So, you've made the decision to start meditating to improve your physical and mental health. But finding the time to actually meditate is stressing you out – not to mention trying to stay focused when you do meditate. Here are tested tricks to help you stick to your meditation schedule.
Meditation is a mind-body technique that can help you train your mind to focus on the positive instead of the negative. It's been proven to increase your calmness and physical relaxation. Integrating meditation into your day is recommended by health and wellness professionals as a way to:
• help decrease physical pain
• improve sleep
• fight memory loss and dementia
• reduce stress
• improve heart health and reduce heart disease
• improve performance at work and in sports
• increase focus and concentration
We all know that building a healthy habit and sticking with it takes time, and meditation's no different. Here are some tips and tricks to help you start – and stick to – a meditation practice.
5 Tips to Help You Stick to Your Meditation Practice
1. Schedule meditation sessions on your calendar
Whether you want to meditate daily or a few times a week, schedule a meditation date with yourself. Set a reminder on your digital calendar to send you an alert 15-30 minutes before your scheduled session so you don't have to check your calendar.
2. Try a meditation app
Here are 4 meditation apps to help you build your meditation practice. They're all free for iOS and Android, with in-app purchases:
- Headspace trains you to develop a routine and includes the option of "mini-meditations" and "SOS" sessions if your anxiety is increasing.
- Insight Timer has over 11,000 free guided meditation sessions that vary in length, and more than 2,000 teachers to choose from.
- 10% Happier brings together instructors, specialists and scientists to teach the basics of meditation.
- Aura: Calm Anxiety & Sleep has a three-minute guided meditation session to specifically cater to your attitude.
3. Start slowly
If your goal is to meditate 15 minutes a day, and you're a meditation newbie, it's probably a good idea to build the habit slowly. Start with 2-5 minutes a day, and once you're able to keep that commitment – and you start seeing the benefits – gradually increase your meditation time. Don't beat yourself up if you miss a day or are distracted during meditation, it's all part of the process.
4. Change your position
Sitting in a cross-legged "zen" position may be your mental picture of the correct meditation pose, but meditation can be practiced in any position that is comfortable for you, even laying in bed. Once you find a comfortable position for meditating, you can change that position during your session – you don't have to stay in one position to meditate.
5. Take a class
Many yoga studios, wellness practices and community centers offer classes, workshops and even retreats to help you learn how to meditate. An instructor can help you learn to meditate, the best type of meditation for you, and the best position and atmosphere for you to start your meditation journey.