Getting Back On Track With Meditation
Life sometimes gets in our way. We might fall off our meditation practice and that is ok. At least we are aware that we are not meditating and we have to get back into our practice. I will tell you my experience of falling out of my mediation practice and trying to get back into it.
I have not been meditating as much in the past few weeks. It would be spotty, one day I would meditate for 10 minutes and then I would not meditate for the next 3 days. My long commute and work left me too tired to meditate or relax. It became a viscous cycle because when I feel tired I do not want to meditate and then by not meditating I will get even more tired.
I could definitely see a difference in my life without meditation. I started to feel tired and have some brain fog. I did not feel lively with vibrant energy like I used to. That kind of discomfort was one thing that made me make sure I was going to stick to my practice.
What I realized is that you need to allow your self to take breaks from your routine and step back from the situation. Taking a break allows you to step back from your meditation practice and see the impact of meditation on your life. Sometimes it is even good to get out of the routine and see how meditation is affecting us. With all the benefits of meditation how can we get back on track?You might get in a rut and not meditate for days like I did. Dig deep into yourself to find energy to push you forward, your body and mind will thank you.
Become More Accountable
You are meditating for yourself and you decide if you want to give yourself some time off. Meditation is about personal growth and observing yourself. In essence there really is nothing stopping you from meditating everyday. However, it does take will power and dedication to practice it. I felt that it would be easy to not meditate thinking “o I will just do it tomorrow”. But when tomorrow comes I would get preoccupied by something else. In order to improve ourselves we need to stay accountable and honest about what we think is best for us. From my experience I truly believe that mediation has been beneficial in my life. However, sometimes laziness creeps up and I fall off my practice.
No one is going to tell you to meditate, your boss, teacher parents cant force you to. It is up to you to stay accountable and practice it. A great way to stay accountable is to bring some structure into your meditation practice.
Just like how you schedule meetings at work, you can set up a reoccurring reminders on your phone to meditate for 10 minutes. These reminders will give you more structure with a specific time limit. I felt it was easier to set a timer for 10 minutes because it gave me a pre defined time that I could set aside. Without this structured schedule it can be easy to skip your practice and wait for an other day. Just the psychological fact that it is only 10 minutes makes it easier to start. Setting a timer also forces you to sit for that time until the buzzer rings. In the back of my mind I know that it is only 10 minutes of your day and I should be able to spare that amount. It sometimes takes a little structure to get back into meditation and realize how good it makes you feel.
A great accountability trick I learned at work where daily task cards. Remember the compound method it is similar to that (I should start that back up again and see how I do). For the Daily task cards. You have a card with 5 tasks written on it that you should do everyday. At the end of the day you check off if that task was completed. If you completed all the tasks you would get a green card. At the end o the week you would see how many green cards you would get. This helps you to stay accountable and see if there is any trends if you were not completing you task.
Trying to rebuild my meditation habit. Habits can be good or they can be detrimental, I did develop a good habit to meditate daily. However, over the past month my meditation practice slowly degraded. By missing multiple sessions it makes it easier to miss the next session. Then you make it a habit to not meditate and it becomes a chore. You lose that momentum and it takes some effort to get back into your meditation habit. I forgot how the sense of relief and relaxation I felt after meditating. As humans we favor having predictable habits it makes it easier on us and it requires less mental capacity.
Reinforce With The Benefits Of Mediation
Sometimes we need to go back and review the benefits of meditation to help motivate us to re start our practice. I feel it is the same with eating healthy, we all know it is good for us but it takes dedication to actually stick to a healthy diet. What I did to help me get back on track was to read some recent articles on the benefits of meditation. When I did read that article it just reminded me of all the advantages meditation provides. I was doing myself a disservice for not practicing it. By reviewing the benefits you will get re-energized and motivated to practice. Meditation offers so much benefits I don’t know why I would stop! Just think back to why you started meditating in the first place, it could have been the health benefits, relaxation, distress, clarity or insight. It seems like everyday there are new scientific studies proving the benefits of meditation. There is no real way of cheating the system and bypassing to get to the benefits without practicing meditation. It seems so simple yet it can be hard with all the other things in your life to spend some time for your own health. By reading the benefits meditation has to offer you can get inspired to practice it and how vital it is to your mental and physical health.
Get a buddy to meditate with. You do not have to meditate physically together. You can check up on each other to see if they meditated or not and you can also motivate and encourage each other. It is also a great way to learn and explore with each other.A great way to keep yourself accountable is tell someone that you are meditating. It is human nature that we do not want to look bad in front of our peers.
Some people like to talk and hash out their feeling to others. A quick text or status update can also help. You can also use online community groups such as Coach me.
Change Your Meditation Style
If we get in a routine we might get bored of our current meditation style. For me I would just meditate the same way by sitting down. I kind of got bored of it and was too tired and unmotivated to practice. Now that it has become nicer out I incorporated more active moving mediation such as qi gong. If you find yourself bored of your meditation style try to change it up. This allows you a great time to explore other types of meditations and ultimately yourself. Give yourself the freedom to experiment and try new things that you would not do in your normal meditation practice.
It’s Ok To Go Off Track
If you are having trouble keeping a meditation habit then I would be happy to help. Let me know If you are starting to fall off track, sometimes it takes a gentle nudge to get you back you can always email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. What I learned is that we should not feel bad about missing a daily meditation session. It is natural to fall off sometimes and we just need to have the awareness when we do. It actuality helped me realize how much meditation effects my life when I don’t do it. This reinforces how important it is too keep up with my meditation practice. I think of it as in cycles, sometimes we have good periods where we stick with it and sometimes we just need to give ourselves some change and step back from our practice to see what we are actually doing and where we want to go in our lives.