Ways to Find Time to Meditate
Written by: Lindsay Shugerman
July 22, 2014
Filed Under Self Help
Contributed by Info Guru Lindsay Shugerman
So much has been written about the benefits of meditation. Studies show that having a regular meditation practice improves cognitive function, helps memory and increases overall life satisfaction.
And that’s all well and good, as long as you can actually meditate. But many of us struggle as we try to find ways to find time to meditate amid our busy lives. The good news is that it is possible. Here are some tips to help you work meditation into your day, every day.
10. Start small
I know the world says to think big. But when it comes to meditation, thinking small works too.
If you’re new to meditation, you might think you have to set aside hours and hours to make a difference. Thankfully, that’s not true. Even as little as ten minutes a day can make a big difference in your life.
9. Start earlier
One of the easiest ways to work meditation into your daily routine is to set the alarm 15 or 20 minutes earlier. I know getting up before you absolutely have to doesn’t sound like a great way to start your day, but once you experience the uplifting effect of even a brief meditation, losing those extra minutes of sleep won’t feel like a hardship at all.
Use a gentle alarm that awakens you to soft music or one that slowly increases the light in your room to set the mood for a positive start to the morning.
8. Take a break from TV
Most Americans spend several hours each day watching television. If you replaced just one half hour show a day with a meditation session, you would have three and half hours of meditation time available each week.
7. Go for a walk
Not all meditation has to be done sitting down. Actually walking meditation is a traditional and important part of Buddhist practice.
The key to meaningful walking meditation is to be mindful and aware of the present moment. That means walking without headphones, without checking your phone, and without conversation. Even the dog needs to be left at home. A 15 or 20 minute daily walk before or after work, after dinner or during a lunch hour works perfectly for this, and can fit into most people’s schedule at least a few times a week.
6. Set a timer
If you can’t schedule 15 or 20 minute blocks right now, squeeze in mini meditation breaks throughout the day. Set a timer to alert you every few hours. If you can, light a delicately scented candle. Then spend five minutes in mindful meditation before returning to your task. You’ll be amazed at the impact of those few minutes!
5. Create the space
Sometimes step one in finding time to meditate is creating the space for meditation. Set up a room, a corner or a small table as your meditation space. Place soothing objects there like scented candles (sandalwood is a very calming scent), a relaxing picture or even just some smooth river rocks. Place a meditation cushion or chair nearby, too.
Having a designated spot for meditation can work to remind you to make the time you need to build your practice. Most people who start with the designated space find that they meditate more than those who try the “I can do it anywhere” approach.
4. Join a meditation group
If you live in or near a good sized city, there are probably meditation groups in your area. Check Meetup.com, social media and even the local community bulletin board for notices about meditation groups nearby.
Having other people with whom to practice will encourage you to invest the time yourself. It’s amazing how much time we can find when we have a supportive community backing us up!
3. Find a meditation center
There are Zen centers and meditation centers all over the world. See if there’s a location near you, and check it out. Many allow drop-in meditation and most have open group meditations. There may be a small fee, but often people can use the center for a donation alone.
If the location is near your work, home or regular shopping area, you might want to work on consolidating some errands or replan your driving so you have free time to stop in for meditation.
2. Delegate a chore
Look at the chores and tasks filling your day, and see what someone else could reasonably take over. Delegating a chore or two might be all you need to do to open up time for meditation. And knowing that someone else is taking care of it will free your mind, so you can enjoy your meditation time.
1. Find the time in your mind
Before you’re able to find the time in your day, you’re going to have to find the time in your head. We’re good at cluttering up our days — and our minds — with an endless string of distractions.
Making a conscious choice to silence the noise and clear away some of the distractions is step one. Only once that’s done can you really start identifying ways to find time to meditate.
Meditation isn’t about elaborate staging. It’s about you. So find the time to do it…for you.