Wellness

Forming Great Habits: Mindfulness

03/21/2022

We seem to have endless responsibilities in our lives including relationships, children, pets, work, and any extracurricular hobbies or activities we engage in. Our attention is also routinely pulled in 100 different directions, especially when social media and its myriad of platforms get thrown into the mix.  

We can easily develop habit loops that prioritize everything and everyone else and forget to take time to focus ourselves. The practice of mindfulness  may sound like a simple idea, but in today’s world it can be incredibly difficult. The goal of being mindful is simply to be present with undivided attention. Whether it is in a conversation with a loved one, sitting on the bench during lunch, or being present at a meeting. Quieting the mind is challenging. Blocking out distractions, while also not ‘looking ahead’ or being stuck mulling over some incident in the past, is getting more challenging. The key to improving this habit is building a good meditation habit.  

Meditating may seem simple or even downright silly. I once believed I was an expert at sitting still and doing nothing until I actually tried meditating. It was easy to sit but hard to be still. Your brain is like a muscle, it needs to exercise regularly, and meditation is a great way to do that. Meditation has significant documented benefits including improved sleep and concentration, lowered blood pressure, reduced anxiety, improved peer relationships, and better job performance.  

How much meditation is enough? I always suggest starting slow, say 5 minutes, and endeavor to make it a daily habit. Finding a guided meditation from the many apps out there is a good start. So now we have our behavior routine – a 5 minute guided meditation. What is our cue? In my own life, I constantly used to forget to prioritize this habit, until the day I set a daily alarm on my calendar. My cue now is my meditation alarm.  

The only thing left is to decide your reward. For me, I like seeing developing a daily streak. The other reward is how I feel after a good meditation. As time goes on and the habit becomes more ingrained and you feel the benefits, you can extend the amount of time you dedicate to your new habit. 

Would you like to inspire other people? Share your stories on your own mindfulness and meditation habits with us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter.

 

For more on habit formation visit: 

Healthy Habits Series 

Healthy Eating 

Exercise 

 

Published by Dr. Zaid Fadul 

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