This article was originally published on Mind Body Green by Nathan Wiebe
I’ve managed to stick with my meditation practice consistently for the past three years, and the benefits have been enormous. The calming effects have bled into every part of my life, giving me the ability to make better decisions. During meditation, I usually receive my best ideas, and it’s also when I am able to properly deal with my most difficult moments.
So the question is: How can one easily integrate a meditation practice into their already busy and over-scheduled life? Well, chances are if you are a busy person, you probably enjoy a cup of coffee as soon as you wake up. From my experience, that morning coffee is the perfect place to start developing your meditation practice.
Here are three reasons why you should start meditating after your morning cup of joe:
1. It will become a habit
If you’re like me, making a cup of coffee as soon as you wake up has become a deeply ingrained habit. Since this habit has become an essential part of your morning routine, it makes it the perfect trigger for starting a meditation practice.
As soon as you finish your cup of coffee, sit quietly for as long as you can, which in the beginning may be only five minutes. By making meditation a part of an already very strong, almost automatic habit that you’ve already built, it becomes quite easy to integrate into your morning routine.
2. Meditating after you have coffee will put you in a good mood
The reason so many people enjoy coffee is because it makes us feel good. Caffeine stimulates the release of dopamine, which leads to these elated feelings and is also the reason why it goes so well with meditation.
Sometimes when we meditate in the mornings we feel tired, groggy, and uncomfortable, which makes the whole experience unpleasant. However, when you meditate after the caffeine has kicked in, you feel euphoric. This euphoric state makes meditating very enjoyable, which, in turn, makes it easier to do. It also helps you to connect meditation to feeling good.
3. The caffeine will help your mental focus
You might think that since caffeine is a stimulant it would be a bad combination with something as calming as meditation; however, I have found the opposite to be true. I have noticed that caffeine increases my mental focus, which is extremely helpful when trying to calm the mind and slow down the stream of thoughts. I find that when I meditate after my morning coffee, I am able to sit for longer periods of time and I am also able keep the mind quieter and more focused.
Although it seems counterintuitive, I have found that, at least for me, coffee and meditation are a perfect combination. This strategy could also work with tea if you’re someone who prefers tea, but ultimately, it’s the caffeine that gives you the main benefits. As far as I know, there are not a lot of people who practice meditation like this, so I would be very interested to hear your experiences with coffee and meditation in the comment section after you have tried it.