How To: Easily Start Doing Daily Meditation
It's no secret that mindfulness meditation is one of the simplest and most powerful ways to work on the connection between our bodies and our brains. Perhaps the biggest gift of daily mindfulness meditation is that it creates space from which we can better cope with stressful situations, but it has positive impact on all aspects of life from relationships to health to career. A daily practice of being in touch with your true self – who you are beneath appearance and attitude and personality – brings us closer to everything we want in life.
That being said, when I mention mindfulness meditation to most patients, it’s something that often takes a little convincing. A daily meditation practice is a habit, and the more you utilize your meditation muscles, the easier it becomes. Soon, you find yourself feeling like a totally different person if you haven’t had your morning zen time. But in the beginning, it’s hard. I get it. Here are some tips to make daily mindfulness meditation attainable:
1. Don’t give yourself a time goal
In the beginning, when you’re finding it hard to sit still for any period of time and ‘not think about anything,’ don’t force yourself to sit still for 10, 20 or 30 minutes. Set a timer for the max time you’ll allow, but then actually allow yourself to come out of the practice at any time. It’s not an endurance competition.
2. Create a sacred space
Choose an area in your home where you won’t be interrupted, set up a comfy cushion and some things that are meaningful to you – pictures, flowers, notes, crystals, mala beads, trinkets – and light a candle. The more you make physical space for meditation, the easier it becomes. This sacred space is an inviting reminder of your commitment to yourself.
3. Start with guided meditation
Just like how you learned to ride a bike with training wheels, learning meditation with guidance is a great stepping stone to true mindfulness meditation. Download some guided meditations to your phone or iPod, so you have a selection to listen to and keep you on track. There are tons available for free, and many are only 5 minutes long. If sitting alone with your thoughts seems daunting, let guided meditation be your gateway.
4. Cultivate forgiveness
For skipping a day, or doing a 2 minute meditation before jumping out of bed and into a hectic work day, or for letting your mind wander. It’s a practice. Nobody’s perfect at it. That’s the fun part!
Off to get my Om on.
Dr. Kali MacIsaac HBSc, ND
Photo credit: ezpong.com