Meditation’s health benefits are well documented and wide-ranging. Regular meditation practices can reduce your blood pressure, help you manage preexisting health conditions like anxiety and sleep problems, and can help you move through life with a deeper sense of calm and self-awareness.
Regular meditation practice also brings significant cognitive benefits. Research shows that those who partake in regular, habitual meditation have longer attention spans, improved executive functions, and can reduce the effects of age-related cognitive decline.
However, many of us struggle to form a meditation habit. In part, this is due to the space we inhabit while meditating. A noisy, unclean, or otherwise disruptive space can have detrimental effects on your ability to form new habits. That’s because most habits require something called “automaticity”. Automaticity forms when we repeat a chosen behavior (like meditation) in the same context until that behavior becomes automatic and effortless (like brushing your teeth in the morning!).
There are several ways to create a meditation space that suits your practice and your home.
Creating Your Meditation Space
Everyone’s meditation space is different. Some love to be surrounded by physical things that bring them calm and focus, while others go for a sleek, minimalist look to reduce distractions. Whether you meditate in a small corner of your home or can dedicate an entire room to the practice of mindfulness and meditation, there are a few rules you should consider sticking to.
Create Your Space Intentionally
Crafting an intentional space to help your meditation practice is vital. As previously stated, habit formation is all about creating consistency, and if your space is not consistent, then your practice won’t be either.
To choose the perfect meditation space, you first want to assess your home to find a good fit. You’ll want to find an area of your home with enough space to lie down or to house a chair. If possible, you’ll also want to stay away from doors and areas of high traffic as these will likely cause disruptions to your meditation practice. Even if you’re living in a small space, you can find creative solutions to create more space in your home.
Furnishing the space you’ve chosen for meditation is a lot of fun, and doesn’t have to be expensive. A simple throw or modern lamp can really add a creative and inviting twist to your meditation space. Decorating on a budget is possible and helps you feel great about scoring interesting pieces like cushions and candles.
Maintaining Your Meditation Space
We’re saying it again for the folks in the back: meditation is all about consistency. When you can routinely return to the same place, at the same time, you’re much more likely to continue with the habit of meditation.
To maintain a consistent space for meditation, you must stay on top of cleaning the space and keeping your area organized. But, before you reach for the anti-bac wipes, remember that this is an area where you will be breathing deeply and coming into contact with surfaces. As such, you should opt for non-toxic cleaners. The last thing you want is to feel nauseous while you’re supposed to be relaxing and exploring your inner-self.
You should also consider the noise hygiene of your meditation space. While it is certainly possible to enjoy meditating in noisy spaces, it is still in your best interest to ensure that the level of noise you encounter while meditating is consistent. For example, if you live in an inner-city apartment, you can consider cracking a window and adding the background noise of the city to your routine. But, if you live out in the country and aren’t used to noise while meditating, you might want to consider soundproofing your space.
Moving Forward with Your Meditation Practice
Whether you’re meditating to alleviate anxiety or just trying to find a deeper sense of calm, your choice of space is vital in ensuring you form a sustainable meditation habit. Ensuring you craft a dedicated meditation space will make it easier for you to meditate consistently, and taking good care of that space can keep you on track in the long term.
It’s also important to remember that not all of your meditation practices will be perfect. There will be bumps and obstacles along the way but meditation, when done right, will help you navigate those unforeseen circumstances with grace.
Finally, remember that meditation is not a static practice—your growth is a good thing. The way you meditate will change over time, and the space you inhabit should grow alongside it. You may wish to add essential oils to your practice, or even grow plants in the same space that you experience inner growth. Ultimately, it’s all about finding ways to create a peaceful retreat that serves you and your meditation.