Try these tips to make meditation a regular part of your life
When starting out with meditation, doing it at all can be a challenge, let alone making it into a habit. Life is tricky enough. Please don’t give yourself a hard time if you’re not able to meditate as much as you would like to. The benefits of meditation come alive with regular practice, but it’s important to be realistic and also to be kind to yourself. There are some simple things you can do to make meditation more of a regular part of your life.
Here are some creative approaches to give a go.
Far too many people make the mistake of approaching meditation as work. It is another chore, another thing on the to-do list alongside everything else. Eat your greens. Brush your teeth. Call your mum. Do some meditation. While this can be effective in the short term, in our experience meditation and mindfulness have the most chance of becoming habits when we approach them as play. When something is fun, we are more likely to do it. So this is the secret to making meditation into a habit: do the techniques and practices which you find the most fun. Then what would otherwise would be a chore, becomes a joy. There is a big difference between a meditation habit which is low-energy and functional versus a meditation habit which is vibrant and full of learning and joy. As your adventures in mindfulness continue, we encourage you to lean into the aspects which feel the most alive.
While making it fun and feeling the benefits are the most sustainable ways to make meditation a habit, there are some other simple actions which can help. If you are the kind of person who only does something if it’s in your calendar, then actively putting meditation into your schedule can be helpful. And if you’re particularly social, then another great way to enable your practice is to do it with others such as friends, colleagues, your partner, or even your children. To help you along, buddhify has specific meditations which you can do with others and an entire Kids wheel for you to explore.
Whether you’re new to this thing or have been doing it for a while, something every meditator needs is trust. Trust that meditation actually helps. There are an infinity of excuses not to meditate, but if we truly trust that it makes our life better then we will make it a regular part of our life. The single best way to develop that trust is to see the positive effects it has for ourselves. So whenever you do some meditation and notice that it has been helpful, really take that in. If you feel a bit more settled after a practice, then soak in that feeling. If a particular technique helped you take the edge off some difficult emotion, then spend some time recognising that. Doing this starts to deeply imprint on our minds the simple formula that doing meditation leads to good results. And when that is imprinted, then all those excuses not to meditate go away.
And if you can, do embrace the buddhify approach of exploring how to practice alongside your everyday activities. This approach, when balanced together with some formal meditation to anchor your experience, is a wonderful way to stitch mindfulness into everything that you do. The more that we do something like meditation, the more it is likely to become a habit. So you needn’t always think of 20 minutes a day of meditation as having to be all in one go. You can do one minute here, three minutes there, and so on …. it all builds up!
Making meditation a habit is a great thing to do, but if you feel yourself making too big deal about it, feel free to loosen things up a bit. Good luck and remember, be gentle on yourself!