Hi guys! This post is from my lovely friend Jennifer from Help Mama Meditate! I’ll be sharing more and more posts from some great fellow bloggers, so make sure you stay tuned for new insights on mindful living, and on how to lead a healthy lifestyle! In today’s post, Jennifer will be showing us 5 easy ways to introduce Meditation Practice in our life. Keep reading for her helpful and mindful tips!
Meditation and mindfulness have many physical and mental health benefits. Some of the benefits may include: stress reduction, control over anxiety, increase in attention span, generating kindness, and sleep improvement. (source) Practicing meditation and mindfulness can be intimidating at first, especially when you aren’t certain how to begin. Here are five easy ways to make meditation and mindfulness part of your life.
1. Start Small
Any time you start a new habit, it helps to take small steps. Don’t set an unrealistic goal that you’re going to meditate for an hour everyday for the rest of your life. To start meditating today, set a timer for 60 seconds and follow your breathing. Your attention will be drawn to your thoughts or the environment around you, but that is perfectly normal. Simply redirect your attention to the breath.
As you become more comfortable meditating for one minute, every few days increase your time until you reach a session length that works best for you. Ten minutes a day on a daily basis is much more effective than 30-45 minutes once or twice a week. Consistency is key so start small.
2. Choose a Position
There are several meditation positions you can use: kneeling, sitting on the floor, cushion, or chair, or lying down. Try each of these methods and see which one works best for you. There are meditation benches to reduce discomfort while kneeling, as well as zafus, zabutons, and other floor cushions if you prefer a seated position. Pain is not a requirement for meditation, so find a comfortable seat to allow yourself to focus on your breath rather than your discomfort.
3. Create a Meditation Space
A visual reminder for your new meditation practice can be very motivating. Find a quiet, private spot in your home and create a meditation space. You can use a small table or tray to place your meditation items, such as candles, incense, a favorite book, a photo of loved ones, beads, etc. If you use a cushion, bench, or chair, you can set the tray or table next to it. A meditation space of your very own may help you get into a meditative state, since it will become part of your practice to sit in the same spot each day. Your body will begin to associate meditation with this space.
4. Decide When to Meditate
There are many options for choosing the best time of day for meditation. You can try meditating at various times of the day as you begin your new practice and decide which one works best for you.
Some of the most popular times to meditate are:
Morning: after first waking up before the events of the day begin
Afternoon: during a lunch break at work, a time to refresh if you’ve had a stressful morning
Night: before bedtime, taking time to reflect and pause
You can alternate the time of day you practice depending on how your day goes. It helps to be flexible. If you had a hectic morning and forgot to meditate, you can always set aside 5-10 minutes in the evening after you brush your teeth.
5. Select a Daily Activity for Mindfulness
Mindfulness can be done during your daily activities, unlike meditation which is its own practice. Mindfulness is learning how to be aware in the here and now without allowing judgment to distort what is actually happening. One way to practice mindfulness is to choose a familiar daily task and increase your sensory awareness while doing the activity. For example, you can practice mindfulness while drinking your morning cup of coffee or tea. Use your senses to smell your drink, feel the warmth of the cup in your hands, observe the color of your coffee or tea, and finally taste your drink and savor the flavor.
We often go through the motions during our daily routine without taking the time to stop and taste what we are drinking. If you choose one activity a day for mindfulness, you will be giving yourself a beautiful opportunity to add enjoyment and fullness to your life.
How are you planning to introduce Meditation and Mindfulness in your life?
Let us know in the comments below!