Many people recognize the benefits of a daily meditation habit but struggle to incorporate meditation into their daily routines.
Here we will discuss 5 simple strategies to overcome this hurdle and give roots to a daily meditation practice:
5 simple strategies to establish a daily meditation habit
1. Start with only a 3-minute routine (Patient strategy to create a daily meditation habit)
This may sound ridiculous, especially if you’ve meditated for longer in the past, but giving yourself an extremely easy challenge to follow and get some “wins” behind you can be very useful.
Start small. 3 minutes a day.
Once you’ve done this for 3 weeks in a row, you may like to increase the time.
Keep the progress small too. Perhaps go from 3 to 5 minutes a day after three weeks.
Eventually, by increasing a little bit every three weeks, you will be meditating for thirty to forty-five minutes every day. And it will feel natural as the habit would have taken deep roots through this slow, patient strategy.
2. Design a specific cue
One of the most common reasons why people miss out on their daily meditation practice (or any habit for that matter) is that there are no triggers or cues in their environment.
A cue could be anything – such as an alarm or reminder. It could be your office chair- when you first sit on the chair, take 3 minutes to meditate. It could be breakfast- just before breakfast, do your meditation. Or anything else.
The important thing is that the cue should be reliable- something that happens every day and that will remind you to meditate.
3. Don’t play around with too many apps or videos
This may sound weird since there are so many wonderful meditation apps and YouTube videos out there. The idea is that the choice the app-store or play-store or video sharing platforms offer can be paralyzing.
There are literally hundreds of excellent guided meditations available on the internet for free. It can easily confuse you as your brain will want to find out the one that’s best for you.
Instead, just start with a very simple practice- such as breathing attentively or focusing on a particular body part, and stick with that form of practice for at least 3 weeks before you decide to change anything.
If you do need an app, here are the ones we highly recommend…
- https://plumvillage.app/ (Buddhist in nature, lots of beautiful features)
- https://www.petitbambou.com/ (General Mindfulness guidance, beautiful interface)
- https://www.wakingup.com/ (From Sam Harris, the famous intellectual)
- https://www.headspace.com/ (One of the most famous apps for meditation, has recommendations from Bill Gates)
Again, make sure you choose one that resonates with you and sticks with that format for at least 3 weeks before you play around with other options.
4. Sit on a chair
It’s well known that meditating while lying down or standing can be hard- you’re either too restful or too agitated to become calm. Many people try to start with a full lotus or half-lotus position, but unless you’re familiar with these sitting postures, it’s best to just sit on a chair. The added pain of sitting in an uncomfortable position can soon form a subconscious resistance to the process, making it difficult for you to stick with your new habit in the early days.
Try those postures when you’re perhaps a few months into a daily meditation practice. For now, there’s not much you’re missing out on by sitting with your back straight on any regular chair (preferably one without an arm-rest.)
5. Don’t judge your meditation
The most important thing is not to worry about whether you’re doing it right, whether it’s helping you, etc. You’ve planted a seed with a new meditation practice. Don’t dig the soil every day to find out if it’s growing. Trust the process and just focus on your part- the watering of the seed through daily meditation.
With any new habit, you may not see much change in the first few days. It’s important to have faith in the process during this period when results (in terms of improved thinking, clarity, focus, calmness and joy) aren’t yet coming by.
We hope you liked these tips to start a meditation/mindfulness practice, and that you’ll give meditation a try!
Also read How to practice mindfulness in daily life [7 Tips to change your life]