The benefits of meditation are well-documented. From improving your mental clarity, productivity and problem solving all the way to fixing breathing issues and helping to reduce anxiety, it is something that can entirely change your life if you are willing to let it.
One of the things that you have to do to make it effective, is to commit to it. It’s all very well expecting results after hearing such good things about it but a single session is unlikely to make any impact at all. The best way to make it a constant part of your life is to turn it into a habit. A lot of habits are things that we are trying to convince ourselves to stop doing: biting nails, chewing with your mouth open, going to bed hours after getting in. But how does one pick up a habit? Well, let’s look at what you can do to turn meditation into a daily habit.
By Beatrice Beard
Find Your Corner
Consistency is key for developing a habit and one of the only things you actually need for meditation is a space in which to perform it. “You sometimes need to be a bit creative about finding spaces for meditation. Perhaps you need to repurpose a disused corner of your abode, or purpose build an area. Wherever it is, you have to ensure that it is very easy to use and available every day”, says Jack Solder, a lifestyle writer. Make the space somewhere convenient and somewhere naturally calming. So, for example, avoid your office where all of your un-opened emails and the stack of bills on the table ruin your Zen. Think outside of the box!
Schedule It In The Diary
You might feel a little silly when you first do this and I can understand why. But, actually, this is one of the most successful routes towards developing the habit of meditation. Being able to think of it as an appointment, on the same level as a meeting with a client or a job interview, can be a big step towards ensuring that you will never miss out on it, even in the midst of a busy schedule. In fact, when you are very busy is often the best time to do some meditation for all of the benefits listed above. So put it in your daily calendar and give yourself an ample window in which to get situated and get in the zone.
Now, this isn’t a suggestion that you actually should meditate in the presence of someone else (which I know can be the last thing many people want to do), it’s just a way to try and build in some accountability to your meditating routine. “Accountability can be key for those of us whose self-discipline leaves a little to be desired, shall we say. I like to find a friend to commit to these sorts of self-improvement schemes, preferably one who I see or at least speak to very frequently”, says Dre Carson, health blogger. This technique is a wonderful way to help elevate your meditation into a daily habit. You will always feel bad if you don’t get it done, so you always get it done. Just, don’t choose a friend who will also renege on the agreement: that would be a disaster!
Most of these steps seem doable but you’re probably thinking that if it was so easy then everyone would be doing it. You’re right, it is more difficult than it seems and you will struggle at times to keep up with the consistency. That said, the best way to combat that problem is to start small and grow out. Maybe start by scheduling 10 minutes for a 5-minute meditation, with a few minutes either side to warm up and warm down.
People who have managed to turn meditation into a daily habit can attest to how amazing and life-changing it really can be. The meditation itself is easy and free-form. It’s the doing it that can be hard, in amongst the demanding, hustle-bustle of our modern world. Hopefully, these steps help you out.
Please Help Support the “Spread the Dharma” Mission!
Be a part of the noble mission as a supporting member or a patron, or a volunteer contributor of content.
The power of Dharma to help sentient beings, in part, lies in ensuring access to Buddha’s precious Dharma — the mission of Buddha Weekly. We can’t do it without you!
A non-profit association since 2007, Buddha Weekly published many feature articles, videos, and, podcasts. Please consider supporting the mission to preserve and “Spread the Dharma." Your support as either a patron or a supporting member helps defray the high costs of producing quality Dharma content. Thank you! Learn more here, or become one of our super karma heroes on Patreon.
Other Popular Stories
Soma Sutta: Sister Soma gets the better of Mara — what difference does being a woman make in Buddhism? None
Why is Kṣitigarbha “Essence of Earth” Bodhisattva so revered and beloved in Mahayana Buddhism? Includes Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva Fundamental Vow Sutra
Yodhajiva Sutta — the warrior Sutta? The four great qualities of the warrior compared to the qualities of the monk: full English
Author | Buddha Weekly
Beatrice Beard is a professional copywriter at OriginWritings and AcademicBrits specializing in food and lifestyle literature. She is considered a wonderful resource in her work at PhdKingdom, where she gives advice to beginner writers uncovering all the peculiarities of creating content that sells.