Have you started meditating yet?

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Meditation. I never knew I’d be into that sort of thing, but being that I’m all for trying new things in 2018 (article: Books to help jumpstart your 2018), I’m now hooked. Sure, I’ve heard of the many benefits of meditating before, like how it can be a complete game changer for those dealing with stress and anxiety (which is practically everyone, right?). It wasn’t until I decided to stop making excuses about not having enough time and/or getting distracted while attempting to clear my head, that I fully realized how much inner peace I was missing out on.

Here are 5 easy steps that helped me add a little zen to my day, and will hopefully help you as well.

  1. Attend a class

This might be the easiest and most obvious place to start, but seriously, try it out. Heck, bring a friend. Nothing like having a sidekick to help motivate you out the door. Give the internet a visit; you might be surprised by how many places offer classes in the Twin Cities.

2. Download an app

Yes, there’s an app for that. But apps are a great option for when you’re constantly on-the-go, and trying to balance a busy schedule. Most meditation apps, like Headspace, have different types of guided meditations that are quick and easy to follow no matter where you are physically.

3. Stick to a schedule

It’s been said that for a habit to form, it helps to do it at the same time each and every day. By sticking to a routine, and knowing what you’ll be doing, and where you’ll be doing it throughout the day/week/month, makes it much easier to find time for, and get into the habit of, meditating daily.

4. Create a space

Try creating a meditation space where you can go to feel relaxed. It might just be the corner of your bedroom, and that’s okay. The more this this certain, designated space feels inviting, the more likely you are to spend time there. My personal space is set up with blankets, pillows, and candles; the most comfortable me-zone possible.

5. Turn off/remove distractions

Close your eyes and breathe: The dishes can wait. So can Netflix, your bills, and that phone call you’re suppose to make. Unless you’re using your phone to help with practicing meditation (apps), there’s nothing wrong with taking some time for yourself by turning it off. Plus, when was the last time you turned it off anyway? Yes, clearing your head and turning your mind off might seem impossible. Try and make your minutes of meditation as peaceful as you can by removing all distractions. Focus on what you’re feeling internally, rather than externally.

Meditation is anything you want it to be. Journaling, a long or short drive, or just taking the time to sit down and put your feet up — there are many ways to practice it. The best part is seeking out what works best for you.  I choose to look at it as a 20 minute vacation that transcends all the turbulence and chaos of everyday life. By choosing something that’s manageable for you and your schedule will help it remain consistent in your everyday routine.

Namaste, y’all.

Read next: Before you pay up and commit, I’ve tried out a few gyms for you