Settling into meditation every day can be as effortless and natural as breathing, but it is a habit many people struggle to establish. Those who meditate regularly may experience lower levels of stress and anxiety, improved emotional well-being and a greater ability to focus. Establishing a daily practice requires giving mindful attention to your routine each day. The five tips below will help you establish a regular meditation practice and see the benefits of meditation in your own life.

Pick a Time
Establish a time that you can devote to meditation every day. Some research suggests meditation is best done in the morning or in the evening. Whatever time you choose, it is usually best if it is the same time each day. Eventually, the practice will fall into the natural rhythm of your day. Over time you will not have to remember to meditate, it will happen as effortlessly as as anything else in your day.

Choose a Place
Where you choose to meditate everyday matters. Select a location that is relatively quiet and free from distractions. You may need to experiment with different spaces, chairs or cushions until you find what works best for you. If you live with others, establish boundaries so that you are able to meditate free from interruption. Do not forget to silence electronic devices or other items that may cause a significant interruption in your practice.

Meditation Tools and Décor
Experiment with meditation tools and Zen décor. Creating a space you look forward to spending time in is just as important as designating a space. Salt lamps, candles, tapestries, a comfy cushion, and meditation stones are great ideas for Zen Décor.

Know Your Why
Why do you want to meditate? What benefit do you want to achieve with a daily practice? Write down the answers to those questions and keep them somewhere easy to access later. Creating a new habit takes effort, and some days the effort may feel overwhelming. Writing down and remembering why you want to meditate will help you practice even on days when the idea seems daunting.

Identify Go-To Sources of Inspiration
Seek out and keep available sources of meditation inspiration. This will help you get more out of your meditation. Inspiration is different for everyone, but you may find success in searching out books, podcasts, dharma talks or social media accounts that resonate with you and the reasons you meditate. Short articles to remind you of your why may help as well. Certainly, this year is creating a lot of anxiety and stress. That in and of itself is a great motivation for taking time to relax your mind and body through meditation

Express Gratitude
Meditation should be a positive experience. Go easy on yourself if you miss a day. One of the best ways to reinforce your habit is to express gratitude to yourself each time that you meditate. The benefits of a regular meditation practice are different for everyone, so it’s important to notice each time you meditate what you’re grateful for about the session. This gratitude reinforces the habit you are trying to create by helping you to remember what you get out of meditation.

Meditation is a powerful practice. Establishing a daily routine may seem challenging at first, but it is well worth the small effort to try. Over time, as you begin to see the benefits of meditation in your life, it will be more difficult not to practice than to practice.