give you a personal task concerning the selection of these peaceful and inspiring decorations. Only you can identify the items that are truly inspiring to you and resonate with your purpose. Therefore, you should make sure that the decorations you use can help you enter a meditative state.
2. Identify the most convenient time for your meditation practice
Some traditions recommend meditating in the morning, others before bedtime. I recommend finding a time that fits your schedule and suits your lifestyle.
Personally, I found that even though I would rush to the office each morning, I derived a lot of peace and tranquility from waking up early and dedicating 20 minutes to regular meditation and reflection. Later on, I realized that I could move slower with increased intention after each meditation practice. I also loved that I could finally get out of the house earlier.
Meditation teachers recommend a meditation practice of at least 30 minutes. However, just 5 minutes could make a difference. Research has shown that an average of 27 minutes per day dedicated to meditation could change your brain and alleviate your stress levels.
You might also want to consider meditating at some time during the day. For instance, you could take some minutes from your lunchtime to do a short meditation break. All you need to do is retreat to someplace quiet and peaceful.
3. Be consistent and committed
This might sound harsh but can’t succeed at meditation without getting truly committed. As most people have confessed, attaining consistency and making meditation a habit is a crucial step.
After you have identified the most convenient time, the real task starts – sticking to it. How can you do this? Well, there are some tricks that could make you more committed to your practice plan.
The first rule here is trying to practice regularly at the set time each day. This way, you’ll learn to prepare the mind and body to expect a time to be calm, quiet, and in peace every day. Over time, the practice will develop a habit – just like taking a shower or brushing your teeth each morning.
Research shows that when mindfulness through meditation or yoga is practiced consistently, it can trigger positive changes in the functioning of the brain and improve your health. As a result, you will boost your concentration and attention.
4. Go easy on yourself
Indeed, most people who become committed to their meditation practice tend to overlook this step. Even though meditation is beneficial to the mind and body, I do not recommend beating yourself up. There might be times when your schedule or certain circumstances demand you to skip your practice.
It’s important to be kind to yourself and accept that at such a time it is impossible to meditate. Maybe you are traveling a long distance, or you are feeling unwell and all you need is bed rest. What I’m trying to say is that from time to time you’ll skip your session and the guilty feeling won’t make your inner peace any better.
You must know when it can and cannot be done. At one time, you will forget, or be potentially held up, or just have that itch when you practice. And there will come a moment when you are lazy, and you don’t want to practice, but you will meditate anyway.
If you are to make meditation a habit, then you must put effort to carve a meditation lifestyle in about forty days of practice.
5. Embrace that which suits you
Getting to embrace what you can do, especially when you have expectations of how meditation should look like, is no mean feat. I am not saying that a minimum of thirty minutes-per session wouldn’t feel fantastic, but the truth is we all have and follow different paths.
Therefore, it is important to embrace what you feel works perfectly for you. Even if it entails taking a deep breath, the benefits will be significant. Indeed, research shows that mindful breathing plays a critical role in eliminating stress and anxiety, leaving you with a clear mind.
Remember that the sole intention of meditation is to calm your mind and transport you deep within yourself. Not stressing you out due to how little time you are dedicating to meditation. Your goals should be realistic as well as comfortable.
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