“To meditate does not mean to fight with a problem.
To meditate means to observe.” – Thich Nhat Hanh
Meditation is such a good way to start your day, deal with stress, and live in the present moment. It can help you be mindful of your negative thoughts. Getting into the habit of meditation can help change other habits, such as negative self talk!
It is tricky to get the hang of at first. Check out my recent post about beginner tips for meditation. Today I wanted to talk about how to make it a habit.
Why is meditation so good at helping you change your habits?
Meditation Can Help You Change Your Habits
Many times our thoughts run freely in our heads, without us paying much attention to them. Sometimes these thoughts can start to have power over us. When we learn to observe them, we can stop their power.
A meditation practice increases your mindfulness over these negative thoughts.
An example from my life:
I used to be very hard on myself in regards to my eating habits and exercise routines. Being a dietitian, immersed in the world of nutrition, you’re expected to eat perfectly all the time. Whenever I’d indulge, there would be a bunch of unnecessary negative self talk going on in my head. These thoughts would make me feel horrible, and if I paid attention to them, it was like fueling the fire.
Now when those thoughts come up, I let them come up, acknowledge them, and let them pass without giving them any firewood.
It’s still a work in progress, but meditation has made a difference so far in helping me stop these negative habits!
Four Steps to Form a Meditation Habit
- Pick a time. Can you make time for two minutes in the morning before work? What about in the evening after dinner, or before bed?
- Go somewhere quiet. Meditating at your office may be very distracting and unhelpful. Try to meditate at home in a quiet spot, but if you want to meditate at work, try going outside and sitting on a park bench or under a tree if you can.
- Sit somewhere comfortable. At home, you can sit on the couch, in a chair, or lay back on the floor. Don’t lay down if you’re feeling sleepy. Some people like to sit on a cushion or pillow. Try to keep your back straight and shoulders relaxed.
- Breathe deeply and slowly. Start with four counts in through your nose, and four counts out. Close your eyes and imagine a bright blue sky, and focus on the blue. If thoughts start to arise, imagine they’re clouds. Acknowledge them and let them drift away. Don’t fight the clouds.
Meditation is a very simple practice. Don’t stress about learning how or becoming good at it– that’s the thing meditation is trying to teach you to avoid! Do this every day, and after a couple weeks you’ll have formed a habit.