Daily meditation can help you perform better at work
Overcoming Obstacles to Meditation
Like any habit, developing the capacity to regularly and deliberately focus my thoughts required dedication, time, and effort. To establish a foundation for incorporating meditation into my life, practice and repetition were essential. At first, I would employ concentration techniques like candle gazing, nature awareness, or breath awareness to learn to remain in quiet in the present because the act of sitting silently in meditation was so difficult for me. As I completed physical yoga positions, this focus helped me to fully connect with my body and what I was doing. As we learn to focus our mind, we learn to allow the thoughts that come into our awareness pass through, giving us the tools to start questioning the purpose of the thought all together.
When I first started practicing, I would write down my thoughts to prevent me from engaging in mental conversation with them. If I found myself unable to detach from having a conversation with them, I would repeat a phrase or word; this is referred to as a mantra in Sanskrit, the language of Yoga.
Whatever approach you choose, practice is necessary to develop and fully integrate this, as with any other skill. When we accept that it takes practice for us to be able to allow our thoughts to flow without conversation, we forgive ourselves when we revert to old thinking patterns, because that awareness allows us to gently prompt ourselves to return to simply being aware of what is going on in our minds.
It gets simpler to enter and stay in a meditative state when you experiment with different methods and figure out what works best for you to manage your thoughts. The more you practice coming back to the present during your meditations, the easier it becomes to incorporate coming back to what you are doing during your regular day, when thoughts threaten to either take you away from the present moment or cause some sort of energetic or emotional shift based on where they are taking you.
3 Simple Ways to Incorporate Daily Meditation
- Start your physical yoga practice by focusing on your breathing. As you stretch or move your body, link your motion to the length of your breath. Pay attention to the activity of each muscle in your body by purposefully making it as long and engaged as you can while you are taking additional breaths in the stretch or posture.
- Begin a sitting meditation by performing some basic stretches, finding a calm spot to sit, closing your eyes, and focusing on your breathing. As thoughts enter the mind, observe them without engaging in dialogue. Set an alarm and try to sit still for three minutes to begin. You can write down what pops up in your thoughts once you’re finished.
- You might also try a mindful meditation as an alternative to sitting. To practice this method, you can stroll along the beach, go swimming, climb a trail, or just sit or lie down on the grass and observe the sky or the trees. Start by becoming aware of your surroundings. For instance, the scenery when hiking, the pattern of your feet striking the ground when running or as you pedal your bicycle, the breath bubbles you release while you’re swimming, or the sky and clouds passing by as you lay still on the grass. By focusing your attention on nature, you can starts to become aware and acknowledge your thoughts as they come and then allow them to go.
No matter what type of meditation you are practicing, be patient with yourself….
Your thoughts might stray.
Become the observer of those thoughts.
Then bring your awareness back to your breath and/or this moment.
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*Johanna Godinez is a Partner at Latin Business Today and is the founder of B.A.Y. Lifestyle