When starting any new habit, building momentum can be difficult. Cultivating a daily meditation practice is no different. You know it is good for you, the benefits of meditation are overwhelmingly positive. So why is it so hard to introduce meditation in daily life? Probably because life is busy. You are already trying to work out how to fit everything else into your life without adding to it. If you want to learn how to meditate daily, the trick to success is to keep it simple.
Starting a Daily Meditation Practice
Let’s try to make it easier to get started. If you can stack the deck in your favor you will find it easier to stick with it over time. Here are a few quick tips to help you enjoy meditation daily.
1. Start small
Just 5 minutes will be enough. Set a timer. If you think you don’t even have time for that then start with 1 minute. Even that small amount of time will make a difference. Then you can build on your successes and gradually increase the time. When you can see, and feel, the benefits you will want to keep going.
2. Do it early in the day
First thing if possible. This is not a hard and fast rule, but when you are just starting a new habit it is a good one to stick to. Getting a win early in the day and ticking it off your list is a positive mental boost. And you will benefit from the effects of your meditation throughout the day. We all have a finite amount of willpower that is used up with each decision we make as we go through our day. You are less likely to make good decisions later in the day.
3. Do it wherever you are now
Don’t be worried about having the perfect environment for your meditation. You don’t need a completely private, dedicated room decorated with the right rugs and cushions, with candles and incense burning and the perfect music playing while you are wearing Buddhist robes. All you need is to be comfortable in a reasonably quiet place. That could be in your bedroom, bathroom, lounge room or garden. Even at the park or beach is ok. If you are tied to a special place for your meditation, that will give you an excuse if you are not near that place, or someone else is occupying it. Learning to meditate at home is a simple way to start.
4. Be kind to yourself
Don’t expect too much and don’t judge yourself. You won’t be perfect. It won’t be always go smoothly and it won’t always work for you. Some days your thoughts will be more scattered and intrusive than others. Some days you won’t even get through 5 minutes. Some days you won’t do it at all. Don’t let this deter you. We all have bad days. What counts is continuing on after them. There is no perfect practice. Just practice. It all adds up over time.
5. Be patient
It’s not a magic pill. Don’t rush it. You won’t automatically become the most relaxed zen person on the planet who does everything right and is in perfect health. But you will see benefits and you will get better with time and practice.
A meditation here or there, while great for the present moment, just won’t cut it for long term benefits. Cultivating a daily meditation practice is a great foundation to building a better mindset, and will help introduce other beneficial habits into your life.
All you need to do is start the habit NOW.
Try this quick daily guided meditation to get you started.
There are some great resources for daily meditations online:
Fragrant Heart have some great free daily guided meditations for relaxation and stress relief. They have a variety of topics and lengths to choose from.
Tara Brach has a great page of guided audio meditations that I use on a regular basis. Her featured basic meditations are ideal for beginners.