There is nothing like the benefit of a regular meditation practice, and there is no better time to do it than right now. As many of us are quite stressed at the moment, I am running many corporate mindfulness meditation courses in person and online. One of the most common problems that arises from participants is that they find it hard to stick to a regular practice. My advice is always to try and make it a habit just like brushing your teeth or putting out the rubbish. I suggest the obvious thing like making a note in your diary. Make an appointment with yourself. Sometimes this is easier said than done. I get it !
Here are 5 things to help you make meditation a habit:
1. Do it the same time and same place every day.
It is my experience that if we do the same thing in response to the same cue for a while, it becomes automatic. My cue for meditating is when my alarm goes off in the morning. I get up and meditate at that time as the house is usually nice and quiet. I sit in the same place and so does my cat Luna. Every time I repeat this sequence I am building on my habit. We both enjoy our morning ritual together.
2. Baby steps.
My advice to you if you are starting out is just start small (just 5-10 mins). You can progress fast. If you are enjoying the process, then it will just flow. We know this works for many habits in life. Make a promise you know you can keep and work up from there. When you meditate the same way two mornings in a row, even if it is for a short time, you are already building a good habit.
3. Invite other people to join you.
I must say that I have a regular meditation practice because I sit with my cat Luna and sometimes with my husband. I also just know from my own personal experience that I will have a much better day if I meditate than if I don’t .On weekends we set the alarm, and we get each other out of bed to sit together. So, if you live with somebody, try to convince them to meditate with you. If it cannot be somebody you live with, you can sit with a meditation friend online. If you have an appointment with someone you are less likely to cancel and you can be held accountable in a supportive way.
4. Do not expect something “amazing”.
Meditation will often feel hard, and it is always unpredictable, but we must not be frustrated by this. If you sit down and simply try to be conscious of your presence in the room for half an hour, you will achieve something. It will always benefit you on some level and remember that we are all different with our experience of meditation.
5. Enjoy it!
Find a way to enjoy your meditation so you will keep coming back. Make sure the environment comfortable. When you finish reward yourself with a pat on the back. If you do this, then you will look forward to that same sense of satisfaction the next time you sit. You can also make it fun by sharing your practice with others—with your friends or with your family. You could also become like me and share it with your cat.