May 02, 2022

Laura’s tips to make meditation a habit

They say it takes 21 days to form a habit. Although it might not sound like a long time on paper, 21 days of prioritising a consistent routine can be tricky!

When it comes to developing habits, one that I consistently find myself working on is meditation. But despite coming with the best of intentions to implement it regularly and procure a new habit, if youíre anything like me, perhaps you find yourself neglecting this due to lack of time.

Thereís a reason why they say Ďmeditation is a practiceí, because you literally need to Ďpracticeí in order to really feel comfortable and experience the powerful benefits. Just like learning a new language or playing an instrument, you canít expect to conquer it from day dot, it takes time, effort and dedication.

On the days I do meditate I can honestly tell the difference, my mind is clearer, my concentration levels are high and it helps me have a calm, positive outlook when difficult things pop up throughout my day. But trust me, Iím not perfect – there are definitely days and sometimes even weeks where I go without meditation.

I know how amazing meditation is for my mental health, so Iím actively trying to prioritise it throughout my week. I thought it would be helpful to share some advice that has helped me develop the valuable habit of meditation. Remember, if you forget a meditation or two throughout Meditate in May that is okay! Itís all about progress, not perfection.

1. DETERMINE YOUR WHY

This is something youíve no doubt heard us preach about at KIC before… Establishing your WHY, regardless of what youíre setting out to do is always the first step. Itís the backbone that will provide you with stability and direction when your motivation is down (as we know we canít always rely on motivation).

By establishing WHY you want to meditate you are pin pointing the thing that sparks the fire in you which will drive you to dedicate yourself to establishing your meditation habit. My WHY is because it significantly improves my mental clarity and concentration.

2. PLAN & SCHEDULE

Being organised and making the time is key! We canít just magically expect to have more time in the day for something that weíre not already accustomed to having time for. We recommend, however you manage your appointments or meetings, applying the same system.

Allocate the time instead of trying to make the time – this is something Iím working on. Iíve found that the best time for me to meditate is in the morning.

3. KEEP IT SHORT

When it comes to meditation, to reap the benefits, itís not so much about how long you meditate for but rather how often you meditate. Consistency is key.

Keeping it short isnít only going to make it easier to allocate time to build up the habit but itís going to make mediating feel less daunting and more manageable. This also makes it much more achievable for me to fit in before my work day starts.

All it takes is 5 minutes!

4. HAVE NO EXPECTATIONS

Meditating is going to look and feel different for everyone. Many of us often have a preconceived idea of what mediating should be like or feel like. However, Iím here to let you know that there is no right or wrong – do what feels comfortable for you.

If your mind wonders that is in fact normal! My mind will wonder from time to timeIf and when this happens, I simply return my attention on my anchor again.

The more you focus on actively bringing your attention back to the meditation when your attention wonders, youíll train your mind to come back into focus more easily and eventually be able to stay focused for the entire meditation.

5. REMOVE COMPARISONS

We all start somewhere, so it is paramount that we forego comparisons. Donít look at someoneís year 5, and compare it to your day 1. Instead, draw comparisons to yourself and your progress. Iím focusing on following through on what I set out to do and only comparing me against me.

If youíre competing against yourself and making progress, no matter how big or small, youíre always going to be a winner.

Laura Henshaw