12 Damn Good Ways To Rediscover Your Motivation

See ThoughtCatalog Article Here
By Amy Horton

You’re dragging. Your life feels like an endless, meaningless repeat of the same old routine for the foreseeable future. It’s become difficult to get yourself out of bed in the morning because you simply don’t want to do what you need to do for the day. Don’t imagine you’re alone – everyone goes through this, and a lot of people get stuck in it. If you have no interest in becoming one of them, then read on.

1. Change your morning schedule.

It can be tough to do, especially if you feel no motivation to get up in the first place. Start small. If you’re a snooze button fiend, change up your alarm method – or placement. Switch to a different, delicious kind of breakfast if you can. Set ten minutes aside to meditate, stretch, or practice yoga. Choose anything that will help you personally succeed.

2. Find something that inspires you to kickstart your day.

What do you like to do to energize and push yourself forward? It matters, because if you’re consistently dragging in the morning, you need a special kind of nudge. Find what makes you want to jump out of bed and get into the thick of things. The list of possibilities is endless – it all comes down to finding the spark that works for you.

3. Meditate on a regular basis.

Whether you do so in the morning or not, it’s a good idea to engage in some sort of daily meditation practice. If that sounds daunting, approach it incrementally. You don’t have to set aside an hour or two – the regularity is what matters, not so much the length of the meditation. Once you make your ten or fifteen minutes into a daily habit, you’ll find it easier to expand your practice. It’ll feel so good that you will want to stay longer.

4. Dig deep.

You might be having a tough time finding motivation to try something new. Perhaps the problem is that you’ve lost your drive for what you’re already doing. Either way, you have to get down to the root of the issue. Is it fear? Is it a lack of inspiration? Does it relate to some other issue happening in your life? If you want to rediscover the drive that you need for a fulfilling journey, then you have to put in the internal work.

5. Reprioritize.

It’s so easy to get sidetracked in the day-to-day chaos of the hectic world that you live in. Don’t beat yourself up over it. It happens to everyone and most are completely unaware of the problem. They don’t understand why they feel overworked, stressed, and discontent. Sit down and make two lists – one with the activities you engage in that bring you joy, and one with those that cause you stress. Make the decision to incorporate more of those that are joyful and also to put them first as much as possible. Starting with the positive will make those tougher tasks easier to bear.

6. Get moving.

It may be well-worn advice, but it’s true – revving up your heart produces endorphins and motivates you to get the rest of your day in order. If you can stand it, try to start your morning off with some exercise, even if that just means getting outside and taking a walk in the fresh air. If you combine a workout with time in nature, you double the potential benefits. You’re almost guaranteed to be in a better mindset post-exercise.

7. Be brutally honest with yourself.

Is there an actual issue interfering with your motivation, or have you let yourself get lazy? Sometimes the truth is difficult to face. Everyone gets comfortable and complacent, but it’s your job to keep things fresh and rediscover your zest for life. If you don’t have that going for you, what’s even the point, right? Take a good hard look at the underlying problems.

8. Rest – but really, truly rest.

In today’s world most people don’t really take breaks. You may tell yourself something you’re doing counts as “rest”, but odds are you’re still letting the rest of your life interfere with your relaxation. You have to set aside time to honestly let go, and if you’re lucky, there are people around you who can assist you with that. They’ll probably be glad to lend a hand if you express the crucial necessity – and it won’t hurt if you offer to do likewise in the future. There is no shame in relying on those who care for you.

9. Try something wildly outside your comfort zone.

Part of your problem could be a lack of new elements in your life that pique your interest. When you fall into a rut, you must pull yourself out of it – and one way to do that quickly and effectively is to attempt something that scares you. It’ll keep your enthusiasm alive and inspire you to go above and beyond where you are now.

10. Dance!

Seriously. Dancing is incredibly freeing and it brings the best out in everyone. It awakens your inner child and puts a smile on your face – what can possibly be wrong with that? Let everything go and dance like nobody is watching you. Life is too short to care, and nothing feels better than giving your body license to move in the ways that feel primal and true. It’ll take you out of your head and into your heart.

