Keeping a Daily Meditation Practice

Written by: Lillian Cuthbert

If you are like me, you have heard about the power of meditation, how it helps alleviate stress, and improve our attention span, among other things. But if you are also like me, for the longest time, you just didn’t do it. I used to say, ‘Oh, I would love to meditate, but I just don’t have the time’.

One day, I stopped to think about this. I realized that meditating really takes only about 5, maybe 10 minutes at most: say, 5 minutes to set up my seat, sit down, set a timer, prepare. And then 5 minutes to mediate, sitting quietly with myself. I definitely could find 10 minutes daily for such a practice. So what was stopping me? 

The key to meditating regularly, I realized, was that I just didn’t know how to begin. And so one day, I decided to make a regular habit out of mediating 5 minutes every morning, after checking my phone and before drinking my first cup of coffee. And do you know what? It is true, I must admit, all ‘those people’ who talked about how good it is for my mental health were right. And even more importantly, setting myself up every day to meditate at the same time, adding it into my regular morning habit, like brushing my teeth, made it really easy and hard to avoid.

So I offer this as a suggestion to you. Maybe you are very rushed in the morning, so planning to mediate then won’t work. But maybe you have an extra 10 minutes when you break for lunch, after you eat, before you go back to work. Or maybe before you sleep at night. Think about when you can fit it in. Start small, with just a few minutes. And plan it so it becomes not a special chore but just an extension of your current daily routines at that time. Try it for, oh, 2, 3 weeks, and see how you feel.