Meditation works wonders with repetition and consistency. Here are doable tips on how to meditate daily and benefit from meditation.
If you have tried meditation but quit, you are not the only one. I’ve been meditating for the last five years, which has helped me in many ways tremendously. That’s why I suggest everyone around me give it a try. Most of them did share with me positive feedback. They said that meditation calmed their minds and helped them find peace again.
However, to my surprise, only a few of my friends stick to the habit of meditation. Most of them quit after two or three times. That makes me wonder, since they are aware of the positive results meditation brings, why can’t they keep doing it? What makes meditation so hard to stick to?
So in this post, you will find several reasons that make it hard to form a daily meditation habit. And I will share some practical tips to stay consistent in meditation so you can get the most out of it.
Reasons why you find it hard to meditate daily
- You don’t have the time.
It’s not easy to build a habit when you are running on a busy schedule. Meditation means spending extra time each day when you can use it to do something else. And it could be the reason why some people are dragging to meditate.
- Sitting still is uncomfortable.
If you observe how you sit all day, you might find that you tend to move a lot even when you are sitting on the same chair. That’s why the feeling of sitting straight in the same posture for a long time can be unfamiliar.
Also, if you are used to having support for your back, be it the sofa or the back of your chair, sitting without one might increase your sense of discomfort.
- Impossible to stay focused
One of the biggest challenges for meditation beginners is to stay concentrated throughout the practice. The more you try to shut down the voices in your head, the more they pop up to disturb you. You may find yourself carried away a lot of times. It frustrates you as you question whether meditation is doable.
- You don’t see immediate results.
It’s common not to feel a significant improvement in your mental health for the first few times of meditation. In fact, some people might not experience changes in the first few weeks or even months. If that’s the case for you, you might doubt if meditation really works.
How to meditate daily and be consistent
Find your reason
It’s hard to do anything daily when you don’t have a reason behind it. That’s why knowing why you meditate is key to a consistent practice.
Meditation is beneficial to both the body and the mind. And that’s why you have every reason to meditate. Listed below are several reasons why you will find meditation helpful.
- Meditation relaxes and calms your mind.
- It helps you to find clarity in life.
- Daily meditation helps regulate blood pressure and improve heart health.
- As a mindfulness practice, it trains the brain to stay focused and resilient.
- It’s the perfect time for a self-dialogue and to build self-awareness.
- You may find creative ideas or fresh perspectives popping up during meditation.
Find one most important benefit to you and write it down on paper in this format:
“I meditate daily because _________.”
When you fill in the blank, you make it clear to your brain why this is important to you. It’s like signing a contract. Once you write down your reason, you are more likely to stick with it.
Adjust your expectations
Many people first try meditation with the expectation to do it for 30 minutes or longer. And it’s common to judge the quality of meditation by its duration. But it’s not necessarily the right thing to do.
In fact, there’s no perfect duration for meditation. Some people get into a deep state of mindfulness in the first minute. Some people may take longer. Some may be able to stay concentrated for an hour, while others find it impossible.
The truth is, if you find yourself more aware of your body and mind after a session, then it’s a successful practice, even when it’s just 10 minutes. Don’t start meditating one day and expect yourself to be fully immersed in the practice for hours. Meditation is not a competition. How you feel is what matters.
Meditate at the same time every day
Our brain will keep doing what it is familiar with. By setting a specific time to meditate every day, you turn this experience from unfamiliar to familiar. This way, you won’t need to figure out when to meditate anymore. Instead, it comes on auto-pilot and requires minimum willpower.
In terms of the best time for meditation, studies have found that our subconsciousness will take in new beliefs more easily when we just wake up or when we are about to fall asleep. So if you are planning to use positive affirmations in meditation or to inject new beliefs, you can do so first thing in the morning or last thing before bed.
With that said, any time you will not be disturbed is a good time for meditation. So find a time that fits your schedule and find it much easier to meditate daily.
Stop asking for perfection
Many people come into meditation with unrealistic expectations. One being you have to be 100% focused the entire time. If you get distracted, then this session is a failure.
But the reality is, that’s not how our brains are wired. Our brain is designed to pay attention to what’s happening around us so we can react to any danger immediately.
That’s why it’s perfectly normal to be distracted during meditation. Your memories, chores, and unprocessed emotions can disturb your practice.
So instead of asking yourself to be concentrated, try to be an observer. As I have mentioned in the beginner’s guide to meditation, the best way to handle distractions is to acknowledge them. Know that they are there, and understand that you don’t have to react to them. Imagine yourself as someone sitting by a lake, and your thoughts are leaves floating on water. You observe as they come and go.
If you find yourself carried away, tell yourself, “oh, I am distracted, but now I am back.” The more your practice, the more you will be at peace with distractions.
Find a mantra
One thing that helps me tremendously in daily meditating is the mantra. A mantra is a quote or a word that reflects your beliefs. It can be as simple as “relax” or, more specifically, “I find peace in meditation.”
Mantras work like affirmations. When you keep broadcasting the statement in your mind, you reinforce the belief. It will also shut down other voices that may disturb you. It’s like turning on music. But instead of tunes created by others, you are embraced by your own voice.
I’ve rounded up a list of calming mantras for meditation if you are new to the mantra. Check them out and pick one for your next session. See how it changes your practice and helps you to meditate daily.
Keep a meditation tracker
Things that are most likely to jeopardize the formation of a habit are impatience and boredom. Sometimes you quit because you don’t enjoy it. And sometimes you do so because you don’t see the results.
How long it takes for you to see the positive results varies from person to person. I didn’t feel the changes until the second month of daily meditation. But then I realized changes had always been happening, just not noticeable enough.
That’s why I will suggest keeping a meditation tracker. After every session, write down your feelings and reflections about the practice. Do you feel overwhelmed, focused, cheerful, hopeful, or stressed? Does meditation help to clear the fog? Write down your honest response. This way, you have a record that makes your progress visible.
While meditation may take a while to change your life, tracking it makes you realize changes are happening each day. It will also tackle boredom, as checking the boxes on your tracker will bring you a sense of fulfillment.
Use guided meditation
When I first began meditation, I didn’t know what to think and what to focus on. That’s when guided meditation comes in handy.
With a voice guiding you through breathing and concentrating, meditation becomes easier and more structured.
The guided meditations from The Honest Guys and the Guided meditation Site are my go-to’s. They both offer a variety of different exercises, and the narrators’ voice is so gentle and warm. But you can also use any guided meditation you find that works for you.
How do you meditate daily?
Now it’s your turn. Have you practiced these tips on how to meditate daily? If so, let me know in the comments or tag @_OurMindfulLife on Instagram to share. Or, if you have any meditation tips, share them in the comments!