How to Start and Stick with an at Home Meditation Practice Part 1

The therapeutic benefits of a regular meditation practice is well researched. A regular practice can help you be less reactive to stress, help you calm your nervous system, decrease blood pressure, reduce cortisol, enhances self-awareness and helps with focus. These benefits are out of reach if you take a band aid approach and only use meditation on “bad days.” I know I used to do that and felt good in the moment but it was extremely temporary. I realized for a longer impact I Needed to create a more consistent practice.

When you create a consistent practice you are actually helping increase grey matter In the brain that controls emotional regulation and decreases brain cell development in the amygdala where the fear center is located. Research also shows that it rivals antidepressants for anxiety and depression. That leaves the question, how can you start an at home meditation and stick with an at home meditation practice?

Here is how to get started:

1. Create a space for it where you won’t be interrupted, you might have to get creative here! I’ve had clients create space in a closet, their car or in a corner in their home office. Decide if you want to sit on a meditation cushion, regular chair or a yoga bolster. IT helps to have your feet on the floor with your spine straight, shoulders rolled back. You can sit cross legged or with your feet on the floor. Hands can sit gently on your lap or in a mudra (hand position). One mudra you can use is to touch forefinger tip to your thumb and keep the other fingers up

2. Talk to family members or roommates that you aren’t’ to be disturbed during this time, ask them to honor this sacred time you are giving yourself.

3. Decide when you will meditate and if you can choose a time that’s the same time daily. This helps create a habit by doing something at the same time daily.

4. Decide if you want to use a guided meditation like through YouTube, or an app like Headspace, insight Timer or Calm Or do you want to meditate on your own. Using apps is a great way to get your feet wet if you are a newbie. It can take some practice and skill to start meditating on your own.

5. If you decide to practice on your own, I recommend attending a meditation group or Sangha (community) to get started. It might be helpful to attend a training as well

6. Have objects close by that can help enhance your experience, this can include essential oils, crystals, grounding stones, meditation music, a candle, inspiring readings or affirmations

7. Start small with just a few minutes and gradually increase your time to what feels comfortable for you

It can take some time to get your practice rolling. You might have to experiment with the location, style of seat, what kind of meditation you want to do, and what objects you may want to have close by. Once you start to recognize the benefits of meditation, you will discover that this will provide a lot of motivation to keep with it. Check back in a couple weeks for tips on how to stick with your practice once you start it. Post in the comments any questions you have about starting a meditation practice.