The practice of meditating can seem like a confusing and even daunting concept. Inner peace? Becoming increasing aware? These are all questions that spring to the mind of beginners and in truth, sprang to my mind when I decided to see what it was all about.
However, as you’ll quickly realise after your first few sessions, the practise of meditating is extremely easy to grasp and once perfected, it can lead to a lifetime of increased quality of life and healthy physical and mental wellbeing.
To help get you started, here are ten tips to get you used to the ideas and nature of meditating, perfect for beginners looking for happier, healthy, more balanced lifestyle.
Sit Still & Take A Deep Breath
This may seem like an incredibly simple step but this technique is the foundation of meditation. A great starting place towards a peaceful and stress-reduced life is to sit, or stand, for around two minutes a day for a week. Just ensure that you’re comfortable with deep, regular breathing.
New Day, New Beginning
It’s been proven that meditation is most effective when practiced in the morning. A easy way to motivate yourself is to set up a reminder on your smartphone or even written it down somewhere you can see when you wake up is a great way to stay motivated and helps to turn this practice into habit.
Don’t Think How, Just Do
There are so many variables that beginners get caught up with such as; Am I sitting properly? Should I be standing or sitting? Should I be using a cushion? These are all great questions and always come down to personal preferences, the answers to which you’ll get over time. The main thing to think about when starting out is to make sure you’re in a quiet and comfortable place where you won’t be disturbed.
Become Aware Of Yourself
This process is known as ‘checking in’ with yourself and you’ll see it a lot in meditation articles and in guided meditation videos or audio tracks. It’s a simple process where you are simply asking yourself how you feel. Are you tired? Stressed? Anxious? Happy? The important part here is to always remember not to judge yourself. Any feelings that are you feeling, whether it’s one or a mixture of a few, just let them be, simply be aware that this is how you feel.
The next step in starting out, once your settled and comfortable in your position, is to count your breathing. Your should always try to keep your breathing at a natural pace, breathing in through your nose and out through your mouth. Count 1 with the inhale and 2 with the exhale. Continue to breath in this fashion until you reach ten and then start back at 1.
It’s Normal To Get Distracted
Don’t judge yourself if you’re counting your breaths and you find your mind wanders off and you find yourself distracted and losing count of which number you are on. This is completely normal and a common process with all beginners to meditation. Don’t beat yourself up over it. Simply take a deep breath and start again. With regular practice, this will stop happening.
Listen To Your Thoughts & Feelings
When meditating, you’ll find a large number of crazy thoughts and feelings spring to mind. This is because you are giving your mind a break when it can actually become aware and listen to those thoughts, a lot different if say, you’re at work and you briefly think of something before the thought goes. Listen to these thoughts. Are they of people, loved ones, enemies, situations or events? Welcome these thoughts into your mind and let them pass in their own time.
Clear Your Mind
This is another expression you’ll hear a lot when reading up on meditation. It’s true, a clear mind is a happy mind but, as a beginner, this is something you can work towards. When I started meditating, I was practicing months before I finally completed a session and was shocked that for once, probably in many years, I actually had a mind that was completely clear.
Learn About Yourself
How often do you actually sit down day to day to take the time to learn and listen to yourself. The closest most people will get is writing a diary but you’ll still occupying your mind with thoughts of what to write down on paper and other goings on in your life. By watching and listening to the thoughts and feelings that come into your mind whilst meditating, you can learn about what your mind thinks about most, what it worries about and what causes anxieties. By understanding what makes you feel like this will help you understand how to deal with those situations.
For my final point, I want to talk about commitment. Whether you’re practising a sport, art or learning an instrument, as the old saying goes, Rome wasn’t built in a day. The same is applied to meditation. Your brain and your mind is muscle and it take regular training and exercise to keep it healthy and active. Lock yourself in and give it your all, besides, everybody can spare 2-5 minutes a day.
A great milestone to set for yourself is a month. Try meditating for a month and you’re realised a new you you wouldn’t believe could exist.
Are you trying meditation for the first time or have you begun and looking for some more tips on how to carry on and stay motivated? Leave a comment below and spark a conversation that could yours or someone else life!