Meditation is said to have many positive effects: from more energy, less stress and more focus to increased immunity. As the SWIPES analysis of my life had brought to light, I was pretty much totally missing out on the spiritual aspect of my life. Hence, I decided to establish a morning meditation routine – and here are a few points I have considered and learned.
Meditation? Mindfulness Exercise? …
The first thing I focused on was simply choosing what sort of meditation or “spiritual” exercise I wanted to focus on. I originally thought along the lines of self-guided mindfulness exercises, but found that they were too complicated for a complete beginner like me. My mind would just drift off and I wouldn’t really be able to concentrate.
Eventually I explored “guided meditations”. These are pretty easy to find online (e.g. YouTube has a bunch of them), and cater to all different types and objectives – from positivity meditations to anti-procrastination to … you name it.
I had previously experimented with using “guided sleep meditation”, which went pretty well. Basically, in that type of guided meditation the speaker relaxes the listener so far that the listener eventually drifts off into sleep. Specific about that type of meditation is that it doesn’t have a “wake up” at the end – so you drift from meditation to sleep. It worked quite well while I faced problems falling asleep last year (largely because I was stuck in a limbo between what I wanted to do and where I wanted to be), and so my mind kept drifting away…
Anyway, in this case I opted for a wake-up, morning routine. Firstly, because I think it is easier to incorporate a short meditation practice into my mornings. Secondly, it feels more likely I’ll stick to it, as other times I tend to be too tired, too busy, too… to stick with even a short routine. Also, I’m a little skeptical about the idea that sleep meditation has much of an effect – so I’d rather be awake.
I obviously didn’t want to commit too much time to the exercise: This is an other advantage of morning meditations, as I found plenty of “short burst” mediation specifically designed for the morning. So I decided to start with a 10 minute version… and see!
Attached to something else
I had previously read that new habits are often easier to form when they come attached to something which is already done habitually… Thus I quickly thought of what it is that I do every morning and where there is a bit of a time puffer possible to allow for a short burst meditation. Immediately after waking up I found a bit tedious (I tried it originally, but I was really wanting my morning coffee too much). As I run on some days, that also made scheduling a little trickier. Eventually I figured that the easiest way for me is to incorporate the meditation just after finishing shower etc… That is the tail end of my morning routine so to speak. That way I can then go out freshly relaxed after the mediation.
Have I felt all the amazing benefits that are attributed to meditation? Well.. No… Not yet. But let us be realistic: I have done it for a bit over a week. So any effect is probably a while off. I do feel more positive during the day though and probably a bit more relaxed … but how it will pan out in the long term, we will see.
Are you using regular mediation? Please share your thoughts and tips below! Or if you are just starting, why not let me know how you are getting on? It would be great to hear from you.