A boost of positivity, increased focused and more energy. These are just three benefits of regular meditation.
Scientists all over the world have studied mediation. It is a practice endorsed by celebrities and yogis alike. It’s true that with this tool you're better able to handle obstacles or unexpected life events.
But you’re busy, right? You want to meditate but you're not sure how you can squeeze it into your day. Or maybe you don’t know enough about how to begin your meditation practice. You need some gentle direction. Well, these three tips will help get your practice started in a way that brings more clarity, focus and inner peace into your daily life.
1. Set Your Intention
Many times your intention is what guides your actions. Think about this, when your mind is made up, your actions follow. You know you need to go to the grocery store. So you go. Or when we set the intention to be compassionate, we are more likely to follow through. Action starts in the mind.
How do you set an intention? In two parts. Declare your statement and then honor yourself to follow through. The first part is self-explanatory. However, honoring yourself comes from completing the action. You respect your well-being and the declaration you've made. You're giving yourself self-love. This is essential for personal growth.
2. Use a Meditation Mobile App
Gone are the days where we use a regular old stopwatch or hourglass to measure time. Aside from your intention, meditation apps will be the engine that powers your mediation practice. Many meditation mobile apps count the consecutive days you practice. This helps keep you on track and reminds you to keep your meditation practice consistent.
There are many mobile meditation applications to chose from. Pick the one that speaks to your personality most!
Rated as the top free meditation app by the Android Google Play and Apple App stores. Insight Timer has a simple and straightforward layout.
Set the timer for how long you want to meditate for, and the app counts backward until you’ve reached your goal.
There’s also a supportive community group you can post in. You’re awarded stars for every milestone you reach. You can install the iOS version by clicking here.
The Headspace app teaches you how to meditate via a gentle voice that provides guidance. It’s great for a person who is brand new to meditation. This app is very colorful which makes it inviting and warm.
It’s a favorite by many people. Currently, celebrities such as Emma Watson and Gwyneth Paltrow endorse it. You can download the iOS version here.
Calm is the most visually stunning of the apps mentioned here. It's actually editor’s choice on the Apple App Store. The beginner's program is free, but there are paid tiers if you want to tap into all the features and benefits that the app offers.
Once you sign up for an account, you can pick the top three goals you want to achieve through your meditation practice. It comes complete with a guided meditation and gorgeous visuals. You can download the iOS version here.
3. Create an Inviting Space
When we designate a physical space for a specific activity in our homes, our minds become accustomed to doing that activity in that space. The space we create and the activity become synonymous. Settling into a rhythm that incorporates our daily practice becomes more likely when we are in that familiar area.
Pick one spot in your home or apartment as your designated meditation space. If you want to get a bit fancy, then you can also buy a zafu meditation cushion.
What is a zafu you ask?
It’s a round meditation cushion of Japanese origin. Traditionally used in Zen meditation. You can always use a pillow, a comfortable chair, or simply sit on the floor. If you can sit still and keep your spine straight, you can meditate. But make sure you meditate in the same place every day. It’s also best to meditate at the same time each day.
Many people meditate once in the morning before work. Some also incorporate the practice at night before they go to bed. Some even meditate at work during breaks.
Test out some different routines and spots in your home or workplace. Find out what works best for you, then set your intention.
Once you’ve started to meditate, you'll see the positive effects it has on your mind and body. It’s unlikely you’ll go back to the way you were before once you gain new focus, clarity and inner peace.