I always do things the hard way.
I wish I could say I was one of those people who listened well and had everything come easy but that's just not how I learned these meditation tips.
When I began meditating I did everything the "wrong way".
These meditation tips are going to help you avoid the common mistakes most people make, save you from trial-and-error experiments, and above all get you to your goals faster.
60 Meditation Tips That Get Results and Save Time
1. Start Small
When you begin learning meditation you might stumble across "experts" that say you need to meditate for 20-30 minutes at a time. While its a good idea to work up to that, you shouldn't start there.
No matter which way you slice it, mediation is a practice. You wouldn't go to the gym for the first time and load the bar with 315 lbs. or sign up for a spartan beast before training.
In the same way, becoming an effective meditator starts with repetition. Begin your sits with just a few minutes at a time.
Starting with what's comfortable to you will help you develop a daily meditation practice. And daily practice is really where you get the results so don't be afraid to start small.
2. You Can Do It Anywhere
When you think of meditation you may picture monks in orange robes sitting silently on concrete floors.
You don't have to do that.
For one, it looks very uncomfortable (at least it would be for me) and meditation can be fruitfully done anywhere.
You can meditate in any room of your house, on the train ride home, out in nature, or any other place in this crazy world. Get creative with locations and practice bringing some consciousness and peace into every part of your day.
3. You Don't Have to Close Your Eyes
I'm thankful I learned this lesson early on. I'm what you would call "hyperactive"... meaning sitting silently with my eyes closed was about as fun as listening to an audio-recording of nails on a chalkboard.
If you also feel this way, you'll be happy to know that you can keep your eyes open during meditation.
It helps to find an object in the room. It can be a statue, painting, picture, or even a textured wall.
Get in a comfortable position and try to focus on that object. Notice the features of it. How does it look? What color is it? What's its texture? Is it warm? And so on.
Asking yourself questions about the object can help you stay single minded on what you're doing and keep your focus off your "to-do's".
It's one of my favorite ways to ground myself and I do it all day at the office (when I'm not with clients).
4. Keep it Simple
Eckhart Tolle says,
"one conscious breath in and out is a meditation."
With all of the information out there its easy to get overwhelmed. Meditation is all about trying to clear your mind (or clear it as much as possible) and the easiest way is to keep things simple.
When starting out, you don't need to worry about all of the different styles of meditation, the rules, or anything else. Whether its sitting quietly for two minutes or focusing on your breath, whatever works for you is perfectly fine.
5. Try a Walking Meditation
You don't have to force a sitting session. If you're wound up or have a lot on your mind then sitting down to meditate won't be very relaxing.
Try to get outside and practicing mindfully walking or a walking meditation. Keep in mind that its pretty natural to feel restless when you first begin meditating.
During the first week or two you should try to persist through this restlessness and make yourself sit. But if its a hard day or you've been practicing for a few weeks, it can help to get out for a walk and then try sitting back down later.
6. Experiment With Times
There are a few times of day that are better to meditate than others but the rules aren't hard and fast.
In general its better to meditate just after waking in the morning or just before bed at night. The reason is because your mind is naturally in a more relaxed state at those times.
However, some people like meditating in the afternoon or other times during the day. Experiment to see what works best for you. You don't have to stick with the popular norms to have great meditations.
7. Don't Get Bogged Down in Details
It's easy to get stuck when there's so many styles of meditation out there. It's also common worry about where to sit, what cushion to get, how to sit, etc.
The important thing is to start and don't focus too much on the details. You're usually starting with short meditations anyway.
While you may want to find a good cushion, position and style as you make meditation part of your routine, its not needed in the beginning. Just get started in a chair or on some thick blankets if you're comfortable on the floor. Later you can figure out the routine that fits you best.
8. Count Your Breaths
One way to keep your mind "busy" while meditating is to turn your attention to your breath. I've found this method works well when I have a hard time getting my mind off of everything left to do today.
Once you're settled in, simply turn your attention to your breath. Count your breaths from 1-10 and then start over. Breathe in (one) and out (two), breathe in (three) and out (four) and so on.
If you lose count, just start over at one or where you remember leaving off. If you're a heavily productive person you may find your mind wandering a lot and catch yourself trying to fudge the numbers. Don't do it. You'll only be hurting your own results.
