Meditators have been claiming many benefits of their practice for millennia and in recent years scientists have been finding strong evidence to back these claims.
Studies have shown that a regular meditation practice is an effective treatment for stress, worry, lack of focus, relationship problems, addictions and much more.
In surprisingly little time, it can lead to a quieter and more peaceful state of mind, sharper mental focus, increased creativity, better relationships and an overall greater sense of wellbeing.
Because of all these benefits, meditation is one of those habits I find myself recommending over and over again to clients and friends.
But how do you meditate an effective and sustainable way?
That’s what I reached out and asked the finest meditation and mindfulness experts on coach.me.
[Note from Patrik: Some of the links below are affiliate links. If you sign up for coaching, I will earn a small commission at no extra cost for you. Make sure to use the promo code ‘PATRIKWEEK‘ to get the first week for free! This code will work regardless of which coach you choose to work with.]
What would be your number one advice for someone who wants to meditate and be mindful in 2016?
“First, get your motivation straight. Read up on the benefits, and understand what meditation can do for you, how it can help you in your core values and goals in life. Then choose a technique. I recommend either concentrating on the movement of your breath, on repeating a mantra, or on the space between the eyebrows. Alternatively, you can use guided meditations from apps such as Insight Timer and Headspace. Start with as little as 5min every day. Don’t meditate longer than your motivation for it allows. Increase 1-2 every week, until you arrive at your ideal length. Do it everyday – have a “never zero” approach. Having a set time and place is useful in building the habit. Keep your expectations low, and do the practice for it’s on sake – like you do when taking a shower.”
— Giovanni Dienstmann, Live and Dare
Markers or pencil crayons
Coloring book (there are many unique all ages coloring books these days)
A comfortable location (e.g. living room floor, window seat…)
1. Befriend your breathing by taking even breaths, deeply from the belly, in and out through the nose, feeling it throughout your body after each color selection:
- Negative Thoughts: Greys & blacks
- Positive Thoughts: Reds & oranges
- Neutral Thoughts: Greens & blues
“You have almost certainly heard of the benefits of meditation, it truly is a superpower for dealing with modern life. As a result there could be countless reasons as to why you should meditate. But what is yours? It is all about a clear goal. You need to be able to answer why, for how long and how you are going to start meditating. This will sustain motivation beyond the first week of January after which all your friends will be relapsing on their resolutions. TOTAL CLARITY over your goals will ensure your new 2016 meditation habit actually sticks.”
— Ben Whittle, Superhuman Willpower
“Making time for meditation and mindfulness has proven to be a key to success for me. I recommend meditation in the morning because you can get it in before the usual interruptions of life. The morning practice also sets the tone for the day because it allows you to approach the day calmly and peacefully. Mindfulness can happen anywhere and anytime. One simple trick is using your smartphone alarm to schedule a mindfulness break in the morning and the evening. When the alarm goes off just take a few deep intentional breathes to reset your mood, energy and attitude.”
— Jeff Shannon, Ax & Yoke
“Whenever you are attempting to start any new habit, making it small and easy so you can be consistent is the first goal. This is definitely true for meditation. Even though, you may feel tempted to think, ‘I’ll start later when life slows down or when this project is finished because then I’ll be in the right mindset’… Don’t wait! The best time to start is now. Plus, by starting small you can get past those early objections and just do it. You’ll be surprised how even one minute will change your connection with yourself and things around you.”
— Nathan Sudds, Change Fear
“My number one advice for anyone seeking to learn how to meditate and quiet the mind in 2016 is to keep it SIMPLE.
Although there are many forms of meditation the good news is that it doesn’t require fancy equipment or a trip half way around the globe to sit in silence on a mountain top to get started. If you are alive, breathing and committed to starting with just 5 minutes a day I promise you this will become a healthy habit you can build on for years to come. The beauty of meditation is that it could be done anywhere morning, noon and sunset or whenever feeling tired or nervous.
You could be sitting in silence, brushing your teeth or in walking down a busy street the key is being fully present, mindful, breathing properly and breaking the bad habit of shallowing breathing. Once you decide to start utilizing these simple techniques get ready to accept the benefits of feeling healthy, stress-free and peaceful.”
— Herman Olivera, HermanOlivera.com
“You don’t know what you’re supposed to do. So what can you do? Well, if you don’t know what you’re supposed to do, you watch. You simply watch what is going on. This is the beginning of meditation. In fact, you can’t do meditation. You become aware of being. Give yourself this gift, some time to just sit and watch what happens. Learn to know yourself and you will discover wonders.”
— Dennis Swennen, DennisSwennen.com
“My advice for someone who wants to get into meditation in 2016 is to start slow. Meditation is not hard if you go at a steady pace. The same thoughts that are telling you meditation is hard are the same ones that will be released during meditation. So to take it slow I suggest starting with just 5-10 minutes a day and when you find yourself wanting a longer practice (and you will know) then add more time in 5 minute intervals. And lastly to finish off I suggest doing the practice first thing in the morning. This starts the day on a super positive note.”
— Brendan Liebeskind, CoachBL.com
Stay Tuned for More Awesome Advice!
This article is part of my series on How to Keep Your New Year’s Resolution With Coach.me.
If you enjoyed this advice on how to be more productive in 2016 — stay tuned for more on how to:
When you sign up, you’ll also get a free copy of my ebook ‘Free Ebook: The Science of Willpower – Proven Strategies to Beat Procrastination & Get Big Things Done‘ so you can get to work on your New Years Resolution with resilience and resolve this year.
I’ll see you on the other side!
Thanks to all the awesome meditation & mindfulness coaches for sharing their expertise in this article! 🙂
The image at the top of this article was created by Joel Lindmark.