You've definitely heard about the benefits of meditation. It's everywhere right now. From the covers of magazines (Time, Newsweek and Scientific American to name a few) to celebs and public figures like NBC anchorman Dan Harris using their high profiles and big audiences to tout its benefits.
But what if, after reading about it and hearing about it, meditation still seems really hard? Or boring? Or something for which you just don't have time? That's what we thought too, until we didn't. So if you want to tap into the benefits of meditation but aren't sure where to start, you've come to the right place.
1) Enjoy the break: Rather than thinking of meditation as something you have to do, or something that you're doing 'right' or 'wrong,' just enjoy a few minutes away from your normal life. When you're in meditation mode, emails don't matter, meals don't need to be prepared, and that looming deadline doesn't exist. Take a few minutes to put it all aside and just enjoy that sense of emotional and spiritual freedom.
2) Slow down: Guess what? You're not going to turn into a meditation guru overnight. Or in a week. Or even a month or a year. But stick with it and you will reap the benefits. As they say, "Rome wasn't built in a day." And your meditation practice won't be, either.
3) Stop judging yourself: It's really, really hard to make your brain just chill out. We're used to lots of sensory stimulation all the time, so pausing to do 'nothing' feels all but impossible. So when your brain wanders (trust us, it will, a lot) acknowledge it and move on. You're not doing anything wrong -- you're just being human.
4) Make the time: Establishing a new habit isn't easy, but by making time to do it, it will get easier. Schedule 5-10 minutes for your daily meditation like you would an appointment. You wouldn't just not show up for a meeting with your boss, so treat meditation the same way. It may take weeks or months, but eventually it'll become as routine as brushing your teeth. And, unlike that meeting with your boss, it'll be something you'll start looking forward to; promise.
5) Stop making excuses: I'm too busy. I'm not good at it. I don't know where to start. We know meditation is good for us and we'll feel better afterwards, (Hello? Is this sounding a lot like exercise or what?!), but it's really hard to make the push to just get started already. So acknowledge your excuses, smile at them for what they are (just thoughts), and then channel your inner butt-kicker and get started anyway.
If you're looking for an awesome way to get started with meditation and you have no idea what meditation really is, whether you'll find it interesting, or how to start, check out Meditation Vacation. It's free, takes 5 minutes/day and will change your life in all of the best possible ways.