The quality of your meditation will depend on the "work" you're willing to put in. If you're honest with yourself you'll get far better results.
9. Allow Your Mind to Wander
When sitting down to meditate its natural for the mind to wander. But it can be frustrating enough to make you think you just aren't built to meditate.
Don't let this little road block stop you.
When you sit down, take a moment to just let your mind wander. Get comfortable in your position, notice the sounds around you, and let your mind go wherever it wants.
Once you're settled, practice gently bringing your focus back to your breath. Throughout your meditation you'll probably have to do this multiple times (especially at first).
When a thought comes up, try to let it pass by without going into it. But when you do find yourself distracted, avoid getting upset and simply bring your focus back to what you're doing.
With practice you'll find that your mind wanders less often and you'll notice you're more aware of your thoughts during the rest of the day.
10. Get a Guide
Guided meditations are one of the best ways to quickly get into meditation. If you have a hard time clearing your mind or you just want to try something different, go for a guided meditation.
A guided meditation is an audio or video recording of a guide with soft music in the background. Often they'll ask you to visualize things like "walking through the woods until you come upon a beautiful waterfall" and things like that.
They're great because you're visualizing positive things the whole time you're meditating which keeps the mind busy and makes it a lot easier to get in the zone.
11. Listen to Soft Music
Speaking of soft background music, it can help if you have some music on. If the guided meditation is distracting or just not your thing, then consider trying a little ambient music.
Its best to stay away from music with lyrics that can be distracting and opt for the ambient, soft music instead.
When sitting down to meditate you may find that you become hyper aware of the sounds around you. In this case the music offers you something else to listen to that's peaceful and may help you clear your mind or focus on your breath.
12. Don't Sweat Your Thoughts
Thinking about the list of things you still have to get done today is perfectly natural at first. Instead of getting upset, just let it happen. Let your mind go into whatever thought is pressing you and then ask yourself, "if I let this thought go for the next 5 minutes, will it hurt anything?"
Chances are that it won't make any difference in the outcome. If the answer is "no, it won't hurt anything" then give yourself permission to let it go and take the next few minutes for yourself.
If you can't let it go, then handle it and come back to your meditation later. Or go outside and practice a walking meditation instead.
13. Practice Makes Perfect
You've probably heard the expression, "practice makes perfect" before.
In meditation this is especially true. Practicing daily, even if its just 2-3 minutes, will make you better. The more you practice and make meditation a part of your routine, the more you'll begin desiring meditation and committing to longer sessions.
Those longer sessions will gradually become easier and before you know it you'll have no problem clearing your mind.
It probably won't be easy at first though. That's okay. There's a lot of meditation tips here to help you get focused. Keep trying and moving forward. If you miss a day, all is not lost; just get back into it tomorrow.
14. Discover Your Style
Nothing is concrete when it comes to meditation. The whole experience is personal and individual to you.
Take some time to figure out what you like doing and what gives you the best results. Try counting breaths, guided, soft music, walking and anything else you can think of.
You'll find something that you really like. It'll be the one that gives you the most dramatic shift in how you feel. And trust me, you'll experience this shift if you stick with it.
15. Keep a Gentle Focus
Rather than straining to make yourself focuuuuuuuus! on what you're doing, keep a more flexible and softer focus. Whether you're counting breaths or looking at an object in the room, avoid "trying" too hard.
If your mind is busy try letting it wander for a moment. Acknowledge the thought that came into your awareness and then let it go. If you're focusing on an object in the room, try asking yourself questions about the object.
Whatever you're focusing on is meant to serve as a guide rather than a rule. Relax, give some grace and enjoy yourself.
16. Don't Stress About Hand Position
While it can help with posture if your hands are placed on a blanket or pillow on your lap, its not necessary when you're meditating for just a few minutes. To start you can put your hands in any position.
Placing them on your thighs (palms up or down) is a good position to start with.
You've probably seen all of the pictures (maybe even on our website) of the women in the lotus position with their fingers touching. That's not necessary... ever...
The other thing to note here is that you can move your hands whenever you want. Some people think you have to sit perfectly still in the position that you started in. That's not true. If you start in one position and it's not comfortable, just change positions.
