The buzz of another text from that dreadful group message you’ve been added to (is nowhere safe from your opinions, Tiffany?). The box of papers you keep meaning to sort through. The overstuffed recycling bin. Even with a bustling, buoyant social life and meaningful work, it can be hard to feel grateful for anything when you have so much crying out for your attention.
We here at Modernize know exactly what you’re going through. You want to make time for yourself, but everything else seems to come first, even at home. That’s why carving out a special time and place for meditation is so important. Designating a part of your home as Self-Care Central is like saying to yourself, “This is important to me. I matter.” It reminds you that your well-being is a real, tangible thing in the world, just as worthy of a slot in your calendar.
In case you need more convincing, though, here are five more things a meditation space can help with.
1. It can actually make meditation easier
A cluttered space does not a quiet mind make. In a messy room, your brain is overloaded with external stimuli, meaning it’s harder than ever to turn your thoughts inward. To get the most out of your practice, organize your meditation area so that it’s clean and unchaotic. A little pleasing natural light and access to some soft music doesn’t hurt, either—anything that makes you feel calm and at ease. For lots of serious decor inspo, check out this post on some of the loveliest meditation rooms in the world.
2. It acknowledges your practice is importance
A place to eat, a place to sleep, a place to work, a place to play—having an area in our homes dedicated to a single task or function signifies its meaning in our lives. Science now backs what practitioners have known for years: regular meditation can have lasting effects on your mental health and physical wellness, reducing stress, lessening depression, and boosting cognitive functioning. Honor your practice and the difference it has made (or will soon make!) in your life by devoting a special location for quiet, soft reflection.
3. It signals to your brain that it’s time to begin
As much as we like to think we control every thought that runs through our minds, habit is a strong reinforcer. Our brains actually rely on subtle environmental cues to trigger patterns of thought. Ritualizing your practice by meditating regularly in a particular area sends a little popup message to your brain, telling you that it’s time to go into relaxation mode.
4. It helps you apply mindfulness to your day-to-day life
We all have that one little thing about our homes we wish we could change: the mark on the door that no amount of Goo-Gone will get, the picture frame that always hangs askew. Practicing in your living space allows you to come to terms with these imperfections and experience them as they are, freeing you to move through your home daily with a compassionate heart and an nonjudgemental eye.
5. It creates a room of one’s own
It’s supposed to be a place of retreat and repose—but with work and social obligations increasingly intruding into our private lives, it’s easy to feel beleaguered by the pressures of the outside world, even at home. Setting aside a corner of your house or apartment where no work gets done and no phones are allowed helps form a mental separation from those things, letting you focus a little attention back on yourself and your own well-being.
Does creating a space for meditation sound like just one more task to add to your to-do list? Don’t worry. Just take it a little bit at a time, and remember: just by reading up, you’ve already made one step in your journey towards tranquility.