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6 Meditation Room Ideas to Help You Chill Out

Need more Zen in your life? A meditation area may be just what you're missing
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If you meditate, you know that an A-plus effort doesn't always lead to success. Even if you succeed in clearing your mind -- pushing away the concerns of your day, running through your mental to-do list -- your so-called meditation session may just turn into an accidental nap.

Having a dedicated meditation room or area in your home can cement your meditation routine, making it easier to focus and making this superhealthy, stress-reducing habit more enjoyable.

"Meditation is both a ritual and a practice," says Dr. Kathy Gruver, PhD, a natural health practitioner, meditation authority and writer of the book "Conquer Your Stress With Mind/Body Techniques." "When you meditate at the same time in the same place every day, it reinforces that habit and strengthens the practice."

"Dedicating a space to meditation makes it a sacred and special place, which reinforces the sense that your meditation is a special practice," adds Patrick Paul Garlinger, meditation expert and author of "When Thought Turns to Light: A Practical Guide to Spiritual Transformation." "It makes your meditation seem less like a task and more like the gift of self-love that it really is."

Here are six great meditation room ideas for building your own space today.

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Picking a Meditation Room or Meditation Area
You don't need to have a spare room in your home to dedicate a space to meditation, says Joy Rains, an instructor of mindfulness and meditation techniques and the author of "Meditation Illuminated: Simple Ways to Manage Your Busy Mind." "You could devote an entire room to meditation, or just a corner of a room," Rains says.

If you prefer a closed space, Rains suggests using screens or curtains to designate your meditation area in an otherwise functional space, like a bedroom or laundry room. A quiet backyard or balcony would be another great choice.

Try to pick a place that's apart from the spaces you inhabit in your daily routine -- i.e., not on your sofa or bed. A meditation-only zone will serve as "a reminder of what you are there to achieve, whether relaxation or communion with the divine," Gruver says.

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Getting Comfortable
Although resting isn't a requirement of meditation -- walking meditation is definitely a thing, Gruver says -- many people sit or lie while meditating, which is why most meditation areas start with a comfy seat.

"The most important piece is comfortable seating, especially if you are new to meditation," Garlinger says. "A chair in which you can cross your legs comfortably, and that supports your back, is particularly helpful."

There are all manner of chairs, mats, pillows and benches designed specifically for seated meditation. We like the compact, ergonomic Undo Cushion, $150, as well as the supportive and easily stowable Halfmoon Yoga Meditation Chair, $75. You can easily find seating that's comfortable, affordable and suited to your style of meditation.

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Decorating Your Meditation Room
Some meditation practitioners choose to create an altar or decorate their meditation spaces with meaningful or sacred objects. "Anything that triggers the space of divinity for you" is ideal, says Gruver. "There may be a photo or painting of your guru or master, [or] crystals." Rains suggests adding meditation beads or inspirational books to read before or after meditation.

If you like to meditate for its body-mind benefits -- not so much for spiritual reasons -- why not fill your meditation area with mood-enhancing decor? Garlinger recommends adding house plants, which are proven to lower blood pressure, reduce anxiety and increase attentiveness. "Plants by their nature are calming and provide rejuvenating oxygen, and make a wonderful contribution to a meditation space," Garlinger says.

The color of your space and decor can also help set a tone for meditation. For instance, blue and green can enhance relaxation; pink, compassion.

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Lighting Your Meditation Area
If you've ever wandered into the fluorescent lighting section of Home Depot and wanted to immediately GTFO, you know how much lighting can influence your state of mind. The type of meditation you practice -- and what you want to achieve from meditating -- may influence how you choose to light your meditation area.

A lit candle has a calming affect, and it's used as a tool to focus the mind in candlelight meditation, says Gruver. (See the 13 best candles for your home.)

Dim light has been shown to make people happier and more relaxed, ideal if you meditate to reduce stress. Exposure to bright light, such as sunlight, boosts alertness; if you're meditating to improve concentration, consider orienting your seat toward an open window.

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