Perhaps this new year you made a resolution or intention to start or restart a meditation practice. Kudos to you for taking a step toward less stress and more calm!
In this post, we’ll look at the Why, How to Start Small, Scheduling Your Meditation, Choosing a Method and Accountability.
You probably already know the benefits of meditation: helps with stress & anxiety, improved concentration, enhances mood, increases memory & energy, lowers blood pressure, feel more relaxed, calm & grounded, learn to chose your response rather than being reactive, and becoming present.
Perhaps meditation has been recommended to you by your physician, therapist or someone else you trust.
First, understand your “Why.”
- What is the real reason you want to establish a meditation practice?
- What benefits are you looking to receive?
- How will you life change?
By asking yourself these questions you can become more clear in your own mind.
I always share with students the concept of small goals. Realistically, how much time can you spend for meditation? I always suggest by starting with five minutes a day. Five minutes a day is a doable goal. You either wake up earlier or practice at any time of the day where it seems to fit in. That means, also looking at what time of day works for you, morning, noon, or before bed.
Later you can expand upon this goal as you become more consistent in your practice by increasing it by a few minutes every week or whatever pace feels right to you.
Schedule Your Meditation
Just as you schedule a doctor’s appointment, outing with friends or work tasks, pencil in your schedule your meditation time. That means, if you have to arise five minutes earlier, then do so.
Example – 5 minutes every morning after I get my coffee or tea, 3 3-minute breathing exercises before eating daily meals.
The key is always making it doable and attainable.
Create the Environment
Look at where you will practice. You can easily create a corner in your home or use a separate room. As you sit in your favorite room and chair, you will begin to become accustomed to this is your meditation time. Make it comfortable, perhaps add a candle or anything that would inspire you. I would also suggest setting a timer, like the app, Insight Timer, so you are not constantly watching the clock. It has chimes you can choose from that are pleasant to the ear vs. an alarm that you would set that could be jarring.
Choose a Method
There are various techniques of meditation to choose from :
- Concentration which is a focus on the breath, mantra, word, phrase, candle flame or mindfulness.
- Guided meditation which lets the conscious mind to be absorbed into the meditation.
- Guided Visualization which is taking a journey to a forest or beach, relaxation, receiving a message from an Angel or the Universe.
- Contemplation on a spiritual idea or philosophy.
- Movement such as yoga, tai chi or mindful walking.
- Some people do use recorded meditations or attend a meditation session where a meditation is led. These help you as well to get you used to the idea of meditation.
You You can create accountability by joining a group or working one-on-one with an instructor. Meeting regularly with a group can help to facilitate your daily practice, you can ask questions, learn new techniques, and continue to improve your dedication to your practice. You already know the benefits, now it’s time to put it into action.
In all, be gentle with yourself in your practice, especially if it is brand new to you. Next time, I’ll talk about common occurrences that you may experience when you meditate.
I am here to assist you both in group and private sessions. Meditation has been an integral part of most of my life for 40 years since I was 16 years of age. It has assisted me with stress, life traumas, depression, health issues, and more. Sharing meditation with others is my passion.
Feel free to contact me with any questions you may have, I am here to cheerfully help you!
Be sure to visit this website for all the meditation sessions and classes we offer here at Meditate Madison, including one-on-one private sessions with me, Deb Phelps, an experienced meditation practitioner and instructor.