It’s been 8 days since I started meditating morning and night without exception. To say the benefits have been profound would be an understatement, but I’m not expecting you to agree with that, yet. Because lets be honest, no one has time to meditate these days.
Sitting still isn’t an option, there’s too much to do and not enough time.
But what if I told you there was a drug that could fix many problems you are experiencing, cost nothing and only took 10 minutes a day to take. This miracle drug made you more productive, gave you less anxiety, improved your mood, clarified your thinking and improved your relationships.
Would you take it?
I’m assuming most of you would. After all, solving all these problems will enable you to live a better life, right?
Well I have good news, because meditation is that drug, and after starting to notice the positive effects of meditation, it can tell you that it is worth it.
The Problem with Meditation (why people don’t do it)
In this day and age of fast days and instant gratification, it’s hard to notice the benefits of meditation. At least initially. With mediation, the effects are subtle and without being aware you’ll hardly notice them.
And, it’s not during the act of meditation that you notice the benefits, a lot of the time its after the fact.
The effects of meditation are felt when:
- You have an impulse to eat bad food and you recognize your thought process, and you stop yourself
- When you wake up in the morning with your mind spinning and heart racing with all the things you need to do today. You bring yourself back to the present moment and realise you are creating your own stress
- When you are vacant from the experience in the present moment because you are thinking, and thinking and thinking about everything except what you are experiencing now. You are in another world.
Meditation helps you live a more present life. It helps you live a richer life. The question is, do you think the sacrifice is worth it?
The Simple Solution to Starting a Mediation Practice
The problem (and this is true for all things that we’ve said we should start doing) is that the very thing we know we should be doing it the very thing we tend to avoid.
We put so much weight and stress behind the activity that actually doing the thing starts to cause an extreme amount of stress and anxiety. This makes doing the thing even harder to do.
We bite of more than we can chew, and everything starts to collapse.
So, what is the best way to start meditating?
I would like to take a page out of the body builders handbook and suggest a technique called progressive overload.
Progressive overload is when you incrementally add to you workload every session, giving your brain and body the chance to adapt to the environment over time. To apply progressive overload to a mediation practice, let me suggest the following:
- Choose a time to meditate every day
- Sit in a quiet spot, close your eyes and focus on your breath. When you mind wanders from the focus of the breath, recognise that you are thinking and then bring it back to the breath. Congratulations, you are meditating. #tweets
- Now you are meditating start to apply progressive overload each and every day you meditate:
- Day 1: Mediate for one minute
- Day 2: Meditate for two minutes
- Day 3: Mediate for three minutes
- Day:4 Meditate for……
I think you get the idea, stop adding more time to your meditation practice once you have reached your meditation practice length target.
Congratulations, you have a mediation practice.
Creating a positive habit like meditating shouldn’t be too difficult. The problem is we overload ourselves with what we think we should be doing. We try and go from zero to one hundred in days and wonder why we fail.
Habits need to be cultivated like fine wine, getting better with age. Keep this in mind when you fail your next attempt at implementing a habit. How can you structure your habit so it is impossible to fail?