11. If you don’t like your life, step back and try to pinpoint why.

There’s nothing worse than feeling dissatisfied with your existence, but a staggering number of people out there aren’t happy. Most likely you’ve been plodding along and haven’t taken stock of where you are and what’s keeping you from satisfaction. Has something changed, or is the issue that nothing’s changed at all? Figure it out.

12. Be as completely present in the moment as humanly possible.

Your unhappiness could stem from the simple fact that you are living in the past or the future instead of the here and now. If you’re dragging, take note of every moment as it happens, and you’ll forget to worry about anything else. Your inherent motivation lies in the fact that none of us are guaranteed the next month, day, hour, or even minute. Take charge of your life and enjoy it fully as long as you hold its preciousness in your grasp.

Beer Yoga Lets You Tap Your Inner Power (And Favorite Brew)

See Author Article Here
By Brian Bull

If you’re a beer aficionado who likes developing strength, flexibility, and a sense of well-being, you’ll want to roll out a mat at the annual KLCC Brewfest this weekend.  KLCC’s Brian Bull reports on the trend of “beer yoga.”

Benjamin Wilkinson, principal partner and lead instructor of Stop, Drop & Yoga LLC, atop KLCC’s RV, “Elsie”.

The event is being coordinated by Stop, Drop, and Yoga, which already holds beer-yoga classes at the Public House in Springfield. Its lead instructor, Benjamin Wilkinson, says the concept is simple.

Wilkinson leads a beer yoga session at the Public House in Springfield.
CREDIT STOP, DROP & YOGA LLC

“It’s yoga plus beer,” he says, chuckling.  “And traditionally we do the yoga first, then we drink the beer afterwards.

“However, the idea is to combine some of your favorite things. Adding yoga to a beer festival is just one more way to enjoy that festival.”

Wilkinson says there’s two beer-yoga sessions Saturday afternoon, and all are welcome regardless of experience.

“Come for the ‘ohm’, stay for the ale.  But if you’re a lager fan, we don’t discriminate.”

CREDIT JULIE 0_0 / FLICKR.COM

As to what Wilkinson likes to drink after yoga?

“I’m a big fan of open fermented sours,” he tells KLCC.

“There’s nothing like a little mindfulness to put you in the place to drink and enjoy a complex and interesting beer.”

The sessions are free to all Brewfest participants.

Copyright 2019, KLCC.

These Two Questions are Key to Mastering Any Skill

See Author Article Here
By Peter Bregman

A feeling of discomfort may mean that you’re on the right track.

It was the last race of the ski season. My son Daniel, 10 years old, was at the starting gate in his speed suit, helmet and goggles, waiting for the signal.

“3… 2… 1…” The gate keeper called out and he was gone in a flash, pushing off his ski poles to gain momentum. One by one, each gate smacked to the ground when he brushed by. As he neared the end, he crouched into an aerodynamic tuck to shave a few milliseconds from his time. He crossed the finish line —48.37 seconds after the start — breathing hard. We cheered and gave him hugs.

But he wasn’t smiling.

48.37 seconds put him solidly in the middle of the pack.

I had coaching ideas. Ways I could help him get faster. While I am an executive and leadership coach, I coach skiing on the weekends and I was a ski racer myself at his age. But I held back my feedback, hugged him again and told him I loved him. That’s what he needed in that moment.

Later though, I asked him how he felt about the race.

“I never get in the top 10.”

This is delicate terrain — coaching your own kids — and I chose my words carefully.

“I have two questions for you,” I said. “One: Do you want to do better?”

If the answer is “no,” then to attempt to coach would be a fool’s errand (a mistake I have made in the past).

“Yeah,” he said.

“Here’s my second question: Are you willing to feel the discomfort of putting in more effort and trying new things that will feel weird and different and won’t work right away?”

He was silent for a while and I let the silence just hang there. Silence is good. It’s the sound of thinking. And this was an important question for Daniel to think about.

