When you hear the word “commitment”, you may think of committing to relationships with lovers and friends. But meditation deserves as much attention as these relationships, because meditating should never a one-time thing – it deserves a time slot in our busy schedules, too! So, we have some advice for you on why we should make meditation a habit, and what we can do to make ourselves confidently say: “I am committed to meditation”.
The essence of meditation is to increase our mindfulness. And what exactly does that mean? ChewYin Chan, a certified therapist who holds a passion for increasing spiritual awareness, defines meditation as a reminder to be present, something that brings our attention back to the here and now; a way to connect to our inner selves.
ChewYin states that many of us nowadays live such busy lives, we often spend a lot of time planning and dealing with things ahead of time, to a point we begin overthinking and exhaust our mental effectiveness. Doing mindful exercises such as meditation is a great way to remind ourselves that we can only control our actions in the present moment, so we should focus on being in the here and now.
It is especially beneficial to those who suffer from anxiety or excessive thoughts. ChewYin says that practicing meditation allows us to learn how to master and control the chattering voices in our minds that lead us to ‘panic mode’ and sleepless nights. It can also help to ground ourselves, allowing us to think more clearly, which is why being in the moment is such a beautiful realisation – that you are doing fine right here, right now.
Meditating effectively is as beneficial as working it into our daily routine naturally. If we keep telling ourselves we should practice meditation every day, our minds will mistake it as a programme we need to follow, which can begin to feel like a chore. Instead, she suggested to practice when you feel like it, as often as you want to, for as long as you want. There is no right or wrong way to do it. All that matters is finding time for yourself.
“It’s the same thing as exercise, but for the mind. The more you practice, the better shape you are in.”
ChewYin also recommends setting aside even 5 to 7 minutes per day and try to keep this up for a week. Master that. Then when you feel comfortable, you can practice it for a longer time if your schedule allows you to. If you feel like trying something new, group classes are also a great way to practice meditation and build it into a habit.
But should we stop meditation once we are feeling calm? No! ChewYin explains that meditating is just like going to the gym. We go to the gym so we can improve our physical health, de-stress and have fun. Similarly, meditation is a connection between our physical health and mental and emotional health. It’s the same thing as exercise, but for the mind. The more you practice, the better shape you are in.
However, commitment is never easy. It’s totally not unusual that we will lose interest or motivation at some point. To this, ChewYin recommends making meditation interesting. Yup, you heard me right – meditation can be interesting. Even though ChewYin herself doesn’t see herself ever losing interest meditating, she understands that life can sometimes distract us from investing time in taking a moment for ourselves.
There are different approaches and techniques to explore and motivate you to keep practicing, she explains. It could be finding a class at the gym that you like or usually go to, or a class taught by the gym instructor that you connect with.
Her personal go-to place is the Enhale Meditation Studio in Central Hong Kong because of the variety of classes you can choose from: from ‘Om chanting’ and breathwork, to self-connection, Hypno meditation and singing bowls.