I often have wondered that question myself. I had experienced the great benefits of meditating and doing Guided Imagery in my 20s, so why had I stopped? I had drifted away in my 30s…with young children, family obligations, and work. I had trouble finding the time to practice on a regular basis. Gradually, even my weekend meditations began to slip away.
I hear this from a lot of people—they don’t have time to meditate. Or, they feel they’re not doing it right. They wonder why their minds keep thinking when they are trying to be still. That’s the monkey mind doing its thing…thinking thoughts.
Start small. That’s what I tell my clients and workshop participants about finding time to meditate. Practice for just five to ten minutes in the beginning. You find time to exercise, brush your teeth, take a shower, you can set a timer to “Just Do It.” Set a timer on your smart phone with a gentle chime. Set aside time in the morning when you first wake up to meditate…before anyone else is up. That’s what I have found to be best for me. Others find coming home from work, or early evening is a good time or before bed.
Be consistent. That’s my best advice. Tell yourself you will do this for 21 days straight or more. That’s how a regular routine will begin. A Harvard study found that just 8 weeks of meditation not only helped people experience less worry and greater calm; it also produced growth in the brain associated with memory, empathy, sense of self, and lessened the “fight or flight” part of the brain.
There’s a number of busy executives who have not missed a meditation in twenty-five years, and if you make meditation a priority, you will do it. If you feel like your schedule is too full, remember that even just a few minutes of meditation is better than none.
When we spend time meditating on a regular basis, we actually have more time. In meditation, we are in a state that is extremely refreshing for the body and mind. As people stick with their meditation, they notice that they are able to accomplish more while doing less. Instead of struggling to achieve goals, they spend more and more time “in the flow.”
Another big problem that keeps people from meditating is they feel they are not doing it right. I will address that in my next blog. I welcome your comments and share this with your family, friends, and colleagues.
Wishing you Peace!