I believe — and my experience coaching hundreds of leaders in hundreds of different circumstances proves — that anyone can get better at anything. But in order to get better — and in order to be coached productively — you need to honestly answer “yes” to both those questions.

Maybe you want to be a more inspiring leader. Or connect more with others. Maybe you want to be more productive or more influential. Maybe you want to be a better communicator, a more impactful presenter, or a better listener. Maybe you want to lead more effectively, take more risks, or become a stronger manager.

Whatever it is, you can become better at it. But here’s the thing I know just as clearly as I know you can get better at anything: you will not get better if 1) you don’t want to and 2) you aren’t willing to feel the discomfort of doing things differently.

One senior leader I worked with became defensive when people gave him feedback or criticized his decisions. He wanted to get better, he told me, and he was willing to feel the discomfort. So I gave him very specific instructions (learned from my friend Marshall Goldsmith): Meet with each member of your team and acknowledge that you have struggled with accepting feedback and tell them that you are committed to getting better. Then ask for feedback — especially ways you can be a better leader — and take notes. Don’t say anything other than “Thank you.”

“It took every restraint muscle in my body not to get into a conversation about their comments,” he told me afterwards. “Especially because I felt they misunderstood me at times. It was beyond uncomfortable. And I messed up a few times and had to apologize. But I did it — and they haven’t stopped talking about what a welcome change it’s been.”

Learning anything new is, by its nature, uncomfortable. You will need to act in ways that are unfamiliar. Take risks that are new. Try things that, in many cases, will be initially frustrating because they won’t work the first time. You are guaranteed to feel awkward. You will make mistakes. You may be embarrassed or even feel shame, especially if you are used to succeeding a lot — and all my clients are used to succeeding a lot.

If you remain committed through all of that, you’ll get better.

I now ask those two questions before committing to coach any CEO or senior leader. It’s a prerequisite to growth.

I sat silently with Daniel for long enough that I thought he might have forgotten my question. Sitting in the discomfort of that moment, I realized that this was a new behavior for me too. I’m used to jumping in and trying to help him. Now, I was sincerely asking him whether he wanted my help. I was honestly OK with whatever answer he gave me — and it felt a little weird. But the more I settled into the silence, the more comfortable I got with just sitting with him — which I found I loved doing.

Finally, he spoke up.

“I think so” he said, “but it’s the end of the season. Can we talk about it at the beginning of next season?”

“Sure,” I said, “I’ll ask you again then.”

Originally posted at Harvard Business Review

A One-Minute Meditation to Focus Your Mind

See Author Article Here
By Barry Boyce

In mindfulness practice, you’ll often hear the term “natural awareness.” By “natural awareness” we mean the awareness that just comes with being a human being. It’s free from judging and characterizing—it’s just noticing and sensing the world. It’s done when you open your eyes, you see something, or you hear something, or you touch something. So, the simplest awareness that just comes as part of the equipment of being alive, without a lot of filters around it or judgments. You can trust that it’s always there.

By “natural awareness” we mean the awareness that just comes with being a human being. It’s free from judging and characterizing—it’s just noticing and sensing the world.

An Awareness Practice You Can Do Anywhere

One Minute Guided Meditation with Barry Boyce

  • 1:00

This is a short practice intended for doing in the middle of the day, wherever you are out in the world, for settling. It’s done with eyes open. So let’s begin.

  1. Settle into your seat. Begin by taking a seat, or if necessary, standing. The important thing is to feel where your body is touching the seat and touching the ground.
  2. Scan the body. Sense where your bottom is touching the seat. Sit up straight or stand straight but not stiff. Make sure your feet are completely touching the ground, connecting you to the earth. Your eyes are open, so take in the surroundings of where you are. Lower your gaze slightly.
  3. Connect with the breath. Pay light attention to your breath as it goes out.
  4. Follow the out-breath. At the end of the out-breath, let there be a gap while the in-breath is happening. And in that gap you have natural awareness: it’s there already, you don’t have to create it. So, follow the breath out, and out, and out. As thoughts arise, treat them as you would anything else you encounter: Notice it, and use that noticing to bring you back to the out-breath and ride it out. Out, and out, and out.

