Whether you’ve tried meditation and didn’t stick to it or you want to fall in love with meditation, you need to go in with the right mindset.
Do you need to find your meditation va va voom?!
Maybe you’re needing to force yourself to do it just to keep the streak. Besides that, maybe you don’t really feel the benefit of it and you’d like to fall in love with meditation again?
When meditating over time, you will little by little see improvement in your mood, confidence and happiness. Basically, your all round well being should improve. For some this happens instantly, others it can take weeks if not months, but it does happen.
I think sometimes we ‘meditate’ using the same anxiousness that we use to get things done in daily life, but we don’t realise it. I am no expert so not sure how to express all this, but I find that a timer is better than an app. A simple focus on breathing. Start small–just a few minutes. Bringing your focus back forgivingly; it’s the attention, not the achievement.
Remind yourself of the benefits
Author, Daniel Goleman Co-wrote, Altered Traits: Science Reveals How Meditation Changes Your Mind, Brain, and Body. You can purchase the book here.
His Three Big Take-Homes: (Source)
Stress Resilience. Mindfulness and other kinds of meditation calm the amygdala, the brain’s trigger for anger, anxiety and a host of similar disruptive emotions. The more you practice, the less reactive your amygdala becomes. And if you do get hijacked from time to time (and who does not?), you recover more quickly – the very definition of resilience.
Focus. Mindfulness strengthens concentration, and every related aspect of attention from keeping your mind on one thing amidst a sea of distractions, to being more present to what’s going on around you. “Whenever my mind wanders in a meeting, “ one executive told me, “I wonder what business opportunity I just missed.” Less mind wandering, better focus even when multi-tasking.
Connection. A cousin of mindfulness, loving kindness meditation, makes you more open to the needs of the people around you, and more likely to help them out. This kind of leadership builds great loyalty, so people will feel they want to do their best for you, and show up even when the pressure and stress are mounting. When I ask executives around the world to name the traits of the boss they have liked the most, kindness always comes up high on the list.
Follow Daniel Goleman on Twitter
So the evidence is clear that meditation brings enormous benefits. Now you should start to master the art of self-discipline!
Silence wasn’t the answer for me
Silence doesn’t work for me but may work for you. Even after years of meditating, I still find it so hard for me to just stop my thoughts and focus. I’ve listened to Chel Hamilton’s meditation podcast which I’ve found wonderful. The meditations are only about 9-10 minutes and her voice is super soothing and awesome.
There are so so many different apps and methods available to you. Exploring all of these you will find what suits you, which will change over time, so mix it up!
We have to be ourselves and enjoy what we do.
If meditation feels like a chore, try a different approach. Check out Bexlife’s 4 Minute meditations on youtube or try taking a walk, taking 10 deep breaths, putting on some relaxing music while colouring an adult colouring book.
You are coming at it from a holding on standpoint vs a letting go standpoint.
I have had times where I’m doing it just to check it off the to-do list and not break my streak and those days I’m not approaching it with mindfulness but instead with an attitude of let’s get this over with. I love Insight Timer but sometimes I have to shake up my rut with a moving meditation or a gratitude walk. Sometimes anchoring a mantra or affirmation in my mind helps. Sometimes watching a candle flame or a campfire can be a great tool to focus and be present during meditation. If nothing else try just sitting in silence for 5 minutes.
For the love of
Do you like surfing? Walking? Watching the sunrise? You can meditate doing anything, you can listen to music or play an instrument, tinker with a car or draw or colour. You don’t have to meditate in silence or sitting you can do it catching fish if you want. Just breathe and appreciate that is all it is. You also don’t have to spend all day doing it, try one minute to begin with where you just relax and breathe and appreciate.
Being creative can all be incredibly meditative
- There are many ways to meditate- gardening, walking…
- It’s the process of losing yourself, of losing the awareness of time.
- It also cleanses your mind–think of it as a daily shower for the mind.
We’re all different, so there is no right or wrong
There are so many different kinds of meditation. I find if I stick with the same routine, I get bored or complacent. I need to mix things up. If you find it tricky to have that timeout, why not go for a walk, even just for 10 minutes and enjoy the morning birds and listen to the trees and leaves, the warm/chilled air.
If you can’t get out, then the quiet in the house while the kids are busy playing. Being mindful of the quiet, away from technology, even just for a few moments can allow your mind to just be.
Guided meditations can help
Here are a few apps that are available. I use Insight Timer daily, morning and night, I love it, why not try them yourself.
- Also, Oprah Winfrey and Deepak Chopra have a wonderful 21-day meditation here.
Until you stop…
You may find you don’t think meditation is doing anything for you – until you stop. Then you may notice a decline in your mood or another area of your life. So I suggest you go back to it and you may notice the same.
Go with the flow
It’s like when you are long distance running…and you have to get through the barrier and then everything flows better…..Meditation is the same….that other side of you.
The way meditation was explained by a variety of teachers worked for me – it was more than sitting in silence. I truly feel it was brain exercise and after almost 6 months I’m going back today.
You may want to go back and forth between some variations. It may be helpful to journal after trying different types to figure out what’s best. You can google to search ways and ask people but it’s only you that know what is best for you!