17. Get a Cushion
Cushions aren't necessary when you're just starting with a few minutes of meditation. But when you get up to longer than 10-15 minutes you're going to want a cushion. Check out this guide on meditation cushions for our picks on the best cushions, benches, and more.
18. Are You Awake Yet?
Have you ever dosed off when sitting down to meditate? It happens more often than you'd think. The best times to meditate are first thing in the morning and/or right before bed at night.
That's because you're naturally in a more relaxed state at those times.
But you want to make sure that you're awake before starting. If you're not a morning person ( like me ) then its a good idea to have some organic coffee or tea before jumping into your sitting session.
Give yourself some time to get your eyes open, move around a little, whatever you have to do to make sure you can remain awake and soft focused throughout your session.
19. Maintain Good Posture
Meditation posture is a very important meditation tip. If your back hurts because you're slumped over then you won't get much from your meditation session.
When starting out, you may not be able to sit in the lotus ( cross legged ) position because of flexibility limits. In this case there's a few things you can do. One, you can start in a chair with your feet flat on the floor. This is a position that almost anyone can feel comfortable in.
Two, you can get a good meditation cushion. You don't need a cushion to meditate but it can make a big difference in your posture. Many people find them so helpful that they'll sit on their cushion when reading, watching TV, or just relaxing.
20. Try Different Positions
Speaking of posture, you can sit in any position you want as long as you have good posture and feel comfortable. The point of meditation is to clear your mind and increase your focus.
So being comfortable enough to maintain consciousness is key. If you find that the lotus isn't comfortable then move to a chair, cushion, couch, park bench or anywhere that you feel good.
Experiment until you find something that works for you. Maybe a walking meditation is better for you? If that's the case then go for it. It's your journey.
21. Stretch Before Meditating
Sitting and clearing your mind can feel impossible at first. But trust this little meditation tip: doing some light stretching or pre-meditation yoga will get your blood flowing and help you clear your mind. This makes it a lot easier to sit for both shorter and longer periods of time.
You'd be surprised at the difference a little light stretching can make. If your minds running a hundred miles an hour or you're still sleepy in the morning, do some gentle stretches before sitting down. You'll quickly notice how much easier your meditation feels.
22. Find Your Quiet Place
Every once and a while I enjoy a completely silent meditation. No music, no guide, just me and the peaceful silence. It can be a very moving experience when done properly.
But if your dog runs up and licks your face its going to be hard to concentrate.
The goal with silent meditation is to find a place in your house where you won't be disturbed by any people or puppies. If you're a morning person then try waking up 30 minutes before everyone else to do your meditation.
It also helps if you have a dedicated space in your home that's specifically for meditating. It acts like a mental trigger and makes it easier to get into a good head-space when you sit down.
23. Feel Your Body
Take a moment to check in with your body. Notice how the weight of your body feels against the chair or cushion. Scan from head to toe and notice any sore areas. Check in with your posture to see if you're sitting up straight.
A simple full body check in only has to take a minute or two and it helps to raise your awareness of the present moment.
Noticing how your body feels, right now, in this space helps to settle the mind and bring focus back to the right here right now.
This is good practice for the first two or three minutes of your meditation. If you're just starting out and only doing a two or three minute meditation then this is a good way to spend your time.
24. Notice Things Around You
Noticing the things around you is typically done after checking in with your body. Once you've become aware of where you are in this moment, try to notice any sounds you hear in the distance.
Allow your mind to wander to these sounds for a moment.
If you're meditating with your eyes open, then spend a moment looking at the things around you. You don't have to move your head to look around the room. Just notice anything that's already in your sight line.
Pay attention to it for a moment and try to suspend judgement and labeling. Simply appreciate and observe whatever sound or object comes into your awareness.
25. Push Yourself Just Enough
For the first few weeks you're trying to build the habit of meditating into your routine. So sticking with short meditations is perfectly fine. But once you've been meditating for a week or two you can start pushing yourself a little more.
Aim to go a little longer each time you sit down (until you get to 20 or 30 minutes), try to clear your mind a little faster, focus a little better, or get a little more relaxed.
