Today I will be discussing how to meditate for beginners, and how the practice can improve your wellbeing.
I began meditating about two years ago, and over time have introduced the practice into my daily routine.
I meditate first thing in the morning and later on in the evening (around 8pm) – the benefits it has had on my life has been massive.
My anxiety used to be through the roof, but it is now non-existent. It has also quieted my mind beyond belief, and I am more relaxed, calmer, chilled, less stressed person for it.
When implemented into your life on a daily basis, it really is a life changer, I couldn’t recommend it enough.
Once you see the benefits, and the little voice inside your head (I like to call an annoying roommate) begins to quiet down, you will be wondering why you didn’t start it sooner!
Meditation is said to reduce stress, depression, and anxiety. You can lower your blood pressure, better your overall disposition, and enjoy more restful sleep.
The physical changes that meditation brings to your nervous system and your brain are actually quite astonishing.
There are no negatives to meditation, you have nothing to lose and plenty to gain.
Today I will be talking you through some mediation tips for beginners.
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What is meditation?
Meditation is essentially the practice of quieting the mind. It’s also considered to be a skill, or a tool, and just like the muscles in your body, it needs to be worked.
Similar to working a specific muscle group for the first time, when you first start meditating, it can feel unnatural or even difficult, and that’s OK.
The more you work the muscle, the easier it will become and the more natural it will feel.
Keep in mind, this is exactly why you might hear people refer to meditation as a practice, because it is indeed a skill that needs to be developed.
The first few times you try to meditate, you may feel silly, or worry that you’re doing it wrong – rest assured, you cannot do it wrong, but the more you practice, the better it will get.
The goal is to quiet the mind in order to create a calm, and clear headspace. By doing so, we’re able to open ourselves up to that inner voice which provides guidance and clarity.
This is great for decision making, and easing anxiety; ultimately reducing stress. Oftentimes, we’re going and going, forging our way through life as quickly as possible, but when we take the time to really be still and quiet, we can reveal a whole new path forward.
Have you ever tried to not think about something? Think about it, even if you’re driving in the car alone, without the radio on, just cruising along in silence, your mind is still running wild with thoughts – what’s for dinner, I need to send that email, I need to make that doctor’s appointment.
Our minds are constantly running on autopilot. Meditation gives you the opportunity to take back control.
Experts estimate that the mind thinks between 60,000 – 80,000 thoughts a day. That’s an average of 2500 – 3,300 thoughts per hour which is insane.
Neuroscientists and experts in the field of consciousness call this mental noise. With our brains processing so many thoughts every day and every minute, there’s a lot going on.
It’s also worth noting, that with that much activity, it’s nearly impossible to keep track of whether these thoughts are positive or negative.
Are we running a program that is beneficial for our mental health, or are we running through thoughts that are ultimately increasing our stress and anxiety levels?
When we quiet the mind, we get to clear out all the junk.
How to Meditate – Ultimate Beginners Guide!
Practice makes perfect
I remember when I started meditating, I felt frustrated often because I wasn’t any good at it (or so I thought).
My thoughts were all over the place and the more I tried to focus on my breath, the more it seemed like my mind would wander anywhere else. If noise interrupted me, or I felt uncomfortable with how I was positioned, I would get annoyed.
Little did I know, this is exactly why I needed meditation in my life.
Meditating isn’t about being the best at keeping your mind on your breathing. Rather, it’s about noticing when your mind wanders elsewhere, noticing where it went to or what thought came up without judgement, and then moving your attention back to the breath.
When practiced over time, this trains your brain to learn how to stay in the present moment,
If this means that while you’re meditating you need to redirect back to the breath 100 times, perfect! You’re doing it right.
The whole point of meditation is about cultivating awareness of where your mind wanders, and then re-centring it.
With practice, concentrating on the breath does become easier. But just like any other skill, it takes repetition and commitment.
Let your breathe flow natural through your nose and observe it as it happens, try to be alert and stay focused on your breathing, then when the mind wanders, revert back to your breathing.
If you want to learn more about meditation, the below channel on channel on YouTube is excellent:
Be realistic, start small
If you’re following inspirational meditators or other mediation/mindfulness enthusiasts, you’ll probably be inspired to try to recreate their meditation technique, space or experience.
But the truth is that trying to model your meditation practice after someone else’s may be the wrong approach, especially if they have a well-established practice, and you’re just getting started.
Here’s the truth. Every meditation is different because every moment is unique.
So, if you’re looking to be able to sit or lie down for long stretches of time at the beginning of your meditation journey, you may be unsuccessful or become discouraged.
Start small. Begin with a 3-to-5-minute meditation. Not too long and not too short.
Hold yourself accountable
I personally, find this easy to do because I’ve actually felt the benefits of meditation. I know that I feel more grounded and less anxious when I’m meditating; Therefore, I know that if I just set aside a small amount of time for this every day, that the practice will have long and lasting effects.
