Meditation isn’t easy for everyone. Some take to it like a duck to water, whereas others take a significant amount of time to even gel with 10-minute sessions. Taking time to train your mind not to wander off and focus on your breathing can take a lot of patience and discipline, however, sometimes real life can make this process even harder.
If you’re looking to improve your ability to meditate and live a much calmer existence, then there are a few lifestyle changes you can try to help improve your general state of mind.
Reduce screen time
One of our biggest forms of distraction in this modern age is our smartphones and tablets. Social media, in particular, only adds pressure to our daily lives. The urge to rid our screens of little red notifications, check our comments have been replied to or mindlessly scroll through our endless newsfeeds can all affect our attention spans. Setting yourself a limit of your time spent on social media can help break the habit of constantly tapping on your social media buttons – particularly if you have a bit of a weakness for any particular platforms. In particular, you can try completely removing your phone or laptop from the bedroom or the dinner table –which could hugely affect the amount of time you spend in front of a screen.
Take up yoga
Sitting and focusing on breathing can feel pretty alien when you first begin to do it. If you’re particularly bad for fidgeting, then taking up an equally meditative practice that involves a bit of physical movement could be hugely helpful. Yoga uses stretching and focusing on holding positions to allow people to focus on their breathing in any given moment. It’s also been said to leave a feeling of intense calm afterward, which could help you relax and leave you feeling particularly zen before or after a hard day’s work.
Don’t be hard on yourself
Don’t let meditation become something you have to be good at – in fact, it’s advised that you remove any idea of what you think it is at all. If you’ve had a few moments of meditation that haven’t gone well because of life’s distractions or your mind has wandered without you even realizing, then it’s best just to start again.
Tackle bigger issues
If you’re struggling to be mindful because of bigger, more troublesome issues, then it’s wise to address those. Finding what is stealing your mind from the present moment and tackling it will not only help you be more mindful, but also happier in your wider existence. If you’re struggling with addiction, for example, then don’t delay in getting some help. Using services such as Forward Recovery can help you heal and confront ongoing issues that deserve treating.
Whether your tendency to spend time on your smartphone is affecting your ability to rest your mind, or a much more serious issue is stopping you from finding a mindful state, then it’s always wise to find a way of tackling the issue. Resolving ongoing frustrations and distractions will ultimately make the process of being mindful much easier and rewarding in the long-run.