“Meditation provides the path inward to separate from external noise and activity; being rather than doing. Initially, we may become aware of the constant mind chatter which can be distracting if not discouraging. But with practice and patience, the space within quiets and the awareness begins to find its way back to that quiet when it becomes distracted by the bubbling mind chatter.” – Leslie Ellen Ray, LMFT.
It can be difficult to figure out how to begin your meditating journey when you first take interest in meditation. There are a variety of different meditation methods and there are several personal choices that you need to take into consideration before you begin practicing meditation. However, there are some universal things that pertain to everyone who meditates. You can begin getting tips from institutions such as Fire Star Yoga. If you are new to meditation, take a look at the guidelines below to help you begin.
- Consider a Guided Meditation
There’s a difference between reading about meditation and actually applying what you learn to real life. You’ll sit down, start, and at the end of the meditation, you will be wondering if you were doing it right. Instead of attempting to meditate on your own the first time, consider listening to guided meditation, which is an audio recording of someone giving you the instructions necessary to have a successful meditation session. Each person is different when it comes to which guided meditation they prefer, so search around until you find an instructor that you like.
Albina Tamalonis, PsyD. backs this up by saying, “In guided meditation, another person guides you through the meditation process, which produces a trance. Having a guide helps you learn meditation more easily and quickly. The guide keeps your motivation going through the repetitions necessary to learn to quiet the mind.”
- Find a Comfortable Place and Get Comfortable
Where you choose to meditate is entirely up to you. However, you want to make sure that your place of choice is comfortable. If you choose to meditate outside, bring a small mat or a blanket to protect your legs from being hurt while they are on the ground or the grass. If you choose to meditate inside, sit on a cushion or on a chair. It is typically frowned upon to lie down and meditate. However, it may be necessary if you suffer from back problems that prevent you from sitting straight up while you’re meditating. If this is the case for you, meditate on your side while holding your head up to make sure that you don’t accidentally fall asleep while you are trying to meditate.
- Close Your Eyes and Breathe
Focusing on your breath is the most important part of meditating. However, don’t force yourself to breathe unnaturally. Let your body regulate your breathing and simply pay attention to the rhythm and the feeling that it gives you. Focus on that sensation and let every other thought and thing in the world pass you by. If you begin to doze off or lose focus, don’t worry. Simply bring your attention back to your breath and concentrate on that only. It can be difficult to pay attention to your breathing but it will become easier over time. You may even count your breaths if that helps you focus.
Psychologist Grace Bullock also says that paying attention to your breath is something that needs focus. “It’s not merely commonsense advice,” she says. “It also reflects what meditation, yoga, and other stress-reducing therapies teach: that focusing on the timing and pace of our breath can have positive effects on our body and mind.”
- Come Out of Meditation Only When You Feel Like It
If you’re rushed for time and you must, set a timer before you begin meditating. If you have all the time in the world, let your body dictate when it is time for you to finish meditating. Consider this: it is much more relaxing to sleep and wake up when you have had enough sleep rather than having your alarm clock jolt you awake. Similarly, it is much more relaxing to let your body come out of meditation naturally rather than having a timer beep when you are finished. If you do need to use a timer for your meditation sessions, choose one with peaceful music or a relaxing sound that won’t alarm you when it goes off.
- Practice Meditation Daily
You will only experience the benefits of meditation if you meditate daily. Meditation can be done in as little as 5-minute intervals. It can be practiced anytime, anywhere. Even if you are the world’s busiest person, you can find time to meditate every day.