There's a caveat here though; with meditation, the harder you try the farther you get from your goal. So the idea is not to "get" to a place. Rather the mission is to relax into these goals.
Try setting a meditation timer for a few minutes longer than the last time. Then completely take your attention off of the time and focus on your meditation.
26. Bring a Friend
This is one of the best ways to make daily meditation practice into a habit. Find a friend and make them your accountability partner. Agree to text each other reminders each day and report back about your experience.
Have them read these meditation tips before starting.
I got this idea from my wife who did this with a friend. They agreed to do a 30 day meditation routine and text their experiences back and forth each day. For example, you may listen to a guided meditation and then write your partner about how you felt, what you saw, and what your main takeaway was.
It doesn't matter what you text to your partner.
The point of this exercise is to help you build meditation into your daily routine. And having a partner you're accountable to can help with follow through. Especially if you're an extroverted people person.
Since meditation is a personal practice, knowing you have a friend doing it with you can make it more fun.
27. Get Outside
Getting out in nature for a meditation can be one of the most invigorating experiences of your life. There's something about the fresh air, water and greenery that just makes us feel connected and alive.
If you're one of the fortunate people who live near some woodlands then try going out there for a meditation. You can find a large rock or perch for a sitting meditation (with your eyes open or closed), or you can walk around and notice things.
Here's a fun idea for breaking the typical mental chatter. When you see something, give it another name in your head. If you see a tree, label it a "bird" or something else.
When we mentally label something what it is (like calling a tree a tree) our minds have a tendency to pigeon hole that object into a neat little mental box.
The box it goes into is the one where you already know what a tree is and therefore your mind can take its attention off of it and put it onto other things (like fears and worries).
When you switch the label to something completely different it forces your mind to focus longer on that object. It's during this time that you can really begin to observe and appreciate the thing you're looking at.
28. Meditate on an Empty Stomach
You don't swim after eating right...
While meditating on a full stomach won't cause you to cramp up, it can lead to dosing off and lost awareness. I don't recommend meditating while you're starving either but if you find that you're sleepy during meditation this may be the culprit. So try to wait an hour or two after your meal before getting into your session.
When we're under a lot of stress it often shows through in the muscles of our faces. The reason is that we hold tension in our muscles and especially the muscles of the face.
Forcing yourself to hold a light smile can release some of that tension and make it easier to relax during your meditation. You don't have to show any teeth or be cheesy but keeping the Mona Lisa thing can make a difference in how you feel.
30. Avoid Emotional Meditation
Perhaps you had a frustrating day at work or maybe you're going through some relationship troubles. Either way avoid emotional meditation. You know how you're not supposed to say things when you're angry or upset because you might say something you regret?
Emotional meditation can lead you down a rabbit hole of negative thoughts that ruin your day or at best make it hard to concentrate.
Get out of the house, take a walk, go exercise, read a book or do something else until you're in a different head space. Then come back to your meditation when you're relaxed and able to concentrate.
31. Make a Dedicated Space
Having a dedicated space in your house, whether its a whole room or part of one, can make daily practice much more convenient. Going through the process of setting up a room or space is fun. And having that dedicated area serves as a mental anchor that it's time to meditate.
It's kind of like going to the gym vs. doing P90X. The gym is a dedicated space for exercise and when you get there, its time to focus.
A great meditation space serves the same purpose. When you get there, you know its time to relax and breathe. It becomes easier to get into a good mental space and when you're done you go about your business.
32. Release Fears and Frustrations
This goes right along with avoiding emotional meditation. When you're frustrated it's a good time to do something else.
When frustrated its easy to go deeper into thought about what's upsetting you. Instead of going that route, take some time to get out of your head. Exercise is a great way to release built up frustration and when you get back it'll be much easier to focus.
33. Read a Book on Meditation
Though you don't need to know everything there is about meditation, its a good idea to brush up a little. You can attend some meditation classes to get hands on instruction but even then a book is useful.
Reading up can help you understand more about your practice and keep you from shooting in the dark.
You'll learn the different styles of meditation and what can be used for different purposes throughout your life. There are many Christian books on meditation and every practice can be formatted to fit your beliefs.
34. Practice Being Present All Day
Meditation is a lifestyle of peacefulness and connection. Meaning that your serenity doesn't have to end the moment you leave the carpet.
Practice being mindful throughout your day. When you're walking, pick your head up and look around. Pay attention to your breathing and whether its shallow or deep.
Notice the taste and texture of your food and chew every bite fully. This has the side benefit of causing you to eat slower and typically those who do this end up consuming fewer calories and losing weight.
The point is to pay attention to what you're doing. Look for times when you "zone out" such as driving or washing your hands. No matter what it is, this is a moment of your very short life so try not to let it slip by unnoticed.
35. Set a Timer
Setting a timer allows you to pull your focus off time. This is huge if you have stuff to do right after. Without a timer you might find yourself checking the clock every few minutes. This alone will hurt your ability to relax and truly have a good meditation.
You can set a timer on your phone or check out this one on amazon.
36. On Second Thought... Don't Set a Timer
Alright, I know I just said to set a timer but hear me out. Sometimes a timer can interfere with your practice. If you find the timer going off before you've had the chance to go deep or you find yourself anxiously checking the timer then forgo limiting your time.
Sometimes it's nice to just let yourself feel the meditation out and go longer or shorter as you desire.
I typically do this when I have some extra time in the morning or when I'm meditating before bed at night. Its very liberating and often my best meditations are freestyle like this.
37. Don't Force It
When you're starting out you're typically going to begin slow with 5 minutes or less. But if 5 minutes is too much or you try to meditate longer but can't stay focused, don't force it.
It's all about going with the flow. If you need to get up and you can't sit still any longer then listen to your body. You can always come back later and do another few minutes.
38. Experiment With Different Techniques
After reading a book or some blogs on meditation you'll learn that there's more than one way to meditate. Try the different techniques and see what happens. If you don't like one technique, try another.
There's plenty of books covering many different techniques and guided meditation programs you can buy that walk you through meditations for specific purposes. If you have trouble sleeping, for example, there's meditation programs to help you sleep better.
Try them out and see what you notice.
You may find one technique that completely changes your mental state and decide to stick with it. You'll never know if you don't try so don't be afraid to experiment a little.
39. Release Expectations
When you've heard about how great meditation can make you feel, its easy to set high expectations for yourself. While its good to have a goal when you sit down, its not good if it consumes your thoughts.
Set your intention but release the outcome. Remember, with meditation the harder you try the further you get from your goal.
If you're internally insisting upon reaching some result you'll probably find yourself overthinking and frustrated. Opening yourself to the possibilities that can arise will relieve the pressure and open you up for a much higher quality session.
40. Set Your Intention
So how do you set your intention? The way to do it is to figure out what you desire from the session you're about to go into. Do you want to go one minute longer this time? Maybe you want to feel more relaxed when you're done.
Once you've decided you can simply say to yourself (out loud or quietly), "I intend to XXXX". The act of stating what you want is powerful. Your subconscious mind will immediately go to work on manifesting that intention.
After you've set your intention, sit down and release the outcome. Continue setting your intention every time you meditate. If you have an intention, you're more likely to stick with your session because you've set a goal.
As the saying goes, "if you don't know where you are going, any road will get you there". - Lewis Carroll
41. Practice Gratitude
Gratitude is one of the best ways to put yourself in a positive state. You don't have to be meditating to use this meditation tip. The fact is that you can't be both angry, sad, mad, etc. and grateful at the same time. They don't coexist together.
I like to do this the moment I open my eyes in the morning. I'll look around the room while I'm lying there and find at least 3 things I'm grateful for.
There was a time, when I began this practice, that I would look around and think to myself, "Everything in here is normal. There's nothing particularly special about it."
At that time I thought my stuff was just normal...
Then I learned that MOST of the world lives on less than $2 per day. And that the roof over my head, the crown molding on my walls and the lamp on my night stand really are something to feel grateful for.
So when you wake up, try to find at least 3 things. They don't have to be anything extraordinary.
It doesn't have to be an object either. It can be your kids, wife/husband, or something else. Take a moment to feel positive emotions for them and then go about your day. Chances are you'll begin noticing more things to feel grateful for and you'll definitely be in a better mood because of it.
