How To Meditate When the World Says No

Meditation Rock 

If someone said it only took 10-20 minutes per day to improve everything from memory to the functionality of your immune system and you could do it for free, most people would be skeptical about the claim. Yet that’s exactly what meditation can provide.

This ancient spiritual practice is seeing a resurgence across multiple sectors of society because of the many benefits it can provide. It’s not a religion. It’s simply a new way of looking at the world, at yourself, and finding ways to manage life better.

Many may be trying meditation, but not everyone is succeeding at it. I’ve been there myself. In the early days of my practice, back when double cheeseburgers were my main dinner priority, I couldn’t even sit still for 5 minutes. Try to focus my thoughts? Please. The moment my mind didn’t have to deal with all the issues the world was throwing at it became the moment that random thoughts began flooding my head.

I wonder who is going to get promoted next week.

What will my life be like next month? Next year? In 10 years?

Is that the smell of a double cheeseburger in the air?

The struggles are very real and dismissing them does no one any good. When the world says it is impossible to meditate, I offer you these three ideas to help you fight back.

#1. Redefine What Success Means

Like many people these days, I expected instant success. If I decided to start meditation, then I’d be a master at it instantly. Except it didn’t happen that way. I wanted something specific from meditation and it offered me something else, so I thought I was a failure.

I’ve spoken to many people who have had a similar experience. Clarity can happen during meditation – sure it can. In the early days, what is more likely to happen is a series of thought observations and solitude. There’s nothing wrong with that.

As long as you are working toward moments of clarity, you are creating a successful meditation time. See your thoughts. See your feelings. Begin to let them come and go.

#2. Redefine Your Atmosphere

I used to go all-out in creating a meditation atmosphere for myself. There was incense burning, fancy yoga outfits being worn, and let’s not forget about the mantras. Then there was the perfect lotus position, the ultra-quiet surroundings, and a memory foam cushion for maximum sitting comfort.

And it didn’t work.

There are many meditation techniques out there, but all of them follow 3 basics: be comfortable, be observational, and be accepting.

You can meditate at the beach. You can meditate at the library. You can park your car in a rest area and meditate in the parking spot. As long as you are willing to accept the experience, avoid judging how your experiences are different than others, and just focus your mind toward the end goal, you’ll find that many places offer the right atmosphere for meditation.

With or without the incense.

#3. Redefine the Commitment

I couldn’t meditate for 10 minutes when I first started my efforts at meditation. It made me feel like a failure when I couldn’t make it that long because everyone was telling me that I need to achieve that time goal. Only when I discovered the build-up process did my meditation times begin to improve.

Let’s say this is your first week meditating. Instead of 10-20 minutes, try shooting for 3-5 minutes. If you can go longer – great. If not, lower it down to two minutes. Sit quietly and work on focusing your mind throughout that time.

Then, as you become more comfortable with meditation, start increasing how much time you can meditate. This eliminates the guilt and regret that come from not making the time goals of experts and helps you begin to experience the benefits meditation can provide.

These are my methods to help start the meditation process. What are some of yours? I’d love to hear about your approach to meditating and what has worked for you.

7 Ways You Can Meditate Better Each and Every Day

meditation made easy

Meditation requires a commitment. How we commit to it depends on each of us. What works for me, for example, may be the worst idea you’ve ever heard of at the moment. That’s okay. Without a commitment, meditation will unfortunately fade away as an idea that just seemed good at the time. If you’re struggling with your meditation times, here are some of the ways that I was able to adjust my approach. Hopefully some of these will work for you as well.

#1. Do it first. If you make time for meditation first, then the rest of the day just seems to fall into place. I know when I wasn’t making time to meditate be the first thing on my to-do list, there never really seemed like any time to do it.

#2. Keep it simple. I like to meditate in the same place each day whenever possible. If not, then I look for a place that is as close to my regular environment as possible. When you can establish a habit that involves the same time and the same place, that’s a recipe for meditation success.

#3. Make it something to which you can relate. I know when I first started meditating, I’d sit there for minutes on end, wondering what I was doing. Can you believe people actually do this stuff and think it’s awesome? And then one day, I compared meditation to watching a movie. The goal may be to receive entertainment, but there are deeper levels of joy that can come from the experience – like spending time with a loved one. That helped me to see how meditation could be thought of on multiple levels as well.

