You went to a meditation workshop and were completely wowed by how amazing you felt afterwards. The next day you are psyched to meditate on your own! But all of a sudden, you realize you have tons to do! You simply can’t find the time to meditate! The day after that–uh oh!—you can’t find the time again!! Sound like you? This is completely normal. Here are a few ways to make meditation part of your daily routine.
Get your chill out time on the calendar
Scheduling relaxation time into your daily routine is a good first step. What part of the day is the most quiet for you? Early morning? Right before bed? There’s no right or wrong answer here, so just go with what works for you. Make an appointment with yourself at that particular time to do your relaxation exercises and see if that gets you on the right track.
Start small and work your way up
To start, don’t bite off more that you can chew. Begin practicing 5 minutes per day and work your way up from there. Increase your practice time one minute per week or every two weeks. Try to work your way up to 10 minutes. If you have a hard time reaching the 10-minute mark, some practice is better than nothing. After a while, you’ll feel so good from practicing you’ll want to devote more and more time to it.
Say sayonara to your inner critic
It’s completely normal for you to get frustrated if you aren’t able to stick to your routine. Go easy on yourself, give yourself credit for attempting to practice and keep trying! Research claims it take 21 days to establish a habit, so hang in there!
Try, try again
Remember, you have your whole life to make meditation part of your daily routine. Try not to think of your practice in terms of succeeding or failing. Think of it as a journey down a long, windy road. Sometimes you will encounter bumps along the way. If you miss a few days, no big deal! With enough practice, you’ll see the positive impact this practice can have on your life and you won’t want to miss a day of it.
To summarize: make a chill out appointment with yourself, start with a few minutes per day, go easy on yourself if frustration arises, and keep trying! The only times meditation does not work is when you don’t do it!
Stacy Slawitsky turned to yoga and mindfulness as a means to relieve the stress of a demanding job at a Big 4 Accounting Firm. Her passion to share the benefits of these practices with others led her to start ZenConnect. She conducts stress management programs for companies throughout the Boston area.