10 Ways to Motivate Yourself to Meditate - dummies

10 Ways to Motivate Yourself to Meditate

By Shamash Alidina, Joelle Jane Marshall

Getting into a routine of practicing mindfulness meditation can be tricky if you have a very busy lifestyle and are continually on the go. Yet regular practice can actually help your busy lifestyle as you’re more focused and more able to deal with stresses that are thrown your way. You may also find you have more energy from practicing meditation.

Overcome difficulties keeping you from meditation

Quite often, the reason why you’re not managing to meditate regularly is because of a particular problem or difficulty. If there was no problem with meditating, you’d be practicing regularly! Take time to really look at your life. Consider what you really want from your life, underneath everything else. If you take a close look, you’ll find that meditation offers you a way towards your deep desires like peace, clarity or happiness.

Schedule meditation

Forgetting to meditate is easy, especially if you have a busy lifestyle. Try this: schedule an appointment with yourself, like you would a meeting or a check-up at the doctor’s. Seeing the reminder can be a source of motivation for you to do some mindfulness practice. Many business people love this tip as they use their diary so often.

Make a list of the benefits of meditation

Drawing up a list of all the benefits you can have from regularly practicing mindfulness meditation can motivate you to keep up a regular practice.

Create a mindful space at home

Having a quiet, relaxing place that you can go to in your home can really motivate you to meditate. If you have space, find a cozy corner in your home for soft cushions or beanbags, incense sticks and whatever makes you feel comfortable and relaxed to have as a space for meditation.

If you make a corner of your home attractive in that way, just seeing the place may draw you in to meditate. And if you practice meditation there regularly, just looking or imagining being in that place can put your mind into a more meditative state.

Find a group or community to meditate with

Meditating with a group of like-minded people is incredibly powerful and can really motivate you to meditate regularly. If you find a group or a community where you live that you can attend a couple of times a week, you’ll be much more likely to stick to the practice of meditation.

Try searching online for a mindfulness or meditation group near you. Try looking for groups on Meetup, which is a website that connects groups of people with different interests.

Make meditation a habit

Every day you follow some sort of routine of waking up, washing and brushing your teeth. You don’t even think about it because you do it so often; your morning routine is a habit. Try to include your mindfulness practice in this way. Make it as natural as brushing your teeth in the morning and evening. Try to fit it in as part of your daily routine until it becomes habit.

The best way to get into the habit of mindfulness is to decide when you’re going to meditate the following day. Then, on the day itself, you make sure that you do the practice at the designated time.

If you can build up a certain sense of determination within yourself and do this for about three weeks, you’ll be in the habit of the practice. Then, if you skip the meditation, you’ll really miss it! Meditating has become an integral part of your day.

Deal with emotions that keep you from meditating

Sometimes upsetting and uncomfortable emotions and thoughts may rise to the surface in meditation. This situation makes feeling motivated to meditate more challenging.

Mindfulness isn’t about trying to get rid of these emotions, but about accepting and listening to them. If you feel you aren’t ready to deal with that yet, try talking to a counselor, a support group or even friends. Then, when you feel ready, resume your mindfulness practice.

Eliminate distractions from meditation

Being surrounded by too many distractions makes meditating difficult. Find a quiet place away from the TV and computer, unplug the phone and switch off your mobile. Even take the batteries out of the doorbell if you need to! Make sure that you have your meditation time with as few disturbances as you can manage.

Practice meditation with music

You can listen to music while you’re meditating if you find it too quiet on your own. Find some gentle music you can use and then play it over the guided meditations that come with this book. Your whole meditation can even be to just mindfully listen to music. You can listen to soothing classical music on the radio or a CD for wonderful calming benefits.

Change posture during meditation

If you feel particularly uncomfortable sitting cross-legged when you meditate, then don’t. Choose a position that suits you. Don’t expect to be an experienced Zen Buddhist monk sitting in the lotus position for hours for your first few experiences of the practice. That can demotivate you!

If you need to lie down, lie down. If you feel very uncomfortable during the practice and want to move, then move. Remember, your practice is your own.

By getting into a posture that feels right for you, you’re more likely to both enjoy the practice and gain greater benefit from it. This outcome can act as positive feedback to you, encouraging you to practice even more. Result!