Daily meditation can be a powerful tool if you’re looking to improve sleep, decrease stress, be happier, and enhance your overall well-being. Some people enjoy practicing the same daily meditation while others prefer variety, but what is most important is the cultivation of a consistent meditation practice.
In this blog we share tips to help you start daily meditation, including free guided meditations that you can use everyday.
How do I develop and maintain a daily meditation practice?
The key to integrating meditation into your daily life is to make sure your daily meditation practice is sustainable and enjoyable. If meditation feels inconvenient or like a chore, you are unlikely to stick with it long enough to enjoy its benefits. Spend some time developing a daily meditation plan that feels reasonable and satisfying.
Tips for beginners to meditation:
- Don’t bite off more than you can chew.
- If you take on too long or too complex of a meditation practice, you may find yourself overwhelmed and ditch your meditation practice before you have even scratched the surface.
- When you start, the durations of your sessions can be short: 5, 10, or 15 minutes. Try using guided meditations or a meditation app to structure your meditation session.
- Experiment with different types of meditation.
- There are many types of meditations and it is worth exploring which best fit your lifestyle. You may find that you prefer one style that you want to practice exclusively, while others may enjoy choosing their meditation based on their mood or intention for the day.
- Choosing the meditation that’s right for you increases your enjoyment of meditation practice and keeps you motivated.
- Types of meditation include: body scan, transcendental, analytical, visualization, loving-kindness, moving, mantra, and mindfulness meditation. If you use meditation apps, you will find that the most popular meditation they employ is mindfulness meditation, which is a good place to start.
- Create your routine.
- Find an empty space in your schedule and commit to meditating at that same time every day. You can use the “habit stacking” technique which takes advantage of preexisting habits by pairing new habits with older, well-established ones. For example, you brush your teeth every morning so you can pair your meditation right after you brush your teeth.
- Once meditation is ingrained in your daily routine, you need little motivation to meditate.
- Find your meditation space.
- In order to fully enjoy your daily meditation practice, try and create a relaxing atmosphere. Dedicate a corner of your home to meditation, or find a quiet spot at work or in a park.
- It can be helpful to include personal rituals in your meditation routine, such as lighting candles or smelling essential oils. These little rituals can create positive reinforcement for your practice and make meditation feel more special.
- Remind yourself of why you are meditating and what the benefits of meditation are.
- Another way to stay motivated with your practice is by reminding yourself why you are meditating and all of the powerful benefits meditation offers.
- You can do this with a motivation before your meditation session, or by feeling grateful after the practice, or even through journaling.
What are the benefits of daily meditation?
There are many physical and mental health benefits of daily meditation. These benefits have been known to spiritual seekers for thousands of years but in recent years scientific research has backed up the claims of meditation’s health benefits.
If you are interested to learn more about meditation’s scientifically validated benefits, check out our post, What is the Science of Meditation? A few of meditation’s benefits are listed below.
- Improve happiness
- Decrease blood pressure
- Reduce symptoms of depression, anxiety, and stress
- Improve focus and memory
- Improve self-control and addictive habits
- Reduce chronic pain symptoms
- Improve sleep
- Increase neuroplasticity
- Improve overall well-being
- Improve relationships with loved ones
Guided daily meditations
You don’t have to listen to the same meditation every day but some find such repetition useful. What is most important is that you are consistently meditating, regardless of whether you use the same style of meditation or not.
This list of free guided meditations include secular meditations with Buddhist influence that can be great for everyday use.
Meditation courses & meditation apps
If you are struggling to create a daily meditation practice a meditation course may help you develop this habit. Online courses are a great way to solidify your commitment, stay disciplined, and connect with others. It can be encouraging and enlightening to interact with other meditators in the live sessions. However, if you prefer a less social experience many courses also offer on-demand classes.
To discover more courses read our blog Top Online Meditation 2023.
Beginners may also want to try a meditation app if a course isn’t appealing. Apps like Headspace, Waking Up, Calm, Insight Timer, Breethe, Simple Habit, and The Mindfulness App are great options. Many of these apps offer free meditations as well as premium content.