Some ways you can find the time to meditate
In this day and age, we have so much coming at us from every direction.
Phones, televisions, computers, automobiles, appointments, meetings, learning, and then trying to find the time to meditate feels like it’s one more things on the to-do list.
As a teacher, I can tell you that there is a way to do it. I know, I live in modern society, too. I have my gadgets, another job, a life, family obligations, plenty of appointments and a full schedule.
I meditate at least once every day, and most days twice a day.
Have you ever noticed that when you really want to do something, you make it happen? You figure out how to get to that concert, you make time to get coffee with a friend, you watch that movie – at home or in the theatre.
You have to first decide that your mental and emotional health is just as important as all the other things in your life. If you don’t, then making time for meditation won’t ever become a regular activity in your life.
But you don’t have to immediately start out meditating for an hour a day, either. In fact, if you do that, you won’t succeed.
Meditation is something that you need to ease into. Just as you wouldn’t sign up for a marathon when you’ve never jogged a mile before, you must learn to train the muscles of the mind.
Take five minutes
Think about what you can do in five minutes. You can:
- Brush your teeth and floss.
- Change from your work clothes to your PJs.
- Stand in line to get coffee.
- Take a quick shower.
- Heat up your veggies in the microwave or on the stove.
- Snooze your alarm and sleep longer.
- Make a sandwich.
…and you can meditate! Really. It can take just five minutes a day to start seeing benefits from a meditation practice.In as little as five minutes per day, you can meditate and start to feel its powerful benefits. Click To Tweet
Create a routine
That five minutes to make time for meditation won’t happen if you don’t create a routine.
There’s an acronym in the meditation community: RPM.
It means, “rise, pee, meditate” when you get up in the morning.
Giggles aside, this is pretty much what I do, and have done so since 2008. I might do a couple other little things such as drink a glass of water, or let my cats out.
But then I head straight to my meditation space, set my timer, and begin. It’s such an ingrained habit. Upon rising, I don’t even think about it.
Make it a daily habit
If you can create a routine upon waking to head to your meditation space and meditate, you’re much more likely to make it a daily habit. You need a daily habit so you really feel and benefit from the practice.
Think about brushing your teeth. You get the benefits by having a daily brushing habit. If you only brushed your teeth once a week, you can imagine what would happen…
Understand the different brain states
Meditate earlier in the morning if you can. Part of why the morning is so good is that when you wake up, you’re not fully in high brain-functioning mode. (That’s my very-scientific way of putting it.)
You’re coming out of a sleep state, and it’s a “twilight period” before you experience full wakefulness.
Meditation keeps the brain in a more relaxed brainwave state. It will also aid in the brain’s transition to a fully awakened state.
Stick with it
Once you commit to a length of time that you’ll meditate for, stick with it. If you set the timer for five minutes and begin, let nothing interrupt you.
You’re training your brain to focus – despite possible distractions – leading to powerful benefits over time.
Set up a dedicated space
It doesn’t have to be fancy. Maybe it’s as simple as sitting up in bed. (Pro-tip: don’t meditate while laying down unless you want to sleep, because that’s what will happen.)
Maybe you go out and sit on your couch. Just be sure you won’t be disturbed by waking children, your cats, dogs, lizards or someone coming in and turning on the television.
Go to another bedroom. This is what I do, and I’ve done it for over a decade. It’s my dedicated space, with a blanket for a cushion, a candle, my eyemask, and earplugs.
Avoid going outside. This seems counterintuitive, right? But the outdoors have all kinds of wonderful distractions.
This summer I was camping and decided to go to a secluded spot to meditate. I was almost at the end of my session when I felt quite a few “needles” on my toes. It turns out that ants were crawling all over me, especially my feet!
Get others involved
Tell everyone where you live that you are meditating and ask them not to disturb you.
You can also use an app that can help motivate you. This can be helpful knowing that others are sitting with you “in spirit,” but also that counts your hours and sessions of meditation.
I prefer the Insight Timer. It’s a timer, has guided meditations, gives you “rewards” for your meditation sessions, and has guided meditations to help you, too.
Feel the benefits
After a period of time of meditating day after day, you’ll start to feel the benefits.
Once you notice them showing up in your life, you’ll want to meditate more. And more.
Remember how I said that in this day and age, so much is coming at us all the time? Yeah, you’ll be able to handle all that better. You’ll get more efficient. And you’ll be able to focus more effectively.
This is what happened so that I went from five minutes back in 2008 to ten, twenty, thirty, forty-five, and to sixty minutes or more in the mornings, years later.
Now, most people probably won’t do that much. But then again, this is why I became a meditation teacher.
You can do it!
You just have to set your mind to make it happen.