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How to make meditation a daily habit

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woman sitting on veranda looking at the seaWhy is it so difficult to make meditation a daily habit?

woman gazing on city view during sunsetWell, I believe it’s difficult to put any new habit into our lives and it’s even more difficult when this habit doesn’t “fit” with the rhythm of our lives.
I was always very busy and stressed in my everyday life that even if there were moments that I didn’t have so much to do, I was still in this mode. I was so used to be doing and thinking something all the time that being in another state didn’t even exist in my mind. That’s why it’s extremely difficult for many people to take a pause in the middle of the day and simply stop thinking; that’s why it was so difficult for me to make meditation a daily habit.

Another reason can be that we find meditation difficult and confusing. And yes, that’s the impression that we get sometimes. This happens because there are so many different techniques of meditation that if you start looking you will just get overwhelmed.
Imagine meditation as the destination you want to reach. There are many roads that lead there; many different roads that you can take to arrive at the same destination.

So the reason I created this website is to put it simple. I will not get into long explanations and analysis about the different kinds of techniques because that’s not my intention. I want to focus on meditation as the process that trains the mind.
The goal of meditation is the same in all the techniques anyway, and the way to do it can be a combination of many details originating from many different traditions and techniques.
My mission with this website is to learn more about meditation and share the things I know based on my experience with you people.

 

 

Why is it so important to make meditation a daily habit?


By practicing daily, your brain learns how to exist in a different way on a regular basis. It gets used to new patterns of thinking and existing. If you don’t do it every day it’s just not enough to change your way of thinking.
If you, for example, do it twice per week it’s like you are repeating, again and again, the same things without developing; even if you stay longer than you would stay if you did it every day. It’s like when you start learning a language for example. If you don’t practice and study the language often enough you will end up repeating what you learned in the previous lessons every time you decide to study.
At this point, I want to mention what the great philosopher Aristotle said:

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”

 

 

How to think to make it happen!

 

woman smiling and meditating in nature It doesn’t matter if you meditate only for 5 minutes per day as long as you do it every day! Besides, a beginner cannot stay more than a few minutes. Meditation is something that happens slowly and you have to build it every day, gradually so that you will be able to stay longer without forcing and pressuring  too much yourself.
You can even start with 3 minutes per day if you feel that 5 are too much. Between 3 to 10 minutes is a good start. Stay how long it feels good to you.

 

The key is to set the bar low

 

Thinking:” I will meditate 20 minutes today” may make you feel pressure that you have to sit on a specific spot for 20 minutes….without moving!!
So I think it’s better to say to yourself  “ I will just meditate 3 minutes today”.
So, instead of feeling bad and thinking:” I find it difficult to stay on this spot for the next 20 minutes..”, your feeling switches to “I just have to sit here for 3 minutes” . The good thing by thinking like this is that most of the time you will sit more than 3 minutes because you simply feel like it and not because you have to.

 


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10 thoughts on “How to make meditation a daily habit

  1. Ian

    This is something that I am I’m sure many others have struggled with. I get into it for a few weeks and then it seems that the laziness of my mind takes over.
    Nowadays, I write posts on meditation and I totally agree with your advice to start small and build up your practice over time. I now usually advise others to start with 5 minutes and then build up from there.

  2. adam

    Hi Athanasia.

    This is a great site you have started here. I have tried yoga a few times but I have yet to get into a meditation schedule. I think your website has a lot of good information for a beginner like me. Sometimes I find it hard to calm my mind, so perhaps I will try a guided meditation when first starting out.

    I look forward to more posts from you.

    ~ Adam

    1. Athanasia Post author

      Hello Adam 🙂

      Thank you for your kind words. I’m really happy you like my site.
      It’s not easy to get into a meditation schedule, but as sooner you make it as sooner you will be enjoying the benefits. And it’s all really in our minds, you know? If you decide to start and commit to it you will do it. So that’s the hardest step: the decision to commit.

      I am reviewing a guided meditation program that I will be promoting on my website very soon. I think that might help you start.

      So, stay tunned 😉

      Athanasia

  3. Chris Lee

    Hey there Athanasia.

    I was into meditation a while back but unfortunatley I gave it up.. To be honest I don’t know why I gave it up. I would like to say it is because of time constraints but I’m sure I’ll be abel to fit in 20 minutes a day.

    I really would like to get back into the habit of meditation. I used to feel amazing and my mental being was super focused and healthy.

    Thanks for the reminder.

    Chris Lee

    1. Athanasia Post author

      Hello Chris Lee.

      You are welcome 🙂 I’m happy to hear that I influenced you positively to start meditating again. Our lives are so busy sometimes that we need a reminder. Keep in mind that if some day you are very busy it’s enough even with 5 minutes of meditation. By thinking this way you will always find time.

      Good luck with your meditation,

      Athanasia

  4. Cathy

    Hi there Athanasia,

    Although I practice Yoga, I find doing meditation particularly challenging for my busy mind. Before I start my class, my instructor will always guide us through 5 minutes of deep breathing. Listening to her voice helps me to focus.

    But when I meditate on my own, I am thinking all sorts of things behind my closed eyes. My fingers move, my breath becomes irregular and I feel impatient.

    How do I get myself to focus better in my meditation? Thanks.

    1. Athanasia

      Hello Cathy 🙂

      I agree with you that meditation is challenging for the mind.

      First I want to say that there are days that I can concentrate easier than other days. The days that I face more difficulties, instead of making “Breathing meditation”(as mindfullness meditation for example) or “Emptiness meditation” I do “Visualization Meditation”. I find that much easier because when the mind concentrates on a thought (in this case, the visualization) it’s much more easier to forget about the distractions that may come to your mind.

      Another technique that also helps me calm down my mind is the “Gratitude meditation”.

      Go here to find these techniques.

      Before starting the meditation you can follow the steps described here.

      Another tip is to “set the bar low”. By that I mean that it’s much earier to concentrate when you say to yourself: ” I’m just going to meditate 3 minutes today and I’m going to be focused these 3minutes”. Think ” It’s just 3 minutes. I can do this! “.

      Hope I have been of some help 🙂 and let me know how it works out.

      Good luck with your meditation,

      Athanasia

  5. Hannah

    Some very helpful tips.

    I used to meditate every day for a minimum of 15 minutes. This lasted a while but life circumstances changed in a big way and made it impossible to get any time to meditate even on a weekly basis. I would like to get back into this routine again but have been finding it very hard to get started. I like your tip on meditating for just 3 minutes – that’s a lot less intimidating.

    I’ve only ever been able to meditate to guided meditation sessions. I simply cannot get into that state of mind without – and never could.

    Should I start using guided meditations again or try and learn to meditate on my own in silence?

    Thanks in advance.
    Hannah.

    1. Athanasia

      Hello Hannah 🙂

      Nice to hear that you want to start meditating again. I think that the 3-minutes meditation is a very good idea to start with for many people. Everybody can find 3 minutes a day. In the morning before you start your day, in the evening before you go to bed or at any time during the day. I sometimes meditate in the bus. Just say to yourself: ” It’s just 3 minutes! “.

      Referring to the guided meditation I beleive it’s an individual thing. Some people can concentrate better with a guidence and others not.
      You can find many guided meditations at Yoga Download.
      You can also try to meditate on your own. Take a look at this post. Try all the meditation techniques that I describe in my post and maybe you will find one that you feel comfortable with and that will help you concentrate. I beleive that it’s good to try many different techniques and then decide which ones works out best for you.

      Experiment with both guided meditations and on your own and see what fits you best. Maybe you will be able to start meditating alone after a while.

      I wish you good luck and let me know how it all works out,

      Athanasia

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