Why Having A Hobby Is So Good For Your Mental Health

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By Sarah Garone

How do you answer when someone asks, “What are your hobbies?” Playing guitar, competing in triathlons, decorating show-stopping cakes? As it turns out, engaging in a hobby means more than just having something to chat about at parties or fill your Saturdays with. Research shows that keeping up with the activities that interest us actually has measurable benefits for mental health.

Wondering how your knitting project or instrument practice could bring you peace of mind? We chatted with Dr. Daniel Levitin, neuroscientist, musician, and consultant for Fender’s guitar-learning app Fender Play about various ways investing in a hobby enriches the life of the mind.

Woman playing guitar

HOBBIES MAKE US GET CREATIVE

Many hobbies are inherently creative. Whether you’re painting, woodworking, or baking muffins, you’re not only producing something that never existed before, you’re engaging the creative network of your brain. Creative pursuits are experimental acts, says Dr. Levitin: “These acts of experimentation expand the neural networks in our brains, making connections between circuits in the brain that might not have otherwise been connected.” This type of neural linking-up boosts mood in a measurable way. It actually modulates levels of the feel-good hormones dopamine and opioids in the brain, says Dr. Levitin. And although popular perception tends to associate “creative types” with mental illness, research indicates that imaginative pursuits are actually restorative for mental health.

While engaged in a creative hobby, you may also find yourself in a mental state known as “flow.” Described by psychologist Mihály Csikszentmihályi, the concept of “flow” is sometimes better known as getting “in the zone.” It occurs when you’re engaged in an activity to the point of almost meditative focus. Ever find that when you sit down to or scrapbook or play piano, your mind doesn’t even wander? That’s flow. Getting into this focused state promotes mindfulness, known for its positive effects on stress and anxiety.

HOBBIES BOOST SELF-IMAGE

When your self-image needs a pick-me-up, you might typically take to social media to rack up likes on a cute photo or funny meme. But for better results, try diving into your favorite hobby. Spending time on your own leisure pursuit is a self-care gift you give yourself — and some hobbies result in actual gifts you can give others. Taking pride in a handmade card or blessing friends with your musical talents could go a long way toward boosting your good vibes.

Hobbies also serve to keep the blues away by helping us hone valuable expertise. Maybe your years of dabbling in web design could lead you to teach a class on it, or perhaps your persistence with running has helped you place in your most recent competitive 5K. This type of skills mastery has been associated with reduced psychological distress. Tellingly, a survey conducted by Fender found that people who played guitar as a hobby had “increased patience, confidence in self and skills, work ethic and persistence.” Sounds like devoting time to improving a skill could make you feel like a rockstar (even if you’re not playing guitar).

HOBBIES CONNECT US WITH OTHERS

A number of hobbies are meant to be performed in a group, or lend themselves well to collaborating with others. Picking up a new pastime can be a great way to meet new people and establish friendships. Shared experiences enhance our enjoyment of activities and help us to feel less isolated. Dr. Levitin confirms this phenomenon: “People who play music together experience increased levels of oxytocin, a hormone that promotes social relationships and bonding.” So if you’re looking for the best hobby for your mental well-being, try something interactive, like joining a band or improv group.

With some hobbies, of course, it’s natural to fly solo. (Let’s be honest, it’s a little difficult to do sudoku in a group.) But even your solo pursuits make you a more diverse and interesting person — qualities that attract social engagement.

HOBBIES DECREASE STRESS

Finally, hobbies simply give us a break we can look forward to. Creative hobbies in particular “are the perfect antidote to high-stress jobs of multitasking and computer-based work,” says Dr. Levitin. (We’d argue that physical hobbies are too!) Turning to something non-work-related allows us to “hit the reset button in the brain, replenishing neurochemicals in the brain that have been depleted by a few hours of high-stress work,” he says.

