If there’s one habit worth learning, a habit that will affect all the others and create an overall positive impact in your life, the answer is a no-brainer: meditation. More than anything, meditation is about having control and awareness over your thoughts. Thoughts tend to have an unspeakable control and power over us, but this will change if you learn to meditate as a matter of habit.
What do you want to change? Have you always wanted to quit smoking? Do you want to stop procrastinating? Do you want to get over your urge to overeat all the time? Whatever these urges are, you can start changing them once you have power over your thoughts.
By understanding and having direct awareness over your urges, the reasons behind them, and your negative thoughts, you will begin to have the capacity to strip them away and just live in the moment.
The formula is simple. But the secret is not in knowing the steps, but in committing to them and not allowing yourself to stray from the goal.
1. Reserve two minutes of your day. Two minutes is a good and simple place to start. In fact, it’s pretty much inconsequential, which is why it’s easy to do.
2. Pick the best time of the day. The timing is crucial for the activity. You can do it as you wake up. Another good time is during lunch hour. Whatever time you choose, you must stick to it and do it regularly. As regularly as you brush your teeth or do your nightly routine.
3. Look for a quiet spot. You’d have little hope of being in your element if you’re in a place, which is a constant source of noise and annoyance. You should also be in a comfortable enough position, be it on a chair or on the floor. Once you know enough about meditation, you can follow what zen practitioners do, like use a zafu.
4. Concentrate on your breath. In meditation, focusing your breath is the crux of the exercise. Follow your breath go in and out of your throat, and through your lungs. You don’t stop at this: you must also follow your breath as it courses out of your body. You can either close your eyes or open them as you perform this exercise. If you choose the latter, make sure that you keep your eyes fixed on a particular spot on the ground, as you maintain a soft focus.