Maintain Your Practice & Stay Encouraged
While many people have tried to meditate, only few can actually maintain the habit.
If you’re a beginner to meditating, your goal would be to not just learn how to meditate, but also to make it a daily habit.
To maintain your practice and stay encouraged, here are twelve quick and easy pointers:
1 . SET A FIXED TIME BLOCK
You will only be able to benefit from meditation if you practice it regularly. Turn this into a habit by setting aside at least 10 minutes twice a day just for meditation.
2. HAVE A PURPOSE FOR MEDITATING
Meditation is all about focus, which means willpower is fully involved in the process. Sometimes a little motivation is what you need to stick to the routine and behind that motivation is where your purpose lies. Think about the reason why you want to meditate and let that be a constant reminder.
3. SET A SPECIFIC MEDITATION AREA
It helps if you have a quiet corner which is assigned solely to be your meditation area. Make it conducive to meditation; add some cushions or candles. Let your creativity juices flow in this place - make it comfortable and free of clutter.
4. BEGIN WITH BREATHING
If it’s time for you to meditate but you feel like you're not exactly in the mood, try this little exercise. Before you start, set your alarm for ten minutes. Start by sitting down, relaxing (be sure to keep your spine straight), and focus on your breathing. Whether you feel calm at the end of the session or not, the point is that you stuck to your routine and completed the task. Either way, this is progress.
5. ADD SOME STRETCHING INTO YOUR ROUTINE
Sometimes all you need to get into a more calm and relaxed state is to stretch. This short exercise is perfect for when you don't feel like meditating. Stand up straight with your feet on the ground and your arms by your side. Then, stand on your tiptoes and reach out to the sky. Repeat five times. Once you've finished, sit down and start meditating. You will realise that all you need was to release some of the tension from your muscles first.
6. KEEP A JOURNAL
Recording your impressions of meditation in a journal is a good way to focus your thoughts, analyse your insights and to establish the routine of daily practice. Give this is a try!
7. RECOGNISE ANXIETY WHEN IT HITS
If you feel anxious or uncomfortable for any reason during meditation remember that you are not going anywhere, so there is no need to fear. If this happens and you do feel uncomfortable, simply count down slowly from ten to one and return to waking consciousness. Most of the time, you will find that the anxiety goes before you open your eyes and so you can continue the exercise.
8. REMIND YOURSELF OF THE BENEFITS
Whenever you find the time to read, seek to learn more about meditation. The thoughts and suggestions from experts and fellow practitioners will inspire you to follow your routine and remind you of the health benefits from constant meditation.
There are many different meditation techniques for you to try every day. It’s important to add variety to your meditation in order to avoid boredom.
10. BE OPEN-MINDED
When you try to keep an open-mind, you free your mind from limiting thoughts. Nothing holds you back more than thinking you know the answers so you never consider other alternatives. When you admit that there are several possible solutions or outcomes, you allow yourself to think beyond the boundaries where you normally would have stopped yourself.
11. PARTNER WITH A FRIEND / FAMILY
Doing meditation exercises with another person really tests your ability to be present. It’s an increasingly lacking quality in today’s conversations, in which it’s normal to have your eyes glued to a smartphone or stop mid-sentence to pick up a call. In all of these exercises, you’ll notice very quickly if your focus is wandering and if you’re comfortable being present and open with the other person..
12. DO NOT DISTURB, PLEASE!
Ensure your privacy and peace as much as possible. Take the phone off the hook or put the answering machine on, and put a sign on the door telling housemates or your family that you are not to be disturbed.