42. Wake Up Early...
If you've got a house full of little ones it can seem like finding a quiet place to meditate is impossible. If you're a morning person then try waking up 20-30 minutes before everyone else. You'll be able to get your coffee and quick meditation before the house gets noisy and you'll be in a great head-space for the rest of your day.
43. Or Stay Up Late
If you're not a morning person then your ticket may be staying up a little later. Once everyone goes to sleep you can take a few minutes to sip a little night time tea and meditate. Make it your personal relaxation routine and you may find yourself falling asleep faster and sleeping deeper than ever before.
44. Get Your Family on The Same Page
If your family aren't aware that you're on this new meditation journey, they may be inclined to walk up when they need something.
Let your family know what you're doing ahead of time. and make sure they know you're serious about your practice.
If you live with roommates then let them know too. Try not to meditate at times when everyone needs to be doing life (like the middle of the day) and you should have no problem with interruptions.
If you can't get any quiet time in your house, don't let it stop your practice. Get outside, wake up early, or stay up a little later. You only need a few minutes so it shouldn't be a big deal for them.
45. Eliminate Distractions
There's nothing worse than getting into your meditation and your phone starts ringing.
When you sit down for your meditation try to eliminate as many distractions as possible. If you have a curious puppy, put him in the kennel for a few minutes. Turn the phone on silent, set your timer (or don't), and hang a sign no the door that says "do not disturb."
Eliminating as many distractions as you can will help you have higher quality meditations and require less time since you won't be starting and stopping.
46. Join a Group or Studio
At Freedom Genesis we do a lot of meditation classes. We answer questions and, in general, find that people tend to enjoy the class environment. It's not for everyone but if you're having a hard time getting traction in your practice it can help to join a group for a little while. Its a great way to learn from more experienced people, make friends and fast track your progress.
47. Be Willing to Confront Emotions
Meditation is a very personal practice. Not personal like you have to be alone when you do it but personal because you're going inside of yourself.
You may find some hard emotions coming up. As a man, I've had a tendency to bottle my emotions. When I began meditating I found myself saying things like "this is stupid" or "I can't do this" or even getting angry when I would sit down.
The truth is that I was confronting decades of bottled emotions. When I sat still I was no longer able to distract myself with being busy. I had to - just. sit. down. - and become aware.
You may also find yourself dealing with some difficult emotions at first. Don't fight the river. Allow it to come up, feel it and release it. If you're having a hard time experiencing the emotions, direct your attention to how it feels in your body.
Do a full body scan and notice what areas are tense, how's your breathing, etc. This helps pull the attention out of your head and into the present. If it gets too hard, take a walk and come back later. Remember, you want to end you meditations on a positive note as often as possible.
48. Meditate For Answers
Sometimes sitting in silence is all it takes to find an elusive answer.
I've found that overthinking has been a specialty of mine. There's been so many times that I've thought and thought about how to solve a problem and found myself unable to come up with the solution I want.
It isn't until I sit and listen to myself. To my internal voice. That I'll actually find the right answer. Sometimes it takes a while and sometimes it only takes a few minutes.
If you find yourself struggling in some area, it might be a business choice or a relationship, try sitting in silence. Set your intention to get an answer to this question and then clear your mind and wait for it to come. The answer WILL come.
It might not be the one you want or what you wanted to hear because it makes your life harder for a little while. But trust yourself and you'll find that you're much happier in the long run.
49. Trust Yourself
Speaking of trusting yourself, you don't have to have everything right when you begin.
Meditation can be as simple or as complicated as you want to make it. Keeping it simple is always my preferred choice. Trust that you can meditate successfully even if you don't know all there is to know.
Reading a book will help you grasp the theoretical information about technique and why you're doing it but at the end of the day, its all about practice. So trust yourself to simply dive in and start. You'll figure out the rest as you go.
50. Get Up Slowly
So you just finished your meditation. What now?
Do you spring up from lotus and jump right back into the hustle and bustle of life? Not if you can avoid it. Take a minute to relax, open your eyes, look around and slowly get up.
Spending one or two minutes transitioning back into your day is ideal for keeping stress low and making sure those positive feelings stay with you all day.
