Quick and Dirty Tips to Help You Meditate

Whether you’re new to meditation or a seasoned veteran, it can be hard to keep up the practice—and feel like you’re benefiting from it. We’ve got some quick and dirty tips, courtesy of Why Can’t I Meditate?, to help you keep up your meditation practice even when life—i.e., traveling, a noisy family, the holidays—schemes to throw you off track.

Problem: can’t meditate every day. If you’ve gotten a the daily routine of meditation, travel or the holidays can definitely throw you off. You’ve got meals to plan, family to see, and the days seems to fly by.

Solution: instead of trying to carve out free time to meditate, set a schedule. That is, instead of meditating when you feel like it, add a dose of rigidity to your routine and meditate regardless of if it seems right at the moment.

Problem: discomfort. If you’re on a long road trip or don’t have your usual setup, you may run into a bit of discomfort while meditating.

Solution: try making the discomfort the object of your mindfulness. Of course, don’t be heroic about the trials of meditating outside of your comfortable space, this will only cause stress. Instead, take solace in your earnest attempt to center yourself, even if the most distracting environments.

Problem: feeling distracted. Whether you can’t take your mind off your grocery list or there are some particularly loud children running around, distractions are sure to abound.

Solution: try relabeling the distraction “thinking.” The may reestablish the object of mindfulness. You can also try a few intentionally quick and deep breaths to reconnect your mind to your body.

Problem: obsessing. You feel that the stress and distractions of all the things you still need to tick off your to-do list are keeping you from finding balance during your “perfect” meditation routine.

Solution: let it go. Meditation is not about perfection. Try to remember the basics of meditation and mindfulness, and congratulate yourself for your efforts. If one day isn’t perfect, reflect on it the next day—you’ll eventually find your center no matter where you are.