6 Ways to Make Meditation Work Better for You

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Life hacks

I have to laugh at the life hacks that get published sometimes. Some ideas are pure genius. Then there are the folks who duct tape their phone to a ceiling fan while playing Pokemon Go and it smacks them in the forehead.

Not every life hack works as intended. Just ask the folks with forehead bruises and broken smartphones. The same is true for those who struggle with meditation. To this day, there are times when I struggle with meditating. Over time, I’ve developed these “meditation hacks,” if you will, that have helped me stay focused.

Could these help you as well?

#1. Take a walk.

The best walks involve intention. Instead of taking a leisurely stroll, you have a specific goal that you’re seeking to accomplish. I pick one thing that I want to find on my walk. Then I focus on finding that one thing or experiencing it fully however I can. This approach helps to set the stage for meditating when I get back home.

#2. Turn on the shower.

Some people like to take a bath to relax. I prefer a hot shower. If I can’t get my mind to focus, then I hop into the shower and let the stinging needles hit my head. The solitude of the experience and the heat of the shower brings out the creative centers of my mind. Stress goes away almost instantly. Then I’m ready to spend some time in my designated meditation spot.

#3. Take a drive.

Driving relaxes me. It’s also somewhat adventurous, if you’re headed somewhere you’ve never been before. The key to having a drive be helpful for meditation is to create what I call a “Zone of Quiet.” Turn off the radio. Avoid traffic that could make you angry. And remember to keep an eye on the road at all times.

#4. Offer gratefulness.

When I think of gratefulness, I actually think more about humbleness. There’s this willingness in an attitude of gratitude to sacrifice your needs for others. In this action is the heart of one of my favorite forms of meditation: loving kindness. If I’m really struggling to meditate, then I look for ways to help others. In the process of looking, I can often find meditation. I also gain the opportunity to make a positive difference.

#5. Seek technical assistance.

If things really aren’t working and I can’t get into the right state of mind, then I have a series of guided meditation downloads which will help me out. The best guides offer one-part encouragement, one-part visualization, and one-part natural sounds to encourage relaxation. When the guide can help me let go of the deep stresses that are preventing me from meditating, I can then proceed on my own.

#6. Set a timer.

One of my biggest struggles has always been timing. Some days it’s really hard to set aside 30 minutes to meditate. But, like with most things in life, you make time for what really matters to you. To encourage meditation, I set a timer for 15 minutes. Then I just get started meditating to the best of my ability. If I feel good when the timer goes off and there isn’t anything demanding my attention, I’ll set another 15-minute timer to repeat the process.

Meditation doesn’t have to be complicated, but it sure can be frustrating. These are the ideas that I use to help me meditate. What are your own meditation hacks?

Why Mindfulness Meditation Could Help You Stop Insomnia for Good

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Ever crawl into bed, feeling completely exhausted, yet sleep never seems to come your way?

It certainly happens to me, more often than I’d probably like to admit. I’ve seen 3am roll around far too many times for my liking. Racing thoughts and planning to-do lists in the quiet of night can create many sleep disturbances.

And even when sleep does come, I’ve found that those racing thoughts can invade my dreams, managing to wake me up anyway.

Then, when the demands of the day come about, the best way to describe how I feel is “lousy.” Do you struggle with feeling tired and lethargic after a poor night of sleep? And the cravings for the junk food…

There’s some good news if you suffer from insomnia like me. Published in the February 2015 JAMA Internal Medicine, a small study of middle-aged adults showed that a mindfulness awareness program which taught meditation could have a profound effect on insomnia, tossing and turning, and the other sleep disturbances that can rob someone of their productivity.

What Were the Results of the Study?

According to the study’s author, Dr. Herbert Benson, two groups were included in the study. Half of the participants completed the mindfulness awareness program. The other half completed a sleep education class that taught sleep habit improvement skills. Each group met 6 times, once per week, for two hours per session.

The results were clear: those who were taught mindfulness meditation skills had less insomnia, lower daily fatigue, and fewer feelings of depression at the end of the sixth session compared to the group that was taught sleep habit improvements.

There are many ways to invoke the relaxation response within the human body. I particularly like having a cup of hot tea (caffeine-free, of course) at the start of my bedtime routine as I settle into a few moments of mindfulness meditation. But it’s not the tea that actually eases stress, pain, or even high blood pressure.

It’s the practice of mindfulness meditation itself, even if done in an imperfect way.

