Do you know how to tame a critic in your head? Is meditation an answer for a calm and relaxed mind?
We all have a fierce monologue that rambles non-stop, every day and never going on a snooze mode. It makes you miserable, anxious and scared of your own thoughts. Sometimes you need to sit lonely on the floor in a quiet room in order to hear yourself from a totally new perspective. The first step towards a mindful life is to not let yourself drown in the noise of others as it can distract you from yourself. This can be done only when you do exercise for your mind – meditation.
Last year, I found myself affected by all the conundrum around me, I realized that I stopped looking at myself both physically, mentally and spiritually. Somewhere I lost the connect I had with myself and my surroundings. I wasn’t clinically depressed or entrapped in the spiral of anxiety but I was standing on the edge. The only prescription Dr. Google could provide me was a psychology jargon “Practice Mindfulness” to tame my mind.
So, I researched more on Google to understand the concept of mindfulness and meditation. After some time, I found enough in-depth guides on how I should meditate to reap its benefits.
What is Mindfulness?
“Mindfulness is simply being aware of what is happening right now without wishing it were different; enjoying the pleasant without holding on when it changes (which it will); being with the unpleasant without fearing it will always be this way (which it won’t).” – James Baraz”
Mindfulness is the quality of being open to experiences, without being judgemental, criticizing or mind wandering.
Mindfulness meditation is like an exercise for your mind. The more you exercise, the stronger it gets and the more it can expand.
Basic meditation is not a very difficult practice and you really don’t need a master to teach you. There is a plethora of information available to make you stick to a plan.
a) Find a quiet place to sit.
b) Focus on your breath.
c) When your mind wanders, bring attention back to the breath.
d) Rinse. Repeat.
It is a simple practice but the key to meditating effectively is doing it every single day. This is where I struggled and most of us as a beginner struggle.
It doesn’t require a huge time investment.
Just 5 minutes.
But the struggle is real. I couldn’t even take out 5 minutes to concentrate on an activity that can help me overcome stress, improve focus and get clarity of mind.
I subscribed for newsletters, apps and read a lot of material available on the internet. And then finally searched for a master to help me conquer my mind. This required not only time investment but also huge monetary commitment too.
Just recently, my friend approached me and asked me to try an app to restart the practice. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to download a new app to start meditating regularly to experience the benefits.
But it helped!
HOW TO MAKE MEDITATION A HABIT?
Eat. Sleep. Meditate. Repeat
It is as simple as it sounds. But the key to being successful at anything in life is repetition. You have to do a task thousand time to master it.
Step 1: Set up a goal.
I started with 2-minutes every day as I found it easy to concentrate for that short duration. I would advise you to not exceed more than 3-minutes if you are a beginner. Reward yourself after you finish the session.
Every minute or two, I would find myself lost in thought: what will I make for lunch, next blog post, a funny scene from a movie. At first, distraction is inevitable but the idea is to focus again. I read somewhere
“Your mind is like a kindergarten class, and meditating is like trying to get your thoughts to take a nap. If one wakes up, tell them gently to go back to sleep. If your mind thinks, ‘But you have a to-do list!’ just say shhhh.”
Focus, distraction; focus, distraction.
When you want to form a habit, consistency is the key. It doesn’t matter how you perform, what matters is that you come back the next day without fail.
You can always set the goal higher once the habit is formed. Don’t worry if you miss a day…come back and resume the practice!
Step 2: Design your environment
Why do you think that meditation centers are a big success?
One of the key reasons for their success is the environment design. The calm environment, the soothing music, a color theme to help you relax and surrounding to calibrate your mind to shape human behavior.
Find a place that has a calming effect on you, free from distractions.
In this digital universe, we tend to easily get distracted with social-media notifications, news feeds, and e-mails. Easy solution: Put your phone on DND mode or Aeroplane mode or disconnect internet
Design your environment to tempt you to sit down for meditation.
