Tuesday 8th of November, 2022.
Written by Clinical Psychologist, Ebony Collins.


If you are starting out with building a meditation practice there are a few tips that could help you to form a lasting habit. Here we offer some suggestions for building your mediation practice.

Do it daily. Researchers have found that the length of practice is not as important as how often you do it. If you can practice every day, even for as little as 5 minutes, this is more valuable than one long practice.

Make yourself comfortable. You don’t have to sit in any particular position. It does help to have your back straight to help with your breathing. Being comfortable from the start will help reduce distractions.

Build a routine. Aim for the same time and place each day. Having a routine is key to developing a lasting habit. It also helps to ensure that it doesn’t get missed on your more hectic days.

When routine isn’t an option, get creative. If you can’t do your usual time and place, then you can meditate anywhere. It can be nice to find a location outside or somewhere that feels calming.

Test out different styles. There are a whole range of different meditations. You can do walking meditations, there are loving kindness meditations, meditations focused on your thoughts, others focused on your sense. Try a variety of meditations until you find some that you like. It might take a while before you find something that feels like a good fit.

Use a guided meditation app or program. When you are starting out it is very helpful to use guided meditations to keep you on track. There are several programs available that are designed to help build your meditation skills and help you to form a regular practice.

Find your fit. When finding the style you like, you also need to consider the music or voices being used in the recordings. There will be some voices or sounds that will not be as pleasant as others. If it irritates you, try something different. Don’t persist, there are too many options available to waste your time on one that isn’t pleasant.

Keep practicing even when it feels like it’s not helping. Some days will be harder than others to remain focused. You will need to keep bringing your mind back every time it wanders. It will get easier over time.

Use your breath as an anchor. When you get distracted whilst meditating, bring your attention to your breath. Don’t try to change or do anything with your breath other than notice it. Just breathe naturally.  You are likely to have to refocus several times. Remember that you are building a skill and skills require practice to become good at them.

Discomfort is normal. Meditating helps you to connect with your mind and body. This can mean that at times you may experience emotions that feel unpleasant. Allow your emotions to come and go without trying to resist them. This can be uncomfortable. You are training your mind to tolerate emotions without getting caught up in any distress associated with them.

Check in after meditating. Take a minute to reflect on how you feel. Can you notice any difference with how you feel compared with when you started. Try not to judge your experience as good or bad. Simply notice what you felt before and after. Tracking the difference can help with recognising the benefits to your practice.