Feelings come and go like clouds in a windy sky. Conscious breathing is my anchor. ― Thích Nhất Hạnh
I always knew that meditation is a great way to start a day. It helps to create more joyful well-being reducing stress levels. It also helps to stay grounded in the present moment without escaping into the sorrows of the past or unforeseen future. But what I failed to realize is that meditation itself is the most fundamental thing that can help in creating new positive habits.
It is inevitable that negative thoughts will march in and try to steal our peace. And then repeat that attempt on a daily basis. So when the question of being mindful about negative thoughts rises up, what shall we do? The more I practice meditation, the more I understand that meditation is very helpful in creating new positive outcomes.
How Meditation Helps Us
When urges and negative thoughts bombard us somewhere in the back of our mind, they take control over us because those thoughts have a tendency to sneak craftily unnoticed. We simply cannot defuse a situation if those thoughts truly take control over our emotions, judgments, and decisions.
When I learned to be patient and to observe all the waves of thoughts that come and go, that is when I learned to release them without engagements.
Meditation helps to observe and be mindful throughout the day. Most of the problems in our lives are due to that “automatic” state that drives us onward.
Morning Run and Thoughts
“When I took up running in the morning I’ve noticed that weird sensation that was coming from a place of discomfort. When things would get rough and unbearable, I had this tendency to get scared and then cave in without sticking to the things that meant the world to me… My fear of discomfort was very strong. Every time I tried to do something new and exciting, I would “drink” that stripping potion that would tell me “It’s scary, don’t go there…” But then I just let those thoughts come and go. I took an observing position that I’ve learned recently from my meditation practice, and it is helpful” – my friend Kate shared.
Do… Procrastinate… Do…
I’m a little bit shaky when it comes to staying on target. For instance, when I write for HavingTime, or when I write my book, I have this annoying urge to do something else, to distract myself. And when I act upon it automatically without noticing, I end up in a deep procrastinating “trance”.
Naturally, a rationalization about being unproductive kicks in, then I get annoyed with myself even more. Shortly after I would talk myself into sleep promising that a GREAT tomorrow full of hopes and aspirations will come and I will finish all the articles and the paragraphs of the book.
On the other hand, when I’m mindful about that impulse to distract myself which leads to self-sabotage (and all the rationalizations why it’s a “good” idea to stop…) I simply lay off for a bit. I watch that impulse closely and let it go, then I return to my articles and my book.
The same mechanism helps in everything! Watch, observe, then do. It’s very important to be mindful and stay focused on the things that matter.
How I Formed my Meditation Habit
Commit 3 to 5 minutes a day to your meditation practice. It’s all about an easy start. If you want this habit to stick around, practice for 3 minutes each day and, when you feel good about it, feel free to increase that time.
I normally meditate before falling asleep. Aroma sticks and essence oils are helpful in my practice, so is calming music. Morning meditation normally takes up to 5 minutes that helps to bring out those positives vibes that we all need during the day.
So pick your own time in a day and the trigger. It can be something you already do every day automatically, like the first cup of tea, shower time, falling asleep with a book. Let your meditation practice blend into already something natural and familiar that you do every day.
Where is your Quiet Soothing Spot?
When your home is filled with noises in the morning, it is a good idea to practice before everyone is awake. If you go for lunch in the park and sit on the bench – it’s great too. Or a walk on the beach… Whatever soothes you – works. As long as you cannot be bothered by anything for a couple of minutes and have this moment to yourself. Have this moment dedicated to your meditation practice.
Find Your Comfort
I used to make a huge fuss about the way I was sitting or lying down. I tried it all: cross-legged position, cushions, sitting against the wall…
Whatever you see fit – find your comfort and meditate.
Observe Your Breathing
The first thing we are all great in is breathing. Concentrate on your breathing during meditation. Observe your thoughts as you breathe in and out. When you feel that your mind went wandering (and it most certainly will do that), gently invite it back by keeping your focus on breathing.
Yes. It’s that simple. Have 3 minutes to meditate each day after your triggers like drinking a cup of tea, or showering or going to sleep after reading a book. Do it for 2 weeks and more and you will end up with a new positive habit of daily meditation. It feels good, doesn’t it?