Friday, February 20, 2009

Tips To Meditate More Often

As you all know, I really blew it with my self-imposed challenge to find 10 tiny minutes a day for a week to devote to just, well, chilling. Bummed with my performance, but knowing the minutes I did manage to meditate boosted my mood and productivity, I reached out to an expert for help making this habit stick. Josh Klapow, Ph.D., is an author, clinical psychologist and associate professor at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. I recently interviewed him for a New Year's Resolution story in TOC, but hit him up for some advice of my own. "Realize that meditation is a skill," Klapow says, "So reset your goals." Here's what he recommended....

1. Don't shoot for perfection. "You can't get better if you don't actually practice so don't shoot for perfection on the quality of the meditation," Klapow says. In other words, instead of beating myself up when my mind wanders to my to-do list, I should accept that I'm doing the best I can with my meditation.

2. Arrange for success.
"Look at your calender--what can you do to make it happen?" Klapow asks. "Get up 15 min earlier daily to start your day with meditation? Go to bed 15 min earlier or later to do it at the very end of the day?" Yep and yep. Or, possibly, I should force myself to leave my desk for 15 minutes around lunch time and pop into the bookstore across the street for a quiet 10 minutes to myself.

3. Back off the frequency.
I wasn't expecting this advice, but Klapow says success isn't necessarily perfection. He suggests I aim for three days a week instead of seven as a goal. "Then each week add one day," he says. That sounds a lot more manageable.

Klapow's parting words: "Remember- first carve the time, then increase the frequency, then the quality will happen automatically." I'm breahing a big sigh of relief and feeling like less of a failure after hearing his thoughts. And better yet, I feel like with these tips, meditating will be a lot more manageable in my busy life. Photo grabbed from BJ Graf on Flickr. Posted by Liz

1 comment:

  1. Great article/site. I'm honored that you used my photo. You're welcome to use others at

    All the best!



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