Daily Meditation Practice – How to make it a Lasting Habit
Do you want a meditation practice that feels as easy, effortless, and as natural as brushing your teeth every day? Then read on for these simple practical tips to help you weave meditation into your day so that you can make it an automatic and enjoyable lasting habit.
In this post I wanted to share with you some practical tangible ways to incorporate meditation into your daily life. If you are like me and like most people you are already maxed out in terms of all that you have to do and squeeze into your precious 24 hours. So meditation as this still sitting practice for a length of time can almost feel like just another thing you have to do. And if you already have a million things to do, where are you going to find the time?
That was certainly my experience when I was feeling very called to meditation years ago, but my children were just babies. It was constant screaming, crying, doing a million things, never getting a break, and never getting sleep. So meditating for 20 even 10 minutes, finding space and stillness to sit and clear my mind felt totally unrealistic. And so many people feel that way when they think of meditation, it just feels almost intimidating and inaccessible.
I want to help you see that meditation can be as simple and as automatic as brushing your teeth every day. And just as we take care of our dental hygiene without question, I hope you will see that taking care of your mental hygiene is just as important and just as easy.
TIP #1 – PREPARE YOUR SPACE
Tip #1 to help you build a lasting habit of meditation is prepare your space. Find some little corner even of your home, where you can set up a sanctuary. Even if it is just one little nook or one little shelf, one little chair, it doesn’t have to be much, but just a tiny area to create the energy of sanctuary. Set it up with whatever tools are helpful to you. Some candles, some pillows maybe an image of something that brings you joy. Again, doesn’t need to be much, but just a few things to support that energy of sanctuary. Now this will be the space to go to when you do sit, however, this is also an energy to invite in. So even if you’re not in that space, that energy is what you want to bring with you throughout the day, that sanctuary energy. And having it all set up beforehand to set it up and claim that this is your space is so important. Just like we walk into our bathroom and we go to the sink, we got the toothbrush and the toothpaste and the floss. It’s all there, ready to go. We don’t wander into the bathroom and think, what am I doing? What are the steps? How does this happen? And have to go search out for the toothbrush. It’s all there. It’s ready to go. Your body knows exactly what to do, and all of your tools are on hand. So you want to create that same feeling with your sanctuary space, use whatever you like. Don’t make it complicated, just a few things. And that will help set you up for building the habit.
TIP #2 – START AS SOON AS YOU START
Tip #2, start as soon as you start, start the moment you wake up before you do anything. As soon as you sit up, open your eyes and put your feet on the floor, take three to five deep breaths breathing deeply in and exhaling slowly out. Three to five breaths as soon as your feet hit the floor, something that can be really helpful with this is whether it’s a pair of slippers an area rug or even a towel have something that as soon as your feet hit the floor, something tactile to help your brain remember that when my feet hit the floor, I breathe. You can also write a sticky note, have it by your bedside or on the wall where you may be facing when you sit up, that just says breathe. So the first thing you do before you start your day, it takes no time at all. You breathe. No matter who you are, no matter how busy you are, you always wake up and really cling to that moment of waking up and attach it to breathing, to slowing down. So the first thing that you do when you wake up is you slow down.
TIP #3 – BE WITH YOUR BEVERAGE
Tip #3, be with your beverage. Most of us love to start the day with a hot cup of something. So we will use what is already here. Noticing the theme here to inject more of ourselves, more presence into our existing doing. So you’ve woken up. You’ve taken your nice deep breath and now do not pass go do not look at your phone, go and get your coffee or your tea, and go directly to your sanctuary space. Set your timer for five minutes, even just five minutes to start and see how long you can extend one single sip from holding it down here, bringing it up to your lips, drinking, and then bringing the mug back down. See if you can lengthen that to one minute, here we are injecting the moment with space and presence so that something extremely simple and even mundane can fully come alive. A moment that we would just be rushing through while we’re trying to do a million things becomes the only thing that we are doing. And this is how we really be with our doing. So inviting in all five of your senses, noticing how many muscles your arm is required to bring that mug up to your mouth, noticing the warmth coming from your hot beverage, as it nears your face. Noticing the full texture of the liquid. Have you ever noticed the texture of liquid as you hold it in your mouth for just a little bit longer? Really looking for these teeny, teeny tiny sensations and awareness that you may have never noticed before. And notice that as you bring more of yourself to the moment, the moment gives so much back in return in terms of the experience so that something very simple can be quite beautiful, quite luxurious and full of spaciousness and stillness.
TIP #4 – USE YOUR TRANSITIONS
Tip #4, use transitions all throughout our day. We are shifting and moving from either one position or place to another. We’re sitting down then getting up, we’re leaving one room entering another. We are getting in and out of the car. So what we want to do is really capitalize on these moments that are already here and before we go, we want to stop. So before you get up, you take a nice long deep breath. And then you get up and then you leave the room and then you start the car. And what this does is it tells our brain repeatedly throughout the day that no, no, no, you are actually not in a rush. And this is a much needed counterbalanced message to all of the other messages we are constantly receiving in this modern life. That there’s a great race and that there is a great rush and you have to go as fast as you can and jam pack your day with as much as possible. So no, this is not a significant chunk of time in terms of a chance to sit down or take a break. But when we use these moments that are constantly happening, you can see that they will actually add up to quite a lot. And then you are threading the day with this rhythm of spaciousness and stillness all throughout the day. Counterbalancing that message of rushing and inviting in newer messages of calm, it’s not a race. You’re not on fire. You can have time. You have time, it’s right here. And then move on.
TIP #5 – BOOK END YOUR DAY
Tip #5, book end your day. So in the same way that you started your day, you will end your day. This will be the very last thing that you do. Sitting on the edge of your bed. Before you lay your head down with your feet on the floor, using that tactile reminder, if that works for you taking three to five, nice deep, slow breaths. Meditation is simply being with yourself and our modern life trains us to be anywhere and everywhere else, but with ourselves. So in this practice, you are ending the day with this reminder that you belong to you. Your attention belongs to you. So phone is off. If you need that phone for an alarm, set it to airplane mode. This is so essential to give yourself this sacred time of returning home. And now you have an entire day from start to end and sprinkled throughout with all of these wonderful, precious moments of presence.
I hope you enjoyed this post. I’m so curious, did this help meditation feel a little bit easier and a little more doable?
Which tip was your favourite? Please get in touch and let me know. I would love to hear from you!
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Thank you so much for reading.
Have a beautiful day!