As long as you enjoy your hobby, it really doesn’t matter what it is. Research shows that both physical health and mental health benefit when we use our leisure time for something constructive but fun. So whether it’s continuing your lifelong love affair with soccer or picking up the guitar for the first time, maybe it’s time to make your favorite hobby a priority.

26 Characteristics Of Truly Happy People

See Psych Central Article Here
By Rachel Fintzy Woods

How can you tell when you meet a truly happy person?

What signs do you look for? What indicates to you that someone is truly content with their life and themselves?

Genuinely happy people:

  1. Feel gratitude. Happy people appreciate all of the good things in their lives, rather than focusing on what they perceive they lack. Happy people have a “glass half-full” mentality.
  2. Express gratitude. Happy people don’t keep their gratitude to themselves. They let others know how appreciative they are, with a quick note, thank you, hug, or pat on the back.
  3. Live in the moment. Happy people let go of the past, including their triumphs and mistakes. They realize that the only moment they can truly inhabit and do anything about is the present, so they don’t get caught in thoughts about the future, either.
  4. Are kind. Happy people are warm, considerate, respectful, helpful, and pleasant to be around. They do not indulge in envy, jealousy, or gossip, nor do they waste time complaining.
  5. Use positive rather than negative language. Happy people focus on what has, is, and can work, rather than on what is problematic.
  6. Smile often. The smiles of happy people are authentic, including their eyes and body language.
  7. Have a good-natured sense of humor. Happy people are not cynical or sarcastic. They can laugh at their own foibles and the absurdities of life. They do not take things too seriously, knowing the value of lightening up.
  8. Can be spontaneous. Happy people recognize and seize opportunities for new experiences, adventures, and fun. They are not rigid; not locked into meaningless routines.
  9. Have self-confidence. Happy people have a realistic (not arrogant) faith in their abilities. As a result, they feel equipped to deal with life’s challenges.
  10. Are adaptable. Happy people have a “I bend but do not break” attitude. They look for ways around an obstacle rather than lamenting the obstacle. They may even see the obstacle as a stepping stone for growth and additional opportunities, accepting that sometimes we need to choose a different path. They know the wisdom in the saying, “Insanity is doing the same thing again and expecting different results.” Happy people can go with the flow and modify their behavior and choices as needed – they learn from their mistakes.
  11. Are optimistic. Happy people are positive thinkers, hopeful about the future, and believe that things will work out for the best in the end. Such an attitude is associated with lower stress levels.
  12. Are energetic and enthusiastic about life. Happy people consider life an adventure to be lived rather than a problem to be solved.
  13. Value cooperation over competition. Happy people have an “us” and “we” rather than a “me” and “my” mentality, knowing that victory can ring hollow if we aren’t sharing it with anyone.
  14. Show enthusiasm for other people’s successes. Happy people realize that there is enough to go around and thus aren’t threatened by other people’s triumphs.
  15. Are curious about life. Happy people have a large number of interests and are continually learning and growing.
  16. Do not feel “entitled.” Happy people know the difference between wanting something and demanding it. In fact, they don’t expect a lot from life, as their focus is largely on what they can give. Ironically, as a result of this attitude, happy people often end up receiving quite a lot, as humble and helpful people usually attract a lot of goodwill.
  17. Accept life’s uncertainties. Happy people are willing to go with the flow and make the best decisions they can, based on incomplete information (which is generally all we have).
  18. Prioritize spiritual/non-materialistic values. Happy people are not concerned about keeping up with the Joneses, nabbing a prestigious job, buying a massive home, or hitting a certain financial plateau. They prioritize relationships with family and friends, enjoying themselves, laughing, and having fun. They value experiences over possessions.
  19. Get sufficient sleep. Happy people realize that without adequate shut-eye they compromise their outcome, energy level, cognition, physical health, and ability to deal with stress. Thus, they make sleep a priority, which for most people amounts to between seven and nine hours a night.
  20. Have a strong social support system. Value quality over quantity when it comes to relationships. Communicate in deep and meaningful ways, rather than engaging in shallow conversation. Do not have a need to have thousands of “friends” on social media.
  21. Are loyal to their loved ones. Happy people will stick up for and go out of their way to help those close to them.
  22. Spend time with other happy people. Happy people know that the traits of our frequent companions tend to rub off on us.
  23. Are willing to ask for help. Happy people recognize the importance of standing on their own two feet but also realize that they cannot do everything themselves and do not hesitant to turn to their personal and professional community for assistance. Asking for help is a sign of humility and honesty.
  24. Are good listeners. Communication is not a one-way street. Happy people take the time and exert the energy required to really pick up on what other people are telling them verbally and non-verbally. Happy people recognize the importance of hearing different perspectives on an issue and are willing to be influenced and to learn.
  25. Are honest with themselves and with others. “This above all: to thine own self be true, and it must follow, as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man.” (William Shakespeare) Happy people know who they are, are comfortable with themselves, and feel free to show their true selves to other people. They do not feign emotions, beliefs, or attitudes that aren’t consistent with their personal truths.
  26. Have a sense of purpose. Happy people apply their skills, efforts, and energy to projects and causes within their family, community, and world – they do not live for themselves alone.

