How to start meditating and fitting it into your schedule
Beginning anything new can be a daunting process. Whether it’s a new class at the gym or a new meal plan, keeping it up can play on your mind. According to JamesClear.com, a habit can take up to 66 days to make. So, how do we make it easier to implement something that can be so personal, like meditation?
If you’re struggling to fit meditation into your schedule or are just starting out and want some guidance, follow some of these great tips to ease your mind about trying to fit meditation into your busy schedule - whether it’s from your new-found zen or knowing that you’ve successfully implemented something new into your schedule!
When asking meditation coaches about what motivations can help people regularly meditate, Manny Emslie, a meditation coach from Mindfulbeing, suggested:
“Perhaps it’s to take care of yourself, or wanting to live life more calmly, or to benefit not only yourself but also other beings. Reminding yourself of why you meditate, and its benefits, results in looking forward and committing to regularly meditating”.
Meditate anywhere and everywhere
Meditation doesn’t have to happen in a quiet place like a spa or relaxation room. It can be done wherever you are. Although many people do find environments like a spa or wellness retreat are best for meditation, there is no reason why you can’t do it at home, at work, or even at the gym! Writer and meditation coach Ondy Willson suggests, “Meditation needn’t be formal. Try being fully present in everyday situations like traffic jams, queueing, or rushing from A to B. Just take a few deep belly breaths and bring all your senses to exactly where you are now.
“Avoid labelling or judging… just observe. Feel the anger and frustration dissolve and smile at the craziness of life. Everything passes. Nothing is permanent”.
This kind of meditation can happen whenever you have a moment in your day where you wish to reflect. London Life Coach, Tomas Svitorka, also advises this, as he explains, “You can meditate during your commute as well. Close your eyes and focus on how it feels, sitting on the seat or how the train or bus moves”.
Start small and build up
Another way to make meditation easier is to start with a small amount and begin working up to a longer time when you’re more comfortable with the activity and used to it being a part of your day-to-day routine. Tomas Svitorka suggests “The biggest mistake most people make when taking on meditation is that they try to meditate for 30 or 45 minutes.
“Start with 5 or 10 minutes, and it doesn't have to be sitting cross-legged, trying to think about nothing. Meditation can be practised anytime and anywhere. Rather than eating your lunch over your keyboard, take 10 minutes and focus on all the flavours, smells, and textures of the food (it will be the best lunch you've ever had). 5 minutes of meditation every day is better than 45 minutes never”.
Make it a daily occurrence
Going back to the idea that a habit takes 66 days to set in, applying meditation to your schedule is the same. It takes time to adjust to the routine of taking a moment to meditate. However, if you do it every day, it can become much easier. Manny Emslie suggests:
“Setting an intention to practise at a certain time every day will help you to establish a regular pattern of meditating. Notice thoughts that create barriers to practising and that become or could become a habit. Be aware of the pushing away, resisting or avoiding. We learn from noticing these reactions. ‘I haven’t got time’; ‘I’m tired’; ‘Meditating is boring’; “It isn’t working”; “I’ll do it tomorrow!”; These are all thoughts that you can turn into ‘It’s a very busy day but I’ll create a space of 10 minutes for taking care of myself’”.
Be aware of your surroundings
One thing about meditation and mindfulness is to be aware of your surroundings. It opens your mind to new ways of thinking which allows us to relax and really live in the moment, whether that be at work, at the park or at home simply cooking dinner. Catherine Banks from Teaching Meditation suggests we should “Bring all of our attention to what we are doing; such as walking, cooking or eating.
“We notice what is happening in that present moment by using our senses, instead of being preoccupied by thoughts. Keeping our awareness in the present moment has huge benefits for our mind and body”.
Ondy Willson told us to “Find some space between your thoughts during a short meditation and enjoy that spaciousness – visualise it like blue sky appearing on a cloudy day”. Focusing on our inner self is also being mindful of our surroundings as it allows us to look inwards as well as outwards.
If you would like to learn more about meditation and mindfulness, why not book a spa day in West Yorkshire where you can discover more about meditation and relaxation?