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?