Step 3: Download an App
I like the app Headspace, and I have heard great things about Strive Minutes – Simple Meditation Timer with Sync. I started using Strive Minutes – Simple Meditation Timer as I wanted a timer that tracks my activities and works toward setting a meditation habit. I love its minimalist design and features that make it distraction free. It is a non-guided meditation app to help you learn meditation at your own pace.
The Minutes Timer gives you the facility to:
- Track and work upon your meditation habit
- Sync data seamlessly on multiple android devices and never lose your session history
- A distraction-free meditation session
- An option to set your meditation time as short or as long as you need it to be.
- A preparation interval before the start of each session
- Option to track meditation duration beyond the set time. If you choose to continue your session beyond the closing chime, you will have the option to add the extra minutes to your session stats.
- Simple, clean interface and visuals
- Set a default meditation duration
- A statistics page that tracks your streaks and all-time best sessions to keep you motivated
- Start and end your meditations with a beautiful Tibetan gong, no other distractions or voice-overs
After using this App for 20 days, I could easily increase my meditation time to 20 minutes.
DND mode helps you get rid of any distraction coming from your digital space.
There are times when you will miss a day…don’t worry! The idea is to resume your practice and make it a habit.
You can follow Strive Minutes – Simple Meditation Timer on Instagram, here.
You can download the Strive Minutes – Simple Meditation Timer App, here.
By now, you know everything that you basically need to make meditation your habit. There is no right or wrong way of meditation but it’s important to find a practice that meets your need and becomes a habit. In the end, I am still in a learning mode and I would like to keep practicing meditation. I am fully convinced that after close to a month of dedicated meditation, I feel so relaxed and mindful.
Have a wonderful week ahead! Get some Monday Motivation here.
See you on Wednesday!
Lots of love
I have to use it to seek calm relaxation and control of my thoughts and goals!
I totally get the struggle. I start great but then I end up day dreaming. Definitely checking this app out.
Hahahaha…even I used to start daydreaming. But you know what it’s okay..it’s the part of the process. Distract-Focus-Distract-Focus 🙂
Will have to give these steps a try. My mind always wanders and it’s hard for me to just relax
Give it a try…I am sure you’ll enjoy it 🙂
I am going to look for this app. My apple watch does a breathing thing where it tells me to inhale and exhale like this, but it seems random and is only for one minute at a time throughout the day.
I love my apple watch app too…it is random though. Thanks 🙂
This sounds so calming and relaxing. Something that I definitely need to start doing more of!
Try taking out a 1-2 minute from your daily schedule and you’ll be able to see the benefits of mindfulness 🙂
It’s a huge struggle and something I try to constantly be working on. Such a great post
Thanks…I am glad you liked the post!
I’ve tried meditating but not really my thing. Some great key points here tho. I think you really need to zone out and thats something I can’t do. I dont enjoy mediating hahah no more then 5 mins after a yoga class is enough for me.
I can totally get it! 5 minutes is enough to give you the benefits of meditation… 🙂
Thank you for compiling this list. Meditation indeed has many physical and spiritual benefits.
Meditation is so important, but it can be so hard to take the time to do. I love these easy steps you have wrote about!
Try to follow these steps…I am sure that you will be able to find 1 minute every day for yourself. Thanks 🙂
Meditation is something I try to be consistent with, but I find it hard to find time sometimes. This post is definitely helpful
I know it’s difficult to do meditation consistently…I have been through it. But I learned that sometimes it is so important to prioritize your well-being. 🙂
I love using the breathe app on my apple watch to get a moment of mindfulness and clarity in the middle of my day. I love that it randomly reminds me.
That’s awesome…I have tried the breathe app too and I love the fact it reminds you randomly. 🙂
I need mediation in my life! I too often have negative thoughts in my head that I need a coping tool for.
Everyone has to deal with the demon in our head…try meditating exercise for a minute. You’ll enjoy it 🙂
Honestly I have never tried meditation before this. I even didn’t know there is apps for it. Maybe I should give meditation a try.