Find out what holds you accountable because this will be different for everyone – maybe you decide to take part in a month-long meditation challenge, maybe you and your partner or a friend both decide to do it together!
Make it a habit
If you are trying to meditate daily, try linking your meditation to something you routinely do. While you shower, brush your teeth, wash dishes, or something else.
I wouldn’t recommend meditating while driving. Safe driving requires your full attention.
When you tie your meditation practice to something you do regularly, you don’t have to try to pencil in the time for it.
In fact, the repetitive motion and sound associated with sweeping, shaving, or brushing your teeth just might help you go a little deeper into mindfulness.
If you’re interested in learning more in-depth about meditation, then the below books are excellent:
Follow guided meditations
Guided meditation is where you meditate in response to the guidance provided by a trained practitioner or teacher. This can be at the end of a yoga class, or when you’re listening to a guided meditation on YouTube.
If you are completely new to meditation practice, guided meditation is a great place to start. The voice you’re listening to guides you through various steps of meditation and helps you stay a bit more focused than if you’d have to do it alone, in silence.
Guided meditation usually consists of a relaxing part where the focus lies in relaxing the mind and body, sometimes there is a visualization session included as well.
But honestly, there a are truly countless variations of guided meditations out there. From deep sleep guided meditation practices, to releasing anxiety, to boosting self-confidence.
Have a stroll through YouTube or check out the app Insight Timer which offers a grand collection of quality guided meditations.
Guided meditations are great for beginners!
The below channels on YouTube are great for guided meditations, I used them regularly;
Find your best posture
When you are just beginning your journey into meditation, posture matters for one concern alone.
How comfortable you are in that posture.
You do not have to sit in the lotus position to meditate. It is a myth!
You could be sitting down with an erect spine, or lying down on the yoga mat or practice while walking or in any other position.
What matters is which position/posture provides you maximum comfort so that you can focus your attention in the practice.
You can make use of accessories like meditation cushions, blankets, etc. to make yourself more comfortable.
Prepare for the meditation practice as you would for sleep, everything must be comfortable for you.
Practice in a quiet space
Even though you can practice meditation pretty much anywhere, it is recommended for any beginner to choose a quiet space for the practice.
A quiet and peaceful place will help facilitate stillness within you and make you comfortable to practice.
Make sure to set up the place exclusively for meditation and perform the practice in that same place every day.
Remember to turn off any electronic device before you begin to minimise possible distractions.
Practice with purpose
Figure out why you want to meditate. That way it becomes easier for you to focus on a target and work towards achieving it instead of randomly contemplating.
You may take up meditation to calm your mind, to breathe better, improve your health, control anxiety or connect with your inner self. Whatever it is, have a clear goal before you begin to practice.
Choose your ideal time
Yes, an ideal time is critical. Make sure you choose a time that allows you to sit calmly without any distractions or noises that can disturb you.
And, practice at the same time every day so that you form a pattern and tune into it. Consistency and discipline are key here.
A disturbance-free meditation allows you to enjoy the process better and benefit the most from it.
Dawn and dusk are ideal times to practice meditation.
Like I said earlier, I meditate twice a day (first thing and around 4pm). I do this because I enjoy the practice and it calms me down.
But once a day is fine, whatever suits you.
Count to relax your mind
So, you know that you begin to meditate, you want to let go of the world. But it is really hard because your mind never stops!
You think about what you have to do, what you need to do, what you want to do, and everything else under the sun.
You can stop all of this by doing one surprisingly simple thing and that is counting.
Sit down, relax, and quietly count to 100 in your mind. Focus on every number.
Go at a natural pace and allow yourself to relax with every number while sitting still with your spine straight. When you count with real intention, your mind starts to align.
How long should I meditate?
The great thing about meditating is that there is no right or wrong answer here either! Some people will meditate for an hour or longer, and some people find they benefit most from calming their mind and body for even just five minutes.
As with any goal or new implementation of a practice or routine, it’s best to start small. Find a time that works for you and know that you will finish, so if you choose 5 minutes, don’t end early. Following through to the end is very important.
Personally, I meditate twice a day for 20-minutes each.
How to Meditate – Final thoughts
These tips will enhance your preparation for the meditation practice and help you get the most out of it.
Your objective should be to incorporate meditation into your life as a habit.
You should miss it if you don’t do it for one day.
Once you get started, the next step is to build a sustainable meditation habit every day.
The best time to start is today and don’t look back once you do.
So, what are you waiting for?
I would love to hear your thoughts on what you are doing to change your life in the coming days and years!
If you have any questions please reach out to me via firstname.lastname@example.org – I would love to hear from you!
I really hope you found inspiration in this article.
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Hello! My name is Adam and welcome to my space on the internet. Here you can find me writing about subjects such as spiritual growth, self-discovery, wellbeing, addiction recovery and mental health. Please connect with me on my journey and join the community!