Of all the excuses we dream up to talk ourselves out of meditating, "lack of time" is at the top of the list. We don't have ten minutes to meditate but we just scrolled Instagram for the sixteenth time. We can't find 10 minutes to meditate but we pressed snooze for an hour this morning. We simply can't fit ten minutes of meditation into our day, but we did manage to squeeze in a leisurely two-hour long lunch. (Not that there's anything wrong with a leisurely two-hour long lunch.) Kids get in the way, work gets in the way. Life gets in the way.
But finding ten minutes a day to meditate is, indeed, possible. It's a matter of prioritization and habit. It requires discipline, and some days it can be challenging, but the benefits are infinite.
That said, we're well aware that maintaining a daily meditation practice can often be easier said than done. Here are 10 tips that will help you set yourself up for a regular and consistent practice.
1. Start early
Try and meditate first thing in the morning if possible. This will ensure that it gets done and will melt away any feelings of tiredness, setting you on track for a mindful day.
If a morning meditation isn't your thing, make sure to prioritize it at another time during the day. Remind yourself that nothing is more important than the health of your mind.
3. Keep it familiar
Thinking 'same time, same place' will help you turn this new practice into a fully established habit.
4. Relate it to something else
It might help to integrate your meditation practice into a well established routine or activity. Think 'brush teeth, then meditate' or 'meditate, then tea'. In this day and age, even a social media addiction can be a good catalyst. Think "check Twitter, then meditate" (or vice versa). And hey, why not follow us on Instagram and Facebook while you're at it?
Be prepared to be flexible with your routine -- not every day will look the same, which might mean you have to move your meditation to a different place or time. Don't use this as an excuse to skip it altogether.
6. Be less judgmental
Try not to judge your meditation too much. There can often be a tendency to think you are 'bad' or 'good' at meditation. In reality, there's no such thing. If you understand the long term purpose of your practice, this will never be a problem.
7. Remind yourself of the benefits
After each session, make sure you take a moment to notice how you feel - physically, emotionally and mentally. As soon as you start establishing a connection between your meditation practice and feeling better, the easier it will be to sit down each day and maintain and consistent practice.
8. 'Excuse book'
If you decide not to meditate one day, write your reasoning on a piece of paper. As soon as you see the excuse written down, you'll be reminded of how important the health of your mind really is.
9. Buddy up
Try to get a friend involved. You can select up to five 'buddies' on our app's Buddy page, or under the 'More' section of your 'My Headspace.' You don't have to meditate at the same time, but you can track each other's Headspace journey, monitor each other's progress and give an encouraging nudge to strengthen each other's commitment.
10. Manage your expectations
Daily meditation is a lifelong skill, not a quick fix solution. While you might see some immediate benefits, others might take longer to appear. Be sure you focus on just taking each day as it comes.
In the latest episode of Radio Headspace, we got four people, all totally new to Headspace, to see what happened when they tried to incorporate 30 days of Headspace meditation into their lives. Hear how they got on below: