Hello and welcome to Motivation and Mindset Mondays! Today, let’s talk about 8 ways to enhance your meditation practice. Meditation can be an effective way to reduce stress, achieve clarity, and attain a mentally calm state. It allows you to view the world from a perspective that isn’t tainted by your personal beliefs and past experiences.
Meditation is simple but challenging to do well. It wouldn’t hurt to have a few tricks up your sleeve. There are several things you can do to enhance your meditation practice and receive greater benefits.
Try these ideas for ways to enhance your meditation practice:
1. Be consistent. Have a time and place that you meditate each day. If you want to maximize your skill at meditation, make it a permanent part of your schedule, like brushing your teeth. You always brush your teeth at the same time each day. Do the same with your meditation practice.
- If possible, have a meditation-specific location where you meditate. This can be a spare room or a corner of the house that you can set aside for your practice. Make it comfortable and inspiring.
- Have at least one longer session each week. While you can receive great benefits from meditating for as little as five minutes, there’s something magical that happens when you sit for an hour or more each day.
- Have a session or two each week where you add five minutes each time until you’re up to an hour of sitting time. Feel free to go even further if you have the time.
- Avoid expectations. You’ll have good days and bad days when meditating. There are days you feel that you could sit there for hours. There are other days when your mind is running wild, and it feels like you have no control. Both are fine. Just be aware and sit with whatever is happening.
- Avoid meditating when you are fatigued. With enough practice, you can indeed fall asleep in the sitting position! If you’re extremely tired, you’d be better off taking a short nap and meditating at another time.
- Meditate throughout the day. Sitting on your cushion under ideal conditions isn’t the only place to meditate. It’s just the easiest.
- The real trick is to be able to meditate while sitting elsewhere, like in a hot, noisy, smelly bus. Can you focus on your breath and fully experience your surroundings under those circumstances?
- Meditate on an empty stomach. It’s harder to meditate when you have a big meal digesting in your tummy. You feel tired and sluggish. Your best meditation sessions will occur when you’re alert and able to concentrate.
- Try not to meditate when you’re excessively hungry either.
- Minimize interruptions. Shut the door and let everyone know that you want an hour of peace and quiet. Turn off your phone. This is your time. Take control of it.
- Try meditating with a group. If you only meditate with a group, try meditating alone. Most people have a definite preference but give the other option a try from time to time. It’s a different experience, and youâll gain a different perspective. You might even make a new friend or two.
Whether you’re just learning to meditate or a seasoned pro, you can enhance your meditation practice further. Meditation is one of the best ways to relieve stress and increase your enjoyment of life. Consider how you can strengthen your ability to meditate and reap the greatest benefits from your meditation practice.
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I really wanted to talk about this topic today because I wanted to share some lifestyle-based strategies to improve your overall mindset and mental health, which in turn improves your life. You must do the internal work to improve your overall health. You can do this by learning what motivates you and working each day on improving your mindset. Your thoughts control your feelings, which controls your behavior. You can cultivate certain behaviors and practices that will not only enrich your life, but that you can pass on to your family, friends, and community, so that you can leave a legacy of health to your loved ones.
If you are familiar with my approach, I use lifestyle medicine as the first line of treatment, before medications, to treat lifestyle-related chronic diseases. Lifestyle-related chronic diseases include diabetes, hypertension, obesity, some cancers, just to name a few. Lifestyle modifications, such as stress reduction and mindfulness exercises, can help you feel better about yourself and your life. In certain cases, these approaches may even outperform pharmaceutical therapy. But I always tell my patients that conventional medications may be appropriate at this time to prevent catastrophic illness, but over time, you can work to make the necessary lifestyle changes to possibly reduce and/or eliminate medications. Please remember to always consult your physician for your particular needs and circumstances prior to making any decisions whatsoever.
Is Dietary Supplementation Right For You?
For some people, vitamin and mineral supplements offer important health benefits. Supplements are designed to fight deficiencies found in our diet and complement the food we eat regularly. Supplements are basically “helping hands” to our daily food.
If you suspect that you aren’t getting the nutrients you need, consider shifting your focus from supplements to eating better.
If you are unable to eat better, you may want to consider supplementing your diet with some supplements.
It is very important to note that we are not eating the same foods we ate years ago because the soils have been depleted of critical nutrients through current industrial farming practices. And because the soil is not as good as it used to be, the food supply (grown from the depleted soil) is not as good as it used to be. For example, you are not getting the same levels of magnesium as you would have gotten 50 years ago.
Second, much of the food has been genetically altered, which can impact the inherent and unique nutritional composition that each food possess. For example, ancient einkorn wheat has less gluten, more protein, more Vitamin A, and more beta carotene, than modern genetically modified wheat.
Third, the toxic load in the environment today is much higher than it was 100 years ago. We can see this with global warming, toxic landfills, polluted oceans and waterways, etc. Toxicity levels interfere with nutrient assimilation and absorption not just into the foods, but into our bodies as well.
So… if you are unable to eat better, the supplements in my Mindset and Mood Support Bundle may provide the extra boost you need.
These are my favorite Mood Support Supplements to use! This Mindset and Mood Support Bundle will ensure you have the intake of the important vitamins, minerals, and probiotics to decrease inflammation and boost your innate wellness day and night. Taken together, it’s a solid plan for increasing your body’s natural resiliency while you improve your sleep, decrease your stress, and improve your mental clarity, naturally.
Tools For Motivation And Mindset
Although you don’t need a cushion to meditate, you may want to consider using one at some point. You could meditate in a chair, or simply sit on the floor if you want. You can also use pillows or cushions from your furnishings to try out. Cushion, chair, bench, floor – it’s all good. Eventually, though, if you’re not sitting upright on a chair, you’ll probably do well to buy a dedicated meditation cushion. The cushion will support your sitting posture and help you create an appealing mindfulness corner that will encourage you to practice every day. I recommend this meditation cushion and mat bundle.
If you struggle with stress, depression, or anxiety, keeping a journal can be a great idea. Even if you don’t have these conditions, journaling can enhance your life in many ways. Having difficulty processing your thoughts and emotions? Journaling can help clear that mental clutter and move towards a positive mindset. Research suggests that keeping a journal can have positive impacts on both mental and physical health. So, to start you on your journey, I recommend this self care journal.
Remember, living a healthy lifestyle including eating a whole foods plant-based diet, regular physical activity, meditation and mindfulness, as well as healthy and supportive relationships are the best ways to support mental health. Please talk with your doctor about any complementary health approaches, including supplements, you use. Let me know what you think in the comment section below.
PS. I am always asked what tools and resources I recommend to help you reach YOUR health goals. Here is the ever-growing, always updated list for you.
PPS. If you or someone you know is experiencing severe stress, anxiety, depression and/or other mental health issues, please contact SAMHSA’s National Helpline, 1-800-662-HELP (4357), (also known as the Treatment Referral Routing Service) or TTY: 1-800-487-4889. This is a confidential, free, 24-hour-a-day, 365-day-a-year, information service, in English and Spanish, for individuals and family members facing mental and/or substance use disorders. This service provides referrals to local treatment facilities, support groups, and community-based organizations. Callers can also order free publications and other information.
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