How You Can Include Mindfulness Meditation Each Night

If you’ve been struggling with insomnia and feel like you’ve tried everything, then I invite you to give mindfulness a try – or a second opportunity, if necessary. There are two simple steps that you can use to help initiate the relaxation response you may need to be able to get a good night of sleep.

Step #1: Choose a focus of calm. You might feel ridiculous sitting on your bed, humming an Om repeatedly. My cat looked at me like I was crazy the one time I did that. You can focus on a peaceful word, phrase, or just focus on deep breathing if you prefer. The sounds can be repeated audibly or in your head.

Step #2: Choose to let things go. You must decide to let stressful events go. You must choose forgiveness. If your mind begins to wander, bring yourself back to your focus of calm. This will help the tension release.

Mindfulness meditation can be an essential tool for sleep. Include it with your next bedtime routine and let me know what results you were able to achieve.

5 Ways to Add Mindfulness Meditation to Your Work Routine

 

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Mindfulness meditation. It’s more than a business buzzword these days. It’s a practical action that anyone can take to experience better success in their job duties.

With the application of mindfulness meditation, an individual’s resilience, collaboration skills, and ability to lead are reinforced. And though the benefits are profound, I can tell you that experiencing these benefits isn’t always an easy process.

For mindfulness meditation to work, you’ve got to be willing to commit to the process with 100% of your personal energy. If you’re not “all in,” then the benefits will struggle to appear.

So how can each of us put in the time when we don’t have a lot of time in our schedules? I know there are days when I’m lucky to even find time to eat a sandwich. Here are some ideas that have really helped me be able to include mindfulness into my calendar.

#1. Take away the art of being “busy.” When I took an honest look at my schedule, I found that I was scheduling a lot of time where I was being busy instead of being productive. Since I felt like mindfulness meditation would make me more productive, I forced myself to remove the busy periods of time.

#2. Begin to delegate. I hate delegating. It’s not that I find it hard to let tasks go. I find that I don’t always trust those around me to do a good job. Can you relate to that? So I was brave. I allowed my admin to start reviewing my non-essential emails to let me know what was going on instead of reading through each message. This saved me more time each day than I’d care to admit – but it goes toward my mindfulness time today.

#3. Eliminate the negative self-talk. I’m so bad at this. “Good job, stupid,” tends to come out if I make a mistake. I’ve heard far worse from my colleagues. The only problem is that this negative self-talk enhances the guilt and anxiety we already feel because of failure. So, when we fail at meditation, the negative self-talk tries to show up. I’ll probably never completely eliminate my name calling habit, but by being more conscious about it, I’ve found that I’m more able to embrace mindfulness meditation.

#4. Incorporate it into other business events. When I really can’t find any time to meditate, I’ve found that most of my colleagues are finding a similar struggle on that day. Since my team gets together on a regular basis to discuss what’s going on, I’ve implemented the 5-minute mindfulness introduction. Before we begin the meeting, we have a group meditation session. It’s optional, of course, but it gives us at least a brief respite from what is going on and that helps immensely.

#5. Be realistic. I think this was my biggest mistake. At the very beginning, I expected – no, demanded – that I could make 20 minutes of mindfulness meditation work. Sure enough, it took me only 3 days to start finding excuses as to why I couldn’t make it work. When you’re realistic with your goals, you’ll be more successful. Period.

Mindfulness meditation can change everything. It allows you to connect with your job, your co-workers, and your family in new and exciting ways. How could you add just 5 minutes of mindfulness meditation to your routine today?

Need a Vacation? Try Meditation!

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Sitting out on a sunny beach, cocktail in hand, with no worries in the world would feel good right about now. Some of my best memories involve the times I’ve made time for a vacation. It’s a way to kick back, relax, and leave stress behind.

The only problem with taking a vacation is that one day it will be over. We go back to the daily grind, with stress seemingly always on the mind. Wouldn’t it be nice to always experience the benefits of taking a vacation – even if you don’t really go anywhere?

Thanks to the power of mindfulness meditation, you actually can.

Regular Meditation Helps with Stress and Depression

We all know that regular meditation can help with stress. I’ve talked in the past about how it can help with depression when included in a thorough treatment plan. Now there are studies which have followed people over several months to show that not only are the improvements profound, but they are long-term in nature.

In fact, the people who benefit the most from regular meditation are those that have never really practiced meditation in the past.

