If you are able to establish a regular meditation practice, you will get more out of Acem Meditation. You decide how much you want to meditate, but Acem’s recommendation is 2 x 30 or 1 x 45 minutes each day. Here are some tips on how to establish and maintain a regular meditation practice.
By Eirik Jensen, Eva Skaar, Arve Breen & Karen Breen
- Clarify what you want to achieve
Clarify for yourself what you want to achieve by meditating. Is it primarily to learn a technique that provides relaxation and can be used from time to time? Is it to increase your stress tolerance and sleep better? Or is it to get in better contact with yourself and enable deeper life-changing processes?
- Signal, routine, reward
A habit can be broken down into three components: signal, routine, reward. The signal tells the brain that the routine should start now. Therefore, it is of great help to associate meditation with an already established habit, e.g.
- Get up, meditate, have breakfast
- Come home, meditate, have dinner
The routine is the habit we want to implement almost without thinking about it. You do not need to spend extra energy on a routine, you just do it.
You will receive the reward after completing the routine:
- “It was wonderful to have this free time.”
- “Good to relax.”
- “Useful for processing day stress.”
- “Feeling a little calmer.”
- “Was restless along the way, but noticed that the starting point has changed a bit afterwards.”
- Plan ahead for typical obstacles
Imagine typical obstacles that may arise and imagine how you can meet them. It is easier to find a solution if you are prepared.
- Set an alarm so you don’t have to think about the time.
- Turn off the phone before starting the meditation.
- Inform people you live with that you are meditating (can be as simple as a post-it marked “M” on the door)
- Plan ahead for the day and adjust and coordinate your meditation time with other tasks you have (meetings, socializing phone calls, etc.)
- Create a good meditation environment
A fixed place where you meditate is useful. Find a good meditation chair, and make it “My meditation chair” – with good pillows for back support and reasonably quiet surroundings. That means you know beforehand that you are going to meditate in a suitable and meditative place. You can also sit in your bed, preferably with good support.
- Highlight your own meditation habit
- Use an app to log your meditation. There are several options: Coach.me; Habit-Bull, Insight Timer.
- Use an old-fashioned calendar and tick a cross every day you meditate.
- Most people who stop meditating do not do so as a conscious choice. “It just happened,” or “I didn’t prioritize it enough.” With an app, diary or calendar, it becomes clear to you how your meditation habit is going.
- Make use of what Acem has to offer
Follow-up courses, retreats, or guidance groups will often renew your relationship with meditation and make it easier to get into a regular practice. You can find our international course calendar here; open the menu in the upper right corner to select your country.