Do you find respite in the quiet time you set aside for yourself? Do you look forward to that time even if it’s for a short period of time?
Increase your meditation time to 10 minutes
Are you still meditating for 5 minutes at a time? Are you doing this once a day or even multiple times daily? Try increasing the length to 10 minutes per meditation session. I recommend sitting daily, however, if this doesn’t appeal to you I suggest 2-3 times per week. As you start sitting for 10 minutes or more you begin to forget about the time as you appreciate the peacefulness of your surroundings and finding solace with reconnecting with the inner you.
Make meditation a part of your regular routine
Your mind will quiet down once you start a regular routine. It’s as if you are retraining your brain by taking away the external stimuli, which creates internal action of thoughts. Your thoughts may seem prominent because you are eliminating the external stimuli by choosing a quiet and calm environment.
Be gentle with yourself as your thoughts appear or seem to keep on going. Instead of getting upset about “thinking” observe that your mind is very busy and allow yourself to accept that it’s your mind flushing out everything it has collected and redirect yourself to counting your breaths. Enjoy the peacefulness of your environment.
Being gentle with yourself is part of the process. You begin to have acceptance of yourself while building a sense of empowerment as you dedicating this time for you is a form of taking control of your inner peace.
Count your “out” breaths
As you become more comfortable with sitting for 10 minutes per session you may want to try adding 5 more minutes. Some people enjoy sitting between 15-30 minutes daily. It depends on you. I find myself meditating on average 15 minutes daily. Again this is a personal preference.
Once you have found a length of time that suits you and are feeling that counting each in/out breath is “too easy,” begin counting your out breaths. For example, breathe in, exhale, and inwardly count “1,” breathe in, exhale, silently count “2,” and continue until you count to 10 and start over again until your end timer rings.
Don’t worry about the clock or other distractions
You may also find yourself wondering, “How much time do I have left?” Avoid looking at the clock or timer and remind yourself that you are thinking. Gently resume counting.
You may also observe a body part beginning to itch. Notice that you are thinking, try avoiding scratching the itch, and breathe into the itch while focusing on your breath and counting.
Find your rhythm
I have found that I get into a rhythm within each meditation and look forward to that time. I also started keeping a calendar and tracking how many minutes I sit each day. It’s amazing how only 10-15 minutes can be such an important part of your day.
I hope these tips have been helpful! Please feel free to share your experience or ask any questions below!