Creating A Regular Meditation Practice
Studies show that establishing a regular meditation routine has significant positive impacts on our health and wellbeing. When we talk about have a regular vs sporadic meditation routine, I compare it to eating a beautiful organic salad filled with all of the colors of the rainbow. Let's say you eat a super healthy salad once a month; your body assimilates the nutrients and benefits of that salad, therefore you become a slightly more healthy. And if you eat a super healthy salad every day, there are more nutrients for your body to absorb and therefore you become exponentially healthier than if you ate one salad a month. And it's the same with meditation!
Practicing your meditations on a regular basis allows you to receive the most benefit from the practice. Studies show that with daily practice, meditation is shown to reduce stress hormones and lower blood pressure, to increase the size of healthy matter in our brain and to improve the expression of our genes, such as lowering the expression of inflammatory genes. Additionally, having a regular practice is associated with benefits to our mental health by lowering anxiety, depression, overwhelm, and fatigue. Studies also show that meditation supports social aspects of our health, like boosting our awareness, mindfulness, compassion, empathy and resilience.
Here are my top 4 tips to help you create your regular meditation practice:
1. Find your motivation: Get super honest and clear with yourself about why you want to meditate. Is it to become more calm and efficient, or perhaps to improve your overall health, or even to be less reactive and more patient with your family, children, etc. Knowing why you want to practice and setting your intention to show up each day will help you maintain and prioritize your practice.
2. Create with ease: The whole point of meditating is to learn to let go and relax more deeply and fully, right? So, we want to create and commit to a meditation practice and schedule that works for our daily lives. Being realistic about the time you can commit to in the beginning is important. I recommend starting with 5 minutes, and adding a minute every day until you reach 20 or 30 minutes twice a day. That said, be patient with yourself and try not to worry about getting it right. You may even find that as you meditate, you start to yearn for more time to meditate in the day, and that makes it easy to prioritize. I'm happy to help mentor you as you get started!
3. Sit comfortably: Once you gain more experience meditating, it will become easier and easier to meditate any where: outside, airplanes, airports, in a taxi, while your children are playing in the next room, etc. However, in the beginning, I recommend finding a very quiet place to practice inside when possible. When we practice in a quiet environment, we are less likely to be distracted or discouraged from our practice. I also recommend sitting however is most comfortable for you. We've all seen images of Buddhas, Monks, Yogis, etc. sitting crosslegged and meditating with great ease. Yet, that doesn't always feel good in our bodies. The most important thing you can do in your meditation is to start by sitting comfortably. I recommend sitting on a cushion or pillow, a chair, or a couch, and either sitting 'criss-cross-apple-sauce' or with feet flat on the floor. If you have an itch, you can scratch it and simply let it go.
4. Be kind to your thoughts: Often, when we begin meditating, it is the first time we've been truly aware of our own thoughts. And we face a common misconception that thoughts are not allowed as part of your meditation practice. I'm happy to tell you this is simply not true! Thoughts are a welcome and natural part of the meditation process. In fact, thoughts during meditation can represent the release of stress in the body and the mind. Isn't that a good thing? If you do have thoughts, and you most likely will, during your meditation practice, simply notice them, let them go, and come back to your mantra or breath.
I hope these tips will support you as you begin your own regular practice. The techniques I teach are both powerful and empowering because they allow you to practice on your own time and in a way that supports your personal needs. If you'd like more information, please reach out to me here or email me firstname.lastname@example.org for a free consultation. And please join us for
Tune In Tuesday weekly meditations in my office in Charlotte!
And remember, we call it a meditation practice for a reason. It's a practice, not a perfect.