6 ridiculously simple ways to boost your meditation practice & feel happier all day long
I was wrong. I was so very, very wrong when I said in an earlier blog post that I could quiet my mind and access my deep emotions by doing everyday tasks like household chores.
I thought I was right. But now that I'm meditating every morning now – and absolutely LOVING my meditation practice – I see that I wasn't tapping into all the amazing benefits that meditation provides.
Because, you see, being mindful is simply NOT as fabulously awesome as meditating is.
By adding just five minutes of meditation each morning, I feel happier throughout the day (and I'm already a pretty darn happy person). I feel like I have an extra skip in my step. I feel lighter. Less frustrated. I sing more often (badly, but that's never stopped me). I spontaneously dance more often.
I’m more patient and understanding.
I have more energy.
I feel LOVE flowing through me all day.
And I feel so much more connected to my own soul. I hear what she needs. I feel. I explore. I expand. I open myself up to wonderful miracles.
If you haven't meditated before, check out my earlier post to learn how to incorporate more mindfulness throughout your day. But if you're ready to jump in, here are my tips for boosting your meditation practice or starting a new one.
How to boost your meditation practice
1. Actually want to meditate. Don't start meditating because all the spiritual gurus you follow praise meditation. If you're not ready (like I wasn't for years), I can promise the whole venture will flop very quickly. So really know why you want to meditate – that's what will drive you to dedicate the time it takes to meditate (even if for just 5 minutes).
2. Find a mantra that matches where you are. Don't start off by repeating some statement that's about hearing other spirits' messages or chanting some Sanskrit words if you've never meditated before or you're still a newbie. Instead, start with a mantra that's totally relevant to you now. So if you're wanting to find your ideal partner, create a meditation mantra like "I am attracting my ideal partner" or if you're wanting to repair a broken relationship, you could say "My relationship with [name] is healing." By making your mantra super specific to YOU, you'll be more likely to enjoy your meditation.
3. Meditate in the morning. Although there's nothing wrong with meditating in the afternoon or evening, you're much more likely to actually meditate if you start in the morning. Otherwise, other to-dos and tasks fill up your plate and the 5-minute mediation you planned gets squeezed right out of your day. Plus, meditating in the morning means you reap all the benefits of meditation all day long (like I described above). So set your alarm a little earlier each morning and sit down and get quiet before you officially start your day.
4. Don't beat yourself up if you don't start right away or if you miss a day. The best lessons are learned when you're gentle with yourself. It doesn't make you feel good to berate yourself. So don't do it. Instead, acknowledge that you haven't started or that you skipped a meditation. Thenm lovingly tell yourself "I will try again tomorrow" and actually follow through. Building a solid meditation practice is about taking baby steps. Simply meditating for one minute is a major win that you should feel proud of. Congratulate yourself for your efforts.
5. Keep going especially when you feel anxiety or shallow breaths creeping in. When I first started meditating on a regular basis, I felt shallower breaths and butterflies in my stomach (usually the first indicator that I'm anxious) just a few minutes into my new routine. My body wanted to run. It wanted to cut the meditation short and do anything beside let my mind be open. But I resisted the urge, and I recommend you do too. If your body responds like mine did, it's just fighting against something new, unfamiliar, and uncomfortable. Instead, recognize that you’re feeling anxious and then take a few deeper breaths. Be willing to sit with those uneasy feelings, even if you only continue meditating for one minute past them, you've done well.
6. Usher unwanted, random thoughts out of your mind. Meditation isn't about having no thoughts at all. It's about being mindful of your thoughts and choosing which ones to focus on. So when those random thoughts and ideas stream in (as they inevitably do), acknowledge them, thank them for their presence, and usher them out of your mind. I actually visualize these unwanted thoughts like a person who I pat on the back, say thank you to, and put in a car that drives off into the sunset. Then I return my attention to my breathing or whatever mantra I'm working with that day.
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