Looking to turn your interest in meditation into a more regular and effective practice? Sometimes it takes some experienced insights to help you meditate more often and more deeply. Consider these nine tips from leading meditation experts today.
Start small. “Even short stints of meditation can be transformative. Just five minutes a day can yield noticeable results, including stress reduction and increased focus.” That’s the advice Sharon Salzberg, a meditation teacher and author of Real Happiness at Work, shared with her students.
Push past your FOMO. Take time for meditation and recognize the anxiety that arises when you put aside your smartphone or computer – don’t suppress it, but feel it. That’s what Dean Sluyter, a meditation expert and author of the book, Natural Meditation: A Guide to Effortless Meditative Practice, tells Prevention Magazine. “Once it rolls through, you’ll see that there’s something good in its wake: silence. Freedom. Just be in that natural silence for a few minutes and see how good it feels,” he says.
Meditate before breakfast. “Your routine first thing in the morning sets the tone for the entire day,” says Laura Maciuika, a clinical psychologist and author of Conscious Calm: Keys to Freedom from Stress and Worry, to Psychology Today.
Find a tranquil spot. Reserve a peaceful place where you’re seldom interrupted in your home, such as your bedroom or a guest room, for meditation, suggests Janine Hall, a coach and wellness retreat founder. It sounds obvious but it can have a big impact on your success.
Be mindful in everyday moments. “If you enjoy cooking, then it can be considered a meditative practice,” Gabrielle Bernstein, a yoga guru and author of Miracles Now, tells Elle magazine. “Use your time in the kitchen to redirect your focus off of your to-do list and onto serving your soul. Enjoy the process and then enjoy the meal!”
Get the family involved. “I have found meditation to be especially calming and beneficial to parents and children alike,” writes Dr. Gail Gross, a human behaviour and parenting expert, in her Huffington Post column. Even very young kids will benefit from your example. Dedicate some family meditation time during the calmest part of your family day, such as before bedtime.
Break up your day. Making time for meditation at lunch or midday can enhance your productivity and focus, help you unwind and soothe your muscles, says Stacey Shipman, a yoga teacher and founder of HealthySouthShore.com, in Psychology Today.
Be persistent. Daniel Goleman, a psychologist and author of The Brain and Emotional Intelligence: New Insights, shared this timeless and insightful anecdote with The Guardian. “Meditation helps us better manage our reactions to stress and recover more quickly from disturbing events… Beginners can benefit from meditation, but it takes practice to see real benefits. I recently spent an evening with Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche, the Tibetan lama dubbed ‘the happiest man in the world’. How did he get that way? Practice. Observing his behaviour, I noticed he recovered quickly from upsets and this is one way science measures a happy temperament. If you start to get upset, let go of the negative thought, deal with the problem – and then let go of that.”