There are numerous benefits to meditation, which is why its popularity has soared in recent years. The meditation process is simple, but that doesn’t mean it’s always easy. Here are 7 tips that can help increase the benefits of your meditation.

1. Meditate Daily

A key factor in meditation is to incorporate it into your daily routine. Just as you have a morning routine to prepare for work, or create a workout schedule to achieve fitness goals, you should commit to a meditation schedule. Select a time each day that you can set aside for meditation. Typically, the best times to meditate are close to sunrise and sunset.

2. Have a Designated Place

Choosing a specific place for meditation is also important, especially if meditation is fairly new to you.

This space can be a small corner or room; preferably a quiet spot. Keep the space reserved exclusively for meditation if possible — add pillows, candles, incense; practically anything that promotes relaxation and concentration. Creating and using a designated area regularly will eventually signal your body and brain that it’s time to meditate.

3. Get Comfortable

Successful meditation promotes a positive energy flow throughout the body and this is done best in an upright position. Slouching during meditation not only impedes breathing and disrupts your concentration, but it interrupts the energy flow as well. If sitting on the floor is too uncomfortable for you, use a blanket, small pillow, or a chair that encourages sitting tall and erect.

4. Meditate Before Eating

Having a full stomach or eating unhealthy foods before a meditation session can hinder the ability to concentrate.

Generally, it is much better to meditate on an empty stomach or eating a light snack or meal. The old adage, ‘you are what you eat,’ certainly has validity to it. Greasy, spicy, and processed foods can cause you to feel restless or sluggish, which impact mediation as well as other aspects of your life. Choose fresh foods to enhance energy and concentration levels.

5. Breathe Naturally

While meditating, breathe naturally, rather than trying to force a rhythm that doesn’t promote relaxation. Research has shown that deep, slow, intentional breathing calms the mind, which enhances a meditation session.

6. Concentrate with Intent

By choosing a topic of great interest to you, it will prove difficult not to concentrate on it. One of the most common complaints of meditation is the inability to concentrate, but practice makes perfect. And, you’ll eventually discover that when with a specific topic to focus on, when the multitude of random thoughts momentarily capture your attention during a meditation session, it will be easier to refocus.

7. Don’t Get Frustrated

Meditation is not about controlling your mind.

It is impossible to stop the random thoughts, as this is completely natural. However, consistent meditation will teach you how to observe the thoughts and envision them passing by rather than redirecting your focus. The less effort you exert during meditation, the better results you’ll experience.

Meditation consists of quieting your mind and relaxing. It requires regular practice and as you begin to reap its rewards, you’ll eventually disallow anything from pulling you away from your routine.

Tweak your processes along the way, seek advice from a professional, or perhaps join a meditation group. You may find a guided group session is more beneficial and enjoyable.