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Did you know that meditation can help lower your blood pressure? When you meditate, you reap countless other benefits, too. But carving out the time to do it can be a challenge.
Read on to learn how to maintain a consistent meditation practice!
Begin Early in the Day
One of the best meditation tips is to start your practice early in the day. That way, you won’t have to worry about neglecting it later on. Consider scheduling your meditation practice right after you wake up and before you drink your morning coffee.
Pushing items off your to-do list may become a necessity on busy days. And if you’re hoping to meditate in the evening or before bed, you might feel too tired by that point in the day.
Schedule a Time
If starting early in the day isn’t in the cards, make sure to schedule a time. Assigning a time to your meditation practice shows that you give it weight. In other words, you’re indicating that it is a priority.
It can help to keep this time consistent from one day to the next, if possible. Maybe you can schedule a 20-minute session mid-morning, for instance. Or perhaps a session right before bed makes more sense.
If keeping the same time each day is not possible, treat meditation like any other item you’d punch into your calendar. Set a time and duration for it, and make sure to put up an away message if you’re expecting communication.
Keep Meditation Times Short
As with any routine, it’s good to start small and build from there. When you’re hoping to get into a more consistent rhythm, don’t set goals that are too lofty. Scheduling an hour of meditation, for instance, might not be feasible every day.
If your meditation times are too long, you’ll throw in the towel when you’re unable to meet them. The better option is to start with doable times.
Five minutes of diaphragmatic breathing, for example, is more attainable. From there, move up to ten minutes after a week or two.
Your body and mind will be craving more time. And moving up in gradual increments of time is more realistic when you have a busy schedule, anyway. As meditation becomes more of a priority, you’ll be able to nudge your times higher.
Pair Meditation With a Routine
Do you do yoga? Do you like to cook healthy nightly meals? It can help to pair your meditation practice with these established routines.
Stacking good habits can make it easier to establish the right frame of mind. Meditate right after brushing your teeth. As another option, meditate after eating a fresh salad harvested from your backyard.
Using one ingrained routine as your launching point makes adding another related one simpler. Since meditation and brushing your teeth both support your health, it will seem more logical to do both back-to-back.
A vibrating phone or the sounds of other people in your home can keep your meditation practice from going as planned. That’s why it’s so important to turn off electronic devices and shut the door before starting.
Let people in your home know, too, so they don’t accidentally barge through the door. Communicate clearly the reasons why you need the time to do meditation. When there’s understanding about why you won’t be available, there will be respect.
Embrace Your Best Efforts
It’s easy to criticize yourself when it comes to daily meditation. You may feel an excellent connection one day, for instance, but struggle the next.
This kind of judgment can derail your best efforts to create a consistent spiritual practice. Instead, remind yourself that all meditation is beneficial.
Even when you have difficulty decluttering your mind, you’ve made the effort. The act of focusing on better breathing might be all you can do on a given day. But even that can help put your mind at ease and keep your blood pressure and stress in check.
You’ll be more excited to maintain a consistent schedule if you make ongoing learning part of the process. For instance, perhaps you want to know more about generator human design. Or maybe you want to learn new breathing techniques.
Make a goal of reading about and practicing one new thing per month. Sign up for meditation newsletters that will pop up in your inbox each week.
The more you learn, the more you’ll be able to apply to your meditation practice. This will also help keep meditation interesting for you. If it ever starts to feel dull, you’ll be able to try a new technique.
Find an Accountability Partner
Going it alone can make any activity an uphill battle. When you partner with another person on the same journey, it gets easier. Find a friend or family member interested in developing a meditation practice and work to support one another.
An accountability partner doesn’t have to meditate at the exact same time as you each day. If your schedules are different, that’s fine. But you do want to be intentional about checking in with each other.
Don’t hold back, either. If you’ve missed a few sessions, be honest. Open conversation can help you unearth the source of your challenges, and your partner might be able to help you get back on track.
Keep a Journal
Another good way to build accountability is by keeping a journal. In it, you can write down the dates and times of your meditation sessions. Perhaps more importantly, you can take time to reflect on the experience.
The reflections don’t have to be daily. But aim to write something weekly. You’ll have a written artifact that you can refer back to occasionally as a source of wisdom and momentum.
Build a Consistent Meditation Practice
Maintaining a meditation practice takes dedication and discipline. Consider scheduling your sessions for the same time each day and keeping a journal tracking your efforts. Start slowly to build consistency and find a partner to support you through the journey.
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