Recently, we’ve been thinking about the barriers to meditation. Many people intend to make meditation a habit, but sometimes even the most motivated of us can find our practice slipping – despite quickly feeling the benefits.
We explored in a blog post last week some of the common stumbling blocks people can encounter, but we’ve come to conclusion that the biggest issue is a perceived lack of time. So how do you find time to meditate in our busy modern world?
Why Do We Feel So Short of Time?
In a Facebook survey, we asked our little community (Like our page here!) what has stopped them from meditating every day, even when they wanted to. We picked the two things people tend to report as a problem most often, and the results are pretty clear!
Not having enough time to do the things we most want to do isn’t something that only impacts a meditation practice – it’s a pervasive obstacle across our whole lives. Between rushing to work, cooking dinner, cleaning the house, sleeping at night (if we’re lucky!), taking the kids to school, catching up with life admin, seeing friends; it’s easy to become lost in the hurry.
A major benefit of meditation is that, when practised regularly, it slows us down and helps us exist in the present moment. Think of it like baking – we are constantly whisking away, moving as quickly as possible to keep everything on track and making sure the mixture turns out right. Meditation is like pouring in melted chocolate, you get to stop whisking at a mile-a-minute and fold it in slowly, taking the time to appreciate everything coming together. And what’s more, the addition makes your efforts richer and more deeply enjoyable.
By meditating, it’s as if we actually make more time – even if it takes up 20-40 minutes every day. We become more efficient, more aware of the “now”, and are filled with energy and motivation. However, it is easy to de-prioritise meditation when we first begin our practice, falling instead into old habits. We humans are very prone to repeating patterns of behaviour and we can cling to a way of life that we are used to, even if it isn’t ideal.
Here’s find tips on finding the time to meditate, allowing you to cement your habit and start reaping the rewards.
How to Find Time To Meditate
Be Opportunistic – When you are a very busy person, you have to grab slices of “dead time” where you can. Waiting at the doctor’s, the commute to work, that twenty minutes while dinner is cooking, your lunch break at work, the time you spend scrolling through social media before bed: it can all be utilised as space in the day to meditate.
Meditating twice a day for twenty minutes is ideal, but if you can only squeeze in one meditation that’s vastly better than none – and once you’ve got used to meditating every day for a month or two, you’ll find keeping up the habit comes naturally to you.
Minimise distractions – The wonderful thing about Vedic meditation is that you can do it anywhere, no matter how busy or noisy. From the morning tube to a bustling coffee shop, Vedic meditation can help you transcend the everyday no matter your surroundings. Therefore, noise and activity aren’t distractions you need to worry about too deeply; but having a pet jumping in your lap, your child tugging at your hair, or a phone that just keeps buzzing might be just that little more noticeable!
Allocating points in the day where there are few other demands for your attention (such as your commute) and turning off your phone can make getting into the flow of daily meditation far easier, and will help the habit stick.
Set a reminder – Setting a reminder ten minutes before you want to meditate on your phone is a great way to remind yourself that this is a practice that – no matter what is occupying you at that moment – that you want to prioritize. It’s easy to get caught up in tiny diversions through the day and keep putting meditation off. No matter how inconsequential a current activity actually is – whether that’s seeing who unfollowed you on Instagram or organising your spice rack – if we’re more in the habit of doing it, it’s going to seem compelling.
A reminder brings us back to the moment and our broader intentions for life, allowing us to put meditation first amongst everything that clamours for our attention.