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 find out that you are consistently 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 their day-care, you always run late, you need to prepare that breakfast or even dinner, or you prefer to work out in the morning instead of doing some meditation… Your excuses are valid; you indeed could be leading a hectic life and your list could be even longer. But that doesn’t mean you can’t create time for your meditation.
If you make meditation a priority, then you definitely will find some free 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? Follow the simple steps below each day.
1. Have a Special Meditation Practice Space
Image credit: Gerald Ford
Do you have a particular space that you have dedicated to meditation practice alone? You need to create a special space which is specifically meant for your meditation. Notably, a place within your home where you are assured of calm and silence, and without any distraction. Remember, active meditation means improved cognitive abilities and executive brain function in your goal-directed behavior.
Remember, I am not asking you to dedicate an entire room to meditation practice. Space as convenient and straightforward as a corner with an cushion, clutter-free bookshelf, or a small table is enough. This space should be filled with inspiring and peaceful flowers, vision boards, crystals, statues, or images.
I want to give you a personal task concerning the selection of these peaceful and inspiring decorations. Only you can identify that which can achieve true inspiration for you and that which resonates with your purpose. Thus, ensure that the decorations have the power to pull you to meditate in this space.
Note that distractions could include electronics and phones which are bound to interfere with you during meditation. This space should be free of such.
2. Identify the Most Convenient Time for Meditation Practice
Some traditions are known to prefer meditation in the morning starting from four, while there are others which recommend meditation before bedtime. While I hold that you need to specify the time to do meditation, I recommend that you find a time that perfectly fits into your schedule to suit your lifestyle.
Personally, I found out that I would rush to the office each morning, but 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 some time during the day. For instance, you could take some minutes from your lunchtime to do a short meditation break. All I ask of you is to retreat to someplace quiet and peaceful.
3. Be Consistent and Committed
This might sound harsh or hard on you, but you aren’t succeeding 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 which 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 set and 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 enhances changes in the brain and improves your health. As a result, you will develop your concentration and attention. When combined with aerobic exercise, meditation can bring lots of benefits.
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 is a time when the agency or schedule demands that you skip your practice.
It is important that you 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 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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