3 Simple Life Hacks to Help You Stick to Your Meditation Goals
“Meditation is a way for nourishing and blossoming the divinity within you.” -Amit Ray
We can all agree that meditation has amazing benefits such as reducing anxiety, healing emotional wounds, and increasing happiness. However, we can only gain these benefits of meditation if we are consistent with our practice.
So why is it so hard to stick to your meditation practice?
Buddhism teaches us that human beings have an innate drive to avoid suffering and cling to pleasure. Despite meditation being quite pleasurable, it takes commitment and will power to overcome our innate desire to just to do whatever is easiest in each moment. So part of creating a practice that sticks is being able to make meditation easy and second nature. This article will show you how to address the following snags that may keep you away from meditation:
- Time management or lack of time
- Meditating for a duration of time that may not be suitable for your personal temperament of level
- Lack of structure for your practice
- Lack of knowledge about how to meditate and the purpose of meditation
Why does this matter?
Once you learn these easy and simple tips for your meditation practice, you will begin to gain all the wonderful benefits of meditation. Having a consistent practice will open up your practice to new stratospheres where you build upon each meditation experience. This will expand your ability to get into meditation quickly and deeply. Inspiration will flourish. Insights will come to you with ease. And your inner spirit will experience authentic joy. Here are just a few of the benefits of meditation as laid out by The Art of Living:
- Reduces stress
- Reduces effects of aging
- Increases appreciation for life
- Helps you feel more connected
- Increased Happiness
- Improves functioning of the brain
- Aids sleep
- Improves metabolism
- Increases immunity
- Increases attention span
Bottom Line: Meditation is Lit!
Thich Nhat Hanh used an analogy of a lily when he was explaining difficult challenges in our life, explaining that every lily needs mud to grow. Consider the beginning phase of meditation to be the mud (albeit some pretty enlightening mud), and once you are able to stick to your meditation practice, then your lily will bloom.
So how can you solve this problem and stick to your meditation practice …
You can live a life where sticking to your meditation not only comes with ease but also excitement! In this blog, we will break down the components to sticking to your meditation goals. Your will learn 3 simple life hacks that will surely help your practice stick.
1. Create a Container for Your Practice
Anything that is long lasting, requires structure. Structuring the time and place for your meditation practice will make getting on your meditation cushion much easier.
- Decide when you will meditate and stay consistent with this time. Meditating first thing in the morning works for many people and allows you to start your day with a calming practice.
- Create a Sacred Space for your meditation practice. Start with your meditation cushion, and add elements of reverence to add sacred elements that hold meaning to you. Be sure to also have handy meditation tools, such as singing bowls nearby to help you get into meditation quickly. For more tips on how to get into meditation quickly, click here.
- Contain your practice with the support of others. Find meditation groups, or studios that can offer you structure for your meditation practice. You will also meet other people with similar goals, and hopefully build a community around your meditation practice. This will help to keep you motivated to practice. Also talking with others about various meditation problems helps to normalize the difficulties that can arise during meditation, and more than likely your meditation teacher or peers can offer helpful solutions. If you are looking for meditation sitting groups in the Los Angeles area, we recommend checking out InsightLA.
Re-evaluate Your Goals for Meditation
You should also make sure that the meditation goals you are trying to stick to are actually appropriate for your personal style and what you want to achieve with meditation. Here are some things to keep in mind when you are re-evaluating your meditation goals.
Align with your personal temperament
- If you are new to meditation, it is important to consider the time period you are aiming for based on our personal temperament. For example, if you hyperactive or have a hard time sitting still, it may be helpful to set aside longer periods for meditation to give your mind a chance to settle down. Sometimes the pressure to relax in such a short time period as 5 or 10 minutes, impedes the meditation process. Meditation is not something that we can do, we can only set the scene for the process to occur. Taking away the pressure to relax quickly, allows the mind freedom to settle down at its own pace. So if you are squirmy give yourself plenty of time to get settled, twitch, fidget, and move around. As you slowly become still, your mind will naturally fall into a meditative state.
- On the other hand, for those that struggle with depression or anxiety, it may be wise to start with shorter periods of meditation such as 10-15 minutes, to begin the practice of controlling your thoughts or emotions. This also allows you to process any material that may arise in a manageable way after each meditation session, as it will prevent on overwhelming amount of emotional information in one session.
Align with your purpose for starting a meditation practice
- In order to stick to your meditation goals, it is important to remember why you created them in the first place. Take time to sit down and write down the reasons why you started a meditation practice.
- Keep a copy of these goals near your sacred space, and read it frequently.
- Use these reasons as motivation to stick with your meditation practice
Learn Meditation Techniques that Work for You
If you are going to stick to your goals, it is important that the type of meditation you practice aligns with your personality and preferences. Here are links to four types of meditation that you may consider exploring:
Make Sure You Are Comfortable
Our minds will use any excuse to avoid suffering, so it is important to be as comfortable as possible when you are meditating. Below are some tips to keep in mind.
- Proper Alignment is key. Make sure your hips are elevated and your spine is straight. For a complete guide on how to sit during meditation, click here.
- Knowing how to position your hands during meditation can also help you to feel more comfortable when you meditate. Click here to read an article detailing meditation hand positions for optimal comfort and reverence.
That’s not all:
When you sign-up for our newsletter, you will receive a free copy of our E-book: Creating a Meditation Practice You Can Stick To.
– Tiffany Shelton, M.A. is a psychotherapist and consciousness expert. Her passion to elevate consciousness goes beyond the message of self-care or wellness, but instead consciously adds to these movements by demanding awakening and insight. Learn more about Tiffany Shelton by clicking here.
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Written by Tiffany Shelton, M.A., Owner of Conscious Life Shop, find out more about Tiffany here
Happy Meditating and We hope you find these life hacks helpful on your journey to stick to your meditation goals.