Over the course of 10 months, a small study included volunteers who were divided into three groups. One group was experienced at meditation, the second were beginners, and the third group was told that they could just go on vacation. Everyone got to do some fun stuff in the sun, they listen to some health lectures that were probably a little boring, and practiced self-reflective exercises over the course of a week.

Then those given the “vacation” role in the study got to quit. The meditators kept on going. And in 10 months, here is what they found.

Beginning Meditation Offers Significant Improvements to the Aging Process

I think what is so striking about the results of this study is that it shows how any effort at getting away from stress will improve personal health. Even those in the “vacation” group showed significant benefits when they were away from their stress. The only problem was that once they stopped being on vacation, their stress-relief benefits stopped as well.

Those who were already meditating regularly also saw significant benefits in the 10-month study period. It was those who were beginners that saw the most benefits in this study. Not only did they experience the mental benefits of meditation, but there were physical changes as well. There were improved immune function marker and healthier aging indicators.

What does this mean? That if we can take just 15 minutes to meditate every day, then the mind is given the opportunity to go on vacation. You might be surrounded by the noise and stress of this world. Your mind, when meditating, has kicked back on a beach and is enjoying some sand, surf, and sun.

In addition to meditation, Yoga has been found to be able to enhance these benefits even further. So if you can begin to meditate or add some Yoga to your routine, you’re giving yourself a mini-vacation every day.

What has helped you find time to meditate every day?

4 Ways You Can Start Beating Burnout Today

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I usually start feeling it in my arms first. Then it spreads to my neck. Pretty soon, a headache begins to form. A lack of energy sits on my chest.

I’d rather be doing anything than what I happen to be doing at that moment.

So I do something else. Pretty soon, that feeling goes away. But then, right when I feel ambitious and creative enough to get to work, those feelings hit me again like a Hot Wheels car thrown into a brick wall.

It is burnout.

And it’s a very real problem for many of us. Burnout doesn’t happen because of being overworked. It happens because we have allowed ourselves to become overwhelmed with a lack of focus.

When you can find your focus once again, the issues of burnout will start to fade away.

Here’s how I work to find that focus.

#1. Add time for personal enjoyment.

Burnout tends to occur most often when I’m not having fun at what I do. The “daily grind” hits all of us at some point. Even things that used to be fun become mundane and boring.

When I make time to enjoy certain activities or moments that are personally gratifying, I find that it gives me more energy to get through the grind of a routine day. I can look forward to something that will be fun as soon as I can get the job done. This helps push me forward when I’d rather stop.

#2. Shift the priorities.

Why do you do what you do?

For myself, I take personal pride in the ability to help introduce core business concepts, personal management strategies, and self-care ideas to everyone. Although my experiences are hardly unique, they are my own experiences and they have a story to tell.

And I love telling a good story.

When burnout strikes, it tends to be because we’ve lost that initial vision. You got started doing what you do with a specific purpose in mind. Get back to that. Instead of focusing on the daily stress, return your focus to the outcomes you’ve always hoped or wanted to achieve.

#3. Avoid your burnout triggers whenever possible.

For me, my burnout trigger is email. I really don’t like responding to messages. It takes a lot of time and energy away from what I feel like I do best.

To avoid this trigger, I set a specific time every morning to review my messages. Then I have alerts setup in case an emergency message comes in that needs my direct and immediate attention. If no emergency messages come in, then my email goes down for the rest of the day.

If you’re constantly being triggered, then you’re constantly feeling burnout. So get away from those triggers and you may just be able to get away from those difficult feelings too.

#4. Don’t be your own island.

It’s easy for me to stay home and avoid people. Home is a safe place. I can do whatever I want when I’m at home – within reason, anyway. There are no extra demands on my time or energy.

But isolationism creates an island where you end up having no connections. Without connections, you’re forced to take on everything that comes your way. There is no support available to you.

This is why networking and connecting to people with similar interests is so important. Not only can this group of people help you decompress after a difficult day, but they can also help take some of that daily load from your shoulders so you don’t feel like you must do everything.

We were not meant to deal with burnout all alone, but there will always be time that burnout strikes when no one else is around. How do you cope with these moments? I’d love to hear your story.

Meditation Can Bring Joy and Contentment to Your Life

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Ever have that “overwhelmed” feeling from the moment you wake up?

