Establishing a Daily Meditation Practice

by Merja Willock on March 1, 2012

in Mood + Self-Care

How do you feel in general on a daily basis? Are you one of those people who think that meditation is a waste of time? I used to be like that too. Or have you already found how helpful it is to your overall well-being and health?

This morning when I started to think about all the things that I would need to achieve during the day, I felt that familiar panicky feeling emerging again. My heart starts beating faster, I have difficulties concentrating, deciding where to start, and finding my focus. My breathing gets shallow and I become hyperactive. However, I decided to take time for a brief meditation, and instantly got myself centered and calm.  I could continue with my daily tasks and even be more productive.

Establishing a Daily Meditation Practice

My Tibetan Tingsha Bells that can be used before and after meditation to focus your mind.

For many years I took meditation practice off my list of things to do because I thought that I couldn’t do it, and it would be extremely boring. I have always had difficulties to sit still for more than a couple of minutes and get extremely anxious if I need to be still. I thought that it would be a total waste of time, and every time I tried to sit with my eyes closed I only thought about when it would be over and I could go on with my daily routine. Even when I had my first yoga class over a year ago, I had difficulty calming my nerves and lying quietly and relaxed on my Savasana after the practice. My brain was constantly overworking and I couldn’t clear or slow down my mind at all. My stress levels sky rocketed really easily (still do) and a combination of procrastination and perfectionism wasn’t the best possible package to help with those issues.

To my surprise, I soon realized that yoga helped tremendously to calm my mind. If I have a break from it for too long, I notice that I get irritated and worried more easily. Of course, the next natural step was to start paying more attention to establishing an ongoing meditation practice.

At the moment I could say that I’m only in the beginning of my meditation journey, but clearly I can already say that it has helped me tremendously when I take time for it every single day. My worries melt away, I feel calm, serene and centered in the present moment.

My list of many excuses went a little bit like this:

  • It is a waste of time
  • I need to be perfect when I start
  • I need to have a perfect place which is dedicated only for meditating
  • I have to meditate every day at the same time
  • I need to sit still at least for 20 minutes to gain any benefits

and so the list went on…

Also read 7 Reasons You Don’t Meditate, Even Though You Know You Should from The Wellness Warrior’s Jess Ainscough in MindBodyGreen.

My mind created excuses and obstacles so it felt that as if I can’t achieve those things I can’t even start. That is however only self-sabotage. Like with everything else, start with small achievable steps, build on that, and do what feels good and right for you.

Of course, it would be wonderful to meditate every day at the same time because your body gets used to it and starts to anticipate the action. To have a room or place which is dedicated only for meditation would be excellent, but we can only do our best. Gabrielle Bernstein has actually said that sometimes before her lectures she has meditated in a bathroom. The answer is not to skip practice. No matter how busy you are or where you are. You will always have a couple of minutes time to close your eyes and concentrate on your breathing. Slowly you start to notice how your breathing slows down and your hands and feet get warmer. From day to day it will get easier.

In it’s simplest form, meditation is just noticing your breath, connecting with how you really feel and where you are in this moment. For me, the guided meditations were the easiest to start with. If you find it difficult to sit still have some soothing music in the background. Of course there are many different techniques from transcendental meditation to mindfulness meditation. My intention is to take workshops/courses to learn more. The Chopra Center’s current 21 Day meditation challenge really hit the spot this time and I feel like it says exactly the things I currently need to hear and work on with.

I have a great variety of different guided meditations on my iPod so that I can access them wherever I want. It is especially great while traveling.  In general, I usually start and finish my days with them, and what could be a better way to take a break during the day. If you spend a lot of time on your computer like me, click this and do nothing for two minutes

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