This is the third in my short series on meditation, looking at how you find the time to fit meditation into an already over-busy day!
Thousands of people practice meditation. Some practice it daily – others weekly. For those who are intrigued at the thought of it and desperately long for some peace in their lives, meditation is the perfect outlet.
But many people shy away from it because they don’t want to add anything more to their busy day. They believe they’ll have to spend hours learning how to do the techniques followed by hours spent sitting and chanting.
That’s a mistaken belief about all forms of meditation.
It’s not an hour-upon-hour-long practice that will push your schedule over the edge. In fact, many forms of meditation can be completed in as little as fifteen minutes.
But the benefits that you’ll reap from those fifteen minutes will last for hours or days. It’s well worth taking that small slice of time and devoting it to yourself.
The science proves the point
There is scientific evidence that meditation increases happiness and peace.
In a brain wave study performed by a Ph.D student at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, people who engaged in meditation over the study period had scans showing lower stress levels in the stress areas of the brain.
You might think that you can’t possible find fifteen minutes a day for yourself to practice meditation – but the truth is that we all find the time for the things we want to do.
Why not find that meditation time?
You can start by learning some simple breathing techniques.
You can learn these on your own or you can get the help of experienced meditators – I personally have used many books and CD programs, this is a favourite by Sharon Salzberg.
At first, your brain might come up with all kinds of other things that you could be doing. Your logical self will try to convince you that you simply have to keep on running forward with your busy schedule.
But you can quiet that inner resistance by setting a kitchen timer or an alarm – or an app (I use Zen Light) wherever you are for fifteen minutes. Tell yourself that it’s only for that time period.
Find a quiet, comfortable place that’s as free from outside distractions as you can possibly make it.
I meditate first thing in the morning. I simply sit on the side of my bed, set my Zen Light timer for ten minutes, close my eyes and focus on my breathing.
I don’t often use guided meditations these days but I did use them for years because they really help focus your mind.
You’ll start to notice that you’re not “giving up” those minutes out of your day, but that you’re gaining time because your mind will have better clarity so you can stay fully focused as you go about the rest of your day.
Let me know what you think. Do you meditate? How do you fit it in?