In today’s world, it is easy to feel like you aren’t smart enough. Or good enough. Or beautiful enough. Dreams are meant to be chased, but only by those who qualify for the chasing.

With meditation, you can transform your life into whatever you want it to be. No matter what your story is, meditation doesn’t discriminate. You are smart enough. You are good enough. Your beauty on the inside and out is always present.

If you’re ready to change how you see your reflection in the morning so you don’t always feel overwhelmed, here’s how you can make that change happen through meditation.

#1. You get to start your day on a positive note.

Some people spring out of bed before the alarm goes off. I’m not one of those people. I’ve replaced alarm clocks because I’ve broken the snooze button on them.

With meditation right away in the morning, you get to begin a day with positive energy. This is because you’re taking time to center yourself. Something as simple as stopping, breathing deeply, and focusing on something which doesn’t cause worry can really change your entire day.

Life can seem like it’s out of control sometimes. Morning meditation helps me wrestle back that control.

#2. You can become more energetic.

If you think that meditation makes you sit in a specific position or hum something you have no idea what it means, then let’s explore an alternative.

There are literally hundreds of different types of meditation. Some people walk. Some like to meditate while they stay in bed. I know a fellow who meditates with the TV on in the background because he can’t focus well in a quiet environment.

Everyone is different. That means meditation which focuses on you can improve your energy.

#3. You will notice an uptick in your confidence.

I found success when I found my confidence. It was difficult for me to find my confidence until I found meditation.

When you meditate, there’s a certain authenticity about the experience that cannot be duplicated. There’s no need to pretend to be something you are not. In that moment, it’s all about you.

The realization that what you can do and who you are is enough is a profound experience that supports you through even the toughest of days.

#4. You will feel less anxious.

“Good job, you stupid idiot.”

Negative self-talk is incredibly destructive. Many times it is our own inner voice that is our own worst enemy. This negativity comes from a feeling of anxiousness or fear. It’s literally part of our fight or flight mechanism.

With meditation, you can access the mental tools necessary to deal with the triggers that cause this negative emotion. A few deep breaths will naturally calm the tense nerves while the mind shifts the focus off of the emotional reaction to the fear.

Then, even if you do make a mistake, meditation helps you to say, “Let’s try this again,” instead.

#5. You get to know yourself better.

We all hide things from ourselves.

There are difficult memories. Poor choices. Moments we’d long to forget. Meditation helps us to stop forgetting these things. It transforms these difficult times so we can see how they have shaped us. Helped us to become the people we are today.

It’s not always easy to get to know yourself better. I still have moments I’d like to forget. But now I can use those moments to my own daily advantage.

How do you cope with a difficult day? What have been your experiences with meditation? I’d love to hear how you self-manage difficult circumstances.

Simple Routines that Make Life Better

 

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On a recent trip to the Pacific Northwest, I discovered the real definition of what it means to slow life down. There were fewer deadlines, less overall hustle and bustle, and an emphasis on enjoying what the day gave you.

Even in the rain, there were people strolling to the beach with their dogs. Kids were building sandcastles. Life for them seemed like a vacation.

And that’s when I realized that some simple routine changes in my life could create a “personal Island Time” of my own. Here’s what I decided to do.

#1. Consciously choose to step outside of the material world.

Money does buy happiness. For a short period of time, anyway. Maybe being wealthy can increase that amount of time. At the end of the day, however, it is our relationships and experiences that provide true happiness.

So focus on what really matters to you. Make time for the people you care about every day. Have dinner with your family with the TV off. Go shopping together. Take a walk together. Find your own beach and enjoy it, whether it’s raining or sunny, and make time to build sandcastles.

#2. Take personal control of inner being.

Finding time to make meditation a habit will also be extremely beneficial. When you’re in control of yourself, then it feels like you can be in more control of the world around you.

With that control, it becomes easier to set meaningful priorities. Watching a sunset until it’s over feels a lot better than rushing from personal deadline to deadline. Time will always want to have control over you. Be willing to explore a different approach.

Just 10 minutes of meditation per day can make a real difference. My personal preference is for 20-30 minutes each day, but even 5 minutes is better than nothing.

#3. Decide to keep it going.

If you’re anything like me, then you’re willing to let Island Time be available on weekends, holidays, and vacations right now. Once you experience a better routine, you must make a conscious decision to keep it going.

There may be some rebellion experienced when you slow life down, especially if everyone around you is operating at a hectic pace. They may want you to speed up because it is more convenient for them.

