After dealing with anxiety, random panic attacks and bouts of insomnia I decided to take up meditation and it quite literally changed my life.
In Part 1 of this Blog Series I shared the many transformational benefits of meditation and how this practice as helped me.
In Part 2, I share my 10 top tips to help you create a consistent meditation practice that you’ll actually enjoy and that will easily fit into your lifestyle.
At the end of this post I also share with you my favourite guided meditations that will help you get started with this transformational practice!
So dig in and enjoy!
If you meditate as soon as you wake up you know it’s done and ticked off your ‘to-do’ list. Simple, right?
But meditating as soon as you wake up helps you come out of that post-sleep grogginess with ease.
Plus it also sets you up superbly for your day ahead.
I swear by starting my day with a guided meditation.
(MAJOR TIP – do NOT look at your phone before you meditate! You want to start your practice off from a calm and unstimulated state of mind).
I know that sitting and trying to meditate for 30 minutes when you’re just starting out is a major turn off! But you can start with as little as 2 minutes a day.
As you’re feeling more confident and enjoying it you can extend your practice to 5 minutes, 10 minutes etc.
It really is all about practice and training your mind to simply ‘be.’
I started out with short 5-minute guided meditations and now I can easily do 30-minute meditations.
(I’m not saying this to gloat. I just want to demonstrate that with practice you will definitely master it!)
I mentioned in the first part of this blog series that one of the excuses I hear for not starting a meditation practice is lack of time.
The truth is we all have equal hours in the day; you just have to make meditation a priority.
All you have to do is schedule your meditation practice in your diary every day.
Try it for 7 days and see how you go – start on a Monday and work your way into it. You could even use the great Streaks App which is awesome at keeping you accountable and creating positive daily habits.
I want you to make meditation a non-negotiable (even if it’s just for 7 days).
As Marie Forleo says ‘If it’s not written down, it’s not real.’
So write it down!
If you can’t meditate first thing in the morning try and be flexible and work the practice into your day as it unfolds.
Maybe you had to be at work super early or you had a flight to catch? That’s totally understandable. But see where you have small pockets of time available to meditate.
You could squeeze a meditation in whilst sitting on the bus or you could quickly pop your iPod on during the 5 minutes before you need to start dinner and your husband comes home.
I encourage you to find the time. You will be grateful you did – trust me!
I quickly worked out that if I created a conducive and relaxing environment when I meditated I was more likely to do it on a regular basis.
For me, I start my day by meditating in bed. The alarm goes off and I have my iPod all ready on my bedside table. I know that if I had to get out of bed to find my iPod it would be ‘game over!’
Also, you may find it helpful to attach your meditation to another daily activity that you enjoy to help strengthen your practice. You could have your morning coffee then meditate. Or do a few stretches followed by a meditation.
When you work meditation into a routine that already exists it helps make the practice stick and you enjoy it more!
Meditation isn’t something you rinse and repeat every day.
Meditation is a new process that can be explored every single day, and setting an intention for your practice before you get started can completely change your experience.
Now I’ll admit that I don’t set an intention when I meditate first thing in the morning BUT I do set an intention every other time I practice.
For example, if I’m feeling really stuck and I need guidance making a decision I set an intention to ‘open my mind and heart to all possibilities.’ If I’m not coping with change in my life I’ll set an intention along the lines of ‘I embrace change.’
Before you start your practice have a think about your current challenges; what do you want to explore or what you would like to create in your life.
Once you’ve done this, silently state your intention before you meditate. Briefly hold your intention in your mind and then start.
The simple process of setting an intention reminds you WHY your meditating and helps to keep you focused.
When you’re trying your best to just ‘be’ and create a clear mind it’s so hard not to judge your meditation practice. I often judge, so I understand!
You may find yourself rating your mediation as ‘good’ or ‘bad’ as you’re in the process. But the positive news is, according to the Buddhists, there’s no such thing as a good or bad meditation!
If you find your mind wandering, simply let the thought go. Remind yourself that you can come back to this thought after the meditation.
By bringing your mind back from any distractions you are living in the moment! (That’s the goal!).
The great thing about meditation is that there are no strict rules to follow, just some guidelines to help you get the most out of your practice.
When you’re starting out I highly recommend you try different types of meditations. I found that guided meditations were the best for me (below I share my favourite guided meditations).
You may like the style and format of some and not others. You may like the sound of one person’s voice over someone else’s.
In terms of positioning, you may prefer to sit in a chair with your feet flat on the ground and your hands in your lap or maybe you’re more traditional and like sitting lotus style on the floor.
I’m a lazy meditator and I lay down! Ha!
If the idea of meditating alone doesn’t float your boat I encourage you to try group meditations. I have been going to a Tibetan Buddhist group meditation and I’m really enjoying it.
Keep experimenting and find what works for you. Just don’t give up!
If you’re having trouble maintaining your meditation practice or struggling for motivation, why not join forces with a like-minded friend?
Often when we can share an experience and we know we have to keep ourselves accountable to someone we are more likely to stick to something.
You don’t have to physically meditate together or even at the same time. But just by asking how each other is going can be a great motivational tool.
Ok, so I know I’ve claimed that meditation is life changing and it’s helped me create an extraordinary life.
But the trick is consistency and patience.
Meditation is just like anything. The more you practice, the better you will become and the greater your results will be.
So please know it does take time to find your groove with meditation. The more effort you put into your practice the quicker you will experience all the wonderful benefits I outlined in Part 1 of this blog series.
I love absolutely everything Claire does and it was Claire who introduced me to meditation.
Claire has a beautiful voice, which instantly calms you and her professionally mixed meditations literally help you to make over your mind, body and soul.
If you’re starting out on your meditation journey I lovingly suggest you look at Claire’s work and choose one of the many different mini meditation albums she has on offer.
If you are short on time, Gabrielle has some super short and sharp meditations that you can easily fit into your hectic schedule.
It did take me a while to get use to her style of meditation, but I really appreciate the short ones especially when I’m in a hurry!
You can sign up here to get a few free guided meditations so you can see if you like her style. If you really dig Gabrielle’s work you can also purchase her meditation albums.
I really love Belinda’s ‘Chakra Cleanse for Busy People.’ Although be warned, it’s not short at 35 minutes!
But this meditation is super powerful and the good news is, once you’ve mastered it you can do a quick ‘chakra cleanse’ yourself in less than 10 minutes.
This is definitely a meditation that you can work up to.
If you’re into Apps, check out Headspace for iPhone and Android.
This free app is a great way to begin your daily commitment to meditation.
Try the ‘Mind Man Challenge’ and see if you can meditate for 10 minutes a day for 10 days.
Headspace really does make meditating simple and the beauty is that you can try it for free!
I really hope my tips and suggestions have helped to inspire you to start a daily meditation practice ASAP!?
I have no doubt that as you strengthen your meditation muscle you will start to enjoy your practice and you’ll really look forward to this peaceful part of each day.
Just remember, start small and stay patient. The rewards of an extraordinary life will flow your way – I promise!
Now I want to hear from you! Tell me in the comments below what meditation tip was most helpful and what do you need to do to start your daily meditation practice?
I would love to hear your thoughts, so please share with me!
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