For a lot of people, meditation sounds inconvenient, hard, or even stupid. More often than not, I hear, “I can’t do it. I can’t make my mind stop.” To be honest, I only meditate for about 12-15 minutes using the Headspace app, and it takes me at least 8 minutes to stop fidgeting. And sometimes I even cheat and open one eye to check the clock.
Many of the world’s most successful people credit meditation as one of the keys to their success, but meditation isn’t something you need to be good at. It’s not a skill or an achievement that has to be won or attained. It is simply a tool to help you bring focus or awareness to the now, to find more clarity (not complete clarity, mind you) and purpose in your day, or to help relieve stress and anxiety. There are a lot of reasons to meditate. I do it before I have to teach a class or give a speech. I also do it in the morning because I have a bit of an attention deficit. And I often wake up with anxiety, my mind exploding with things I want to accomplish for the day, so many that I often get overwhelmed quickly and shut down. Meditating is truly the best way for me to calm myself and gather focus and awareness that will help me move forward. And it’s free.
If you think you can’t do it, or don’t have time for it, consider some of these ways to find the time for your meditation practice:
Do it first thing in the morning. Make your bed, use the bathroom, and find a quiet space for 10-15 minutes. I usually do it in my office, and I shut the door so the dogs aren’t all over me. But even when they are, I ignore them, and they usually end up meditating with me.
Put it on your calendar. There must be 15 minutes somewhere to make time for it.
Do it in your car (with the engine off, please).
Go for a walk and leave your phone at home. Walking is a form of meditation.
Do it in the shower.
Instead of checking the news, your emails, or social media first thing in the morning, meditate. Those other activities suck up more time than you realize.
Do it after an existing habit like brushing your teeth, feeding the dogs, or making the bed.