Put your hand up if meditation doesn't come easily to you (everyone in the entire world raises their hand). Like broccoli, squats and basically anything that is good for you, meditation requires discipline and determination and a little bit of inspiration. Which is why we've put together a list of 10 ways to make meditation a regular...daily even(!)...practice.
Tell everyone about your plan. Your mum, your barrister, that weird guy at work. It's called accountability! Heck, why not even start a seven-day "meditation challenge" with your friends. Create a Facebook group (or Whatsapp...or whatever social platform floats your boat) and check in with each other. No judgement, complete honesty and share your wins and inspiration.
Dishes to clean, phone calls to be made, buses to be missed...I mean caught! Everyday chores tend to get in the way of what is really important. This is why many experts suggest practising meditation first thing in the morning. This doesn't mean hitting snooze while you "meditate" in bed for 9 minutes longer...which brings us to point #3
Find yourself a quiet space at home, a designated mediation space that is comfortable, but not too comfortable (not the couch). Lucky for you we've put together a handy little guide on creating such a space at home right here.
Invest in a good meditation cushion... I know a really good one!!! Seriously though, hear me out; by purchasing a meditation cushion you are committing yourself to the practice, you're telling the universe just how serious you are about mediation and you are going to be so darn inspired just looking at the beautiful specimen!
5. Now this one is optional, but there are a bunch of clever people out there who have created mediation apps to help you achieve your mindfulness goals. I like Headspace because of the cute cartoons...and because Andy holds your hand (figuratively) through each mediation. There's meditations for anxiety, grief, self esteem and a plethora of other focuses. Plus if it's good enough for Emma Watson...
6. Be realistic. Start off with achievable goals, say 2 minutes and build from there. Don't kid yourself thinking you are going to be sitting cross-legged for thirty-minutes two days in. And if you force yourself to do this, then you're going to take the enjoyment out of the process.... we're in it for the long haul baby!
7. Be kind to yourself. Your mind will wander. I bet you a million bucks, it will wander! And that's ok. Simply become aware that your mind has drifted off-course and without judgement re-focus.... again and again.
8. Listen to the masters. We've compiled a list of amazing quotes on mediation to inspire you. Here is a sampler, "All of humanity’s problems stem from man's inability to sit quietly in a room alone." Blaise Pascal.
9. Focus on your breath or repeat a mantra such as "let" (inhale) "go" (exhale). The aim of meditation is to clear your mind of thoughts, so while you're building your meditation muscles this is a great way to focus your mind on one thing rather than your normal millions of thing.
10. Remember that you can practice meditation anywhere. While you're walking home, while you're on the train, while you're waiting for your morning coffee or that friend who is always late.
So who wants to start a seven-day meditation challenge with me? Comment below and if you have any other helpful hints we would love to hear from you x