To get the most from your meditation practice, you need to commit to it. When you start meditating regularly, you can reap myriad benefits — from lower stress and cholesterol to higher levels of satisfaction and happiness. Here are some tips for maximizing your meditation practice:

  • Meditate regularly — preferably every day.

  • Set aside a quiet area where you can meditate undisturbed.

  • Decide beforehand how long you're going to meditate — and then follow through, no matter how restless or bored you become.

  • Don't sit on a full stomach — wait at least an hour after a meal before meditating.

  • Find a comfortable sitting position — and be sure to gently straighten your spine.

  • Rest your tongue lightly on the roof of your mouth and breathe through your nose.

  • Take a few deep breaths before you start, and consciously relax your body on the exhalation.

  • Drop any expectations about what you're supposed to be achieving or experiencing, and just let yourself be, exactly as you are.

  • As much as possible, extend the qualities of mind and heart you develop in your meditation to every area of your life.