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The Basics of Mindful Meditation

Millennials often get a bad rap for being lazy, self-centered, and entitled. But we’re also the true entrepreneurial generation, according to Forbes. That means we are extremely self-motivated and driven, but the downside is that we’re also more prone to burnout.

Not just that–we’re extremely distracted as well. I’d guess that many of you are reading this from your laptop while simultaneously texting your friends back about Saturday brunch plans.

Since growing up with technology at a young age our generation struggles with disconnecting… and focusing.

We are consumed by distractions: from Facebook notifications, to Instagram likes, to our best friend’s latest Snapchat, to work emails flooding our inboxes outside of the 9-to-5 workday.

It’s almost hard to remember a time when we weren’t connected to a screen. Isn’t it time we disconnect from the digital to reconnect with ourselves once in a while?

For most of us, whose to-do list feels like it’ll never be complete, meditation likely seems counterintuitive.

You may have thought before: “I don’t have time to meditate” or “Why would I just sit there and do nothing?”

But according to Kim Nicol, ex-lawyer turned Silicon Valley mindfulness and meditation coach, five minutes of getting calm and centered will make us more efficient, more focused and less distracted.

I had to chance to interview Kim last week and below are four of her suggestions on how to bring mindfulness and meditation into your everyday life.

Start Small

Like the beginning of any new habit, the key to long-term success is starting small.

The smaller the goal, the easier it is to attain. Each time you accomplish a goal you’ll have a new burst of confidence that will have you believing you can do it again… and again.

Like former pro-athlete Lewis Howes says, “You need momentum, and nothing builds momentum like getting a few wins under your belt.”

Setting a large goal such as, “I will meditate everyday for 60 minutes without becoming distracted,” is leading you to failure.

By making that goal much smaller (think: “I will sit in silence for 5 minutes today), you’re more likely to achieve it and more likely to attain your next goal too.

Small wins create momentum that help us reinforce a habit.

5 or 10 Minutes a Day

Kim used to ask herself, “If Arianna Huffington has time to do a meditation practice, then what’s my excuse?”

Many of us believe that meditation has to be a certain length of time. You may have had similar thoughts about working out. If we can’t make to the hour-long cycling class, then we won’t go at all, right?

Wrong. Like exercise, some is always better than none.

Make time for meditation practice by scheduling it in your calendar as you would a meeting, or doing it first thing when you wake up.

The truth is, if Arianna Huffington has time to squeeze it into her busy schedule, we can make time too.

Take a Walk

Another misconception about meditation is that you have to be sitting down to do it. This is far from the truth as meditation can take place in many forms.

Kim suggests taking a walking meditation. With our increasingly sedentary culture, we would benefit from a walk now more than ever. Moving meditations get the blood flowing, increase energy, and give us a fresh perspective.

Utilize Technology

Most of us could benefit from digital detox all together. But if you’re having difficulty making meditation a habit or separating from your smart phone, use technology to your advantage.

Headspace and Mindfulness Daily are just two of many apps that can help you find peace in your day. You can set reminders and mindful moments that will help you stay on track with your journey.

Heartmath and Spire are two different wearable technologies that will guide you along to becoming more mindful, calm and balanced.

Kim also offers a few free, guided meditations on Soundcloud. She suggests starting with Be Kind, Be Curious.
Lessen the chances of burnout by bringing mindfulness and meditation into your everyday. If you are integrating meditation into your life with one of Kim’s suggestions, let us know how it is working for you in the comments below.



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