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Finding Balance with Meditation

Find out what can happen when you open your heart and mind to the limitless possibilities in life.

Meditation is the natural path to bring mindfulness and peace of mind learned from yoga to everyday life. Thinking about trying meditation? Try these great tips to start. Pin now and check out the tips to start today. @jillconyers

This week we’re getting together to chat about taking time during the summer to create a new habit so I’m taking you to a place of zen.

Wait, many of you might already be thinking, “this isn’t for me.” Right?

Words like zen, meditation, and mindfulness can all be a little intimidating (and even off putting) or as if they’re meant for “other” people, but not for me. So before you read further, tell yourself, “My mind and heart are open to what I’m about to read and the possibilities.”

Take as much time as you need. I’ll wait.

Ok. Ready? Good.

To be quite honest I never really imagined myself to be someone that would use and live words like zen, meditation, and focus on your breath. To be more open to the idea of meditation I began to imagine the unimaginable. Try it.

Over the past 6 months I’ve needed to find a way to balance the part of life the is crazy busy and nonstop with moments of complete peacefulness. I’ve accepted that the busyness of life isn’t going to change. It’s always going to be present in varying degrees, but that busyness is less draining if it’s balanced with moments of calm.

Meditation is the natural path to bring mindfulness and peace of mind learned from yoga to everyday life. Thinking about trying meditation? Try these great tips to start. Pin now and check out the tips to start today. @jillconyers

Meditation is the natural path to bring mindfulness and peace of mind learned from yoga to everyday life.

So, how did I go about creating a new habit of practicing meditation? I’ve tried before unsuccessfully so I needed to do something different this time.

What’s the difference between then and now that has made this time a success?

At the very top of the list, let go of preconceived ideas of what you think meditation is, who should practice and what should happen in the experience. What we think meditation is or is not can limit our success. Meditation is simply about noticing and observing your own sensations, thoughts, and feelings.

Start with an intention of nothing more than to focus on your breathing. Count your breaths as they flow in and out, and slow your breathing down. Breathe deeply. It slows your heart rate and helps you to relax. It also helps to focus your mind so that your mind is less likely to wander.

Begin with 5-minute sessions, and when you’re ready for more (you’ll know when), move it up to 10 minutes.

Start with guided meditations. Until you’re more confortable with meditating, you might find it easier to have step by step instructions to follow.

You want to be in a space without distractions. Away from your computer, phone, TV and anything else that can distract you from your intentions.

Build a practice into your daily routine. By meditating every day at the same time or within the same daily routine, you develop a habit that becomes easier to maintain consistently.

Make sure your room is comfortable. Before you start, take a few deliberate deep breaths and stretch your body. Wear comfortable, loose clothing.

Try different types of meditation. Do a little research, see what appeals to you the most and start from there. There are dozens of techniques to meditate, such as Zen meditation, chanting meditations, mantras, and so on. Find what feels right to you.

Don’t try to force your mind to stop thinking. Forcing it can be frustrating and counter productive to your intention. With techniques, breathing and practice your mind will begin to stop on its own.

Your mind will wander and that’s ok. Simply acknowledge with compassion that your mind has wandered and bring it back to focus on breathing and how your body feels.

There are no rules for position, time, place, etc. Get comfortable, find what works for you and make that YOUR practice. You don’t even have to close your eyes if that’s not comfortable for you.

It probably won’t feel natural or comfortable at first. Be patient with the practice and kind to yourself. You might be surprised by how the whole experience unfolds.

Have you ever considered trying meditation? Is mediation something that seems like it’s for “other” people and not you?

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87 Comments

  1. CourtneyLynne says:

    I’m all about mediation! Being a mom and business owner I need to clear my kind often! Meditation definitely does the trick

  2. I totally need to start doing meditation. I know there are so many awesome benefits.

  3. I bet this would be very helpful for me as it would be a ‘forced’ break in my day to where I get a solid period of ‘me time’.

  4. Before kids I was so zen! Meditation was part of my daily flow. Now, it can be very difficult to find any time to myself.

  5. Great tips. I am actually starting yoga, because I need to find balance. This is part of “me time”!

  6. Exercise, yoga and meditation are my fuel! When I started I needed books and videos. Thanks goodness there is no shortage of these! I’m still a big fan of podcasts from Meditation Oasis. If I ever need to slow down or need help falling asleep or getting one of my kids to sleep I open just the right podcast on my phone and in 15 minutes everyone is in total zen.

  7. I think meditating is a great way to get centered. I need to do more of it to remove the negativity that others try to infuse into my life at times.

  8. I have never done any meditation but do a lot of visualization with sport. This requires a lot of the same kind of mindfulness which definitely helps me!

  9. This is great information. My mind always wandered during the meditation time at yoga class so I thought I was doing it wrong. Now I know I’m just a normal beginner!

