5 Steps to Create the Perfect Meditation Space
The mental and physical health benefits of meditation are well known, but if you’re new to the practice isn’t always easy at the start. External distractions, not to mention your internal voice, make it hard to focus.
Despite the challenges, meditation is worth practicing and perfecting, especially if you struggle with sleep. Studies have found that practicing mindfulness meditation can improve sleep duration and quality as well as, or better than, sleep medication.
If you have tried to meditate and struggled to stay focused, some changes to your meditation space could be all you need to get back on track. Here are five ways you can create a perfect space for meditating your way to better sleep.
- Create a meditation space separate from other areas of the home. One of the biggest challenges you’ll face when meditating is distraction. Until you become well-practiced in the art of focus, even the littlest thing can pull you out of a peaceful state. If possible, set aside a room for meditating. If you don’t have a whole room to devote to it, create a separate meditation area in the bedroom or another quiet room. Use a room divider or screen, or even potted plants, to separate the space. If you use this space only for meditation, you will begin to associate it with focusing and mindfulness. This will make it easier to get into the right frame of mind for meditating.
- Block out noise and harsh light. A great reason to have a separate room for meditation is that it allows you to find a quiet space. Your other option involves finding a way to block out any noises from your family or outside activities. Try adding peaceful sounds to the space. Depending on your preference, this could be soothing instrumental music, nature sounds, or just white noise. You can find all of these sounds and many more on the BetterSleep app. Too much bright light can also be counterproductive. If there are windows in the space, use soft curtains to tone down natural light. Or, use blackout curtains and light the space with candles or soft electric lights that you find soothing.
- Keep it simple and decorate with intention. A meditation space should feel calm and soothing. No one feels fully at ease in a crowded, cluttered room. However, most people will also feel more comfortable in a space with some decoration. Choose a few items that are meaningful to you, like a picture of your family or a pretty painting. Something with religious or spiritual significance is also a good choice. If the item brings you comfort, it will be helpful to have it in the room with you while you meditate.
- Bring nature to the meditation space. According to research, indoor plants can reduce stress and anxiety. Plants in the space can help naturally prepare you for meditating. Some studies have also found that indoor plants increase the ability to concentrate and pay attention to a task, which is exactly what you need when you’re meditating. Choose a few potted plants to put in your meditation space without cluttering it. Select plants you like and that you are drawn to. Avoid any that have a smell you don’t like, as this will be distracting.
- Add a soothing aroma. Smell can be a powerful way to soothe you and prepare you to meditate, especially if you encounter the same aroma each time you enter your meditation space. A plant or two could provide the smell you like, but it may fade once the flowers are gone. Try scented candles, essential oils, or incense to create the perfect scent for your space.
Meditation is a great way to make your mind and body more receptive to sleep. It takes practice, though. Don’t expect to be good at meditating immediately. Be patient, create the perfect space, and practice a little bit each day to get all the health benefits from meditation.