ZEN TIP TUESDAY #7
For ZTT #7 I welcome Josee Perron. Josee is a nature loving adventurer with a passion for words (both writing and reading them) and she enjoys encouraging others to see the beauty in getting off the beaten path and finding their own authentic trail. Today she shares her tips on ‘Meditation & making it a daily practice’. You can learn more about Josee at her Bio at the end of this post.
If you’re linking up for ZTT Link-Up #005 – thank you and welcome!
I get it. The idea of sitting quietly with your thoughts is pretty daunting. Having to consciously pay attention to all the ridiculous things that float through your mind can seem like torture. And I won’t deny it, meditation is tough. But I assure you that the benefits you get from spending quality time in stillness with yourself make the whole experience worthwhile.
WHAT IS MEDITATION?
If you’re not completely sure what meditation is, let me break it down for you.
Meditation is a practice that helps you become better acquainted with your mind’s thoughts. By resting your attention of a specific point of focus, the breath for example, you learn to cultivate awareness of what’s going on inside you. You notice more consciously where your mind tends to impulsively go when you let it run wild.
It might obsessively plan for the future, anxiously recount stories and conversation from the past, or it might just really like to tell you how useless you are.
By sitting for even only a few sessions, you realize how dramatically wild and unbeneficial most of your thoughts are. They just keep coming up without reason or necessity.
Luckily, meditation is just the antidote to tame this wild mind of yours. By teaching your mind to regularly go back to its point of focus once it’s gone off course, it gets reprogrammed to start doing this more naturally even off the meditation cushion.
Then, as you become more accustomed to saving time and space for meditation in your life, your appreciation for this quiet and inward connection time, inevitably ends up growing exponentially.
MAKING MEDITATION A DAILY PRACTICE
Slowly, you notice new mental habits developing and a greater sense of wellbeing taking hold.
In order to achieve this, ideally, meditation needs to become something you practice regularly. As I know how difficult it can be to add yet another activity into an already jam-packed day, I’ve compiled a list of some of the best tactics to help you incorporate it effortlessly.
- Start small. When you first start practicing, 5-10 minute sessions is a good place start. Then, as you become more comfortable, you can extend to 20, 30 or even 45 minutes.
- If one day you can’t manage to find 10 minutes to sit down to practice, try to be mindful throughout the day. As often as you can (while brushing your teeth, doing the dishes or waiting for the metro), bring your attention to the present moment.
- Make it a habit. To help you make this a regular practice, meditate every day. Choose a time in the day that best works for you and make it happen daily. By doing it every day, you become more accustomed to it being part of your routine.
- Create a space. I have a very small apartment, but have still managed to reserve a very small area for my daily meditations. I have a yoga mat and a meditation cushion all set up. By having my stuff already laid out, it makes sitting down to practice every day just that much easier.
- Find a position that you are comfortable in. However you decide to sit, make sure your posture is alert yet relaxed. Find the line between these two extremes to make sure you don’t fall asleep or become too over agitated.
- You can sit on a cushion. If you do, try to bring your knees down towards the ground. If they don’t reach, put small pillows or rolled up blankets beneath them.
- You can sit on a chair. If you do, try not to lazily sit on it as you would throughout the workday. Bring yourself forward so that your back isn’t on the back of the chair. Place your both feet on the ground.
- If you’ve never meditated before, use guided meditations to help you. Insight Timer is an app that has plenty of options.
- Find a meditation group that you can be a part of. Although meditation is quite solitary, sharing the experience in a group can be extremely enriching. These are awesome contexts in which to talk about our experiences, your struggles and your victories.
See what works for you, and ditch the tips that don’t benefit you. Make this practice yours. These are guidelines to help you get started, but once you’re up and running (and by running I of course mean meditating regularly) feel free to adjust and adapt based on what’s best for you.
Josie is a yoga teacher, blogger and entrepreneur who lives to encourage others to ditch the beaten path and find their own true life trail. You can connect with Josee here:
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ZTT LINK-UP #005
Great post. I have known of the benefits of meditation personally for over 4 years now. My practice and its timing can vary and I have changed from using Headspace to Calm and love the changes as well as the many add-on such a sleep stories for when sleep does not come easily.
I know the benefits of meditation too Denyse but I’ve yet to successfully incorporate it into my daily life. I’d really like to use the ‘Calm’ app. I had the free version but was hesitant to pay for the full access. I’ll have to revisit I think because I prefer to meditate with a guided meditation and I love the sound of the sleep stories! xo
I paid around $130 recently and it’s lifetime membership. Brilliant bargain I thought. Check it out if it is still available. It may be higher because of USD but definitely good. Better value for me as I had taken on Headspace for over 3 years and was paying about $75 annually. I love Calm’s innovative sections and how you can personalise it.
That’s a pretty good price for a lifetime membership Denyse! It’s when I have ANOTHER annual cost that i start to feel uncomfortable. I lose track of them all and they add up!
Hi Min & Josie, I’m still mastering meditation as I was a little turned off last year when I did a “Meditation in Mary’ challenge. I found it quite overwhelming but have since come to realise that even 5 minutes can be enough in a stressful day. I also have learned that it is okay for our mind to wander as mine certainly did. Thanks for the tips and another #ZTT. Have a great week ladies. xx
That’s such a shame Sue that Mindful in May turned you off meditation – especially when it was supposed to do the exact opposite! I think it highlighted to me the benefits of meditation but the problem was the information overload and the fact I was documenting it to post here on the blog (an additional pressure that was my own fault). I still haven’t incorporated meditation into my daily life but I still intend to! Baby steps! I will soon have a dedicated space where I intend to practice yoga and meditation and make both part of my daily life. I think this will be a huge help in finally getting these things locked in to my general daily routine. xo
I’ve never really settled into a meditation practice. I find that my daily walk is the closest I come to zoning out – technology free and just me God and nature (and an occasionally friendly wave to someone). When I try anything that involves a pillow I tend to drift off!
I haven’t managed to establish a daily meditation practice yet either Leanne. I do agree that walking is a form of meditation and so are many other activities – yoga, pilates, etc! I need less technology/social media time and more nature time at the moment. Craving the beach very much at present! 😉 xo
Hi Min – I enjoyed reading Josee’s post. She has some practical suggestions. I’ve been doing daily meditation for many years. It works well for me. I linked up one of my recent outdoor walks. Walking is a good way to bring some zen to our mind and body. #ZTT
Hi Natalie – so glad you’ve enjoyed the post. You’re incredible how you fit so many activities into your days and such a lovely balance of stuff too. I’m playing catch ups today so will pop over shortly to read your post. Thank you for linking up with #ZTT ! xo