  10. My mind does NOT shut off so I have never been able to meditate or even do yoga or something like that . I just bore so quickly and have to move on. I keep thinking as I age, my brain will settle! ☺

  11. Meditation is so important. It really does quiet the mind in a very busy life. I actually use an ancient Buddhist technique of meditation to help with my insomnia. It’s brill.

  12. These are great tips Jill. I have tried meditation before but have a very hard time sitting still not doing things. I know it would be good for me though. I need to keep trying!

  13. My mind wanders a lot. I have found for me it is helpful to keep pen and paper near and I can write down the wanderings and then they leave me alone so I can mediate again.

  14. Great post! I had this as a resolution for the New Year, but always run out of time… I like your suggestion of just 5 minutes a day stop start, looking forward to giving it a go 🙂

  15. I’ve never tried mediation, but one girl I follow on snapchat talks it about it pretty frequently!!

  16. I’ve always loved the meditative portions of yoga sessions but I’ve never really considered implementing it in my own home. These are some great tips.

  17. i am sooo with you on meditation. for the longest time, i avoided meditation or yoga of any kind but now, i practice 2 min guided meditation from youtube channel every morning and it makes a hugee difference.

  18. I need to slow down and breathe more. Great tips, thank you!

  19. I have tried meditation and with my ADD my thoughts get out of control. Even trying to ‘bring them back’ is impossible. My mind can not be still.

  20. I need to do more balance and meditation in my days. Some times at work I get so agrivated that I bottle it all up. No good. I need to relax and center myself….
    Karen | GlamKaren.com

  21. i have tried meditation, but it hasn’t ever “stuck.” i need to figure out how to work it into my everyday life.

  22. Meditation and mindfulness were techniques that I used to help me recover from eating disorders. These are great tips that can be implemented. Thank you.

  23. I need to start, seriously. Any guided video or audio you can suggest?

  24. Meditation definitely has its place – I’m still a little too uptight and in a hurry to reap the full benefits, but I do appreciate taking some quiet time to reflect and mindful.

    1. Haha I was the same, too uptight and in a hurry. Happy to say not anymore [most of the time]. Thanks Jenn.

  25. I love this post, Jill. We have so many similarities! I too once thought I would never use those words and now cannot get enough of them. Yoga and meditation have changed my life for the better! I am trying to build a regular habit of meditating, but other things keep getting in the way. I think that will be my 2nd habit to create this summer once my strength training habit is back in full swing! Thanks for the motivation. 🙂

  26. I try so hard to be good at meditating but I just get so antsy if I try too hard lol! I do love the clarity I can find with just a few minutes of silence everyday! Great tips, I’m going to look for a few guided meditations, maybe that will help!

    1. The guided practice is a great way to start Sam. Try not to force the practice to be what you think it should be. That’s what helped me the most.

  27. i’ve never been one to sit in silence and be peaceful (except with a book in hand!), but the past few months have been superrr stressful so I signed myself up for a 10 time yoga studio pass! Really excited to see how it affects my flexibility and strength, but more importantly, my mind 🙂

    1. That is awesome Beverley! I wasn’t the sit in silence and be peaceful person either until I tried it. Now I can’t image not doing it.

  28. This is something I’ve been embracing lately. As you said, life is never going to not be “busy.” It’s learning how to deal with it that makes you a “better” person.

    1. I’ve accepted the fact that life is busy. Now that I think about it, the acceptance kind of makes it seem less busy.

  29. Great tips! I need to do this more… just to calm my brain and the constant stream of thoughts/to do lists 🙂

    1. I was the queen of the constant stream of thoughts Rachel. It feels so good to no longer be the queen 🙂

  30. This is super interesting, thanks for sharing the details of meditation 🙂 I took a short meditation class once, but it was a few years ago and it’s nice to have a refresher!

    1. Happy to share. I would love to take an in real life meditation class. YouTube will have to do for now 🙂

  31. I don’t formally meditate, though I’ve wanted to start many times. There is something intimidating about it for me or something in me that wants to avoid! This definitely breaks it down, thanks for sharing!

    1. I was intimidated too. Once I changed my mindset of what I thought meditation should be it was a lot less intimidating.

  32. Meditating is surprisingly hard. I’ve slacked off a little bit with my meditation practice and it’s much harder than it was when I meditated consistently. It really is almost like a mental muscle–it gets easier the more you use it. Thanks for writing this thorough discussion about meditation! I sincerely hope you inspire someone to start meditating, and you’ve definitely inspired me to get back at it!

    1. It feels hard at first. One of the things that helped the most was not having a preconceived idea of how meditating should be and just allowing it to happen. Mindset is huge! Thanks Beth 🙂

  33. Great tips! I need to try this at bedtime to help me wind down and fall asleep better.

  34. I love to meditate…Sometimes it is in the form of yoga…or writing in my journal…or walking with the dog…or just being still in a quiet room. I need to do it more often, because I love the way it makes me feel even if it is just for a few minutes. xoxo

    1. Even a few minutes has great benefits! That’s part of the beauty of meditation.

  35. Great read! I love mediation but I don’t do enough of it. Do you know of any good guided mediation besides the ones done by Oprah and Deepak??

