Four ways to make room for meditation in your busy life
If you’re already struggling to fit in everything you need to do in a day, meditation might be the furthest thing from your mind. But making time for meditation in your busy life might be the very thing to help you restore some balance.
Meditation is an ancient practice that encourages you to think deeply and focus your mind on the present, and on your breath. In a fast-paced, future-focused world, creating time to be, to truly be, in the present may seem unattainable and unrealistic.
Physical exercise is commonly factored into our busy lives, but we often forget about our mental wellbeing and set aside time for self-care of the mind. While beginning to meditate can seem daunting or like a huge commitment to your already over-subscribed life, meditation doesn’t have to negatively impact the amount of ‘spare’ time you allow yourself.
In fact, there is lots of evidence to suggest that setting aside time to meditate can actually improve your ability to manage your time, as you are able to focus better.
In this article, we will tell you why and how to make room for meditation in your already hectic life and outline some simple steps and considerations when beginning your meditation practice.
Why is it important to make room for meditation?
Increasingly, meditation is being recognised and linked to science and health. The relationship between mind and body health is undeniable, and meditation can connect the two and help to find balance between them. Recently, the American Heart Association made this heart-mind connection official and it has been suggested that meditation is in fact good for the heart.
Meditation can also help with mental disorders, like anxiety. With busy schedules and ever-increasing to-do lists, anxiety disorders are on the rise. For sufferers of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), meditation can help to reduce worrying thoughts and bring about a feeling of balance, calm, and focus. For the 6.8 million Americans who live with chronic daily anxiety, meditation can offer a way to finally relax. It is unsurprising then that meditation is used frequently within anxiety rehabilitation.
Ultimately, meditation is connected to the health of your mind and your body. While you may feel like meditation is something that you cannot prioritize, treating it as a fundamental form of self-care and finding ways to make it fit into your life will encourage you to practice, and once you begin, you won’t need us to convince you any further of the benefits!
Four ways to make room for meditation
Simple steps to begin meditation will allow you to introduce the practice into your routine. Meditation is personal and everyone has an individual and unique relationship to meditating, their minds and bodies.
Experimenting with different types of meditation – breath focused, mantra-based, movement etc – may also allow you to find the practice that works best for you.
Following these 4 simple ways to make room for meditation will help to ease you into finding your perfect meditation practice.
1) Take 10 minutes
When deciding to make room for meditation, you can start small. Practicing mindful meditation for just 10 minutes a day is a great basis. From here, you may even be able to notice positive changes, and be encouraged to gradually increase your mediation time.
You may find that 10 minutes is your perfect amount of meditation time, or you may want to stay in a meditative state for longer. The length of your meditation may fluctuate according to your schedule or emotions, and that’s ok!
2) Find your perfect time
There is no ‘right’ time to meditate. For some, first thing in the morning can help to focus on the day ahead, whereas others find it helpful to meditate on the way home from work, to mark a difference between professional and personal. Meditating before bed can also aid sleep and help to wind down at the end of the day.
Finding your perfect time will allow you to naturally build in time to your day to prioritize meditation, rather than it presenting itself as a chore, or just another job to do.
3) Find the right spaces and places
Much like finding the right time, finding a suitable place for meditation can help to set the tone for your practice. It is often encouraged that you create a meditation space in your home. Somewhere that is comfortable, uncluttered and allows you to be free of distractions. Setting the atmosphere with scents, sounds and lighting can also help to create this space.
However, some find it better to meditate on the move. While others need complete silence or specific sounds to help bring on a meditative state, you may enjoy tuning in to everyday noises that surround you. Listening to the sounds around you may allow you to appreciate the moment more.
4) Use technology
Most of us spend a little bit too much time on our phones. While we should strive to reduce our screentime, technology can actually help to incorporate meditation into your day. There are many apps that can help to give prompts and reminders to encourage you to practice daily.
Using guided meditation can really help you in the beginning stages of meditation, especially if you are unsure of where to start. You may wish to continue using apps, or it might inspire you to make your own prompts or follow a personalised path.
How can you make time in your busy day for meditation?
By experimenting and discovering the best way, time and place for you to introduce meditation to your life, it will seamlessly become part of your routine, without causing more stress or time constraints.
Taking a holistic approach to meditation is fine! Try not to be too strict with yourself, or feel guilty if sometimes you cannot find time to meditate one day. This could create negative feelings towards meditation and discourage you from practicing, rather than viewing it as a helping hand to finding balance and appreciating the present.
By focusing on the present and allowing yourself time to breathe, you may notice improvements in not only your mental health but also your physical health too! Be aware of any changes you feel, acknowledge them and see if they could further your meditation journey.
Photo by Ksenia Makagonova