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?