Did you know that only 1 out of every 10 Americans has meditated at least once in the last 12 months? It’s a practice that is pretty easy to ignore or forget about because of the busy lifestyles that so many people lead today. Who wants to take 20 minutes to sit on the floor and explore a quiet world when there is money to be made, movies to be watched, or video games to be played?
What we often don’t realize about the modern lifestyle is that we are distracting ourselves from what really matters. By watching movies or playing video games, we’re not coping with inner feelings that can be rather difficult at times. Those frustrating moments with the boss or a customer who treats you like a second-rate citizen: those difficult emotions need to be explored and understood so they can stop causing stress.
Meditation might seem like it is for those who have great patience, but it benefits the impatient people of this world more than anyone else. Here’s how you can get started right now.
#1. Schedule 10 minutes for yourself. Meditation doesn’t require hours of searching for inner peace. Just 10 minutes of deep breathing in a quiet room without the distractions of modern life can bring profound changes to your day. That’s right – you’ve got to say no to Facebook and your phone for a little while.
#2. Pick your favorite spot. You don’t have to sit on a hardwood floor in a cross-legged position in order to meditate. You can sack out on your sofa in quietness, close your eyes, and allow yourself to get comfortable. Our favorite spots are a natural relaxation point as it is, so your mind will automatically be inclined to want to start meditating.
#3. Follow the mental highway. An impatient mind is a mind that will begin to create lists, start plausible scenarios to examine, and begin to worry about what to make for dinner all at the same time when quiet comes along. Take a few moments and recognize where all this busyness originates and try to keep your mind on the task at hand – namely meditation. As you practice this, you’re also increasing your skill of concentration.
#4. Find a focus point. It can be very difficult to stay in the present when you first start to meditate. Picking a point of focus and then staying there can help you achieve a higher level of mindfulness that can only come from meditation. Even counting your breath or the ticks of the clock in the room can help you stay focused on the here and now.
#5. Allow yourself to be frustrated. Being impatient means you live in a perpetual state of frustration as it is, so meditation is not going to be any different. Allow yourself to be imperfect and encourage yourself to keep trying. You will plan a grocery list when you start meditating some days. You might focus on your boss and the 10 best ways to throttle that person when you see them. It’s natural.
When you make meditation part of your regular routine, even if just for 10 minutes, life tends to get a little easier, one step at a time. Start today and you might just be surprised at how quickly impatience can turn into mindfulness.