Many people know the benefits of meditation, but it still feels difficult to get started or to stay motivated in the practice.
Why is that?
In today’s blog, I share with you the 3 most common blocks to meditation and how you can overcome them. And if you feel like you are hitting one of these blocks, don’t worry, you are not the only one. You are not a failed meditator. It took me many years of trial and error to build up a daily meditation practice, and I’m still a beginner in meditation.
I hope that by demystifying what meditation is and breaking down some common misconceptions around this practice, that you can see that meditation can be fun, easy and practical.
So here are my take on the 3 common blocks to meditation:
There are many scientific-proven benefits of meditation. Here is a summary of benefits from “12 Science-Based Benefits of Meditation” from Healthline:
- Reduces stress
- Manages anxiety
- Promotes emotional health
- Enhances self-awareness
- Lengthens attention span
- Improves sleep
- Helps control pain
- Decreases blood pressure
- May help with addiction
- May reduce age-related memory loss
In my own personal world, meditation is my safe place where I can have time to just be by myself and my own thoughts. My meditation practice reminds me that I have this inner stillness within me, no matter what the outer circumstances are.
My meditation practice reminds me that I am not my thoughts, and that I have the power to change my reality.
My meditation practice reminds me that even though a lot of times I don’t know what to do, meditation is the one thing that I can fall back into in my life that completely nourishes me. Meditation is medicine for my soul.
I often tell people that whatever you want meditation to help you with, it can be done, whether it be more calm, peace, clarity, resilience, happiness or love.
So the question to ask yourself is “How do I want meditation to support me?” And use the answer to be your why – your intention for your practice that will help you keep going and stay motivated.
2. The HOW
Now that we have our why, many people may get tripped up by the how. There are so many types of meditations out there, and so many free resources that can be overwhelming at times.
So where CAN we get started?
If you have access to a group meditation class in where you live, it will be a great place to get started. You may find group meditation classes in meditation or yoga studios, wellness centers, and maybe even some spas or fitness gyms.
Online is also a great way to try out meditation. Below are some of my favorite online resources for meditation:
- Headspace app’s free meditations
- Gabby Bernstein’s free meditations
- Rebecca Campbell’s free meditations
- Colette Baron-Reid’s free meditations
- Museflower’s free meditations
Remember there are many different styles of meditations out there. If one style doesn’t resonate, please don’t give up just yet. Try another style next time and keep an open mind, as every experience will be different. You can refer to my blog “How to Engage Your Five Senses in Meditation” here for more ideas on different meditation.
Of course, another amazing way to try out meditation is through retreats. There are retreats like Museflower Retreat & Spa which offer a more flexible and relaxing program such as our Yoga Retreat Chiang Rai, or there are more full-on meditation retreats offered at temples or ashrams.
My recommendation is to stay with one style of practice once you find one that you like, and stick with it for at least 21 days. Slowly build it up and take baby steps. Start with 1 minute of meditation every day first, and then work your way up to 2 minutes. If you are a beginner in meditation, 5 to 10 minutes a day would be more than good enough to start with.
For more resources, feel free to check out my previous blogs on how to get started with meditation here:
3. The WHEN
A lot of us are busy in our daily lives, and it is hard to find time to meditate. It does take a bit of creativity and discipline at the beginning just to get started. But more importantly, if we can find a meditation style that is fun for us to do, we will want to find time to do it anyway.
If you find it hard to get motivated, I do recommend going to a retreat, so you can step out of your daily routine, get a change of scenery, and fully immerse in a new experience. After a retreat, we often will receive many new insights and inspirations that we can take home with, and feel more motivated to make changes in our daily life.
Going to a group meditation class regularly, whether it’s virtual or physical, can also help us stay motivated.
To me, the best time to meditate is anytime, as long as it fits into your schedule.
For myself, my meditation time is not the first thing in my morning, but rather after my kids finish breakfast and go off to school or to play. That’s when I have a gap before I start work (I do start work later in the morning usually around 10- 10.30am). On weekends when my kids are at home, the gap is shorter. Sometimes my 5-year-old will also join me in meditation (a very short one).
I know for some people, it is easier to find time to meditate before bedtime. Sometimes, it is waking up earlier than the rest of the family. Sometimes, it is during the commute to work. You know what time works best for you, so try it out. Experiment and find what works for you.
It is easier to remember when to meditate when we tag it with a daily habit that you already do, such as brushing your teeth, taking a shower, or drinking your cup of tea or coffee. In my case, I always do meditation after our family’s breakfast time, and the only exception is when we are traveling.
Find a time that works for your schedule, start small (just 1 minute), and then turn off all distractions (put your phone on do-not-disturb mode, airplane mode, or even completely off) to start your practice.
For more ideas on how to find time to meditate, check out my blog “6 Tips on How to Make Meditation Easy for Busy People” here.
There are so many resources to help us get started with meditation, but it all comes down to your why at the first place.
Get started with answering how you want meditation to help and support you first.
Then based on your learning and orientation style (make sure to check out my blog “How to Engage Your Five Senses in Meditation” here), explore different meditation techniques and see which ones you enjoy and resonate.
When you find a meditation practice that you like, stick with it for 21 days and see what happens. The benefits that you reap from your meditation then will help you stay motivated in building up a regular practice.
Enjoy your adventure in meditation!
Feel free to share with me here, I’d love to hear from you.
We all need some motivation boost from time to time, to get us out from the autopilot thinking and doing from our daily life, and there is no shame in asking for help.
Here are some of our offerings at Museflower that can help you to get started with meditation: