If you've never meditated before, it can definitely feel overwhelming, and it can be hard to really know where to begin. Meditation will definitely take a little practice, and at first you may find yourself feeling more frustrated than serene! That’s okay, it’s totally normal! Sitting quietly with your breath for ten minutes a day may sound easy enough in theory, but when it comes down to it, those ten minutes can seems to stretch out for an eternity.
Learning how to meditate doesn't have to be complicated, and approaching it with an open mind is one of the best ways you will find success in your practice. When you’re ready to begin keep the following in mind, and you’ll be mediating with ease in no time.
10 Ways to Learn How to Meditate
1. Dedicate a Certain Time to Your Practice
If you wish to get in the habit of a regular meditation practice, the best thing you can do is dedicate a specific time to it, and make it a habit. Make your practice a priority and set aside two or three days a week where you will be committed to meditating.
2. Get Rid of All Distractions
There is no way you’re going to be able to clear your mind and focus on meditation if your cell phone is on and the TV is blasting. The social media updates can wait, and before too long you’ll look forward to this time when you can tune out the world. Turn off all outside distractions. If you share a house with family or roommates, be sure you can go somewhere that you won’t be disturbed for at least fifteen minutes.
3. Start Slow
As a beginner, five minutes of meditation is going to feel like a long, long time. While there are many people that will sit in meditation for hours at a time, as a beginner it is more than likely you won’t be one of them. When you first start your practice, try focusing on just ten inhalations and ten exhalations and allow no other thoughts in your mind. Other thoughts will come! That’s ok, and again, totally normal. The key is to recognize these thoughts as just thoughts, acknowledge them, and let them go, and return to your breath. This may seem impossible when you first start, but it will get easier with time. When you start slow, keeping it to 5 minutes or less, it’s easier not to to give in to frustration.
4. Make Yourself Comfortable
Many people new to meditation picture someone sitting in the cross-legged position with their eyes closed for hours on end. While this is surely one way to meditate, it isn’t the only way. If you can’t sit comfortably on the floor, you can try a chair or even lay down on a bed, blanket, or yoga mat. There are really no rules as to how your body needs to be situated, except to be as comfortable as possible.
5. Make A Specific Space in Your Home for Meditation
You don’t need a whole room dedicated to your meditation practice, but making a specific space in your house where you will practice every time is really an excellent idea. You may want to think of this as your sacred space, or you may not. Light some candles and some incense to further enhance the energy in the space you’ve picked for your practice.
6. Expose Yourself to Information on Meditation
Knowing more about meditation is bound to get you more excited about your practice. There are some amazing books and movies that will help you further explore the endless world of meditation and why it is so important to find peace in this practice.
7. Get Some Guidance
Guided meditations can be an excellent place to start your journey. Sometimes we could all use a little guidance, and there are countless guided meditations that can be downloaded online. A guided meditation will help set the tone for your entire meditative experience and will come in especially useful the next time your mind just doesn't seem to want to stop.
8. Meditate in the Morning
The stillness of the morning is one of the best times to practice meditation and can set the tone for your whole day. If you can, set your alarm fifteen minutes earlier each day and use this time to sit quietly with your breath. After a while you will find you look forward to these moments in the morning that bring a sense of calm before the chaos of the day.
9. Set an Intention for your Practice
Everything around you once began with an intention. When we approach our practice by setting an intention, it helps to bring more meaning to our practice and to bring us closer to that which we desire. You may want to set the intention to find more forgiveness in your life, live with more kindness, or simply make it through a few minutes without a distracting thought! Go into your meditation with intention and feel a deeper connection to what you are bringing to your mind.
10. Offer Your Gratitude
Gratitude is actually one of the highest frequencies we can feel next to love. Bringing gratitude to anything greatly shifts our vibration to that of a positive state and is really one of the most powerful forces in the cosmos. Offer gratitude at the end of your practice to show thanks, not only for everything it is doing for your mind, but to your mind for allowing the process to happen.
Learning how to meditate is truly one of the best things you can do to increase your overall sense of well-being. It brings solace in a world that is often filled with anything but, and eventually overflows into every aspect of your life.
Every aspect of your life from business to your relationships with others will begin to take on a deeper meaning as you begin to breathe with the life force that is inherent in us all. Probably the biggest benefit is an increased ability to be an observer of your own thoughts. Creating a pause point between your first thought and your reaction can make the difference between a great day and a lousy one. Meditation will undoubtedly change your life in more ways than you could even begin to imagine.
There’s no other moment like the present. Start today and discover the world when you open to the stillness of your mind.
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Adam Trainor is a blogger and entrepreneur who is deeply passionate about living an authentic, healthful life. Adam is an avid fitness enthusiastic, and has competed in many marathons and ultra-endurance events. He even married his wife at the start of 50k trail race, which they then ran together! Together, he and and wife founded SoundBodyLife.com, a site dedicated to sharing their passion for health and green living. Adam believes that true health is a journey, not a destination, and that health encompasses all aspects of self: mind, body and spirit. In his free time, Adam can be found experimenting in the kitchen, or playing in the woods, running the trails at Blue Hills Reservation outside Boston, MA.
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