Call it self-care. Call it preventive medicine that protects your mental health. Call it stress management. Call it whatever you want, but there’s no shortage of studies linking meditation to wellbeing.
Want proof? Psychology Today has 20 science-backed reasons you should make meditating a part of your routine. TL;DR? Meditation makes you healthier, happier, more productive, and more emotionally intelligent. Okay, we’re convinced.
The challenge of meditating
Even so, there have been a few times (okay, fine, a bunch of times) when we’ve sat down to meditate, then found our minds racing and given up within minutes. Come on, tell us we’re not alone. This stuff is hard. In our busy, go-go-go world, suddenly hitting the off switch on your brain and all that activity is definitely not easy.
Fortunately, there are a bunch of resources available to help all of us get better at meditating. We rounded up some of the top tips to help you (and us) figure this thing out.
Ways to make meditation easier
Get a guide. Having a hard time powering down, stilling both your body and your mind? You don’t have to do it alone. Apps like Headspace offer guided meditations so you’re not just sitting there in silence, wondering what to do. Spotify and YouTube also have a bunch of guided meditations. Just type “guided meditation” into the search bar in either and start perusing the results to find one that appeals to you.
Get comfortable. Even if you’re just meditating for five minutes, it’s probably the most attention you’ve paid to your body all day. And while the classic lotus pose is definitely an iconic meditation posture, it’s not comfortable for everyone. The purpose of meditation is to become more aware, but if you’re not physically relaxed and supported, all you’re going to be aware of is your back screaming at you or your foot falling asleep. Find a cozy spot to meditate, get out of those rigid work clothes, and relax.
Clear your mind before you start. If you find yourself creating a to-do list in your head pretty much every time you sit down to meditate, it’s probably a sign that you need to make a to-do list. Shocking, we know. Getting all of those thoughts out of your head and onto paper or your phone clears out your headspace. That way, you can focus on meditating without worrying you’re going to forget something key.
Start small. We love this one. Sure, it’s admirable to meditate for an hour every morning and every night. But in the beginning, it’s probably not realistic. Don’t stress, though. Even five minutes of meditation each day helps you start building your meditation practice and becoming more aware. Pick a time every day and stick with it. It’ll get easier and you can add more time as you go.
We’re in this together! We’ll put these tips into practice along with you in the hope that we all become more centered, balanced people. Sounds like a pretty good plan, right?