How to Meditate Longer


How To Meditate Longer

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Written by Tiffany Shelton, M.A., Owner of Conscious Life Shop, find out more about Tiffany here

 

meditation cushion

One of the most frequent meditation questions is how long should I meditate for it to be effective. Meditation is not about the end result, but there are many health benefits of meditation. So it seems only right, that people want to know the duration required to reap the benefits of meditation.


Also, meditating longer can be the breakthrough that people need to reach new peaks in their meditation. Sometimes the pressure of a 5 minute meditation doesn’t allow our minds to settle down. Meditating longer can provide the calm setting we need to take the edge off since there is no rush to quiet the mind.


Others would like to expand their meditation time so that they can spend more time connecting to spirit. If you’ve ever felt the yummy union with the divine that happens with meditation, you might be wondering what is a good amount of time to set the scene for this to take place.


How Long Should I Meditate


According to Dr. Paula Watkins, much of the research on meditation points to 20 minute sessions as the optimal time associated with many of the health benefits that are usually associated with meditation. According to the Art of Living, some of those benefits are:

- "Lowers high blood pressure

- Lowers the levels of blood lactate, reducing anxiety attacks

- Decreases any tension-related pain, such as, tension headaches, ulcers,insomnia, muscle and joint problems

- Increases serotonin production that improves mood and behavior - Improves the immune system

- Increases the energy level, as you gain an inner source of energy"

However, Dr. Watkins also cautions that this does not mean that a 10 minute meditation session can’t bring you yummy benefits as well. And remember, one minute is better than none!


LOOK


It seems to all boil down to the fact that it varies depending on the person, but 20 minutes is a good number to work up to.


HOW CAN I USE THIS


So I bet I can guess your next question… How to Meditate for Longer Periods


Many start off their meditation practices with 5 or 10 minute sessions. Then once you have made this a habit, you may be wondering how to increase this time so that you can sit with Spirit longer. There is a simple way to increase the amount of time you meditate and stick to it.


Imagine taking 20 to 30 minutes to yourself each day to connect with Spirit and clear your mind. This is definitely a goal you can achieve and today I will tell you how.


HOW TO MEDITATE LONGER

meditation cushion


One: Carve out the time


Get rid of the false mantra “I don’t have time” and realize the reality is you just haven’t made time. The truth is, if we align with our source, we can live a life from a place of abundance and not from a place of “lack”.


So if you want to meditate for longer periods, the first step is to carve out the time to do so. If your meditation practice is just squeezed in your day, with no real space to grow, then simply put it won’t.


So even if you don’t initially use the full 20 or 30 minutes, be sure to set aside the time so your practice isn’t simply constrained to the five minutes. Instead, make your practice more flexible by setting it within a larger time parameter so that on days when you can sit longer you have that option.


Wake up earlier, or if you meditate in the evening begin winding down earlier so that your practice has space to grow. Make this a priority and stick to the time you have.


In the beginning, when you can’t sit the full extended time yet, use that extra time to journal or read scriptures on your cushion so that your mind and body gets used to this set amount time is meditation time.


Two: Add Time in 3 Minute Increments


The next thing you want to do is slowly work your way up to your desired meditation time. Jumping straight to a large duration from a small duration of meditating will leave you feeling overwhelmed.


It’s kinda like when you first start going to the gym and you’re so ambitious that you over work yourself. Then in the following days you feel super sore t and dread going back to the gym at all. Meditation works in the same way. So take it easy, and be gentle with yourself as you increase your meditation time.


I suggest increasing your practice in 3 minute increments. This will allow you to feel comfortable as you increase, because your mind isnn’t intimidated by just 3 extra minutes.


Three: Get Connected with your WHY?


Passion is the key to any goal. If you want to keep the motivation to meditate longer you will have to connect with your WHY.  


What makes you want to meditate longer? Why do you meditate at all? Write these reasons down and try to read them daily. This will ignite your passion, and keep you motivated to sit on your cushion for your desired amount of time.


Four: Practice Self Compassion


Remember that meditation should not be framed in the western mindset of success or failure. Each time you attempt to sit, whether it’s 1 minute or 1 hour, there is a lesson about yourself to be learned. Be gentle with yourself on those days that you can’t find the time or can’t sit as long as you’d like.


Self-compassion is a mindfulness practice in and of itself. See if you can offer yourself love on those days that you may not be able to sit long. Try to explore the reasons behind your restlessness. In this way, you can use self-love to learn valuable lessons about your current state.



Final Words


Meditation is a great gift we can give ourselves, as it helps bring darkness to light. Elevation of consciousness takes commitment. Giving yourself extra time to sit with your soul can bring you new found insight, inspiration, and connection to inner light.


My hope is that you can achieve this with compassion and flexibility. Honor where you are, and take love and light with you where you’re going.

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Written by Tiffany Shelton, M.A., Owner of Conscious Life Shop, find out more about Tiffany here

 

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