#4. Forgive yourself. If you miss a meditation time, it’s cool. No big deal. Don’t be your own worst critic. Just knuckle down and make meditation happen the next day. Otherwise I’ve discovered the temptation to begin skipping meditation becomes more difficult to ignore.

#5. Allow some flexibility when it makes sense. Your plans for a day can go in a different direction from the moment the alarm clock sounds. The kids begin screaming. The cat figured out how to get into the cereal cabinet the night before. Your boss calls and says they need you to attend an emergency meeting. Life happens. Put meditation into your schedule when you can during these moments. If it doesn’t happen, then try again the next day.

#6. Remind yourself of success. There are many positive attributes to meditation, from emotional stability to enhanced well-being. When you feel a little down, it can be easy sometimes to blame a bad meditation session. During the moments, remind yourself of those great benefits you’ve experienced in the past to make it through this difficult time.

#7. Be realistic. When I first started meditating, it’s almost like I expected rainbows and unicorns to celebrate my accomplishment. I wanted to feel awesome and I wanted that feeling right now. Except it didn’t happen. I felt disappointed. Was meditation really what it was cracked up to be? Over time, I did start experiencing what everyone else talked about, but it wasn’t immediate. Be realistic with your expectations. Give it time. Good stuff is going to happen.

How do you manage your meditation time? I’d love to hear some of the tips and tricks that you use to maintain your center on a regular basis.

5 Minute Meditation Practices That Change Everything

MeditationonBeach

There are a number of benefits that come with a regular time of meditation every day. The only problem is that getting started can feel pretty intimidating. I’ve been there. I used to think meditation was this far-off concept that could never be obtained, so I didn’t bother to try for the longest time.

What finally got me started was the idea that I didn’t have to meditate for 20-30 minutes to experience some of the benefits that meditation can provide. Just 5 minutes is enough to begin experiencing the wonders of what it can do. And who doesn’t have 5 minutes that can be set aside? Even 5 minutes in the bathtub can be a place for meditation.

So here is how I started my meditation habit and it has grown from there. If you’re at the beginning of your journey, then I encourage you to follow these steps to get your 5 minute meditation practice started right away.

#1. Set a specific time each day. Then set a 5 minute timer so you can stop worrying about how long you’ve actually been meditating.

#2. Allow yourself the privilege of relaxing. Close your eyes and shut out the world. Take some deep breaths. Feel your muscles begin to release their stored-up tension.

#3. Focus on a single point. This is where many people, including myself, get tripped up at first. The idea isn’t to clear your mind of all thoughts. It’s to focus on a single point and stay there in that moment. It can be a simple thought. It can be an experience. It can be a point of light or a specific sound. It must be something that is comfortable, but also easy to access so you can find your focus each day.

#4. Get into a comfortable position. If your leg fell asleep, it’s okay to move around a bit to become comfortable. Scratch the itch that happens. Find a way to be that is comfortable for you and then stick with that position – even if it’s a non-traditional meditation position. Some of the best meditation sessions I’ve had are me just lying down on the floor and closing my eyes.

#5. Control your environment. Sometimes there can be a lot of distractions around you which can be difficult to drown out. In those moments, I like to use some meditation music to help me focus. Aromatherapy can also be helpful, especially if the distractions are creating stress for you.

#6. Keep going if you can. 5 minutes is a great start. If you’re feeling good and you can spare the time, try to extend your meditation to 7 minutes. Or 10 minutes. Or 20 minutes. Whatever you feel comfortable doing. I would strongly encourage you to push yourself a little every day so that you can keep pushing yourself to be a little bit better each day.

Meditation doesn’t have to fit into some specific template to be successful. I started to get more out of meditation when I began putting my personal twists on how I practiced it and the same can be true for you. Give yourself 5 minutes each day, follow these steps, and you might just find the benefits of regular meditation are waiting for you.

Have you struggled to meditate successfully in the past? What helped you be able to overcome those difficulties?

