How can I set aside ten minutes to meditate?
If it feels like there just aren't 10 minutes spare in the day, that can indicate that meditation is truly needed. However, how do we find the right moment and find a consistent routine? It can seem impossible. Making a 10-minute meditation a daily habit is actually easy to do.
When is the "right time"? Honestly, anytime you can spare
Find a time that works best for you to meditate; it doesn't matter where or when you do it—meditating in the morning before you start your day or at night while in bed could be beneficial. You can stop and meditate whenever you feel overwhelmed rather than trying to push through.
Combine meditation with a regular task
It is much simpler to practise and maintain meditation when it is part of an established habit. Author of Atomic Habits, James Clear, calls this concept "habit stacking". Let's imagine that we do meditation every time we take a shower, while we brush our teeth, or as we brew a cup of coffee. Then over time, the act of showering, brushing our teeth or making coffee becomes meditative.
Another idea is to schedule it like we would a fitness class on the calendar. Even when we feel swamped, these actions are a gentle reminder to get us moving and make room for ourselves.
Call it "self-care time" instead of "meditation time"
Consider how enjoyable it is to take our time and do something refreshing for ourselves, whether it be a bath, a walk in the park, a meal, or anything else that suits our requirements. That, too, is meditation. So, think about including it in your toolbox for self-care. When we take the time to dwell in the present moment without passing judgement, we are taking care of our minds and, subsequently, ourselves. It also enables us to provide more genuine care and respect to others.
Still unsure of where to begin?
To find 10 minutes to meditate, try these five strategies:
1. Wake 10 minutes earlier in the morning. Sound the alarm. Get up and shine (earlier). You got it. You can nail this.
2. Take the bus or train? Spend the journey in meditation. Plug in your headphones and launch a meditation app or search for a 10-minute guided meditation on Youtube.
3. Midday pause? Ideal for meditation. Making a cup of tea takes about five minutes. Yes, I'll have two cups of awareness, thank you!
4. Put family time to good use. Together, design a unique experience. Could you use the next family gathering to sit and meditate for a few minutes or even pause to be grateful communally before a meal?
5. Create "10-minute meditation" calendar reminders. Sometimes, daily life seems chaotic. A friendly reminder in your calendar or as alarms on your phone can motivate and hold us accountable.
It's okay if a daily 10-minute meditation still seems daunting. Your lifestyle and goals will determine how much time you can put towards meditation.
It's more important to continue practising meditation (even if it's just for a minute) than to do it for a long time each day. Remember tiny efforts build up. Across a month, it's better to meditate for 5 minutes every second day, than it is to be mindful for 18 minutes once a week.
You can always begin your meditations with a one-minute mindfulness moment, and then build up from there.
How can I develop a daily habit of 10 minutes of meditation?
To make starting a daily meditation practice more straightforward, pay attention to these four recommendations:
1. Meditate as you go
So, whether we need a break from work or to calm the mind before night, meditate when the impulse arises. Remember, you can meditate everywhere in life, whether on the bus, in a waiting room, in the restroom at a party or while taking a walk. We can always practice meditation. Consider doing it first thing in the morning because most of us are more driven then.
Regularity will not only enable us to develop a mindfulness practice, but it will also pave the way for mindful living throughout the day.
2. Be adaptable
The fact that we can meditate at any time or place is one of the best things about it - nothing is needed except willingness and a little quiet. Even if you skip a few days, no worries; simply resume a few minutes a day if you need to work your way up to 10-minutes again.
Being adaptable enables us to develop discipline without being under constant pressure.
3. Try a guided meditation
An instructor leads a reflection called a "guided meditation" and provides instructions. They explain how to breathe and other meditation practices in detail. They also provide encouragement and helpful guidance that newcomers generally require.
Once you're comfortable with the technique, you can take the approach and apply it to solo mediating.
4. It's worthwhile but not magic
As much as we wish it were; meditation isn't magical. It's normal to experience tension, anxiety, and other undesirable emotions. However, mindful practices allow us to recognise, comprehend, and regulate those feelings in a less reactive way.
When it comes down to it, meditation is a brief period of self-care that allows us to relax, be quiet, and take a break from the chaos of daily life. That sounds good, doesn't it?
If we can keep in mind that there is no obligation to "do it perfectly," it can be simpler to develop the habit of meditation. We're doing well as long as we show up and take time for ourselves. Good luck on your journey towards a calmer, happier mind.