51. Make It Fun
Just because meditation is silent and can be serious doesn't mean it has to. We rarely continue doing things that we don't enjoy and one way of keeping it enjoyable is by making it fun.
Try different guided meditations, make it a game to meditate for 5 minutes in different outdoor locations, and get some sweet meditation gear. Mixing things up always makes them more interesting and meditations no different.
52. You Don't Have to Quiet Your Mind
It's nice when you can silence the mind but you should know that its not a requirement. Being present and mindful during your day will most often be about observing the things you're doing.
Noticing the characteristics, smells, and other sensations you experience.
Bringing mindfulness or higher awareness into your day isn't always going to look like sitting quietly. During the work day it's probably going to be more like a silent conversation with yourself. You'll catch your mind wandering and have to remind yourself to appreciate the moment.
Practical mindfulness for the working person is more about directing your focus.
When you're eating, focus on the taste and texture. When you're washing your hands, notice the temperature of the water and smell of the soap.
With practice and consistency you'll require less conversation and find yourself naturally becoming more aware throughout your day.
53. Make it a Lifestyle
Meditation comes in several degrees. There's the individual who meditates for hours every day because they have dedicated their life to the practice. There's the person who went to a class once. And there's you...
Aim to be somewhere in the middle. Spending hours every day is completely unnecessary if you want some stress relief and a better mood. But making meditation part of a lifestyle rather than a hobby is all but a requirement.
When its a lifestyle, its something you do every day; no matter what.
It becomes the most important part of your day. As a result, you practice and live the low stress lifestyle you dreamed about when you began.
54. Winning Isn't Everything
Winning at meditation isn't possible because its a personal practice. If you're a type-A person then you may think trying harder is going to get you "there" faster.
Ironically the opposite is true. If you sit into your meditation and focus on getting somewhere you'll only pull your focus off the present and into the future goal.
This is why we release the outcome of our meditations.
When you let go of the future destination you're able to appreciate and become fully aware of the present moment. When you become fully aware of the present moment, you're there. This moment is the destination you're striving for. All you have to do is relax and let it happen.
55. Look For Times That You Zone Out
Have you ever gone home and realized you don't remember anything about your drive? Its easy to zone out and become lost in thought when we're doing repetitive tasks.
These are golden times to bring awareness into your life.
Make it a point to look for these times during your day and start being more present through them. You'll quickly notice yourself getting more fulfillment out of these tasks and it'll raise your mood.
56. Take 5
As humans we have biological rhythms and our energy ebbs and flows every 60-90 minutes.
Rather than reaching for a cup of coffee right away, try sitting back and meditating for 5 minutes. You can keep your eyes open, focus on something in the room and practice breathing deep. Even if you still go for coffee this can reduce stress and help you take on the next hour with intensity and focus.
57. Meditate in Line, Waiting Rooms, Etc.
One of my favorite times to practice being aware are in lines and waiting rooms. These are times which would normally be wasted with me impatiently waiting to get somewhere.
Instead of spending those precious minutes being annoyed with the size of the line, take some breaths and find something that can be appreciated. I often look around at the different people. It becomes a fun game of people watching in the present moment rather than another boring wait.
Try this next time you're waiting around and notice how much better your experience becomes.
58. Set a Reminder
If you have a busy schedule and struggle remembering to meditate then try setting a reminder. This is especially useful in the beginning when you're trying to establish meditation as a part of your routine.
If you have an iphone or another smart phone, you can set a reminder to go off at the same time every day. Then all you have to do is commit yourself to meditating when it goes off.
59. Focus on a Candle
The flicker of a candle is almost hypnotic. If you have a hard time focusing on a still object then a lit candle might be your ticket. The dancing flame can help keep your attention and the soft light is just right for relaxation.
60. Do a Foot-soak or Bath First
Putting your brain waves into a lower frequency, such as what happens when you're really relaxed, can make it much easier to clear your mind in meditation.
Soaking your feet in warm water and epsom salt is both detoxifying and helps to relax the whole body. While it may be a luxury you can't always afford with your busy schedule, its nice to do once in a while.
A variation you probably can do every day is to meditate after your warm bath or shower. Try it out and see how you feel. You may decide you never want to meditate without it again.
If you have any meditation tips to share, let us know in the comments below!