Many people very enthusiastically begin a meditation practice with the hopes of achieving some sort of outcome. Some common goals include, wanting to sleep better, feel calmer, and lower anxiety. These are very much within reach. In fact, the results of a steady meditation practice will eventually lead one to experience these benefits, the key word being steady.
Most people, however, fail to realize the maximum benefits of meditation, which can include life-transforming changes, because meditation never becomes a part of their daily routine. The Most Important Part of Meditation No One Talks About Trying meditation for a few weeks and then letting the practice go or sitting irregularly, will not bring about the same kind of positive changes in mindset, attitude, and thinking, as if you sat everyday. Yet, you may claim to be too busy for meditation. Why is this so?
You haven’t structured the rest of your life to support a regular meditation practice.
We know in theory that if we really want to do something, we make the time for it. We want to move from recognizing this on an intellectual level to living it in our everyday lives.
If you are serious about making meditation a daily habit, then you first have to understand how you are spending your existing time. 3 Ways To Make Spirituality A Priority Every Day In order to gain an honest and realistic view of your schedule, one idea is to keep a daily log for a week tracking every little thing from waking up, to eating meals, and everything in between. What are you prioritizing? Who are you giving your time and energy to in the day? Are you including your self-care as a non-negotiable in your daily life?
Late nights, watching endless hours of television, working long hours, feeling obligated to spend time with certain people, using unhealthy coping methods to deal with anxiety, all affect our everyday. Slowly, our days turn into the way we live our lives.
When we begin making small changes in our day and start shifting our priorities to include our health and well-being, we slowly transform how we live our lives.
Once we start meditating and realizing the benefits for ourselves, we want to sit longer and more often. Meditation naturally becomes a part of our everyday nourishment. Below are a few tips on ways to help you work towards incorporating meditation into your daily life.
- Gradually. Start with a 1-minute practice. Eventually, you will become comfortable with it, and then move on to 2-minutes, then 3, and so on. There is no timeline, no rush, no competition. Build your concentration steadily, not forcing yourself to sit longer to meet some meditation standard. Yes, 15-30 minutes of meditation a day would be ideal, but work on developing your focus and you will eventually get there.Side note: The only person you are trying to be better than is the person you were yesterday. If anything, you will see the benefits as you go along. So the idiom, ‘The journey is the reward’ (Chinese proverb), rings true here. Some people become focused on quickly realizing their highest-selves, that at the slightest notice of the benefits of meditation, they stop their daily practice confusing it for enlightenment or Samadhi. You will know when meditation is working for you because more and more you will let go of ego, you won’t be as drawn to materialism, you will feel balance of mind, and you won’t feel the need to tell everyone how far you’ve come on your spiritual path. Don’t be in a rush to get there, enjoy the process and the changes it’s creating. Be happy with where you are at in this moment.
- Once you find something that works, stick with it. This means finding a meditation technique that feels comfortable and relatively easy to practice. In the beginning, it will be a struggle to withdraw the mind from outside stimulation and sit still with the breath. This is natural. However, after experimenting with different types of meditation and finding something that resonates with you, stick with it. Do not change meditation techniques every couple of weeks or once a month. Do it for as long as you can. The purpose of meditation is to increase our concentration and go deeper. We cannot do that if we are changing meditation tools often. If you begin to feel as though the particular meditation method you have chosen no longer works for you, then of course find one that does, but once you have, keep with it. There are known to be 112 meditation techniques, so there is something for everyone!
- Boldly create changes. Do not be afraid to make the changes you need to in your life. The majority of people are too afraid to do anything about what their gut instinct and heart are signaling to them because they allow others to influence their behaviors. Work on letting go of other peoples’ ideas about you. Some people find it strange and surprising that I have no cable television or Internet at home, but it’s added to my happiness in so many ways. Gradually, I spend less time on social media and the web in general and have replaced it with reading, writing, and painting. You know all those things you would do if you had time for them? Well, you do have time and you can do them all, you just have to realize the changes you need to make in order to realize them, and slowly work towards manifesting them into reality. Begin with the small things, those will make the biggest difference in the long run.
Meditation helps us to find purpose and meaning in our lives. It is not only part of our self-care, but the internal work we do on a consistent basis that leads us to greater contentment. Meditation helps us to realize what is true and unchanging. When we recognize what is truly important and let go of the superficial, we find the kind of inner peace that no one can take away.