How many of these attributes can you recognize in those close to you – and in yourself? Remember,through practice, all of these traits can be learned and strengthened.

Night Owl or Morning Person? It Could Be Affecting Your Mental Health

See Author Article Here
by Emily Price

If you’re a night owl, you might want to consider trying to make the switch to getting up earlier.

Researchers recently took a look genomic data from 700,000 people, all of whom had completed a DNA analysis from the company 23andMe and opted into the study. Participants were asked to complete a health survey, which asked whether or not they considered themselves a morning person or a night owl.

While the study didn’t find any difference between being a morning or night person and a person’s risk of obesity of diabetes, it did find a connection between night owls and being prone to depression, anxiety, and schizophrenia. The results of the study were published this week.

That said, the reason for the link is currently unknown, and instead points out a need for further research in the area.

Some theories include the genes in early risers potentially offering some sort of protection against mental health issues, the amount of light early risers are exposed to, and perhaps the societal advantages of feeling more awake in a 9-5 world.

In the study, both groups of people ultimately got around the same amount of sleep at night, and that’s important. Another recent study found that not getting enough sleep at night can ultimately lead to coronary artery disease or even a stroke.

50 Small (But Big) Changes To Become An Ultimately Happier You

See Author Article Here
Liza Varvogli

1. Set your alarm 15 minutes earlier. Select to wake up to your favorite song. Enjoy your coffee or tea in a special mug. This sets off your day in a whole different way.

2. Write down the intention of the day; “Today I choose to be happy,” “Today I choose to stay calm,” you get the idea.

3. Accomplish one small goal to set off your day in the right direction; for example, make your bed or wash your mug.

4. Read a book.

5. Declutter your living space.

6. Start small, by organizing your desk drawer.

7. Keep your brain and body hydrated; get a water bottle and aim at finishing it by lunchtime. Refill it.

8. Keep a gratitude journal and jot down three things that went well or were positive every day.

9. Go out for a 15-minute walk.

10. Follow positive people on social media.

11. Compliment a friend.

12. Cook a healthy dish for dinner; try a different cuisine.

13. Listen to some relaxing music on a daily basis.

14. Listen to podcasts on subjects that interest you.

15. Find a new hobby.

16. Start a collection.

17. Choose an art poster and hang it on your living room wall.

18. Choose to wear accessories that make you feel good.

19. Make a positive affirmation that works for you and keep repeating it daily; i.e., “I choose what I become.”

21. Write down your favorite quote on a post-it note and stick it on your bathroom mirror.

22. Use an inspirational quote as a screen saver; or set your smartphone to remind you of it several times during the day.