Common Meditation Myths That Must Be Debunked

meditation-609235_1280

I’ve lost count of the number of times someone has come to me and said they can’t meditate because they aren’t doing it right. Sometimes it is because they feel like they can’t spend enough time meditating or aren’t sitting in the correct position. At other times, the issue is the perceived lack of results that happens after meditation.

Unfortunately this happens because there are a number of meditation myths that are believed as fact. Let’s get them debunked today.

MYTH: For meditation to be successful, you must have a clear mind.

Fact: Clarity is something that should be striven toward, absolutely, but you are not a failure if you fail to achieve a quiet mind. The goal of meditation is to recognize your thoughts and feelings and to be able to identify them. Clarity cannot happen if there is no contemplation during the effort to achieve it. Look at your thoughts, contemplate them, and then let them go and I think you’ll find it will be easier to achieve clarity more often.

MYTH: There is a right way to do meditation.

Fact: There is your way to do meditation. Meditation is a personal experience instead of an exact science. There’s no special position, movement, mantra, or time that will help you to meditate. There’s only what you need and how you need it. I’ve heard of people who boot up Netflix to run a favorite TV show because it helps them to meditate. I’ve heard of people who meditate in the shower because that’s the only place their kids will leave them alone for enough time. Do what works for you and I think you will see better results.

MYTH: Perfect posture creates perfect results.

Fact: Comfort is more important than posture. How can someone hold a perfect lotus position if they have a back injury which limits their movement? Or a knee problem which makes it painful to sit in a lotus position? Your feet are the roots of who you are and your head is the canopy. Although it is beneficial to sit with good posture, it is more important to make whatever effort your body is able to make. Straighten your back, roll your shoulders, get comfortable, and I know you’ll be encouraged to meditate more often.

MYTH: You must sit completely still.

Fact: I think we’re all a little ADHD down at our core. The idea that complete stillness is required for meditation is borderline ridiculous. You’re going to shake out the foot that falls asleep. You’re going to shift positions if your butt or lower back start to hurt. This isn’t a mental failure on your part. It’s you listening to what your body needs. That, I would argue, is what meditation is ultimately all about: actively listening. Focus on your breath, not your position, and I’m certain you’ll be pleased with your next meditation effort.

MYTH: You must meditate in complete silence.

Fact: Meditation is better when it’s in a designated place. For many people, complete silence isn’t reasonable. The kids will make noise, jets will fly overhead, and traffic is going to happen. Unless you get up at 3am, complete silence isn’t going to happen. So designate a spot, let your mind get used to the background noise, and it will eventually seem silent even though it may not be.

These common meditation myths have held many people back from their full potential. Don’t let them hold you back any more. How is your meditation time coming along? I’d love to hear about what works for you and how you’ve developed your own meditation space if you have the time to share.

Why Meditation Is Your #1 Must Have As an Entrepreneur

Businessman-Meditating

The need to stay focused has never been greater than it is today. I know when I’m online, I’ve generally got 6 tabs up on my internet browser, maybe some music playing, and the email chime going off on a regular basis. It’s nice to be so connected, but not so nice when I’m trying to meditate. As an entrepreneur, I need to have some “me” time to keep my sanity.

This is why I’ve really come to embrace meditation as my #1 “must have” item every day. It has provided me with numerous benefits that I believe have helped my bottom line.

#1. Meditation helps me think. I’ve lost count of the many times that someone has said meditation has helped them to be more creative. Creativity is needed for a start-up business, of course, but there are times when a good thinking session is also needed. There is a definite difference in my cognitive thoughts after I meditate when compared to the times when I might miss a meditation session or two. It helps me be able to think on my feet.

#2. Meditation gives me more energy. Before I embraced meditation, the first thought on my mind when I woke up was “caffeine.” It started with one cup of coffee during breakfast. Then it moved to three cups of coffee per day. Then I moved to energy drinks. Pretty soon, I found myself having two or three energy drinks per day. On a long day in Las Vegas during an entrepreneurial convention, I had 5 energy drinks and couldn’t sleep for 3 days. That’s when I knew something had to change.

Meditation was the answer. It helped me break my addiction to caffeine over a couple of weeks. Now I wake up, feel energized after meditating, and that lets me conquer whatever challenges may come my way.

