Hello Lovelies! Happy Monday! I’ve been getting some email questions lately about how to start a meditation practice, so I thought that I would share a few tips with you today. Meditation and mindfulness have become a huge part of my life since the beginning of this year, and I am excited to share some beginner’s tips with you! So if you are looking to start your own Meditation practice, you have come to the right place!
what is meditation
Meditation is a way of training your mind and bringing more mindfulness into your day. Meditation has been used for centuries as a way to transform the mind, and helps to develop concentration, clarity, and emotional positivity.
There are many different meditation methods: Mindfulness Meditation, Zen Meditation, Vipassana Meditation, Mantra Meditation just to name a few. Today we are going to be focusing on the most basic and easy to learn which is Mindfulness Meditation.
benefits of meditation
The beauty of meditation is that you can easily incorporate it into your daily life and start reaping the benefits right away. Meditation has been proven to increase focus, boost immunity, lessen anxiety, and increase optimism, relaxation and awareness.
With that kind of a track record, it’s no wonder that so many people are turning to meditation to help calm their minds, increase positivity, and reap the health benefits as well.
beginning a meditation practice:
Beginning a meditation practice can sound daunting at first, but here are some ways that you can keep it simple. Don’t worry about wether you are doing it right, just commit yourself to the process and you will be amazed by the outcome :)
1. FIND YOUR SPACE
Fining a quiet place to meditate is SO important. I like to sit on my back porch when I meditate in the mornings because it is in the shade, outdoors (where I prefer to meditate), and there is not too much background noise. I do sometimes hear traffic, or lawnmowers, or airplanes (oh, the joys of living on a military base), but those are all things that I can easily tune out.
The key here is to find somewhere what is comfortable for you and where you have the least chance of being interrupted.
2. KEEP IT SIMPLE
Don’t jump right in to more complicated methods of meditating. The easiest is Mindfulness Meditation, where you simply sit in silence and focus on your breath. Save all of those other methods for later, when you have built up the habit and are ready to take on more.
I’ve found the best way to focus on my breath is to count. I do this silently in my mind and count 1 on the inhale, 2 on the exhale, 3 on the next inhale and so on until I reach 10. Then I start over. This helps to bring mindfulness to the breath and let all of those thoughts and worries pass on by.
3. START SMALL
Some people love to sit in meditation for an hour (or even more!). In the beginning though, it’s important to start small to get yourself used to the practice. I recommend starting with just 5 minutes of mindful meditation, focusing on your breath.
You can set a timer on your phone so that your mind doesn’t worry about how much time has passed. Once you are comfortable with 5 minutes, you can gradually increase your time. There are some great meditation apps out there that have guided meditations for beginners and built in timers as well. (More about that in a bit)
4. WATCH YOUR POSTURE
Posture is important while meditating. You want to be in a comfortable position, but not TOO comfortable. If sitting on the floor is too harsh for you at first, you can sit in a chair with your feet on the ground and hands in your lap. You can also use pillows and cushions on the floor to make yourself more comfortable there.
Regardless of how you’re sitting, the important thing to remember is to maintain a good posture. Think of stretching your spine and your head being pulled up by a string towards the sky. When I feel my posture drooping during meditation, I will often visualize this ‘string’ pulling me back up straight with my next inhale.
5. JUST BREATHE
During Mindfulness Meditation, your breath is the main thing that you should be focusing on. Thoughts will come and go from your mind. Just let them pass. Acknowledge them, but don’t try to block them out or strain to empty your mind.
Simply let your thoughts flow and consciously return to counting your inhales and exhales to bring your focus back to your breath.
6. MAKE IT A HABIT
While meditation can be useful and beneficial anytime, I think it is crucial to make it into a habit and incorporate it into your daily routine. If you are serious about beginning a meditation practice, you’ll need to make a commitment.
Set a reminder for yourself to meditate at the same time every day. Remember that you are starting small here, so finding a time that you can meditate for 5 minutes should not be too hard, right? I find it helpful to meditate first thing in the morning. It sets a great precedent for the rest of the day and puts me in the right mindset to deal with whatever life is planning on throwing at me on any given day.
Do what works for you, though. If your mornings are hectic and you have more time in the evening, then by all means— meditate when it works for you! The key is to keep your schedule as consistent as possible while you’re creating the habit.
free meditation apps that i love:
Take a Break > Choose from quick (7 or 13 minute) guided meditations. You can choose to listen to just the voice, or add in music sounds or nature sounds.
Oriental Relaxing Sounds > There are no guided meditations within this app, but it has a great timer feature and I love the soundtracks that it comes with.
Stop, Breathe & Think > This is a great all-in-one app! It has a built-in timer feature, along with guided meditations and an awesome schedule & meditation tracker.
Headspace > I’m in love with Headspace! Here’s what you get:
- Free access to Take10, Level 1 of the Foundation Course – learn the basics in 10 x 10 minute meditation activities geared towards beginners
- Personalized progress page to track your stats
- Buddy system for you and your friends to motivate each other on your Headspace Journey
- Rewards for regularly using our meditation app
- Reminders to keep you on track with you practice
- Options for you to continue your journey after Take10, with inspiring packs and one-off sessions on a range of topics such as stress relief, happiness, mental health and appreciation
- Ability to download sessions for offline useQuick 10 minute meditations and a progress chart.
Check out Headspace.com to learn more.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on meditation! Do you meditate regularly like me? Are you just starting out on your meditation journey? What questions do you have that I didn’t answer for you here? Let me know in the comments below :)
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