Meditation is like a mental fitness session and there are lots of similarities to a physical fitness session. As with physical training, it is important to train regularly. Find a time in the day that works for you; early morning meditations will set you up for a productive day, where late evening meditations will help you to process your day and help you with a sound sleep. Choose the type of meditation that suit you: the focus and the length of time.
Step 1: Prepare
For a physical workout you would put on your sports outfit, get yourself to the gym or park and warm up. For a mental workout you put on clothes that are comfy, no restricting and will keep you warm, then you get yourself to a place where you will not be disturbed and make yourself comfortable.
Step 2: Go through the motions
Before your start your workout, you decide what you are going to do: running, rowing, machines…… and how long for. For a meditation, you decided if it is going to breathing, candles, body scan……. And how long for. Then you just do it.
Step 3: Cool down!
Once the workout is finished, you gently stretch your muscles or, in case of the meditation, you gently return your thoughts and awareness to the here and now. Just noticing your body and your state of mind before you get up and get on with your day.
Workouts can pan out differently from how you expected it to be. When muscles are tired, or the body isn’t rested it can be hard work. Same for a meditation. When the mind is very busy, or life is challenging, it can be hard to do the practice. However, just persevere, as it is not relevant if it is an enjoyable experience, it is relevant that it will benefit you afterwards. And the more you work out, the stronger you will get.
Dr Mariette Jansen is a psychological coach, public speaker, author, mindfulness teacher, and life changer, working with individuals to create the optimal work-life balance, eliminate food and diet stress, increase confidence and reduce work stress.