Sometimes you must do what is best for you and your family. Just don’t compromise away the benefits of a better life because you’re trying to please others. Sometimes you have to be Priority #1.

#4. Do something kind for a random stranger every day.

Kindness is something that makes a lasting impact on you, the individual(s) involved, and the people who happen to see an act of kindness performed. It gives us all hope for humanity.

So I’ve decided to incorporate at least one random act of kindness every day into my daily routine. It can be something small, like picking up trash in the park. It might also mean serving at the local soup kitchen on a Saturday. Or volunteering at the local food bank. Or spending an afternoon at the nursing home, talking to people who may have not had a visitor in years.

Be kind every day. Do it in your own way. And life will seem much better because of it.

When life feels like it is out of control, it’s usually because you’re staring at your own reflection. Take back control with these simple routines that make life better. In doing so, you’ll be able to find your own Island Time.

How do you slow life down when it seems to get too busy? I’d love to hear more about your own routines and how you discovered they could be so helpful.

What Could You Do with Better Willpower?

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Willpower. It’s something we often want more of every day. What if I told you that you already had all the willpower you need?

You don’t need more. You need it to be better. Stronger. More adaptable.

Willpower is much like a muscle. If you get some exercise on a regular basis and do some strength training here and there, then it will be healthy. You could do strength training every day with your willpower and have it be incredibly strong.

Or you could do nothing and watch your willpower wither away.

I’ve found that the best exercise for willpower just happens to be meditation. Although the benefits are numerous, here are the most common benefits that virtually everyone will experience.

#1. Meditation lets you focus outside of the addiction. Today’s society has an addiction: immediate gratification. We want things now, not later, because we think it will make us happy right now. Maybe it does. Maybe it doesn’t. But then we have to keep repeating the need to get something because that is what is making us happy. With meditation, I’ve found it is a lot easier to separate the ideas of “wants” from “needs.”

You “want” a 50-inch television. You “need” bread in your pantry. Meditation gives us all the power to recognize the difference.

#2. Meditation activates the same brain centers. When was the last time you avoided a temptation? Let’s say you decided to not order dessert as an example. The same portion of your brain that is activated by the decision to avoid temptation will also activate when you meditate.

#3. Meditation helps people to feel good. When we buy stuff, take drugs, or do plenty of other things that cause addictions, the brain releases endorphins and dopamine. It’s what helps us feel “good” when we’re making decisions that may not be so good. Meditation does the same thing, but in a healthy way. It allows you to reduce the stress response in the body, which is called cortisol.

Higher levels of cortisol equate to lower levels of willpower. And vice-versa.

#4. Meditation helps to eliminate anxiety. When you don’t get the right amount of sleep at night, what’s the first thought that goes through your head? For me, it is some version of this: How will I ever make it through this day?

That question is a representation of anxiety. I’m worried about not being able to stay awake. This causes decisions to be made based off of physical and mental urges or cravings more often. I might drink 1-2 cups more coffee. I might eat a triple cheeseburger. I might think a couple of energy drinks seem like a viable option.

Meditation lets me know that those options aren’t as good as the urge might seem. This is because it can eliminate the anxiety so that the focus can be on the willpower instead of the want.

There are many ways to embrace meditation. Music, natural sounds, quiet rooms, showers, while lying in bed in the morning – meditation works because it can be done almost everywhere. That also means you have numerous opportunities to exercise your willpower every day.

Get strong. Stay strong. Focus on quality, not quantity, and you’ll feel your willpower improve.

How do you exercise your willpower? I’d love to hear about the ways you keep your own willpower strong.

How Mindfulness Can Rejuvenate Your Career

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Everyone has a bad day or two. But maybe you’re stuck in a bad month or two. Or maybe it’s been a year or two. These things happen.

Mindfulness isn’t a magic pill you can take to fix everything. It is a form of meditation that can help you gain more control over your thinking. This is important for those times when you’re stuck in a rut because thinking leads to feelings. Feelings lead to choices. Choices lead to actions.

If you try to stop a poor action by making a different choice, but do not address the thinking and feeling behind the choice in the first place, then your odds of success will be quite low. Mindfulness can be used to address those thoughts and feelings so that your career choices can be better.

This is why mindfulness can make a bad day better. It can even rejuvenate your entire career.

Why Is Mindfulness So Popular in Today’s Workplace?

