How many times have you heard that you should meditate for at least 20 minutes per day? And how many times have you laughed at that?
I’m often reminded of the old saying about meditation that goes something like this. “You should meditate for 20 minutes each day, unless you feel you’re too busy. Then you should meditate for an hour.”
Although we all live busy lives in our own way, we can find time to meditate. Here are some of the methods I’ve used to make sure I find my 20 minutes per day.
#1. Become a morning person.
I’ve found that the best time of day for me to meditate is in the morning. I’m not a morning person, but I could never really find time at the end of the day to squeeze in some meditation. By making sure that I meditate right away every morning, it gets done. Worst case scenario: you set the alarm clock for 20 minutes earlier.
That’s doable, right?
#2. Keep a timer.
When I first started to meditate in the morning, the first thing my mind would always think about was, “How long do I have to be meditating. I have things to do!”
So I started to set a timer. That relieved my mind of the “burden” of reminding me how much time I might have left to meditate. In return, it made the process of finding my focus faster and easier, making my meditation time more rewarding.
#3. Don’t feel bad if you think about your to-do list.
Ever been told that your mind should be blank? That you must always focus on one point only? And then what happens when you start to think about what needs to get done during the rest of the day?
You feel bad. I know that I sure did.
I’ve learned over time that my mind likes to wander a little. I’ll think about the tasks or chores that need to get done. This is okay as long as I acknowledge them and then let them drift away. If I refuse to acknowledge a thought, it becomes a screaming menace that will not be ignored.
#4. Deep breathing will be your best friend.
Even on the days when I really can’t find a good focus during meditation, I feel better if I’ve been able to do some deep breathing. If your thoughts stay focused on your to-do list and won’t let go, then just breathe deeply for as long as you can. There’s a good chance that you’ll get back into the rhythms of meditation.
If not, you’ll still feel better afterwards.
#5. Be forgiving of yourself.
Mistakes are going to be made. I had many days where I felt terrible because I tried to meditate and it didn’t feel like I accomplished anything. Or there were days when I didn’t hear my alarm and I had to power through my morning routine just to make it to work.
As with any new habit, there will be hiccups along the way. Forgive yourself if a mistake is made and just try again the next day.
When you stick to it, meditation can happen even when the days seem super busy. Follow these steps and you may just be able to successfully meditate.
How do you make sure to fit in some meditation time when you get busy? What tips have worked the best for you?