Despite your zen ambitions, it is easy to forget to stop and meditate each day. As people set a New Year’s resolution or personal goal to meditate daily, more and more will not reach their goal because they don’t develop a plan and stick to it.
You won’t be one of those people, because you’re powered with this. Behavior change is something we’ll cover more in later posts, but one of the keys is having the proper triggers-events that remind you to take action- to remind you of the desired behavior. Here are seven triggers you can use to meditate daily. Choose the one or more that you think will work best for you to keep a regular meditation practice.
1. When You Wake Up
First things first. This is my preferred time to do a single task. I currently am working on a daily goal of writing 750 words a day, and this post is a part of that. First thing in the morning is a great time because you just do it. It becomes your default action over time, just roll out of bed and get to your practice. Be aware to identify if you find yourself too groggy to get started. You should be meditating, not napping!
2. Before/After a meal
Meditating before a meal in particular can help you focus and prevent yourself from binge eating. By being more aware going into the meal, you can then also practice mindful eating. Sitting after a meal is an option as well, but try to not eat any foods that will overly distract you from your meditation practice. Be sure to pick a specific mealtime for each day, whether it is before breakfast, your mid-afternoon snack.
3. Before/After a workout
Get in the zone before you work out! Top athletes across the world are practicing mindfulness to reach their top performance level. Get yourself in the right state of mind to achieve your athletic goals with meditation before your workout. Like with meals, we don’t recommend a strong meditation after your workout, as you may be too fatigued to maintain your focus. However, post workout is a good time to reflect on what you just did, and think about ways to improve.
4. Before/After a meeting
Whether it is a meeting with an client, your staff, or just a family gathering, a meditation before a meeting or event can help you focus your thoughts and possibly encourage greater empathy.
This is particularly relevant before situations that will become testy or high anxiety. Help yourself out beforehand with a meditation, and be more aware of any of your impulsive moments. If you need to have an outburst, at least be under control of it.
Technology Hack: If you have a regular meeting and use any calendaring software, set an earlier reminder before your meeting to also prepare your mind for it. Add an extra 5 minutes or more for a quick meditation.
5. Before/During/After Your Commute
Road rage is easy – you don’t know the person, you are just yelling at a car with someone who is clearly an idiot or a maniac inside. If you know you are about to be in traffic that drains your spirit, take an extra three minutes and meditate before you take the road. It might cause you to have some empathy for the old lady who clearly has never heard of a turn signal.
If something bad happens on your drive and you feel it affecting you, take a moment to meditate before you go into your next location. The last thing you want is to project your frustration from a bad drive on to someone else who had nothing to do with it.
Public transit (or carpooling ) provides the opportunity to meditate while on the go. If you feel comfortable doing so, close your eyes and tune out. Just be sure you don’t miss your stop!
6. Before Bed
You can purposefully practice meditation as a first step in the process of preparing for bed. A key here is to make sure you start this before you are too tired, and fall asleep before getting to the rest of your preparing for bed routine.
One of the top uses of meditation audio applications is to help with falling asleep. While it is slightly different, in that after the meditation you won’t be able to reflect on it, it is still better than nothing at all.
One of the best parts of using a biofeedback application like Clarity is that it trains you to calm the mind. Use the same process to fall asleep.
7. Set a daily alarm
Set a block of time out of your daily schedule for meditation, say a half hour at 2pm, and set it as a recurring event in your calendar. The key here is to stick to your time daily.
A simple trick is to set the even as a recurring event in your calendar. This way your daily practice time is protected against someone scheduling a meeting. If you use Clarity to practice meditation you can set a daily reminder time within the app.
8. Your Personal Trigger
We hope you find a way to practice in a way that suits you. These seven moments are great cues, but we invite you to consider what are the triggers that you find most suitable. When do you meditate? Leave a comment on Twitter or Facebook and share your tips on how you best find and make the time to meditate each day.