In real life, I never met anyone that meditates on a daily basis. Some friends of mine who practice mindfulness have quit meditating after a few times. When I asked them why they quit, what has been stopping them, I always got similar answers: “I don’t have time.” or “I simply forgot.”
For me, meditation has been a game changer for my life. I am able to retrieve the peace and focus I need thanks to it. But even I sometimes would find it hard to devote 10 minutes a day to meditate. Not that I don’t have time. I guess we can all make time for a 10-minute session. But there’s something holding us back.
I recently came across a post on Psychology Today from Dr.Seth Gillihan. In his article, he mentioned that our ego, our overly active mind “dies” temporarily when we meditate. That’s why it is going against your decision of putting it on hold.
I was blown away by this idea and I realize my mind is the one who’s going against me the whole time. It acts like a child who is so drawn to gaming and doesn’t want to go to bed (even if it’s just 10 minutes).
So how to keep motivated in meditation and break away from the resistance? Here are 6 tips (or tricks, if you like) that I tried and turned out to be helpful:
6 Tips To Be Consistent In Meditation
1. Find your reason
Our subconscious mind will not devote any time or energy to things that it regards as unnecessary. So I strongly encourage you to find the reason why you want to meditate. Dig deep. Repeat to yourself a couple times a day and hold on to that belief because it is what will carry you to go a long way.
2. Let go of rules and limits
Don’t force yourself to stay still for 5 minutes, 10 minutes or 30 minutes. Do it as long as you can. There’s no perfect duration for each practice and you don’t have to hold it longer than the last time. Just close your eyes, relax your mind and let your inner voice tell you what to do.
Meditation for me is like emptying the tank of thoughts, pour them all out, watch them flow around and not to care about them. So don’t let the clock be the only ball left in your tank.
3. Meditate at the same time every day
By doing so, you will gradually turn your meditative exercise into a habit. It’s much easier to keep the pace up when it’s a habit.
4. Be flexible
You may not have so much time meditating if you are on an extremely tight schedule or on a trip. But you can still do a mini-session on the way to work (only if you are not driving) when taking a bath or simply walking home.
I will always keep some tracks of meditation music on my phone that lasts about 4 to 5 minutes each. So whenever I have time, maybe a short break, I will put on my earphone and enjoy the zen and serenity.
5. Have a visible mantra
Or a quote, or your handwritten mindfulness goal. Stick it on your vision board or hang it on the wall. It provides some light for you to hold on to in the time of stress or mental fog.
It will become an instinct for your mind to calm down whenever you see the mantra. So it will be easier to break the strings and start meditation.
6. Keep your mind guessing
I approach meditative exercises the same way as I do for physical workouts. The more used you are to one particular training, the more bored you are. And we are more likely to quit when boredom kicks in. So switching things up every now and then will definite help to keep you excited and to go a long way in mindfulness practice.
So how about you? Have you been faced with the same challenges in the meditative process? How do you keep yourself motivated? Let me know in the comments!