How to create a comfortable meditation routine

Meditation is very powerful and has many health benefits, especially if you do it on a regular basis. Have you made meditation your daily habit yet? Here’s how to create a comfortable meditation routine!

What is a habit?

Before we start talking about routines, it is important to focus a bit on ‘habits’. A habit is something you do automatically, without even thinking about it. This is often the case with subconscious actions.

People have good and bad habits, both of which are difficult to break. Examples of bad habits are nail biting, smoking and snacking when feeling stressed. You can imagine how difficult it is to change these habits in a positive way, because they feel like second nature.

Breaking positive habits is difficult and that’s very powerful! If you’ve made meditation your habit, it’s a routine you do without thinking about it and it probably feels strange when you skip a meditation or two.

When does something become a habit?

Various studies have been done on how habits come to exist and how they are created. One of these studies was conducted by University College in London. This study showed that it takes at least 21 days to form a new habit. Yet it does not necessarily mean that it truly has become a habit.

After about 66 days there is a good chance that a habit has become a behavior which is performed automatically. If your goal is to meditate on a daily basis and you have persevered for 66 days, chances are that you have made meditation your positive habit.

However there is no guarantee. The same research from University College also shows that the time it takes to form a habit varies from person to person. Some people form a habit within 21 days, others need about 250 days.

If you’re looking to make meditation a serious habit, set a realistic goal for yourself. Include a time frame that is not too close and not too far away either.

For example, your goal might be: ‘I'm going to use the next six months to make meditation a habit.’ There's a good chance that the habit will actually stick for life.

Start with the first step

The hardest part of starting something new is taking the first step. Buddha talked about this: “starting is a crucial part of getting things done”.

I’m going to start tomorrow… How often did you want to start a project or a good habit without actually starting it because you ‘just haven’t gotten around to it yet’? To really get something off the ground you have to take the first step.

Make sure the first step is simple and accessible. For example, the first step in making meditation a habit is to choose your meditation for today. Even better, pick a meditation that you can do right now, within the next 5 minutes.

Create a meditation routine

In other words, to make something a habit you really have to do it and keep at it until it almost feels like second nature.

One way to do this is to create a meditation routine. Routine refers to the order in which you do certain things and often consists of different habits.

As part of a meditation routine, you can eventually use other habits. For example, think about doing breathing exercises or using affirmations.

The following three tips will help you create a meditation routine:

1. Choose a set time

The best way to get into the habit is to do it every day (or every week, whatever you would like to implement) at a set time. The ‘danger’ of not scheduling is that you'll be busy all day and never find the time to meditate. For many people, the morning (just after getting up) or the evening (just before going to bed) is a good time to meditate.

2. Choose a regular spot

Choose a regular spot where you can go to meditate. This makes it easy to meditate. As soon as you sit down in this particular spot, you get into the ‘meditation mode'. Preferably a place in your home where you cannot be disturbed or distracted. You can also use a yoga mat or meditation cushion.

3. Set a meditation reminder

Did you know that you can set a meditation reminder in the app? It will give you a friendly reminder, at a set time, that you ‘need’ to meditate. This makes it even easier to get into the habit.

To set a meditation reminder go to 'settings' > 'push notifications' > 'meditation reminder’. You can set the time for a daily reminder to meditate. Good luck!

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