    1. Not yet. I’m playing around with a few and coming up with a list to share. Thanks Angela.

    1. Hi Kathryn. You like for your mind to wander during yoga? Interesting. Are you thinking about all kinds of random things? I love to learn how yoga is beneficial to people in different ways.

  36. I’m somewhat of a type-A-er in the sense that I never really find/make the time to slow down a little to meditate, because the never-ending list of things I need to be doing is always hanging out in the back of my head. I apparently do a lot of these things before I sleep though, so…baby steps!

    1. I’m a recovering Type A Farrah. I was once the queen of the non stop mind. It feels so good to not be the queen anymore 🙂

  37. I keep thinking I’d like to get into meditation, but then I think I don’t have time for it. THEN, I realize I don’t have time NOT to meditate. I know it’s so important for stress relief, peace and overall health. I KNOW I need to make time for it and make it part of my life. Thanks for this post Jill!

  38. I love meditation! It has been life changing for me!

  39. Meditating on Scripture and spending time in prayer are two things I try to do every morning! Sitting still for 5 minutes was a challenge at first, but it seems to be going a little better now. The peace is really rejuvenating.

    1. It is challenging at first Amy. With time it seems to be getting easier and I’m having fewer tangent thoughts.

  40. I did meditation for a bit a few months ago. I enjoyed it but sometimes it would stress me out to try to fit the time in to meditate which isn’t really the point haha. I’ll have to give it a go again.

    1. You’re right. It’s not going to be very beneficial if it’s stressing you out. Try again. No stress 🙂

  41. I love these tips – they make meditation much less intimidating. We meditated in my Spiritual Formation class in grad school, and it was so difficult to sit still and not work on a billion things at once, but so reinvigorating.

    1. Hi Laura. Meditation is easier than I once thought. I was wrong about a lot of things with meditation until I changed my mindset. It can be intimidating.

  42. Such great tips here, Jill. I’ve never really done meditation, but always thought I should :). I know it would be really beneficial for me, especially learning how to shut my mind off for a bit.

  43. I’ve never really tried meditation myself because I didn’t think it was for me either. Interesting though. I am sure that it would really help though especially when I can’t fall asleep

    1. Hi Deborah. Meditation is easier than I once thought Deborah. I was wrong about a lot of things with meditation until I changed my mindset.

  44. Great tips! You make trying meditation sound way easier than I thought! I do love how yoga makes me feel and I’d love to take that mindfulness outside of the studio and into my busy life!

    1. Hi Kristen. That was my whole goal, use what Iearn on the mat in life. Meditation is easier than I once thought. I was wrong about a lot of things with meditation until I changed my mindset.

  45. I love this Jill! I love how you started with getting rid of pre-conceived notions that is so TRUE! My hubby always says have fun at your sleeping class when I go to yoga because he thinks that is all we do for an hour is lay on our mat!!! It is amazing what I am learning from that class, breathe MB, breathe 🙂

    1. Thanks Mary Beth. Sleeping class? He has no idea haha! Although, I am very tempted to sleep during savasana 🙂

  46. I always had the wrong impression of yoga and meditation until I tried both and learned how beneficial they are. There’s something so centering and peaceful about sitting still and clearing your mind. I’m not very good at it and only last a few precious minutes at a time before my mind wanders but I’m learning! That’s why they call it a practice, so you can grow and learn! 🙂

    1. Me too Jenna! My preconceived ideas about meditation closed my mind to the benefits. I get it now! Always growing and learning 🙂

    1. Thank you Lauren. Meditation is easier than I once thought. I was wrong about a lot of things with meditation until I changed my mindset.

  47. hmmmm….. I never really take any quiet moments of reflection or mind clearing or anything like that. And come to think of it, I have really only taken very few yoga classes. It would definitely be something I’d have to work at. Thank you for sharing these techniques Jill. Have a wonderful day!

    1. Diane, you might be surprise by how good both yoga and meditation can feel. There was a time when I didn’t think either were for me. Live and learn 🙂

    1. Now that I’ve gotten more comfortable with meditation I notice the benefits so much more. In the past I tried to force it which usually ended in frustration and a it’s not for me mindset.

  48. I love meditation. I use Reiki to reach inner peace and mindfulness. However, I still miss my Zazen sessions.
    I am not buddhist but I have a strong affiliation to it.
    Inspiring post. Thank you for sharing it and for the great link party, Jill!

    1. I want to learn more about the different types of meditation now that I’m more comfortable with actually doing it. Mind if I ask why the preference for Reiki?

      Thanks Debbie!

      1. One of the main things I love about Reiki, Jill is the flexibility. I don’t need anything to do Reiki, only myself. Meditation in general requires a calm, “isolated” place, but Reiki can be done anywhere, at any time. All you need is to “connect”.

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