There’s a lot of buzz going around about committing to a daily meditation practice for health, mental clarity, and overall wellness. For people with hectic schedules or home lives, this kind of practice might feel impractical due to a lack of time, space, or even mental capacity. But, don’t write it off just yet!
Meditation doesn’t have to take a long time or have a dedicated space in your home to be effective, powerful, and even life-changing. You can reap the benefits of this happiness-boosting practice in as little as five minutes per day. And you can meditate practically anywhere.
For those of you who are interested in learning how to meditate your way toward a happier, more balanced life, we encourage you to take a 30-day meditation. Don’t worry, we’ll tell you everything you need to know to get started …
So let’s take a deep breath, and dive in.
The science is clear: meditation can help the mind and body heal. According to the Mayo Clinic, regular meditation may help people manage the symptoms of a wide variety of conditions, including:
While meditation doesn’t replace medications or other treatments provided by medical professionals, it can be used in combination with treatments to boost their effectiveness over time.
Mindfulness meditation may reduce the body’s inflammatory response to stress, which is caused by a hormone called cortisol. Elevated inflammation in the body can contribute to—or worsen—many of the conditions listed above. For this reason, a regular meditation practice is a crucial and powerful way of improving your overall health and reducing stress over time.
Another benefit of meditation is that it may offer protection against memory loss. For many, meditation offers the opportunity to increase focus and improve mental clarity over time. This is thought to help fight memory loss and even improve memory in those who have been diagnosed with dementia. Not to mention, the stress-reducing benefits of meditation can be a lifeline for those who are caring for those with dementia or memory loss.
There are a few things to keep in mind when learning how to meditate. For your 30-day challenge, we’re just going to encourage you to find the time, place, and meditation length that works best for your busy schedule.
Here are some things to consider when getting set up for your 30-day meditation challenge to ensure your success:
Meditation is a simple practice, but it can be intimidating as a beginner. When you are starting out, setting a timer for a duration you think is practical can help take off some of the pressure. Then, just find a comfortable place to sit and try to remain focused on your breath as it goes in and out. Eventually, your mind will wander and that’s okay – gently return to focusing on your breath when you realize your attention drifted.
Before you know it, you will have completed your first meditation session. But, to really feel the benefits, you need to make this a habit. That’s where the challenge comes in.
The easiest way to turn this new practice into a habit is to be consistent with the time and place where you meditate. Pick a quiet spot where you know you won’t be easily interrupted, like your bedroom, a closed office, or even outdoors in the backyard or at a favorite park. Find a time of day that works best for your schedule, and do your best to stick with it. If needed, add it to your calendar or scheduler to make sure it stays top-of-mind throughout the month.
For some, this means meditating first thing in the morning, before the rest of the house wakes up and the day gets started. For others, this means taking a few minutes during the lunch hour, or right before bed, when distractions are lowest. Whatever it is, find the routine that works for you and stick with it as best you can.
Once you are comfortable with the basics of meditation, you may want to branch out. There are many types of meditation and no one-size-fits-all approach. Your practice can include guided meditation videos or podcasts (like these from Headspace or Goodful), moving meditations like yoga or tai chi, or mindfulness meditations that help you expand your awareness of your self, as well as everything around you. Don’t give up if you try one style and find it isn’t for you—move on to something different until you find the right fit.
Interested in the challenge, but not sure you can go it alone? Find a friend or family member who is willing to help keep you accountable to your goals and even start a meditation practice of their own. Find a time and place that works best for both of you and put it on the calendar. If you’re the competitive type, you can even make it a game to see who sticks to the challenge longest.
Last but not least, stick with it! Meditation is a skill that can be learned and improved over time. Give yourself the gift of trying something new for 30 days, and see what benefits you get from being kind to your mind. Then, consider keeping your daily meditation practice in your routine long-term.
P.S. Want another simple habit to add to your day for improved well-being? Try using positive affirmations! We love them so much we put them on our products. Try using the affirmation (and soap!) “I am Free!” after your meditation practice.