#3. Meditation helps me sleep better. Maybe this is because it helped me to kick caffeine to the curb, but honestly I never did sleep very well before I started to meditate. Even as a kid, I’d be listening to my radio under my pillow for hours after everyone went to bed. Now I have a more consistent circadian rhythm where I can lie down, relax immediately, and fall asleep within minutes.

#4. Meditation helps my feelings of good health. I had an English professor back in college who liked to say this one phrase over and over: “Your health is what you decide it will be. If you decide that you are well, then you will be well. If you decide to be unwell, then you will feel like you are sick all of the time.”

That has really stuck with me over the years, but it never really made sense to me until I started meditating. During meditation, all of the stress triggers I face during the day disappear for awhile. There’s not as much anxiety, worry, or even anger – and trust me, if things don’t go my way, the first thing I feel is anger! Meditation has helped find moments of clarity, which then creates more stability throughout the day for me.

#5. Meditation helps me stay productive. Because I’m more focused, I can ignore the distractions that might be trying to get my attention so I can get my work done every day. There were times in the past where I couldn’t work for more than 5 minutes without needing to do something else. Now I’ll sit down to work and before I know it, 2-3 hours have passed and my output surprises even me.

There are many things that are important to have as an entrepreneur, but I believe meditation is the one “must have” part of your routine that must be there. Have you embraced meditation as an entrepreneur? I’d love to hear about what has happened to you since you started meditating on a regular basis.

4 Ways to Find Happiness In Chaos

productivity

It’s tough these days to find a place of contentment unless you’re truly seeking it out. Phones ring at all hours of the day. Facebook notifications draw us back toward the computer even when we’ve got other things we’d rather be doing. E-mail notifications at 2 am can ring, making it difficult to get back to sleep. In the midst of all this chaos, is it really possible to find a happy place where contentment reigns supreme?

It is possible if you are willing to make four potential changes in your life:

Find time to step away from it all. There’s only so much that your mind can take. It might be a sponge that can absorb a lot of data, but even a sponge can become overflow and leak out liquid! Find time to step back from all the distractions every day, even if it’s just for a few minutes, so you can find some peace from it all. You’d reset your computer when it begins to get errors, right? Take the time to restart your mind once and awhile too.

Find a place that you can breathe in some fresh air. There’s something that causes the air in my office to plug up my nose every day. If I’m in the office for too long, I start getting this creeping headache that sets in, right around the upper part of my sinuses. Add in the tension from a tough day and a full blown migraine isn’t out of the question! By finding fresh air and breathing it in deeply, the extra oxygen can literally recharge your system, much like you’d recharge your iPhone when the battery is low.

Don’t assume responsibility for everything. The reason why so many people begin to feel overwhelmed is because they try to do everything on their own. This on its own creates chaos, but when it becomes combined with all the other chaotic moments of a busy modern life, you can give yourself a hurricane force storm of chaos that is difficult to move through. Reach a hand out, grab a lifeline, and allow others to help you out. Have confidence in them, have faith in yourself, and take on only the things that you know you can handle every day.

Don’t forget to smile! What smiling does is it forces the mind to look at something in a different way. It’s not one of those ridiculous fake smiles that you see plastered on everyone’s stressed-out faces at the office I’m talking about here. No – a genuine smile that reflects the fact that there is a silver lining in even the darkest of clouds that could be drenching you right now, making you trudge through mud puddles!

If you are willing to make these 4 potential changes to your daily routine, then no matter how chaotic your environment may become, there will always be a tranquil place for you to go. Finding contentment in even the busiest of lives really is possible!

3 Scientific Benefits To Begin Meditating Today

Meditating man having checkup from doctor

Meditation is a buzzword that seems to be everywhere these days. There also seems to be an emphasis on mindfulness meditation. I’ve been encouraged by this push to increase one’s personal well-being, but there is a difference between meditating just to do it and meditating well.

You can’t just sit in a studio during a meditation session and expect to experience several physical and mental benefits because you’re there. It takes hard work, consistent practice, and a willingness to forgive yourself when you fail at it.

Trust me. I know. More than once I’ll catch myself going over the emails I need to get a reply sent on while meditating instead of focusing on my breath or some other single point of focus.

