Do you have a hard time sticking to a mindfulness practice? Is a loving-kindness meditation just not working for you? Mindfulness practices or activities can take many forms (i.e. meditation, yoga, listening, eating, walking etc.), but some may vibe with you more than others. In order to establish and stick to a practice where you take time to be present and aware of your surroundings, it helps to find one that resonates with your behavioral tendencies. Are you the type of person that likes to be alone? Do you need a schedule? Do you deeply care about people? All of these questions can help inform what mindfulness practice to try so that you will be more likely to stay with the practice long enough to create a habit and reap the benefits of mindfulness and meditation.
First Step: Mindfulness of your Behavioral Tendencies
The first step in determining what mindfulness practice might be best for you is becoming aware of your natural behavioral tendencies. One great way to do this is through a behavioral assessment, like the BE Success Survey. The BE Success Survey is an effective, yet simple, scientifically-validated, behavioral assessment that measures key behaviors and motivators. By using a behavioral assessment, you can learn more about yourself and how you’re wired to help guide your meditation action plan. Want to find out your key behaviors? Try out our demo today!
Finding a Mindfulness Practice that Speaks to You
Certain people will gravitate to different mindfulness practices based on their behavioral tendencies. Below, we’ve described some common behavioral cocktails we come across and have suggested mindfulness practices to fit your behavioral make up. See which ones resonate with you!
The Life of the Party
Motivators: Performing and being around people.
Strengths: Communication, liveliness, optimism, sociability, fun, assertiveness
High Scorers in exhibition and/or networking are energized by spending time in the outer world of people and things. if you’re often the life of the party, you may do well with group activities like a group meditation or yoga class where you can chat with people after. During COVID, you can also meet up with a group of friends at a park and do yoga safely distanced!
Motivators: Solitude, long term relationships, contribution, support roles, and team wins
Strengths: Listening & observing, supportive, gentle, humble
Low scorers in exhibition and/or networking don’t like being in the limelight and value their time to themselves. If you’re a low scorer in exhibition/networking, you may prefer having a solitary daily breathing practice or a mindfulness practice that you can do by yourself like journaling or mindful walking.
The Organized Achiever
Motivators: Organization and follow through
Strengths: Finishing what you start, reliability, discipline, grit, planning, punctuality, responsibility
If you are a high scorer in proactivity/order/endurance you prefer a more structured, planned and efficient lifestyle. Because you like to make a plan and get stuff done you will want to schedule in your mindfulness practice. Find an app that allows you to schedule practices and gauges your performance so that you can check things off and see your achievements as you go.
The Critical Thinker
Motivators: Logic, research, detail
Strengths: Thorough, intelligent, detailed, critical thinker
High scorers in criticality evaluate ideas, initiatives, motives and relationships. They typically don’t “blindly” accept anything new that comes along and put more weight on objective principles. Because of these tendencies, a high scorer in criticality will want to evaluate the benefits of a mindfulness practice through research and case studies. If you’re a high scorer in criticality, the science-based practices of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) and Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy, like the Three-Minute Breathing Space may appeal to you.
Motivators: Contribution, helping others
Strengths: Caring, openheartedness, warmth, generosity, kindness, trustworthiness
High scorers in support and/or mentoring care deeply about people and relationships. If you’re a high scorer in support/mentoring, try a loving-kindness, compassion or gratitude meditation where you tune in to what you are grateful for and cultivate love and compassion for others through mindfulness.
The Out of the Box Adventurer
High Free Spirit/Creativity/Change
Motivators: Adventure & Freedom
Strengths: Curiosity, fun, imagination, innovation, tolerance, diversity, courage, growth mindset
High scorers in free spirit/creativity/change are adventurous and creative. Because they like a more flexible and spontaneous lifestyle, the Out of the Box Adventurer will do well with a mindfulness practice that isn’t going to make them commit to a schedule. If you’re a high scorer in free spirit/creativity/change, you may like mindfulness meditations that focus on anchoring in the moment through your senses so you can tap into mindfulness whenever the mood strikes. Get creative with your scenery and tune into your senses wherever you are, switching up what you focus on in your meditations (i.e; sound, sight, touch, taste etc. )
Of course all of these won’t work for everyone. Instead, think about these suggestions as a starting point. At the end of the day, the best mindfulness practice for you is one that you can stay with and cultivate- be open and experiment until you find one that really resonates with you.