By Courtney Sunday, Everyday Mindfulness Columnist, tuja wellness
There are a ton of articles out there touting the health benefits of meditation. Without adding ourselves to the list, let us go quickly through some of the perks.
Meditation can reduce stress, improve sleep, lower blood pressure, deepen relationships and even restore grey matter in your brain. All of that will definitely help you live your best life.
There’s one other tangible benefit to meditation that seriously contributes to living your best life: being present.
A daily meditation practice helps you to stay connected to the here and now – and what better way to live your best life than to actually be in it? However, many of us know how difficult it can be to commit to that healthy daily meditation habit.
Make no mistake; a healthy meditation habit does require a bit of work. To help make that work a little easier, here are five ways to ease your way in and make it stick.
1. START SMALL
Don’t get us wrong, few people can decide they are going to start meditating and then sit down and do it for 30 minutes straight. Just like training for a marathon or triathlon, you have to start small and accept that you might not be very good at it in the beginning. Try a one-minute meditation then move up to 5 and gradually increase your time through your “training”.
2. BE COMFORTABLE
Meditation shouldn’t be painful. You’ll never be able to fully commit to the meditation if you’re uncomfortable. Forget the picture of a yogi in double lotus (both feet on their thighs) omming away. While developing your meditation practice, find a comfortable position to do it in. This might be crossed-legged with a cushion under you, or supporting your knees. It could be seated in a chair or even reclined. Meditation is about the mind, so keep the body comfortable so it’s not on your mind.
3. ACKNOWLEDGE THE DISTRACTIONS
Many people think their minds are too busy to meditate. It’s a common problem in a world where multi-tasking is a prized skill. Understand that distractions happen – both internal and external. All you have to do is acknowledge them and get back to the act of meditating. If a car honks, acknowledge it. If you’re to-do list creeps in, accept that it exists and mentally put it away for later. A big part of developing the skill of meditation is learning how to work through distractions.
4. MAKE TIME
The number one excuse people have for not meditating is that they don’t have the time. If developing this healthy habit is important to you, then you need to make the time. Get up early, close your office door for 15 minutes at lunch, do it on the bus into work, or turn off the TV earlier. Time is not going to come to you: you have to take it. Ask your family or co-workers to respect that the time set aside is a no-interruption time. Even a few minutes of slowing down and taking deep breaths can reset your day.
5. COMMIT TO 30-DAYS
Thirty days is the magic number for the average person to turn a repeated action into a habit. Commit to adopting a daily meditation practice with a 30-Day challenge like the tuja wellness 30-Day challenge. It’s a free event that offers gradually increasing daily guided meditations. Starting with 5 minute guided meditations and ramping up to 25 minutes by the end of the 30 days. In a program like this, you’re not on your own to figure it all out – you have a group of experts, the other people who are taking the challenge, as well as the benefit of listening to a different guided meditation each day to support you. Community can make all the difference.
Starting a meditation habit doesn’t have to be intimidating. With a daily meditation practice (and all of the benefits that come with it) you’ll soon discover that living your best life is all in your mind.