Woman meditating

How to Establish A Mindfulness & Meditation Habit

How often have you started meditating or tried to be more mindful, but you soon find yourself falling back into old habits? If you’re anything like me, it’s happened more times than you can count.

The truth is, forming new habits can be hard. It takes time, effort, and consistency to really make a change in your life – but it is possible! And once you form the habit, it’ll be worth all the effort you put in. So, how can you ensure that you stick with your meditation habit this time?

To establish mindfulness and meditation as a habit, you’ll need to follow 6 simple steps.

  1. Start small
  2. Make time
  3. Get comfortable
  4. Set a goal
  5. Join a community
  6. Be patient

This article will go over why habit formation is important, the 6 steps to establish mindful habits, and how to make sure you actually stick with it this time, even if you’ve failed before.

Here’s why meditation and mindfulness are so important.

Before getting into the nitty-gritty of how to make meditation and mindfulness a habit, let’s take a step back and remind ourselves why we’re doing this in the first place. Everyone has different reasons for wanting to meditate or be more mindful, but we can all agree that it’s a good thing.

Countless studies show the benefits of meditation and mindfulness for our mental and physical health. Meditation can help to reduce stress and anxiety, improve our sleep, increase focus and concentration, and even make us smarter.

On the other hand, mindfulness helps us be more present in our lives and appreciate the little things. It can also help us to manage our emotions, improve our relationships, deal with difficult situations, and make better decisions.

And that’s not all – research also suggests that meditation and mindfulness can actually change the structure of our brains, making us happier and more resilient in the face of stress.

Clearly, there are a lot of good reasons to make meditation and mindfulness part of our lives. No matter what your reasoning is, the bottom line is that both meditation and mindfulness can have a hugely positive impact on your life.

RELATED: The 5 Most Powerful Benefits of Mindfulness Meditation

Meditation habit: Girl sitting on a rock meditating
Take time to form and establish a mindfulness & meditation habit

So, why is it so hard to make them a habit?

The answer is pretty simple – old habits die hard. And when it comes to forming new habits, our brains are actually working against us. You see, every time we repeat an action, our brain creates neural pathways that make it easier for us to do that thing again in the future. This is why it’s so easy to fall back into old habits – our brain is literally wired that way.

The good news is we can use this to our advantage. By meditating regularly, we’re actually strengthening the neural pathways associated with mindfulness and creating new ones that will make it easier for us to be mindful in the future. It’s no different than going to the gym to exercise – the more you do it, the easier it becomes.

In other words, the more we meditate, the stronger those pathways become, and the easier it is to be mindful in our everyday lives.

RELATED: 14 Amazing Benefits of Meditation That Can Actually Rewire Your Brain

Meditation habit: Woman sitting in a living room meditating
Meditation habit: Woman sitting in a living room meditating

6 tips for building a meditation and mindfulness habit.

Now that we know more about why it’s so important to make meditation and mindfulness a regular part of our lives, let’s talk about how we can make it happen. Here are some tips to get you started:

1. Start small.

When starting out, it’s important to keep things simple and start small. It’s tough to form a new habit if you’re trying to do too much at once, so it’s best to start with just a few minutes each day.

If this is your first time meditating, there are plenty of great resources and books to help you get started. Headspace is an excellent app for beginners, with 10-minute meditation sessions that you can do at your own pace. Once you get the hang of it, you can start to increase the length of your sessions.

2. Set a time.

A big part of making meditation and mindfulness a habit is setting aside time daily. Just like you would with any other important task, set a specific time for your meditation practice and make sure to stick to it.

If you’re trying to meditate first thing in the morning, set your alarm a few minutes early so you can sit down and meditate before starting your day. If you’re trying to meditate at night before bed, add it to your evening routine so you remember. Doing so will help you be more intentional about making time for your meditation practice and can help to prevent excuses from getting in the way.

3. Find a comfortable place.

Finding a place where you feel comfortable and can sit without being interrupted is important. If you’re trying to meditate at home, find a spot where you won’t be distracted by things like the TV or your phone. If you’re trying to meditate at work, see if there’s a quiet place you can go for a few minutes.

Having a comfortable place to meditate will help you to relax and focus on your practice. Over time, you’ll be able to meditate anywhere, but starting in a place where you feel comfortable and safe is helpful.

4. Set a goal.

One of the best motivators is having a specific goal in mind. When you’re first starting out, it can be helpful to set a goal for how often you want to meditate.

Decide how long you want to meditate for and how many days a week you want to do it. Once you reach your goal, you can start to increase the length of your sessions or the frequency with which you meditate.

5. Join a group.

If you’re having trouble sticking with your practice, try joining a meditation or mindfulness group. There are often groups that meet regularly to meditate together, and it can be helpful to have the support of others who are trying to establish a daily practice.

And remember, the goal is not to achieve perfection. The goal is simply to be more mindful and present in your everyday life. So it’s still beneficial even if you only meditate for a few minutes each day or only do it a few times a week.

6. Be patient.

It takes time to form a new habit, so keep going even if you don’t see results right away. It takes most people anywhere from 21 to 66 days to create a new habit, so stick with it and be patient.

And if you find yourself struggling, remember that it’s okay to take a break. Meditation and mindfulness are meant to be relaxing and stress-reducing, so if it’s starting to feel like a chore, take a step back and reassess your goals.

Meditation habit: Women meditating and burning incense
Meditation habit: Tips

Tips for staying on track with your habits.

If you’ve been trying to build a regular meditation habit but find yourself struggling to stick with it, here are a few extra tips that’ll help you get back on track:

Learn from your experience.

Skipped a day or two (or more?) Don’t beat yourself up about it. Instead, take some time to reflect on what might have caused you to fall off the wagon. What were the circumstances that led to you skipping your meditation? Once you identify the trigger, you can start to work on strategies to avoid it in the future.

Keep track of your progress.

One of the best ways to stay motivated is to keep track of your progress. If you’re struggling to stick with your meditation habit, try keeping a journal. Each day, write down how long you meditated for and how you felt afterward. This will help you see your progress and give you something to look back on when you’re feeling discouraged.

Commit to thirty days.

Once you’ve decided to start meditating, commit to doing it for thirty days. Doing so will help you establish a regular habit and give you time to see the benefits of meditation. It might seem like a long time, but it’s worth sticking with it and giving yourself a chance to succeed.

The takeaway

If you’ve struggled with maintaining a regular mindfulness or meditation habit in the past, try the tips mentioned above. And remember, the most important thing is to be patient and gentle with yourself. Meditation is a journey, not a destination, so enjoy the ride. They’ll help you build a more consistent practice that will help you reach your goals and feel happier, healthier, and more productive.

Do you have any tips for those who are struggling with starting a new meditation habit? Share your advice in the comments below!

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