How can I meditate regularly?
There are many benefits to meditation. The hard part for most people tends to be doing it!
Here are a few ways to develop more consistency in practicing meditation.
- Think carefully about when you're most likely and able to practice, then commit to at least 5 minutes a day so that over time it becomes a habit. First thing in the morning works best for lots of people. Listening to a guided meditation on the train or bus to work is popular and seems to set up the day well. Others find that the best time is just before bed. Try some experiments and see what works best in your schedule.
- Set realistic expectations for yourself with meditation. Your experience developing a new habit might (probably will 😉) include some ups and downs. Mindfulness isn't about getting rid of all thoughts — it's about noticing what thoughts are there. Don’t be surprised if some days your mind is busy, fretful, or even wildly unruly. When this happens, practice curiosity and the art of allowing.
- Notice times when you feel mindful and acknowledge the impact this brings to you and others. Seeing the benefits in your practice is essential to continuing.
- If you feel comfortable doing so, tell those closest to you at work and home that you're trying to build a mindfulness practice. Tell them how they can help support you.
- Connect with others who are interested in becoming more mindful. You can encourage and challenge each other to commit to the practice.
- And be nice to yourself and forgiving if you a miss a day or more. When that happens, start again.