23. Make a playlist of ten happy songs that you like best. Listen to them at least once during the day.

24. Listen to TEDex talks on topics that interest you or topics you are curious about while doing chores or driving.

25. Commit to explore one new idea or do one new thing.

26. Remind yourself that you control how you feel by repeating often “I’m in charge of how I feel and today I choose happiness.”

27. Make it a habit to sit quietly and take deep, slow breaths.

28. Take a power nap or sleep 20 more minutes every night.

29. Make a photo album with pictures carrying happy memories.

30. Call, text, or email a friend that you haven’t seen in a while.

31. Sit in a quiet spot preferably outside, in nature, and do nothing for 15 minutes

32. Write down your three core values.

33. Write a positive comment or compliment someone inspiring on social media.

34. Watch comedies.

35. Read poetry.

36. Learn how to meditate and do it daily for 10-15 minutes.

37. Take a test to find your core strengths.

38. Next to each strength write down specific ways you can use it in your routine.

39. Sing your favorite song or whistle.

40. Go dancing.

41. Write down one important goal.

42. Now jot down three specific things you can do this week in that direction.

43. Tell yourself three reasons why you are happy to be alive.

44. Make a list of your “favorites” (dish, songs, books, films, travel destinations, anything).

45. Pick one thing and do it today.

46. Pick another thing from that list and do it tomorrow; you get the idea.

47. Identify five things that make you happy. Write down specific ways of how you can incorporate them in your day and do more of them.

48. Learn one relaxation technique and practice it daily.

49. Write a thank you letter to someone and be specific on what they did that helped you (you don’t need to mail it).

50. Remind yourself “I truly and deeply love and appreciate myself and I am invested in my personal development.”

Seven Ways To Start Meditating

See The Guardian Article Here

Meditation
 Are you sitting comfortably? The correct posture is not all-important. Photograph: Westend61/Getty Images

Find a meditation approach that you enjoy

“This idea that meditation is hard work and takes a long time to master is not correct,” says Jillian Lavender, co-founder of the London Meditation Centre. The trick is to find an approach (such as classes, online tutorials, books or apps) and a practice (from mindfulness to transcendental meditation) you enjoy. “If you’re putting yourself through some torturous process because ‘That’s what I should be doing’, then it isn’t easy or enjoyable, and most likely you won’t stick with it.”

Start small

Dan Harris, a US newscaster and the author of Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics, advises abandoning the idea of lengthy practices when you are starting out. Instead opt for more manageable chunks that you can slot into daily life. Just five to 10 minutes’ meditation a day can be enough to feel the benefits, Harris told NPR – even one minute a day is worthwhile.

Make yourself comfortable

It is more important that you feel comfortable than it is to be straining to maintain a certain posture, says Lavender. From sitting on the floor in a full lotus position to using a cushion or chair, choose what feels best.

Work with your daily schedule

Lavender, a Vedic meditation teacher, tells her students: “Anywhere you can sit down, you can meditate.” Developing that ease around it means there is a higher chance of fitting it in, she says. Start by finding somewhere you feel warm, comfortable and not too self-conscious.

Give an app a go

While some say using an app to meditate misses the point, others find them to be a useful and accessible resource. Headspace and Calm are two of the best-known offerings, but they charge to unlock more content. Insight Timerbrings together 15,000 free guided meditations, while Smiling Mind was designed with children and teenagers in mind. Buddhify and Simple Habitdeliver nuggets for specific moments such as before a big meeting or winding down for bedtime.

Embrace failure

Stopping and starting is part of the process of learning to meditate. Harris says trying to refocus your attention when it has wandered is like a “biceps curl for the brain”. Just pick yourself up again, says Lavender. “Dipping in for a few minutes will make a difference. If you have a moment on the train and you take the moment to sit, give yourself a breather and close your eyes, great.”

Explore available resources

As with any new technique that you are trying to learn, it is worth investing some time researching about meditation. If you are after a cheap and easy taster before committing to a course or retreat, the NHS offers a bedtime meditation video, while some local councils offer free weekly meditation classes. Have a look online to see what’s on offer in your area. The charities Mind and Age UK also provide guides on mindfulness.