While it perhaps feel easy to begin a meditation practice or any new healthy habit, it's often challenging to stay motivated to sustain a consistent practice. Of course, it is still helpful to meditate and practice breathwork sporadically, as any effort toward your self-care is better than nothing at all (and something to be celebrated!). However, you will ultimately experience more of the benefits of meditation with consistent practice, because the results accumulate over time.
Having a regular meditation practice can be powerful for not only your mindset and mental wellbeing, but your physical wellbeing too. Meditation has been proven to help with:
- Reducing stress and anxiety
- Enhancing self-awareness
- Improving emotional health
- Improving sleep
- Helping control pain
- Decreasing high blood pressure
If you tend to struggle with maintaining consistency, it's important to create a plan to overcome obstacles and follow through with your goals. Below, you'll find some simple steps to help you maintain a consistent meditation practice, counteract resistance, and set yourself up for success.
1. Schedule Your Meditation Time
Set up a repeating alarm on your phone or a calendar reminder to help remind you to meditate every day. If it's not scheduled, you're less likely to prioritise it.
2. Tie your meditation practice to another healthy habit
Tying one healthy habit to something you're already doing will improve your ability to sustain a new habit. This is referred to as habit stacking. For example, if you already brush your teeth or practice yoga every morning, you can "stack" your meditation practice to begin before or after one of your established habits so it eventually becomes a natural part of your daily routine.
3. Practice yoga or stretching before you meditate
Five or more minutes spent in yoga poses or stretching will help you to release stress and excessive mental energy. This will make it easier to experience inner quiet and stillness during your meditation.
4. Eliminate Distractions
Make sure to close your door, turn off phone notifications, and wear headphones if you are easily distracted. If you're not listening to a guided meditation, set a timer with a chime or vibration to guide you out of the meditation so you don't have to keep track of the time by looking at your phone.
5. Meditate in the same place at the same time every day if possible
For some, meditating in the same place a the same time helps to create a ritual by anchoring the practice in a specific location. You can set up a calm space, sit outside, or choose a specific chair, pillow, or room for mediation. Identify the best time of day to commit to your meditation practice and try to practice at that same time every day.
6. Keep It Simple
Sometimes we can get overwhelmed by meditation techniques. While it may be awkward or uncomfortable when you are first learning to meditate, as you practice consistently, it will become easier and more enjoyable over time. Ultimately, meditation is all about being present and breathing. If you feel overwhelmed or bogged down by techniques, keep it simple and focus on diaphragmatic breathing (breathing in and out of your belly for 5-20 minutes per day).
7. Follow a Plan
If you're not sure where to start, how about trying our 7 Day Meditation Course, with a different guided meditation session each day to help you find a little more calm. Let us know how you get on!