If you are able to establish regular meditation habits, you will achieve greater benefits from your meditation practice.
You decide for yourself when and how much you shall meditate. Acem recommends 2×30 minutes or 1×45 minutes every day.
Clarify for yourself what you want to achieve from meditation. Is it to practice a technique that provides relaxation and that you may use from time to time? Is it to increase your own stress tolerance and sleep better? Or to develop a better contact inwards or facilitate deeper changes in your life?
2. Signal, routine, reward
A habit consists of three components: signal, routine, and reward.
The signal tells your brain that the routine may start now. Therefore, it is helpful to arrange your meditation so that it becomes associated with an already established routine, for example: *get up, meditate, eat breakfast. *come home, meditate, eat dinner.
The routine is the habit we want to practice almost without thinking. Then you don’t need to make any effort, you just do it.
You get the reward after doing the routine activity.
- «It was comfortable to have this free time».
- «Good to relax».
- «Useful to work through the daily stress».
- «I feel a bit calmer».
- «Was restless during meditation, but notice that my perspective has changed somewhat afterward».
3. How to deal with difficulties during meditation
Try beforehand to imagine typical difficulties that you may encounter and how you may deal with them. It is easier to find a solution if you are prepared. For example: turn off your phone before you start your meditation. Adjust your half hour of meditation to other tasks (meetings, social commitments, telephone calls, etc).
4. Establish a good space for your meditation
Finding a specific place where you meditate is useful. Select a good meditation chair and make it «My meditation chair» – with a good cushion for your lower back for support, and which is reasonably quiet. Then you know where to meditate – in a suitable, meditative place. You can also sit in your bed, preferably with good support for your back.
5. Make your own practice visible to you
- Use an old-fashioned calendar and put a red cross on it each time you meditate.
- Use an app to make your meditation practice visible. Several apps are available: Coach me, Habit bull, Insight timer.
- Most meditators who quit their practice do not do so as a result of a conscious decision. «It just happened», they say afterward. Or «I didn’t prioritize it enough».
- To stop meditating is often not an active decision. It just slid out of my routines. With a diary or calendar, the decision becomes visible to you.
6. Make use of Acem’s activities – courses, long meditations, lectures, webinars, retreats
Acem offers a variety of follow-up activities for those who have learned Acem Meditation.
Check our calendar and find the options that best suit you.
By Eirik Jensen, Eva Skaar, Arve Breen & Karen Breen
Photo by Virender Sing on Unsplash