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5 Tips for Building a Successful Meditation Practice

Photo by: Jared Rice

We all know that meditation has scientifically proven benefits—it reduces stress, improves sleep, increases focus, and improves relationships, among many, many, more things. It’s become a huge trend these days, with meditation centers popping up all over big cities and mindfulness on the cover of Time magazine this year. The benefits are clear, but there’s one big problem I hear over and over again during the mindfulness events I host: CONSISTENCY.

People often say things to me like, “I know I should, but I just can’t carve out the time!” Or, “I love meditation, but only get to it a few times a month.”

With busy schedules, wrangling clients, kiddos, fur-babies, meal planning, business planning, and doing ALL OF THE THINGS, meditation often falls to the bottom of our to-do list.

However, building in a daily meditation practice can change your life and actually make all of those tasks on your to-do list a little easier to cross off. And best of all, it’s easier to fit into your schedule than you think.

5 tips to help you fit a meditation session into your day:

1. Don’t worry about making it so special.

I’ll often hear about creating a special meditation space—a place to light candles, set intentions, play music, and get quiet. This is lovely, but you really don’t need to make it so special in order to see the benefits of meditation in your life. You don’t NEED any tools—it’s free to do, and anyone can do it anywhere. That’s part of what makes it so awesome!

2. Build it into your routine.

Make meditation a habit by building it into your morning or evening routines. Make space to practice. If you don’t DECIDE to practice, then you likely won’t.

3. Use an app to help guide you.

There are so many amazing apps out there to help guide you, whether you consider yourself a beginner or have been meditating for years. My favorites are Headspace and Calm.

4. Practice wherever you are.

In your office. On the train. Sitting at your desk. In your car, before meeting with a client. On a walk. In the bathroom, away from the kids. No matter where you are, all it takes is one minute to close your eyes and pay attention to your breath. Trust me, you CAN find one minute in your day.

5. If you fall off the horse, get right back on!

So you haven’t meditated in a week, or a month, or a year—that’s okay! Just start right back up again. If you have a bad week, simply make an effort to be a little more consistent the next week. Even when you’re not perfect, don’t judge your practice.

Not sure how to meditate? Try this simple practice to get started:

Sit up tall, with your back straight, and place your hands gently on your lap. Close your eyes and take a deep breath in—as your belly expands outward, slowly count to four. Hold your breath for four more counts. Then, release the breath for four counts and pause one more time for four counts. Continue this pattern for 3 minutes.

You don’t need to wake up at 4 a.m. and meditate for two hours a day in order to see real change in your life. All it takes is a little consistency to reap the benefits of this amazing habit.

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