“Quiet the mind and the soul will speak.” – Buddha
There are so many reasons why people first become interested in meditation. For me, when I was at the height of my anxiety and searching for something to give me some relief, I found meditation. And it changed me in ways I never thought possible.
From an increased ability to focus and mindfulness to a drastic decrease in my anxiety and finally finding peace in my own mind, the benefits of meditation on my life are far reaching and can be found in the way I live on a daily basis.
For many people, the idea of meditating daily may seem intriguing but completely out of reach. Of course the benefits sound amazing but sitting still and silent for 20 minutes a day? That sometimes doesn’t sound realistic to people. But I promise you, it is.
Meditation is a very simple practice that people sometimes over complicate or make harder than it needs to be. At first, it may seem a little silly or difficult even. In today’s society, being busy and always on the go is praised while stillness and slow living can be seen as lazy.
Therefore, it can feel counterintuitive in our culture to intentionally sit still, become one with ourselves and embrace the calm. But, if I am being completely honest with you, it is one of the best things I have ever done for myself.
With all that is going on in the world right now and the heightened anxiety many of us are feeling from the COVID-19 pandemic, if you have been thinking about trying meditation, now is the perfect time to start a daily meditation practice at home!
Here are 5 tips for creating a meditation ritual that you will actually stick to:
1. Pick a time of day that works for you and schedule it into your day
For some people, early in the mornings work best for them to take the time to meditate while for others, the end of the day is more realistic and they have more time. Here’s the thing: there is no right or wrong time of day to meditate and quiet your mind.
Pay attention to your routines throughout the day and pick a time of day that you feel you can commit to setting the time aside for your practice. Write it down, add it to your calendar and schedule the time into your day so you know you will stick to it!
2. Designate a mediation space in your home
Create a space in your home where you feel comfortable, peaceful and can have some time alone to meditate. This could be in your bedroom, an office or even the basement. As long as you are able to sit still and be undisturbed, aka no kids knocking on the door or dogs barking, for 20-30 minutes then it will work.
For me, this is my bedroom. It is where I feel the most peace and is my sanctuary in my home. When I meditate, I simply let my husband know, leave the dogs with him, make sure my daughter is set and close the door! I usually am able to spend as much time as I need to meditating! (Usually!)
3. Start with 3-5 minutes a day
Many people that I talk to say that the #1 reason they haven’t created a regular meditation practice at home is because it is intimidating when you are getting started. But I want you to know that it doesn’t have to be!
Start small and start simple. For the first few weeks, focus on getting a good 3-5 minutes of meditating in. Once you feel comfortable with that time, add 2 minutes per week until you get up to 20-30 minutes a day. Be patient with yourself! If it takes you a few months to work up to that time, that’s okay! Remember, there are no strict rules for this!
4. Add items to your meditation space that make you feel comfortable
This could be anything! From a pillow and calming music to a salt lamp and your favorite candle, whatever will help you relax and be more comfortable can be added to your meditation space.
Each time you sit down to meditate, make sure these items are with you. As you go deeper into your practice, you may find that you want to add or take away some of the items which is totally fine! It is all about your comfort and your relaxation so you get the most out of your meditation.
5. Breathe and be easy on yourself
Last but not least, breathe. Be easy on yourself. Show yourself the patience and the grace that you would show your best friend in the whole world. If you put too much pressure on yourself then you will be missing the point of meditating! Settle in, quiet your mind and take each moment, each thought, as they come!