How to Make Meditation a Daily Habit for Life
by Michael Teh
In my experience as a meditator, I strongly believe that achieving the state of mindfulness (through meditation) is having to acquire the ability to watch what’s going on in your mind and your body in a detached way rather than being caught up in your thoughts and actions. Read on to find out the several benefits of making meditation part of your life.
“In my experience as a meditator, I strongly believe that achieving the state of
mindfulness (through meditation) is having to acquire the ability to watch what’s
going on in your mind and your body in a detached way rather than being caught up
in your own thoughts and actions.”
Ever considered picking up a new habit or to teach yourself a new skill this new year? You likely realized early on that daily practice was key to success. Well, that’s true for meditation, too.
In my experience as a meditator, I strongly believe that achieving the state of mindfulness (through meditation) is having to acquire the ability to watch what’s going on in your mind and your body in a detached way rather than being caught up in your own thoughts and actions. Similar to falling asleep, transition into deep meditation can be subtle, and you may unknowingly dive into this state of peace and calm.
With that said, many of us won’t notice the positive effects immediately because we have been conditioned to have thoughts, judgments, ideas and perceptions to cloud our minds. Therefore, you need a daily practice in order to begin seeing the fruits of your labour.
Here, I would like to expound on the several benefits of making meditation part of your life. Remember, it is possible when you set your mind for it and you can even do it at the comfort of your own home.
1. Start Small
While daily meditation is a great goal, you do not need to jump right in 30 minutes session (or longer) every day.
Five minutes, three times a week
I would recommend beginners to start with five minutes of guided meditation, three times a week, and slowly increase the minutes as meditation becomes a consistent part of your routine.
In the beginning, you may not feel relaxed, mindful, or calm, however, that’s okay. You’d just need to set 5 minutes to sit with your thoughts and be curious with them. Remember, not to force it. And if you never get up to 30 minutes a day, don’t worry about it as meditating 10 or 15 minutes each day are also beneficial.
2. Find the Right Time
Many sources would recommend a different ideal time to meditate, however the best time is whenever you can make meditation work. And if you try to make yourself meditate at a time that does not work well with you, you’d likely just end up feeling frustrated and unmotivated to continue.
So, instead, try to meditate at various times to see what fit best for you. That might end up being first thing in the morning, right before bed, during a busy commute or during your break at work. And whatever time you do choose, try to keep with it as consistency can help your new habit become just another part of daily lifestyle.
3. Get Comfortable
I am sure you have seen photos of people meditating while seated in the classic lotus position. Do you know that position isn’t comfortable for everyone? And it is hard to meditate if you’re doing something that makes you feel physically uncomfortable.
Fortunately, you don’t have to get into specific positions to successfully meditate. You’d just need to get a position that you can hold, one that feels easy and natural. You can sit on a chair or lying down – both are fine. And if you having trouble sitting still, try meditating while walking or standing. Some find focusing on each step helps further their meditation process, just as focusing on breathing does.
Do consider creating a comfortable and soothing meditation space or even build a ritual around the process. You may incorporate candles, peaceful music, or photos and mementos of loved ones that can help enhance your meditation experience.
4. Keep at It
It will take time to form a new habit, so fret not if meditation doesn’t seem to fit in for you at first. Don’t focus on the reasons why you’re not able to keep going with it but to explore any challenges with curiosity and an open mind. With that in mind, the challenges you face during meditation can guide you towards a more successful practice.
If you do get distracted easily, ask yourself why. Are you uncomfortable? Tired? Bored? Then accept these emotions and make changes accordingly as they are giving you valuable insights. You may choose a different position or try meditating at a different time. Remember to learn to practice acceptance and curiosity within meditation as it can help you translate these feelings easier to your daily life. It can also help you have an easier time to cultivate awareness on a regular basis.
Think of it this way, if you start meditating when you feel anxious and upset, you may actually feel a little better. But if you regularly meditate, you might find an easier way to manage your stress before your emotions overwhelm you.
5. Know When It’s Not Working
You may not realize the benefits of meditations immediately and that’s totally normal. And even if you have been practicing for a long time, your mind may still wander from time to time and that is fine too. That said, neither of these things mean you aren’t successfully meditating.
Recognizing your mind has wandered way is a good thing as it means you’re developing awareness. And when this happens, just simply refocus yourself gently. Keep with a steady meditation practice, you’ll begin to see benefits in due time. That said, it is important you recognize when mediation does more harm than good. And although meditation may help relieve mental health symptoms for many people,
not everyone would find it helpful – even with regular practice. However, it is not really common, but some individuals have reported increased feelings of depression, anxiety, or panic. And if meditation consistently make you feel worse, you may want to get counselling or guidance from a therapist before continuing. You know you can write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
6. Get Started
Are you ready to give daily meditation a try? Here’s a simple meditation to help you get started:
1. Find a comfortable space when you can relax
2. Set a timer for 3 – 5 minutes
3. Begin by focusing on your breathing. Notice the sensation of every inhale and exhale. Breathe slowly and deeply, in a way that’s natural
4. As soon as your thoughts begin to wander, acknowledge the thoughts that come up and let them go, and then return to focus on your breathing. Don’t worry if this keeps happening – as it will.
5. When time is up, open your eyes and pay attention to your surroundings, body, and feelings. You may feel different or you may not. However, over time, you’d probably notice yourself becoming more mindful of your experience as well as your surrounding environment. These feelings may linger long after your meditation session.
At the end of the day, there is no right or wrong way to meditate. You’ll experience success when you practice the way that works for you, so try various approaches until you find one that works for you. I often tell my students, that meditation is not something that you need to perform or to do, you just have to create the right condition and meditation will happen by itself.
And when you realized greater compassion, peace, joy, and acceptance in your life, you know it is working. Just be patient since these benefits probably won’t show up overnight. Remember to show up for yourself with curiosity and an open mind, and you’ll stay on the track to success.
Michael Teh, 7th January 2020.
Michael Teh is a meditation coach devoted to a personal mission of awakening more people to higher consciousness. He teaches self-realization through meditation, qigong, yoga and philosophy. Michael Teh Signature Workshop: The Essence of Life Series explores meditation as a powerful tool to realize our true potential. Michael has designed multiple workshops in this series to support his participants’ self-realization journey. Workshop Series 1 is currently running every few months on-ground in Kuala Lumpur, titled “Knowledge of The Self and Fundamentals of Meditation. Be sure to follow Michael’s social media channels and website for more updates: FB: https://www.facebook.com/