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Meditation has increased in popularity in recent years and become more mainstream. The practice of mindfulness and meditation has been around for centuries and has tremendous benefits for our mental and physical health. But even if we know how beneficial meditation is, most of us don’t meditate every day because we feel too busy or it just seems too hard to get the habit started.
Can you relate?
The great thing about meditation though is that, like other micro habits, you will get benefits from simple doing it regularly as part of your routine. A brief short mediation is better than trying to set an unrealistic goal and not very doing it. Here are some tips that will help you make meditation part of your daily routine.
Benefits of Meditation
Researchers have discovered numerous benefits to meditation. Here are a few of the top benefits:
- Stress Reduction – this is one of the top reasons why people try meditation. Scientific research with thousands of participants shows that mindfulness mediation improved anxiety, depression and pain management.
- Reduced Anxiety – If you have less stress, you will have less anxiety. Many scientific studies with thousands of participants have shown that meditation improves anxiety symptoms and even improves anxiety disorders.
- Improved Sleep – Research shows that mindfulness meditation has helped with insomnia. Specifically, it helps people fall asleep more quickly and say asleep longer.
- Improved Emotional Health – two studies (study, study) showed that mindfulness meditation decreased depression in over 4600 adults. And other studies suggest that meditation may reduce depression by decreasing cytokines (inflammatory chemicals that are released in response to stress).
How to Start a Daily Meditation Practice
Getting started with meditation can be easy and simple. Like with other habits, it’s easier to start with it as a micro habit and start with ONE minute per day and to do it regularly. And then add time each day or week. That keeps the habit regular and instead of an all-or-nothing thing where you either meditate for 30 minutes every day (how many people actually have the time?!), you will actually get some benefits daily.
To keep you on track and make your meditation habit as simple as possible, here are a few quick tips:
- Commit to just one minute per day – start with a simple commitment of just one minute. If you want to do 2 minutes or 5 minutes that’s fine. The main thing is to set a simple goal you can achieve daily and not an unrealistic aspirational goal that will set you up for failure and feeling bad.
- Pick a specific time and trigger – You don’t need to have an exact time like 2pm, but a general time or place in your schedule such as the afternoon, or upon waking, or right before bed. The best way to start any new habit is to tie it with an existing habit. So if you use a regular event to be the trigger, that will help you make this automatic. Try first thing upon waking in bed, or set a recurring reminder in your phone to be the trigger.
- Visualize how this will go – right now just close your eyes and make a quick mental image of how this will work. For example, see yourself waking up in the AM and then closing your eyes for a quick minute to start this habit.
In summary, start with 1 minute of meditation right now and begin the meditation habit today!