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How to begin your meditation practice, when you think you don't have time

You’ve got a busy lifestyle, juggling work commitments, taxi-ing your kids around, with a packed calendar of hobbies and social events.

Your mind is constantly on the go, just as you are.

You feel like your mind never ‘switches off’ and its constant chatter is leaving you feeling unfocused and exhausted.

When you mention it to your yoga teacher and she suggests starting a meditation practice, you can’t help yourself but laugh and respond with, “I don’t have time to sit on a cushion and do nothing!”

The thought alone seems ridiculous and you begin to think of all the other things you could be doing with your time.

No time to meditate? Here are my 5 top tips to help get you started

But with an estimated 200 to 300 million people meditating worldwide, what do they know that you don’t?

“If you have time to breathe, you have time to meditate. You breathe when you walk. You breathe when you stand. You breathe when you lie down.” – Ajahn Amaro

The benefits of meditation

Numerous studies have been done to show the endless list of positive effects of developing your own meditation practice. From fighting illness, to improving happiness and all the in between there is a study out there that proves the effectiveness of meditation on your health and well-being.

People who meditate regularly are happier than average (study).

Who doesn't want to be happier?

So, how can you start?

As a meditation convert, and well-being expert, keep reading for my 5 top tips to get you started.

1. Start small

If you were going to run a marathon, you wouldn’t try to run 26 miles on day one of training would you?

Well, the same applies for meditation.

Start with one minute.

Sixty seconds out of your busy day.

Find a quiet spot at home, close the door and sit down.

Set a timer on your phone for one minute and put your phone on silent.

Close your eyes and take your attention to your body or your inhale and exhale.

Do this for a few days and then start to slowly increase your time to 9 seconds, 2 minutes...

You'll be meditating for 5 minutes before you know it.

2. You don’t need to sit cross-legged

Unlike running a marathon, where you’d need some kit and a good pair of trainers, you don’t need a thing to meditate.

Just yourself.

You don't need to sit cross-legged to meditate

There’s no need to sit cross legged with thumb and index finger joined.

You can sit on a chair, on the floor against a wall or even lie down.

Just try not to slouch your back and be somewhere comfortable.

3. Am I doing it right?

So you sit down, close your eyes and take a long breath out.

Your shopping list comes into your mind and you remember that email that you forgot to send.

Your timer beeps. Times up.

You feel annoyed that thoughts have taken up all your meditation time and give up.

What’s the point?

But here’s the thing.

Meditation isn’t about getting rid of your thoughts.

It’s about bringing your attention to the present moment.

If thoughts arise (which they will!), it’s about not getting consumed by them.

Become an observer of your thoughts.

It might sound easier than it is but don’t give up!

It is, after all, called a meditation practice.

If thoughts arise, you can see them as clouds passing by in the sky.

Try not to get caught up in them, just calmly bring your attention back to your body or your breath.

After a while, you’ll notice that the gaps in between your thoughts start to expand.

4. Join a group

While starting a meditation practice on your own is a great idea, it can be easy to put it off without any accountability.

The good news is that there’s loads of help out there and these are my top 3 recommendations:

Do you feel like you don't have the time to meditate?

· Find a local, in person meditation group. With the increase in popularity of meditation, there have been lots more groups pop up and you’ll probably be able to find one near you

· Use a meditation app. I highly recommend Insight Timer, which offers an abundance of free, guided meditations but also the option to use a timer with soothing background music.

· Follow a course online or with a book. The “Mindfulness: a practical guide to finding peace in a frantic world” is my top recommendation and a course that I followed myself in person. It’s split up into an 8 week course, with user-friendly language and a CD of audio recordings to go with each chapter.

5. There’s not a “one size fits all”

Rest assured that there’s not one way to meditate.

You can meditate to sounds or in silence

There are so many options that you can experiment with, for example:

· meditate in silence

· listen to music while you meditate

· use a guided meditation track

· meditate to sounds (eg. nature sounds, Tibetan singing bowls)

There’s also not a specific time to meditate.

Perhaps it works best for you straight away in the morning, or just as you get home from work.

Experiment with different ways and times and see what works best for you.

And then practice that.

Practice being the key word.

So what are you waiting for? Set that timer and have a go!

I’d love to know if these tips help so please let me know with a quick email

You can also find meditation as part of my weekly yoga classes, workshops and bespoke 1:1 coaching programs that I offer. Get in touch if you’d like more information.


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