Meditation can be an effective way to reduce stress, achieve clarity, and attain a mentally calm state. It allows you to view the world from a perspective that isn’t tainted by your personal beliefs and past experiences.
Meditation is simple but challenging to do well. It wouldn’t hurt to have a few tricks up your sleeve. There are several things you can do to enhance your meditation practice and receive greater benefits.
Try these ideas for ways to improve your meditation practice:
- Be consistent. Have a time and place that you meditate each day. If you want to maximize your skill at meditation, make it a permanent part of your schedule, like brushing your teeth. You always brush your teeth at the same time each day. Do the same with your meditation practice.
- If possible, have a meditation-specific location where you meditate. This can be a spare room or a corner of the house that you can set aside for your practice. Make it comfortable and inspiring.
- Have at least one longer session each week. While you can receive great benefits from meditating for as little as five minutes, there’s something magical that happens when you sit for an hour or more each day.
- Have a session or two each week where you add five minutes each time until you’re up to an hour of sitting time. Feel free to go even further if you have the time.
- Avoid expectations. You’ll have good days and bad days when meditating. There are days you feel that you could sit there for hours. There are other days when your mind is running wild, and it feels like you have no control. Both are fine. Just be aware and sit with whatever is happening.
- Avoid meditating when you are fatigued. With enough practice, you can indeed fall asleep in the sitting position! If you’re extremely tired, you’d be better off taking a short nap and meditating at another time.
- Meditate throughout the day. Sitting on your cushion under ideal conditions isn’t the only place to meditate. It’s just the easiest.
- The real trick is to be able to meditate while sitting elsewhere, like in a hot, noisy, smelly bus. Can you focus on your breath and fully experience your surroundings under those circumstances?
- Meditate on an empty stomach. It’s harder to meditate when you have a big meal digesting in your tummy. You feel tired and sluggish. Your best meditation sessions will occur when you’re alert and able to concentrate.
- Try not to meditate when you’re excessively hungry either.
- Minimize interruptions. Shut the door and let everyone know that you want an hour of peace and quiet. Turn off your phone. This is your time. Take control of it.
- Try meditating with a group. If you only meditate with a group, try meditating alone. Most people have a definite preference but give the other option a try from time to time. It’s a different experience, and you’ll gain a different perspective. You might even make a new friend or two.
Whether you’re just learning to meditate or a seasoned pro, you can enhance your meditation practice further. Meditation is one of the best ways to relieve stress and increase your enjoyment of life. Consider how you can strengthen your ability to meditate and reap the greatest benefits from your meditation practice.