Give it a try! You’ll reward yourself with a calm and peaceful mind. Trust me 🙂
I recently wrote a post about DIY stress management therapy and highly meditation as one of ways to release stress but making it a habit is difficult. This is useful post for audience trying to add meditation to their routine.
I am glad that you found the post helpful…I am going to head to your post right now. Thanks 🙂
Definitely will check this app for mindfulness.
Meditation is perfect for reducing stress I tried this once and I’ll try to find this app. Thanks for sharing.
I am glad that you tried meditation before…make it a habit and you’ll see multiple benefits. Try the App it will help you 🙂
I am always attracted towards meditation but get distracted easily. These are such useful tips. I am going to try them out the next time I sit down to meditate. ?
Reward yourself after every short session…it will slowly become a habit! Thanks 🙂
I really find this step by step process helpful. I have to keep this one for future purposes. I often get distracted sometimes.
Thanks…I am glad that you found the post helpful! 🙂
My environment plays a huge role in determining how my session will last. Anyway, I think I would do with the Strive app. Sometimes, I feel like I need guided mediation.
The environment is the most important thing in making a session successful! 🙂
Great steps for meditation. I learn during my yoga class but still struggling to do well..thanks for your tips above. I m going to try again.
Follow these steps…it has worked for me and I am sure it will work for you too 🙂
You broke the conventional attitudes about mindful meditation. One’s going to find it really practicable for you.
Thanks…I am glad that you liked the post! 🙂
Meditation is something I have always wanted to do! Sounds so relaxing to do and learn
Thanks…I am glad that you found the post helpful! 🙂
I tried Headspace recently for the first time on a long-haul flight. Thanks for reminding me that I wanted to get the app when I returned home!
I love Headspace…I am glad that this post worked as a reminder 🙂
Sounds like a great app! I’ve always been curious about meditation. I’ve tried it but I always find myself overthinking and not relaxing at all. I must be doing something wrong. My goal is to be able to silence my mind and decompress.
You need to follow these steps…it has worked wonders for me. It is so important to set a realistic goal and design your environment to make it a habit! 🙂
I’ve had a meditation practice for a few years and it has been so wonderful. This post is such a great way to encourage the practice.
Thanks…I am glad that you liked the post!
Since I started with yoga and meditation I feel so much better. I don’t get so stressed anymore.
I am glad that yoga and meditation have been so helpful. 🙂
Mindfulness is a great thing to practice. I have been practising more of it this year and loving it.
Thanks…I am glad that you liked the post! 🙂
I LOVE mindfulness. This post is awesome! I wrote a post about mindfulness meditation on my blog, I’ll put the link to my blog if you want to check it out.
Thanks…I am glad that you liked the post. I would love to check out your post too. 🙂
Whenever I start getting too stressed, I stop and meditate or even just take a moment for myself to listen to music. I think mindfulness is SO important to being successful and growing as a person.
Well said…It is so important to draw your attention towards mindfulness to grow as a person and be successful. Thanks 🙂
I usually use Headspace, but Strive Minutes looks like a great meditation app as well! I’ll have to check it out!
If you wish to try a non-guided meditation then Strive Minutes will be quite helpful as it has a distraction-less feature and minimalist look.
Totally love this post. Mindfulness Meditation is something I totally love having in my life. It is the only thing that calms me down completely.
Mindfulness meditation is miraculous especially when someone is dealing with stress. I am glad that you liked the post! 🙂
This is actually really handy. I am going to give this a go for sure. Keeping the mind strong is key for sure xx
I’ve seriously never tried meditation in my life. This is something I really want to try doing
I have always wanted to make meditation a regular part of my daily routine. This is just the accountability I needed to start, thanks!
I am really not good at meditation honestly. I fall asleep more often than not. I wonder if creating a better space for it would help. I think it would at least be worth a try.
Your environment does play a role when it comes to meditation! Try it…perfect for healthy mind and soul 🙂
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