Yet if you can push through those initial struggles, I think you’ll find that these 3 scientifically proven benefits of meditation could be something that could change your life. Now here’s the best part: you really only need to meditate for 10 minutes per day to start seeing these benefits over time.

Do you have 10 minutes you could spare today? If so, these benefits could be yours.

#1. Meditation helps to stabilize your emotional mind.

There are some articles floating around the internet right now that advocate the practice of mindfulness meditation as a replacement for anti-depressants, anti-anxiety medication, other other mood stabilizers. Meditation is a good addition to a treatment plan, but it can’t solve every problem.

What you can expect from daily meditation is a reduction in anxiety attacks and a lessening of depression-related symptoms. Some people feel a complete withdrawal of these symptoms over time. Because mindfulness meditation forces you to be in this present moment at all times, there are fewer worries about the past or the future.

I’ve found this has really helped me to focus on what I can do today instead of worrying about what I didn’t do yesterday or what I might have to do tomorrow.

#2. Meditation helps to reduce “comfort” habits.

It’s easy to turn to food when you’re feeling down. It wasn’t that long ago that I’d turn to a bowl of cereal or a cookie or something to make myself feel better. Self-soothing is a very real necessity, especially in a world where we are all connected to one another almost constantly. Food gives us some quiet time, but it also can contribute to a larger waist line and other health issues if self-soothing eating becomes binge eating.

Meditation helps to reduce the need for self-soothing from other habits because it does the same thing. It’s tough in the first few days of mindfulness meditation because you must confront those negative feelings. When you do, there is a world of clarity awaiting you on the other side. It’s something so powerful that I really just can’t put the experience into words. You have to reach it yourself to understand.

#3. Meditation creates positivity.

I can say that I feel like I’m more consistently happy these days with my daily practice of . What’s nice about this benefit, however, is that it is always there. Even at the end of your first meditation session, you’ll experience a unique happiness that only mindfulness can provide.

As this joy expands, you’ll notice that it becomes easier to set negative thinking aside. There are fewer instances of negative self-talk that happen. Dare I say it – your frown gets turned upside down.

Putting meditation into practice can be difficult, especially in the first few days of starting. Give yourself plenty of space, budget 30 minutes if you can so you can put 10 minutes of meditation into practice, and then adapt or move as circumstances require. You cannot fail when it comes to meditation. You must simply practice.

Have you experienced the benefits of meditation in your life in some way? I’d love to hear about some of your experiences, both positive or negative, and what you learned from them.

7 Success Habits of Great Meditators

Learning how to meditate can be a rewarding experience. Meditation helps to reduce anxiety by teaching us to switch off from the worries that can plague us throughout the day. Meditation has the benefit of affecting your entire life, giving you the ability to better handle stressful emotions. Meditation allows us to be in tune with our inner self. When we live in the heart we can experience a sense of oneness with others, this brings a happiness that does not depend upon outer events.

Below are seven habits of successful meditators. Learning these seven habits will help your meditation practice to deepen and grow.

1. Make time.

Time should be set aside for your practice everyday. Twice a day (once in the morning and again in the evening) is preferred. Meditation can be done anytime, but it’s better to do it when arising and before that evening meal. Make a commitment to meditate at the same time each and everyday. After a while, your body will automatically want to meditate during those times. When you get into the habit of meditating everyday, it will be much easier for you to make progress in your practice. Developing a schedule not only helps to get you into a rhythm, but it also signals to the Universe your intent to meditate.

2. Pick a spot.

Equally as important as meditating the same time everyday is the need to meditate in the same place. If you plan to make meditation a part of your daily practice, you should have a meditation spot. Your meditation spot should be clean and uncluttered. The place you meditate should be quiet and free of distractions. It doesn’t matter where it is in your house, just as long as you are able find peace of mind there and can get access to it regularly. If you meditate in the same place every day it builds up a meditative atmosphere. When you sit down on that spot, your body will be ready for meditation. Your meditation place will develop a power of its own which will make it easier to meditate.

3. Be comfortable.

Meditation does not have to be an uncomfortable experience. You want to be comfortable, relaxed and focused when you meditate. While many people feel aches and pains when they sit cross-legged, with regular practice and stretching that discomfort can be completely alleviated for most people. Another option is to sit on a padded chair with a straight back. Since you want to clear your mind of all distractions when you meditate, you will need to find positions that are comfortable, yet not so comfortable that you might fall asleep. This is why you don’t want to meditate while lying down. Make sure the room temperature feels good. The room should not have extremely bright light since this can be distracting. The light in your room can affect your mood.