There are many reasons why mindfulness meditation has become popular in today’s workplace, but the top reason is that it provides a retreat for the busy professional. By scheduling in time for mindfulness, you’re really scheduling time for yourself.

When was the last time you had 30 minutes without an interruption? Without your phone, computer, or TV? Where you could just sit in silence and not need to worry about what is next on your schedule?

It doesn’t happen often. Since almost 3 of every 4 dollars in the US is spent on stress-related expenses, it needs to happen more. We’re literally working ourselves to death. That’s why mindfulness is being embraced by many companies today.

It’s not about making people more productive. It’s about saving people so they can actually have a career.

How Come Thoughts and Feelings Need to Be Addressed?

We could talk about how mindfulness improves your focus or boost your creativity, but the real benefit comes with an improvement in your emotional intelligence. This is how you manage your behavior, both personally and with others. When you know how you are thinking and feeling, then you can make a better choice to take a more effective action.

If you didn’t get a lot of sleep last night, you probably reach for the coffee pot first, right? Or maybe it is an energy drink. I tend to crave waffles in these circumstances. Our choices are not the same as they would be with 7-8 hours of sleep because our thought patterns are affected by fatigue.

The same principle is found in the modern workplace. People are fatigued at work. They feel burned-out.

What mindfulness meditation is able to do is help you and I be able to recognize this fatigue, identify problematic thoughts that may be generated because of being tired, and then stop those thoughts from becoming feelings that we all act upon.

I’ve found that mindfulness has helped me get through the toughest days at work because it gives me a better perspective of life. Work is important, but so are the personal moments with family and friends.

Have you tried mindfulness meditation to deal with the stress in your career? Has it helped you be able to save your job? Your career? I’d love to hear your story!

How to Meditate When You Hate Meditation

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The benefits of meditation have been proven repeatedly. Yet for so many people, the idea of actually meditating is one that they hate.

I know I had this love/hate relationship with meditation when I first began to practice it. I loved the idea of what it could do for me. I hated the fact that it made me sit still. It seemed like such a waste of time.

As the days and weeks passed, however, I began to discover that there were other ways to bring meditation into my life so that I wasn’t forced to find a quiet place to sit somewhere and feel like I was doing nothing. It has helped me to hate meditation less, love it more, and I’m feeling better because of it.

So here’s how you can meditate if you hate meditation like I once did.

#1. Incorporate meditation into your current routine. What I finally decided to do one day was meditate while taking a shower. I bleached the shower floor first [who wants athlete’s foot on your posterior?], then plunked myself down until the water turned cold. It was an amazing experience! That’s when I realized that meditation could happen while taking a walk, while eating breakfast, or even while washing dishes. Being more mindful can happen at any time and in any location, so try to incorporate meditation into your current routine.

#2. Meditate on a single point that’s actually interesting. Like many, my first attempt at meditation was to stare at a lit candle. That was the most boring experience of my entire life – and I once had a 17-hour layover in Buffalo, NY without any cash to my name. So then I began to think. If I just need to focus on a single point of something to meditate, could it be anything? I focused on poetry the next time because I love Hemingway. It was much more rewarding. You could focus on prayer, scriptures, music – anything that is important to you. This makes meditation a lot easier.

#3. Nothing happens during or after a meditation session. I don’t know what I was expecting. Maybe magical unicorns spraying tension removal dust on my brain while singing songs about rainbows. When I first started meditating, I expected real, tangible, and immediate outcomes. Instead I didn’t experience anything. Over time, I’ve learned that a wandering mind while meditating can be a good thing. Sure – come back to your focus. But also let your mind wander. That was you always feel like you’ve been productive while meditating.

#4. It’s always a to-do list while meditating. I still have this problem from time to time. My mind wanders to the chores in the house that need to get done. Or my project at work that has a tight deadline. As I generate a mental to-do list, my chest fills with that all-too-common feeling of worry. Instead of taking a deep breath and trying to let that list go, finish it. Otherwise your focus will be on the list during your meditation instead of your single point of focus. Once finished, then you can set it aside.

#5. Find your own starting point. Sometimes you just have to staple your pants to the ground and begin to meditate. Throw on some music if you wish. Sit in a beanbag chair. Do whatever it takes to create a comfortable environment that makes you want to meditate. Even if that means the only place you meditate is in the shower every day.

What struggles have you encountered when trying to meditate? How did you overcome those challenges? I’d love to hear your ideas!

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