You’ve tried. You want to. But you just can’t seem to meditate.
It’s a common problem, and not just for beginners. Even those who meditate regularly will experience hiccups in their practice.
If you’re having trouble getting into meditation, here are three hacks to ease you into a regular practice.
Try A Short Amount of Time
Meditation can last anywhere between 10 minutes to an hour. But if you’re new to meditation or have difficulty sitting still, even 10 minutes can seem like a long time.
Try meditating for a single minute. Yep, one minute. The next day, bump it up to two. Then three. See where we’re going?
Remember, when it comes to deep breathing, no amount of time is a waste.
Take A Walk
A mindful walk is great for people who have lots of energy. Think of it as meditation in motion.
Go outside and walk for 10 minutes. Tell yourself that rather than meditating, you’re going to focus on your steps. Choose an area that’s about 20 to 30 paces long. Then, walk slowly in a straight line from one end to the other. Stop, turn around, then repeat. Count each step you take until you hit 10 and then begin counting again. As you walk, focus on the feeling of the ground beneath your feet and the sensation of muscles moving. If your mind starts to wander, don’t worry about it. Just go back to counting your steps.
Join A Meditation Group
Meditation is like any other activity: if you’re just starting out, or you’re stuck, it can really help to take a few lessons. A guided meditation group offers structure, accountability, and peer support: perks you might miss out on otherwise and could help make meditation stick.
When researching meditation groups, don’t be afraid to call and ask questions. What sort of meditation to they do? Is there chanting? Do they provide cushions? These details could make all the difference as to whether or not you have a comfortable experience.
And the greatest tip of all? Don’t beat yourself up! Meditators of all levels struggle to focus, sit still, and face the emotions that can come up during meditation. If you’re striving just to start, the most important thing is to be kind and forgiving.