4. Learn to let go.

Meditation is the art of doing nothing. In today’s hectic, achievement-focused world we are almost always doing something. This “doing” mode is fueled by the belief that if only we did enough of the right things, had enough of the right experiences, earned enough money, or owned enough possessions we would be happy. As a result our minds are seldom, if ever, still. Instead we are busy fretting about what we should have done or said, planning what we should do or not do, say or not say, in the future, and worrying whether or not we will obtain the things and experiences we think we need to be happy. During meditation as the mind begins to settle down it discovers an inner calm and peace. The habitual mental chatter begins to fade away.

5. Sit with it.

After you finish your practice, give yourself at least 5 minutes in which to readjust to the normal world. Allow yourself the opportunity to begin to integrate the material that came into consciousness. Just sit and be still. Be in the present moment. If you start to think a lot of thoughts and become very active, you can prevent some of the meditative awareness from coming into your mind. You should not jump up from your meditation spot and run to your computer to check your email or the news. This is time for yourself to soak up the meditation experience you just had. While not all thoughts and feelings are going to be rosy when meditating, it’s important to not judge or criticize your experience. There is no bad meditation.

6. Be patient.

Patience is one of the key ingredients in meditation. There will be days when it seems like we are not making any progress in our practice. In times like these, it takes patience and perseverance to not quit and be discouraged. If we practice sincerely, we will progress. There is really no time factor. Be kind and gentle with yourself. Meditation takes time and patience. Don’t be in too big a hurry to get some kind of results. Learning how to meditate is a gradual process that takes time.

7. Enjoy it.

Meditation is taken very seriously by many people. Sure it should be held with a certain amount of reverence. However, it is also a source of great joy and lightness. A thing that can elevate the soul and spirit. Raise people up from dark spaces and bring them happiness again. Being able to take things lightly is a strong skill to have, one that can pay great dividends. By allowing yourself to enjoy a lighter element you can bring a strong and powerful source of energy into your life. Every time you allow yourself to feel joy you have a profound source of stress relief on tap. Opening up to joy can bring dimensions to life. Allow the wonder of life to flow through you and reconnect with the powerful forces that runs through the universe and bring the life that we are fortunate to be able to have.

9 Unexpected Benefits of Meditation

yoga-position

Many know about the common benefits of meditation. We’re talking stress reduction, better concentration, and higher levels of creativity which occur with repetitive practice. What many may not know about are these unexpected benefits that also come along for the ride.

#1. Meditation can boost your self-esteem. Negative self-talk happens to many without them even realizing that they’re doing it. Through meditation, even the most self-critical of people are able to reduce negative feelings toward themselves while increasing positive emotions.

#2. Your focus can improve as well. We’re going to define focus here as “information retention.” When meditating on a regular basis, the mind is more receptive to the information it is absorbing in the world around you. This helps you be able to recall this information when you may need to use it – like on a test at school.

#3. It changes the brain. There are several changes that happen in the brains of people who meditate frequently. Maybe the most exciting change is the slowing of the aging process. People who meditate regularly have thicker cortical walls in their brains compared to people who do not.

#4. Meditation can be an anti-depressant that also affects anxiety levels.  The practice of meditation has shown to be as effective as anti-depressant medication for those suffering from the signs and symptoms of depression. Anxiety can also be brought under control. Now the research into this benefit has only involved mindfulness meditation so far, but other forms may also bring about similar results.

#5. You feel more awake. Do you need to have some caffeine to get your body in gear for the morning routine? Are you at 1 cup, 3 cups, or more? Meditation has shown to help people be more alert during the day. This means your mind is actively engaged with the world around you as you go about the tasks of your day.

#6. It can help to manage adult ADHD. Notice that it doesn’t say “control” for this benefit. A highly personalized treatment plan is often necessary to help adults gain control over their core ADHD symptoms. For some with this attention disorder, the addition of meditation to their normal treatment plan was found to be beneficial in a reduction of core symptoms.

