Hello and welcome to Motivation and Mindset Mondays! Today, let’s talk about mediation and try to establish a daily habit for a more fulfilling life.
Meditation is an outstanding habit to add to your daily routine. Not only does it relax you, but it helps with nearly every other part of your life as well. Your focus will improve. Your appreciation for all the positive things in your life will increase. You’ll get more done. You’ll sleep better. The list of beneficial effects is practically endless.
There are many forms of meditation. Rather than tracking down the perfect method, we’re going to focus on simply making meditation a daily habit. In a month you’re life could be vastly different!
Follow these strategies to make it easy to incorporate daily meditation into your life:
The perfect way to fail is to start trying to meditate for 60 minutes. Meditation is a lot of exercise for your mind. Start with 5 minutes or less.
2. Have a schedule.
The schedule doesn’t have to be set in stone. Something more general like during lunch, or in bed after you wake up is fine. Pick a time and stick to it.
3. Find a good spot.
You’ll need to find a time and place that are conducive to being able to concentrate. Quietness and solitude help but aren’t required.
4. Sit down.
You don’t need a special position, clothes, pillow, or anything else. What’s important is that you can sit comfortably without having to move throughout the meditation. A chair or bench is fine. You might even find it helpful to sit on the floor with your back against the wall.
5. Progress slowly.
Three minutes a day is great. You can do five minutes next week. You’re not trying to prove to yourself that you can do it for 30 minutes; you’re trying to introduce meditation into your life in a way that will result in it becoming a daily habit. Take a month to six weeks to work up to 30 minutes.
6. Focus on your breathing.
While you’re sitting, simply focus on your breath and your breathing. Your eyes can be open or closed; it’s entirely up to you. Count your breaths and when you reach 10, start over again. See how long you can go before your mind wanders (and it will).
- When you catch yourself thinking about anything except your breath, simply return your attention back to your breath. It will be a struggle to maintain your focus at first, but your ability to do so will improve with time.
7. Do it every day.
The key to establishing positive habits is to do them daily. It won’t take long before your meditation habit is as much a part of your life as brushing your teeth.
You might be asking yourself what sitting down and counting your breaths will do for you. If you can learn to focus completely on your breathing, you can learn to focus on anything else, too.
Eventually, you’ll reach the point that when you’re working, you think about nothing but work; you’ll be much more effective and efficient at work. When you’re spending time with your family, you’ll be able to immerse yourself in the joy of being together. During dinner, you’ll think only about the dinner experience.
You essentially eliminate all stress from your life, because you’ll always be thinking about your present experience. You can only be stressed when thinking about the past or projecting into the future. Meditation allows you to live your life fully.
Start meditating today. You don’t need anything except a place to sit down and a few minutes of your time. But the benefits can last a lifetime!
I would love to give you a free resource sheet to support your quest for a healthy mindset. Click the button below to receive your gift.
I really wanted to talk about this topic today because I wanted to share some lifestyle-based strategies to improve your overall mindset and mental health, which in turn improves your life. You must do the internal work to improve your overall health. You can do this by learning what motivates you and working each day on improving your mindset. Your thoughts control your feelings, which controls your behavior. You can cultivate certain behaviors and practices that will not only enrich your life, but that you can pass on to your family, friends, and community, so that you can leave a legacy of health to your loved ones.
If you are familiar with my approach, I use lifestyle medicine as the first line of treatment, before medications, to treat lifestyle-related chronic diseases. Lifestyle-related chronic diseases include diabetes, hypertension, obesity, some cancers, just to name a few. Lifestyle modifications, such as stress reduction and mindfulness exercises, can help you feel better about yourself and your life. In certain cases, these approaches may even outperform pharmaceutical therapy. But I always tell my patients that conventional medications may be appropriate at this time to prevent catastrophic illness, but over time, you can work to make the necessary lifestyle changes to possibly reduce and/or eliminate medications. Please remember to always consult your physician for your particular needs and circumstances prior to making any decisions whatsoever.
Tools For Motivation And Mindset
Although you don’t need a cushion to meditate, you may want to consider using one at some point. You could meditate in a chair, or simply sit on the floor if you want. You can also use pillows or cushions from your furnishings to try out. Cushion, chair, bench, floor – it’s all good. Eventually, though, if you’re not sitting upright on a chair, you’ll probably do well to buy a dedicated meditation cushion. The cushion will support your sitting posture and help you create an appealing mindfulness corner that will encourage you to practice every day. I recommend this meditation cushion and mat bundle.
If you struggle with stress, depression, or anxiety, keeping a journal can be a great idea. Even if you don’t have these conditions, journaling can enhance your life in many ways. Having difficulty processing your thoughts and emotions? Journaling can help clear that mental clutter and move towards a positive mindset. Research suggests that keeping a journal can have positive impacts on both mental and physical health. So, to start you on your journey, I recommend this self care journal.
Remember, living a healthy lifestyle including eating a whole foods plant-based diet, regular physical activity, meditation and mindfulness, as well as healthy and supportive relationships are the best ways to support mental health. Please talk with your doctor about any complementary health approaches, including supplements, you use. Let me know what you think in the comment section below.
PS. I am always asked what tools and resources I recommend to help you reach YOUR health goals. Here is the ever-growing, always updated list for you.
PPS. If you or someone you know is experiencing severe stress, anxiety, depression and/or other mental health issues, please contact SAMHSA’s National Helpline, 1-800-662-HELP (4357), (also known as the Treatment Referral Routing Service) or TTY: 1-800-487-4889. This is a confidential, free, 24-hour-a-day, 365-day-a-year, information service, in English and Spanish, for individuals and family members facing mental and/or substance use disorders. This service provides referrals to local treatment facilities, support groups, and community-based organizations. Callers can also order free publications and other information.
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