Lately, I’ve been working a bit more with meditation. The more I explore it, the more enjoy it. I find that my day runs so much more smoothly when I take time to meditate. I also sleep better at night when I meditate right before bed. Meditation has become an important part of my life.
People talk a lot about the benefits of meditation and you see articles about it in many publications. You might read one about following the breath. Maybe the next one talks about a walking meditation. Maybe a third one talks about guided meditations. There are many different types of meditation and they all have their merits, but the most effective one is the one that you will actually practice.
With all of the information about meditation out there, it’s easy to say we’re going to meditate, but setting up that practice doesn’t always go smoothly. Did you know that you can begin to notice the benefits of meditation with a single breath? Sounds too good to be true. Right?
Many people will avoid meditation because they don’t feel that they have the time to sit for 20-30 minutes each and every day. Or maybe you’re not practicing meditation because you feel like it is too hard to figure out. There are probably a lot of reasons why people aren’t meditating. It doesn’t have to be so structured or hard, so don’t make it that way.
The real benefits of meditation show up when we practice it with consistency. It’s not so much about sitting quietly a couple times a week for 20-30 minutes. Instead, you notice the most benefits when you begin to practice on a daily basis. It’s more about being consistent than it is about the length of time practiced. Thus, it’s better to meditate for two minutes every single day then it is to meditate for 30 minutes once a week.
Most days, I personally meditate twice a day. It’s part of my morning and evening routines. In the morning, I practice a type of meditation called Japa Meditation. This is the meditative repetition of a word or phrase. When it’s warm enough to walk the dogs in the morning, I’ll practice it while I walk the dogs. If not, then I find a comfortable seat in my house and practice for about 10 minutes.
In the evening, I tend to sit with my breath or follow a recorded meditation on my Insight Timer app. My evening meditation might be just 2 minutes or it might be 15. It just depends on how I feel at the time or whether I need to get to bed earlier or not. Again, it’s not the length of the meditation that works its magic. It’s the consistency that shows results.
I’ve noticed that if I skip that evening meditation, then I often don’t sleep as well. So, even if I don’t feel like meditating, I tend to at least sit for a couple of minutes. It works to help clear my mind of the day’s stresses and I think that’s why I tend to sleep better.
As I said there are so many types of meditation. This post is just touching on the topic. You can just sit and watch your breath. You can do a walking meditation. (A labyrinth is great for walking meditations.) You can repeat a word or phrase. You can find a recording that you like and listen along to a guided meditation. (I really love Insight Timer. There are so many guided meditations on that app that I’ll never try them all.)
Just find a bit of time in your day where you can consistently meditate. It doesn’t have to be in the morning and/or evenings as I do it. The best time of day is the time when you can actually meditate.
Try it for just a minute each day. Notice if your mind begins to change at all. You can reap the benefits with very little time investment. Give it a try and let me know what your meditation looks like. What types have you tried? What is your favorite? When is your favorite time of day to meditate?
For a simple guided meditation click here.