Many people decide to start practicing meditation, lured by its physical, mental and emotional benefits, every day. And how many of those find their initial enthusiasm and commitment to the practice waning or decide to quit altogether?
Why is it so easy to start but difficult to continue?
Maybe you are too busy and can’t find the time to fit meditation into your schedule, or you just joined the bandwagon and quit after a few sessions because you can’t really find any benefit. Perhaps there are too many distractions and you cannot find a place where you can meditate undisturbed. You can’t get it right because you can’t focus and you can’t calm your mind, so you think you are totally wasting your time meditating at all.
Meditation can certainly be a challenge, more so if you have high expectations of your performance, as well as how quickly you can feel the benefits. So, here are tips to help you to meditate.
Practice Short Meditation Sessions
If you are working fulltime and have other activities outside the office, or if you are a fulltime mom juggling work and family, then integrating a meditation session in your daily activities can be a challenge.
What’s great about meditation is that you don’t have to spend hours sitting still working to achieve a Zen place in your mind. You can start with a 10-minute session or whatever duration is realistic for you. A short meditation session at the beginning while you try to find your footing is more than enough.
Don’t Pressurise Yourself with Labels
The term “meditation” can be intimidating as it can conjure images of the Dalai Lama or yogi masters sitting still effortlessly with serene expressions on their faces.
Don’t call what you are doing “meditating” Just simply call it a little bit of time in your daily life when you your mind and body are quiet.
You may be unaware of it, but you may already be meditating. Just because you’re not sitting quietly in a quiet corner focusing on your breathing doesn’t mean you are not meditating. Many people find different ways to give themselves a break. It may be jogging, walking, leisurely sipping tea or coffee in the morning, and other activities that allow you to just relax and just be yourself.
Don’t Consider your Thoughts as the Enemy
Curbing your thoughts is a major aspect of meditation, and for some, calming their chaotic mind is a big obstacle.
A huge misconception about meditation is that it is all about defeating your thoughts. The truth is that there is no winning or losing at meditation – you just surrender yourself to the experience completely.
Your mind won’t stop when you begin meditating. Beginners and old practitioners alike will find their minds drifting. This is the reality when you meditate. However, the key is to keep bringing your mind back to the present every time it wanders.
Don’t force your mind to be completely still. Let go of resistance and allow whatever thoughts arise – be it worries, fears or doubts. Acknowledge all of these and if you find your mind drifting to the past or to the future, just pull them back to the present and focus on the ‘now’.