#7. Meditation helps with pain tolerance. It’s so effective, in fact, that some people who practice meditation frequently report feelings of complete relief, even when the pain has been chronic. Wake Forest Baptist University has studied the relationship between pain and meditation and found that with regular practice, pain can be reduced by up to 40%. Morphine, on the other hand, provides pain reduction levels of up to 25%.

#8. You give your immune system a boost. People who meditate frequently and regularly have been found to have higher levels of antibodies in their system compared to people who do not meditate at all. This is currently for those who practice mindfulness meditation, but there could be a similar benefit available for other meditation types as well.

#9. It can help you when you need to multitask. Every time you change a task during the day, you can lose up to 15 minutes of meaningful productivity. With meditation providing you with supports, you can reduce that down time to remain more consistent with your work, studying, or other chores.

These unexpected benefits of meditation begin to unlock the depths of what it really means to be human. You get to explore who you are, guard against the rigors of a bad day, and begin to create a level of positive consistency within your life. The good news? It only takes about 2 weeks of daily meditation to start seeing these benefits.

What unexpected benefits have you noticed that you attribute to meditation? I’d love to hear about your experiences and how meditation has helped you.

4 Easy Ways You Can Meditate Like a Pro

meditation mondays

You sit in your meditation spot, day after day, but clarity just keeps escaping you. No matter what you do, there’s a distraction that hampers your efforts. Maybe your legs begin to tingle. The old knee injury begins to ache again. There’s the smell of your favorite food hovering in the air.

I can sympathize with this problem. As much as I might try to seek clarity, if the smell of a cheeseburger is on the breeze, my mind and my stomach start having different thoughts. In the end, when I can’t find clarity, I feel more stressed out than I did before I started meditating.

For so long, this made me question my dedication. Why couldn’t I meditate like so many other people? Then I realized that maybe I needed to make some adjustments to what I was doing to improve each session. I hadn’t fallen out of love with meditation. I had simply evolved and my meditation practices needed to do so as well.

Here are the 4 steps that I took to correct that process so that the chances to achieve clarity could return.

#1. Create a New Space

Your needs may evolve when you evolve. The fact is that we all change a little bit every day. Who you are today isn’t the same person who you were yesterday. Now multiply this effect over 1 year, 5 years, or even more and you might be a whole different person. I discovered that the meditation space I had chosen for myself wasn’t meeting my needs any more. It made me uncomfortable and there were bothersome distractions that I didn’t remember there being before. So I created a new space to inject some new life into each session.

#2. Change Your Expectations

When you’ve been meditating for awhile, you kind of expect your mind and body to react in certain ways. When that reaction doesn’t take place, then it bothers you. I know that if I couldn’t find any clarity at all, I would focus on that issue for the rest of the day. I wanted to figure out the issue so I could fix it.

Then one day I realized something. I had developed a certain expectation for meditation that I didn’t have when I had first started. In the beginning, I had no expectation of a positive outcome. Now, here I was, becoming frustrated because I wasn’t getting the positive outcome that I wanted.

#3. Be Willing to Forgive

It’s easy to judge yourself harshly when you feel like you haven’t met your meditation goals. I’ve discovered that sometimes you must be willing to forgive yourself for those times where you feel you have failed. Sometimes you even have to be willing to stop forcing your meditation sessions and just go with what feels natural at that given moment. Sometimes 5 minutes of meditation that is genuine is better than 30 minutes of forced meditation time.

#4. Find Your Anchor

Whenever there is something that feels bothersome during your meditation session, it is important to have a reliable anchor that you can come back to use to center yourself. My breathing has always been pretty reliable for me. Some might like to focus on a point of light, like a candle. Whatever it is, give yourself a reminder to use it so that you can begin rebuilding your awareness.

Even when you make changes like these, I’ve found that to meditate like a pro, you’ve got to stick to your core routines. Allow your meditation to evolve with you, but keep it on the schedule every day and keep infusing familiar elements into your practice. In doing so, the changes may be quite profound.

Have you worked to evolve your meditation sessions? I’d love to hear some of the ideas you’ve used to evolve your regular meditation practices into something even more beneficial.

Page 1 of 48
1 2 3 48