7 Tips for Building a Daily Meditation Practice

7 Tips for Building a Daily Meditation Practice

Have you ever embarked on a journey to acquire a new habit or master a fresh skill? Undoubtedly, you’ve learned that consistent daily practice is the linchpin to triumph. This holds true for meditation as well.

According to Sadie Bingham, a clinical social worker based in Gig Harbor, Washington, specializing in anxiety, and an avid meditator herself, establishing a daily meditation routine is pivotal. She emphasizes, “It’s important to meditate daily because you’re cultivating a habit.” Bingham underscores that although the positive effects may not manifest immediately, a daily practice is crucial to witnessing the fruits of your efforts.

Commencing a daily meditation regimen may seem daunting at first, but many individuals discover it becomes more manageable once they start experiencing its myriad benefits.

Still hesitant about integrating meditation into your daily life? Rest assured, it’s entirely feasible, and these seven tips for success are poised to guide you along the way.

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Start small | Find the right time | Get comfortable | Try a meditation app or podcast | Keep at it | Know when it’s not working | Get started | The bottom line

Start small

Embarking on a daily meditation routine can be an admirable aspiration, but there’s no need to dive headfirst into lengthy sessions of 30 minutes or more right away. In the initial stages, you may not experience a profound sense of mindfulness or tranquility. You might even find yourself feeling far from relaxed. And that’s perfectly okay. Simply aim to carve out five minutes each day to sit with your thoughts. Embrace curiosity about them, but refrain from exerting pressure.

Sadie Bingham advises, “Eventually, you’ll feel the tug to sit and meditate.” It’s a gradual process that unfolds over time.

If you never quite reach the 30-minute mark each day, fret not. Even committing to just 10 or 15 minutes of meditation daily can yield significant benefits for your well-being. So, embrace the journey at your own pace and relish in the rewards of a consistent meditation practice.

Find the right time

Various sources tout different “ideal” meditation times, but in reality, the perfect time is whenever you can fit meditation into your schedule.

Attempting to force yourself to meditate at an inconvenient time may lead to frustration and hinder your motivation to continue. Instead, experiment with different times to discover what feels most suitable for you. Whether it’s early morning, before bedtime, during your commute, or on a work break, find the timing that resonates with you.

Once you’ve found your ideal time, strive to maintain consistency. By integrating meditation into your daily routine, it becomes as natural as any other habit, fostering a sense of ease and familiarity. So, embrace flexibility, explore what works best for you, and let consistency be your guiding force on your meditation journey.

Get comfortable

You might have seen images of people meditating in the classic lotus position, but not everyone finds that pose comfortable. It’s essential to prioritize physical comfort during meditation, as discomfort can distract from the practice.

The good news? There’s no one-size-fits-all position for meditation. Whether you’re seated in a chair, lying down, or even walking or standing, the key is to find a posture that feels natural and easy for you. Some individuals find that walking meditation, focusing on each step, enhances their practice as much as traditional seated meditation.

Creating a serene meditation space and incorporating rituals can also deepen your practice. Consider adding elements like candles, calming music, or personal mementos to enhance the ambiance. These rituals not only set the stage for meditation but also serve as a reminder that your well-being is a priority.

According to Bingham, embracing these rituals reinforces the message that your mental and emotional wellness matters, adding another layer of significance to your meditation practice.

Try a meditation app or podcast

Feeling a bit unsure about how to begin your meditation journey? Don’t worry; you’re not alone. Thankfully, your smartphone can be a valuable tool to guide you through the process.

With countless meditation apps available, you can easily find one that suits your needs. These apps offer a variety of features, including guided meditations tailored to different situations, soothing sounds, breathing exercises, podcasts, and educational resources to deepen your understanding of meditation.

What’s more, many apps allow you to track your progress and customize your meditation experience to align with your current mood and preferences.

Popular choices like Calm, Headspace, and Ten Percent Happier offer user-friendly interfaces and diverse content to support your meditation practice. So, whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned meditator, there’s an app out there to help you find peace and clarity in your daily life.

Keep at it

Building a meditation habit takes patience and persistence. If you’re struggling to make meditation stick, don’t be discouraged. Instead, view any challenges as opportunities for growth and learning.

Rather than focusing on the reasons why meditation isn’t working for you, approach your difficulties with curiosity and openness. Exploring these obstacles can lead to valuable insights and improvements in your practice. According to Bingham, embracing acceptance and curiosity during meditation can foster greater self-awareness and mindfulness in your daily life.

Consider meditation as a skill that improves with practice. While meditating during moments of stress may offer immediate relief, maintaining a consistent practice can lead to long-term benefits. Over time, you may find it easier to manage your emotions and navigate life’s challenges with greater ease and resilience.

Know when it’s not working

Not experiencing immediate benefits from meditation or noticing your mind wandering occasionally is perfectly normal. These challenges don’t indicate failure; instead, they’re opportunities for growth.

Recognizing when your mind drifts away during meditation shows that you’re developing awareness, a crucial aspect of the practice. Simply gently guiding your focus back can help strengthen your mindfulness skills over time.

While many people find meditation beneficial, it’s essential to acknowledge that it’s not a one-size-fits-all solution. Some individuals may experience heightened feelings of depression, anxiety, or panic when meditating.

If you consistently find meditation exacerbating negative emotions, seeking guidance from a therapist may be helpful before continuing your practice. Your well-being is paramount, and it’s essential to explore alternatives that support your mental health effectively.

Get started

Are you ready to embark on your daily meditation journey? Here’s a straightforward meditation exercise to kickstart your practice:

  1. Find a cozy spot where you can unwind and relax.
  2. Set a timer for three to five minutes to guide your session.
  3. Begin by focusing your attention on your breath. Notice the sensation of each inhale and exhale, taking slow, deep breaths.
  4. Whenever your mind starts to wander, acknowledge the thoughts gently, then let them go. Redirect your focus back to your breathing. Remember, it’s normal for your mind to wander.
  5. When the timer goes off, gently open your eyes. Take a moment to observe your surroundings, your body, and your emotions. You may notice subtle shifts, or you may not. With consistent practice, you’ll likely become more mindful of your experiences and environment over time.

Feeling intrigued? Dive deeper into meditation with a body scan or explore various meditation techniques to find what resonates best with you.

The bottom line

Meditation is a personal journey, and th

ere’s no one-size-fits-all approach. Experiment with various techniques until you discover what resonates with you.

As you cultivate qualities like compassion, peace, and joy, you’ll realize the power of your practice. Stay patient; the transformation won’t happen overnight. Approach each session with curiosity and openness, and you’ll find your path to success.

Jump to section

Start small | Find the right time | Get comfortable | Try a meditation app or podcast | Keep at it | Know when it’s not working | Get started | The bottom line