Meditation has plenty of benefits, from lowering your overall stress and anxiety to improving your focus, memory, and emotional wellbeing. Research has even shown that it can help lower blood pressure. So, how do you practice meditation daily? Make a routine, so it can help you practice meditation daily.
Of course, one of the hardest parts of meditation is creating a routine that actually sticks. If you’d like to enjoy all the benefits this practice has to offer, check out our tips and tricks for setting a mindfulness routine — and sticking with it.
1 Find a Type of Meditation You Genuinely Enjoy
This might sound obvious, but it’s also the most important among our tips and tricks for sticking with a meditation routine. If you dread something, odds are you won’t return to it. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned meditator looking to be more consistent, find a style of meditation you look forward to — not one that feels like a chore. This can help you practice meditation daily.
The good news? There are plenty of styles to choose from. Headspace, a guided meditation, and sleep app, has a handy overview of many different kinds of meditation, all of which have different goals or are suitable for different personality types. For example, if you want to quiet your mind, zen, sound bath, or mindfulness meditation may be for you.
If the thought of sitting still with your thoughts sounds terrible, a guided visualization meditation, a moving meditation, or simply keeping a morning pages journal may be the best fit for you. Remember: self-judgment has no place in meditation practices, so don’t be afraid to try something new if you’re not in love with your current routine.
2 Use Technology to Your Benefit
One of the great things about meditation is that you can do it anytime, anywhere. The trick is to remember to turn to it as a tool for inner strength when life gets hectic and stressful. While technology can sometimes be a hindrance when it comes to mental health, certain meditation-focused apps can be quite helpful to practice meditation daily.
For starters, setting a timer on your smartphone that reminds you when to pause and meditate throughout the day can be helpful. Even if you just take a minute or two to connect with yourself and your breathing, it’s worthwhile. When it comes to actual meditation apps, the options are numerous. If you’d like to go the free route, create a meditation playlist on YouTube or try an app like Insight Timer, which offers thousands of meditations for free.
If those free options felt like a great start, but you want something more robust, a subscription-based app might be the way to go. Headspace, Unplug and Calm can be great resources — not just for meditation but for sleep, too. Besides, paying for something might encourage you to use it more regularly.
3 Pre-Planning Can Overcome a Busy Schedule
If you find that your schedule has a sneaky way of convincing you that there’s no time to indulge in your daily meditation routine, pre-planning can help you carve out that time and prioritize your mental health. Maybe you want to pick the same time each day? Whether you turn your morning coffee time into a meditative moment or set aside time after work, making meditation another part of your daily routine can help you stick with it.
4 Create a Special Place
Yes, you can practice meditation anywhere, but it’s certainly easier to practice certain types of meditation in a quiet environment. Plus, having a calming, centering place to go to in your home free from distractions or work can help you focus immediately. Maybe you can turn a tidy walk-in closet into a meditation zone. Or, maybe there’s a special corner of your bedroom (or a whole room) that you can transform. Whether you pick a comfy chair or a spot in the garden, the setting’s size doesn’t really matter — you just need to love it.
Don’t be afraid to make it cozy by adding comfy blankets or pillows; candles and other forms of aromatherapy can also help get you in the right headspace. The goal? Make the space a place that allows you to escape any other demands. Using a special spot will turn meditation into an even more important self-care and mindfulness practice.
5 Meditation Partners and Groups
Like many other things, sometimes accountability to a meditation routine requires joining a group of others who want to achieve the same thing. In fact, group meditation can be powerful outside of the whole, helping you stick to your routine. Buddhist groups or community centers may offer meditation times depending on where you live, wellness, and fitness centers.
These days, there are online meditation groups that open up the practice to folks no matter where they live. If you’re not interested in meditating alongside others, an accountability partner can be a great way to stay on track while also ensuring you have space. However, the key is to find someone who won’t make you feel guilty if you slip up. Yes, you’re looking for someone who will remind you and encourage you to stick to that routine, but you also want someone you can talk to who will inspire you when you’re feeling stuck.
While your pet may get in the way of your daily exercise regimen, animals can be excellent meditation partners. Cats are pretty much professionals already. But even dogs, who thrive on having a routine, will be happy to sit with you if you just set aside a few minutes each day. Don’t be alarmed if your furry accountability partner starts barking or meowing if you forget to start your meditation on time.