Everyone has been promoting the practice of meditation and its benefits and so you finally decided to give it a try.
As you sit down, and because everybody talks about meditating for a long period of time, you diligently set the timer for 20 minutes and gently close your eyes.
However – no matter how much time passes, your timer still doesn’t go off! Something must be wrong, you think, and so you open your eyes. The fact that only 2 minutes have gone by come as a shock.
Does this scenario sound familiar? If so, know that you aren’t alone and that it has nothing to do with meditation per se.
What you’re experiencing is a very common struggle that a great deal of people have when they try to incorporate a new habit in their life. Many of us attempt to replace a habit by another without really understanding how this works.
In this article, we’ll talk about meditation as a whole, and how to meditate longer.
What Is Meditation?
Before you try to meditate longer, it would be wiser to first understand what meditation truly is so that you can get the most of it.
Meditation is the process through which one connect with their inner self in order to attain a higher state of consciousness. Not only that, this practice also includes relaxation and focus.
Although meditation is part of a great deal of cultures and religions, it can be practiced independently of any spiritual practices.
There are two main forms of meditation:
- Concentrative meditation
In concentrative meditation, your main goal is to focus on and feel one specific object which may vary depending on the type of meditation you’ve decided to dive in: a mantra, your breathe, etc..
- Mindfulness meditation
Mindfulness meditation is the practice of bringing yourself and everything that it entails – thoughts, emotions, feelings.. in the present moment. It consists of allowing and noticing any thoughts that may arise.
How To Meditate Step-By-Step?
Although some people like to make it complicated, it’s not. Depending on which meditation – concentrative or mindfulness – you choose to pursue, what you will do will only slight differ.
In mindfulness meditation:
- Sit in a chair or on the floor where you can keep your back straight in an environment free of distractions and interruptions.
- Focus on the present moment and discard any thought about the past or the future.
- Bring your awareness to your breath and feel it filling your lungs as you breathe in and out.
- Whenever thoughts come up in your mind, simply release them.
- Go back to feeling and experiencing the present moment each time your mind wanders and experience negative thoughts, feelings or emotions.
- Never be hard on yourself and beat yourself up, thoughts should come and go without judgment so that you can move on.
In concentrative meditation:
- Choose the object on which you will focus. It can be anything, but concentrating on our breathing is the most common target.
- Sit comfortably in a quiet environment wearing loose clothing so that nothing gets your attention other than your target.
- If your mind starts wandering, gently go back focusing on your breathing without any judgment. Don’t beat yourself up.
In essence, concentrative meditation is about staying focused to an object from beginning to end, whereas mindfulness meditation is all about awareness of the present moment.
What Are The Benefits Of Meditation?
Meditation is known for its numerous benefits: reduced stress, improves your sense of well-being, improves your focus, increases empathy, improves memory, enhances self-awareness, improves sleep..
How To Meditate Longer?
1) Why Do You Want To Meditate?
Before you even think about meditating, it would be wise to take some time to reflect on the reason why you want to meditate.
Your purpose is a key element that is going to get you moving and motivate you to take action in every area of your life: without compelling reasons, you won’t be able to establish any new habit because your default habits are what feels comfortable to you.
In other words, making the new habit comfortable and enjoyable is a key component as well. If you do not have any desire, you won’t be able to create the habit – of meditating – no matter how hard you try.
2) Focus On The Benefits Of Meditating
If you want to meditate longer, then being passionate about it certainly helps!
Think about your favorite hobby, does it require any form of willpower on your part for you to act on it? Of course not. The reason is that you’re linking massive pleasure to your hobby, it doesn’t take any effort.
What about meditation? If you can’t stay focused for much long, then chances are you see it more like a chore than a beneficial practice.
You shouldn’t meditate just because it’s recommended, but because you truly want to!
3) Learn From Masters
The best way to accelerate your success in any area of your life is to learn from other people – masters at what they do – so that you can reproduce their success.
It doesn’t mean imitating them from an outsider’s point of view, but to get to know them and learn why and how they do what they do.
Get your hands on and consume as many resources as possible (books, videos, articles) and even hire a coach if necessary.
4) Add It To Your Morning ritual
Forming a new habit requires consistency – you can’t just expect to create the habit by meditating only once a week.
Morning rituals are a great time for you to take care of yourself and so the perfect moment to throw meditation in! Each morning, set some time aside to fill yourself up both physically and mentally, and see how it changes your life.
5) Be Accountable
When we do things by ourselves, it’s easy to back out as there is usually no consequence whatsoever.
However, meditating in the company of somebody that holds you accountable have the power to literally change everything for you.
Find someone that is on the same path as you and shares your challenge so that you can both be accountable to each other.
Even better, hire a coach: this is a person that will never let you off the hook which is a great way to follow through if you struggle with this.
6) Slowly Work Your Way Up
This is true not only for meditating longer, but for working out and literally any other activity that you can think of as well.
Think about it: how likely are you to follow through on exercising if you jump straight from sitting down all day to working out 2 hours a day?
Your chances of succeeding are very slim, as it’s too much of a stretch for you at the beginning. It would require a tremendous amount of willpower to suddenly go from nothing to everything. Instead, slowly work your way up.
Start off by meditation a few minutes each day, and increase a little bit more the duration as time goes by.
6 Ways On How To Meditate Longer – Conclusion
Now that you have all the required tools at disposal, it’s time for you to take action and get the results you’re looking for! The more you will apply these techniques, and easier it will be for you to meditate longer.