I’m going to be brutally honest with you. I SUCK at meditating. Truly, I do. So why am I writing an article titled, “10 Powerful Hacks To Stick Your Meditation Practice,” you ask? Over the years of trying, and failing, and trying again to meditate, I’ve learned some tricks that have helped me a lot on my journey. These things that I’ve picked up haven’t magically turned me into some zen, meditating, yoga loving person but practice and dedication sure has!
And guess what? I still suck at meditating. Since you are reading this article, I’m going to assume you are either brand new to the concept of meditation or you’ve tried it so many times but can’t seem to get the hang of it and are frustrated, trying to figure out what you’re doing wrong. Honestly, you probably aren’t doing anything wrong at all! A lot of people think that they can just sit down in a comfy position and turn their brains off and are in turn surprised when that doesn’t actually happen.
I’m not being condescending when I say that either. I was one of those people too. If you fall into this category of people, unfortunately I have some bad news for you. Our brains are not wired to “shut off”. Stinks I know, but there is some good news here too. While you can’t pull an imaginary plug in your brain to make it stop working for 20+ minutes, you can train yourself to find moments of stillness in the chatter, and that my friends is meditation.
Now I want to take a moment here to give a disclosure. As I’m sure you’ve already guessed, I’m no expert here nor will I claim to be. I don’t have a degree in this spirituality thing but I have a lot of practice at it! I like to tell people that I’m a wealth of knowledge on a lot of different topics and I LOVE sharing this knowledge with others. A common thread that I find in the people that I talk to is that they want to meditate but they have tried it in the past and have failed because they can’t seem to “shut their minds off.” They fidget and are constantly finding their minds wander which then turns into a spiral of frustration. They leave a session feeling more dejected than peaceful which is definitely not what the practice is about!
I totally get it. This meditating thing can be really hard and even I still find myself in that same spiral (I did tell you that I stink at meditating, right?). I want to share my top 10 meditation hacks in the hopes that maybe they will work for you to. Take what you will from my tips and I would absolutely love to hear what works for you in the comments below!
10 Powerful Hacks To Stick Your Meditation Practice
Create a space: This is important but please don’t overthink it. You don’t have to have a whole room dedicated to just meditation but you do want to find a spot that makes you feel peaceful and ready to get started. It can be a small corner in your living room, office or bedroom. Heck, you can meditate in your bed if you want but I’ve found that it’s easier for beginners to start on the floor or in a chair. If you’re anything like me, you’ll fall asleep if you try it in your bed. Feel free to add props into your session like crystals or essential oils. Plant Therapy has an essential oil blend specifically for meditation!
Find a comfortable position: Have a seat and get yourself comfortable. Take your time getting there because if you aren’t in a comfortable seat, whether it’s on the floor or in a chair, all you are going to be able to think about is how uncomfortable you are. I like to sit on a pillow or plop my booty on a folded blanket. If neither the floor or a chair are comfortable, try kneeling and see if that feels better. This option also works with a pillow or blanket! Once you find your seat, try to sit up as tall as you can.
Breathe normally: It helps to take a few big, deep breaths in the beginning of your meditation practice to help get you ready and into a good space to begin. But you certainly do not need to take those huge, deep breaths the whole time you meditate. In fact, you may find yourself getting out of breath or light headed if you are not used to this. So try to breathe normally. As you get more advanced, you can try adding in some breathing exercises while you meditate but of course this is not a requirement. Remember, this is YOUR practice and you can do it however you please.
Don’t let stray thoughts deter you: It’s going to happen. One second you are doing great, your mind is clear and the next you go off on a brain-tangent thinking about what to make for dinner or the negative thing that Becky from work said today. This is totally normal and it happens to everyone! The key is to recognize when this happens and move on from the thought. Don’t get angry with yourself, just accept it and move on. Bringing your awareness back to your breath helps a lot when you notice your thoughts straying.
Affirmations: I LOVE affirmations. If you’ve read any of my other articles, you likely know this by now. Using affirmations in meditation is a great way to help keep your mind from wandering and to focus your meditation on the outcome you want to achieve. In the beginning it’s better to keep it simple. Maybe try something along the lines of, “Positivity in, negativity out,” or my favorite, “I am a mountain.” The great thing about affirmations is that the more you say them, the more real they become to you so the more you use them, the more you will believe what you are saying. There are a lot of great articles on pinterest about affirmations for just about everything you can think of; positivity, self love, letting go, weight loss, you name it and it’s on there. If you want me to write an article more in depth about affirmations let me know in the comments!
Practice in small doses: Don’t force yourself to sit for 20+ minutes trying to meditate when you really don’t want to. This isn’t sustainable and it’s going to take the joy away from the practice. This was a hard one for me to learn. In the beginning of my journey I would put a timer on my phone for 30 minutes and try to sit there and meditate but I kept finding myself peeking an eye open to see how much time I had left. I would stress myself out or get bored and after much struggle, I ended up quitting altogether! So here is my advice, try 5 minutes at a time and after you feel good at 5 minutes, extend it to 10. There is no time limit for how long this should take you. Maybe you meditate everyday for 5 minutes for a week and feel like a pro and increase to 10 minutes next week. That’s great and you should go for it. But maybe it will take you longer to get to that point and that’s OKAY. YouTube has a ton of 5-10 minute guided meditation videos if you need a little help staying on track!
Learn to decipher a wandering mind vs intuition: This is kind of a tough one. Remember the point above about not letting stray thoughts deter you? Well sometimes those stray thoughts can be your intuition, or inner voice, talking to you. So how do you tell which one is which? Start by asking yourself a question before you start meditating. It can be big or small. By asking yourself a question and meditating on it, you are accessing the innermost parts of yourself to get an answer. It’s like speaking to your heart or your mind and it’s SO cool. You may not get answers to your questions right away or you honestly might not realize when you are getting the answers but the more you practice and let the wandering thoughts go, the better you will get at accessing your intuition.
Practice while doing other things: Okay, I get it, you’re BUSY! How are you going to find the time to add yet another chore into your already crazy schedule? My advice is to try and practice meditation while you are doing other things. How the hell do you do that, you ask? Well, you can meditate while you are driving, on your lunch break, while cooking dinner or cleaning up the house, while you shower, the list goes on! I’ve always been a daydreamer. I used to zone out while I would drive to work and come up with the craziest scenarios about the things going on in my life. And as I’m sure you can imagine or have experienced yourself, it lead to a LOT of unnecessary negativity. So I decided to put that time to better use and change those bad habits! Meditation doesn’t just have to be in a quiet space with your eyes closed. It’s all about clearing the chatter in your mind. So next time you are driving to work, give it a try and see what happens. Say some affirmations while to add a little positivity into your day. I’m 100% sure you will see results!
Incorporate meditation into your self care routine: Meditation is for you. Adding it into your daily routine means that you are taking time for yourself to unwind, change your thought patterns and grow as a person. Want to learn more about self care? Check out our article about it here!
Give yourself some grace: This is the MOST important piece of advice you will get in this article. If you learn anything from it, let it be this: GIVE YOURSELF GRACE. Starting, and sticking, to a new habit takes time and dedication. It is not an overnight process and there are going to be times when you feel like you’ve failed. It’s important to stick with it and keep practicing or you will not see results. You’ve got this. You are a strong, capable, GODDESS and you are going to get this meditation shit down. I promise.
I would love to hear your thoughts on this article and what you plan on doing to stick your meditation practice. If you are a meditation pro, please let me know your best tips in the comments. I love to learn new things!
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Namaste and good luck my friend!