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KIP. x The Nourished Soul: 5 Tips for Starting a Daily Meditation Practice

Meditation has become a buzz word in the wellness community lately and for good reason! Science is just scratching the surface in regards to how a daily meditation practice can positively change our brain structure, reduce stress and anxiety, improve our health and even increase compassion within ourselves.

 

When I started trying to create my daily meditation practice years ago I must admit, it was a rocky start. I would go a few days, lose momentum, become frustrated then forget about it. Starting your practice doesn’t have to be this way! To help you get started on your meditation journey, I’ve put together my top five tips:


1. Meditate at the
same time each day

Creating a daily habit of anything takes time. Some say it can even take anywhere from 21 to 200 days to develop a new habit!

 

Finding a time that works best for your schedule each day is a great place to start. Even if you only have time to take a few conscious breaths a day, you will still receive great benefits over time. You can also block out time in your calendar each day to help keep yourself accountable.

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2. Consistency is key

Mediation is all about consistency. I like to equate this to going to the gym to work out your body. Meditation is like the gym for your mind, it takes time to develop and strengthen those muscles!

 

A consistent practice is where you will grain the best results. Starting with five minutes a day will be much more beneficial than trying to sit for 30-40 minutes once a week. Five minutes a day doesn’t seem so bad right? Cultivating a daily practice is what will build that muscle over time.

 

I recommend starting with 5-10 minutes a day at the beginning and then working your way up to 20-30 minutes a day once you have a more established practice.

      Photo: Gillian Krejcir


3. Find a style that resonates with you

From body scans to visualizations to Metta to mantra meditation. There are so many styles and types of meditations to choose from, it can be hard to decide where to start!

 

The traditional Buddhist style of meditation called Anapanasati is actually quite simple and is a great place to start. To practice, sit in a comfortable seated position in silence and observe the natural rhythm of your breath.

 

Visualizations are also a great place to start, but sometimes they can be even more distracting for the mind. Play around with different styles and find what works best for you! You can always come back to just taking a few conscious breathes to help calm your body and mind.

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4. Let go of your expectations and need to ‘do’

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In our Western world, we are so accustomed to packing our schedules full and checking off everything on our to-do lists. Many people who begin to meditate think that they aren’t good at it, or ‘just can’t do it’. Meditation is not about being good, getting anywhere or ‘doing’ anything. It is actually quite the opposite. Meditation is about allowing space to just be, to truly be present in the moment. There is nothing you need to do and nowhere you need be. I think this is why so maybe of us find it challenging!

 

When you get lost in thoughts, and you will, just always try to remember to bring your awareness back to your breath and the sensations in your body. The objective of meditation is not to stop thoughts from coming, but to allow them to pass with ease without getting too attached to them. Let the thoughts and feelings pass like clouds in the sky, observing them from a distance without any judgement.


5. Go easy on yourself!

You will miss days at the beginning and that’s ok! If we could master something on our first try, how much fun would that be? Go easy on yourself and do the best you can. If you miss a day or two, it’s okay. Start again the next day and take it one step at a time. Make a commitment to yourself, even if it’s for a few minutes a day!

 

If you need a little motivation, try to focus on how good you will feel AFTER your meditation. This is what keeps me coming back to my practice time and time again. You can also journal how you feel after your practice and save this page to add and refer back to later.

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As John Kabbit Zin, a leader in bringing mindfulness to the West says, “Meditation is not about getting somewhere else, but about allowing yourself to be exactly where you already are.”

 

Wishing you the best of luck on your meditation journey. I hope you experience the incredible benefits from it like I have!

 

To stay in touch you can connect with me on Instagram @thenourished.soul or head to my website at www.thenourishedsoul.ca to download your free 10-min heart space guided meditation.

 

Namaste,

Gill x The Nourished Soul

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