Meditation can help you focus, relieve pain, improve sleep quality, reduce stress and multiple studies show that meditation can even reduce levels of anxiety and depression. There are many reasons why you should try meditation so if youíre a beginner and would like to learn how to meditate, use these tips as a guide.
1. There is NO Wrong Way to Meditate
First and foremost, know there is no wrong way to meditate. I mean it. No matter how you meditate, where, or how often, it cannot be done wrong. Meditation is about relaxing, clearing the mind and calming yourself. So, do your best during your meditation and know that there is no “right” or “perfect” way.
Once you’ve decided to try meditation, commit yourself fully. Schedule a set time you will meditate for. This could be as simple as “For the next 30 days, I will meditate every other day,” or “For the next two weeks, I will meditate every day.” Really stick to it. Give it a good go to reap the benefits and see if it’s truly something you enjoy.
3. Time and Place
Pick the time and place where you’d like to meditate. Ideally, it’s best to pick a place you can be alone. When you are alone (and comfortable), you are less likely to be distracted. If you are sitting uncomfortably in a hammock and you keep fidgeting or moving, it’ll distract you and defeat the purpose of the calming meditation practice. As you become more and more experienced and comfortable with meditation, you’ll find you can do it anywhere. Some people can meditate in the shower or even while they’re sitting in their car while stuck in traffic (goals, eh?).
Once you pick a certain place, try to figure out a time. It doesn’t have to be super specific (unless you like that), but try to decide what time of day you’ll meditate and how often. This can be as simple as “For the next week, I will meditate every morning after my coffee and every evening after my shower.” You can start off meditating every day, every other day, once a week, whatever you like. If you find it very helpful, try meditating several times a day (such as morning and night–or more if you can).
You are your own person, so how long you choose to meditate for is entirely up to you. Ideally, for a beginner, it’s best to try anywhere between one to five minutes. Set a timer on your phone (e.g. three minutes), that way as you’re meditating, you aren’t wondering about how long it’s been or worrying that your time will be up. This will help put your mind at ease and help with the process. Once you feel comfortable with meditation, try to increase your daily meditation time to at least ten minutes (and go for longer if you’re able).
5. Focus on your Breath
When you start meditating, try to release all thoughts and worries from your mind. Meditation is not an easy thing to do. Our minds are constantly wandering, so to calm yourself and to get meditation down pat, focus on your breath. Take deep and long breaths, in and out. If your mind wanders that’s okay. Gently refocus your thoughts back to your breath. This is a process that will be happening and this is what meditating is all about. Try to silence your thoughts as much as you can, but don’t feel flustered if you can’t quiet your mind for more than a few seconds. Even that in it of itself will benefit you in the long run. You’ve got this.
6. Count your Breath
If focusing on your breath bores you, try counting your breath. Count each inhale and exhale to give your mind a task that will keep it from wandering.
7. Your Pesky Thoughts
If you are meditating and you remember that you need to sign your son’s permission slip, don’t worry. It happens and it will happen. Gently re-focus yourself back to your task: being calm and breathing. Focus on your breath and on remaining calm/still. If negative thoughts come up (or thoughts in general), you can do one of two things: you can acknowledge the thought and let it go by focusing on your breath or you can acknowledge the negative thought and refute it. Once you do, simply get back to trying to clear your mind. Focus on how calm you feel, how your body and mind are trying to rest and just move forward.
Don’t linger on the thoughts that come up TOO much–since they will. The whole process of meditation is the ‘trying’ part. In the end, you’ll feel more at ease and in the long run, relaxed.
8.) Try Guided Meditation
The internet and YouTube have so much information about meditation and tons of videos. Try visiting YouTube and search ‘guided meditation’ in order to get some help. Some guided meditations take you step by step, while others tell you what to chant, and some others, just play harmonious music. Look some up if you’d like to try a different approach.
Remember, you are meditating to relieve yourself of any pain, stress and potential agitations that may come your way. It’s important we all take care of our mental and physical health. Take the time to meditate and see if you like it. If you do, know that you are doing something that is benefiting you and those around you.