Are you new to the practice of meditation?
You may have visions of sitting uncomfortably for hours on end wrestling with a mind that won’t be quiet…
But I have some great news for you. Meditation isn’t about struggle. In fact, you can make it simple, and fun. Meditation is meant to relax your mind so let’s talk about some ways to make it feel great - something you look forward to every day.
Here are the top 5 tips on how to meditate for beginners:
1. Create your space. Meditating in the midst of chaos can be difficult to say the least! Try to create a tranquil space for your meditation: clear the clutter, make sure you won’t be disturbed (this includes your pets) and create comfort.
There is no need to be uncomfortable during meditation. If your knees can’t handle full lotus, that’s okay! Sitting normally in a chair or on the sofa works just fine! You can even lie down, although I would avoid that if meditation tends to put you to sleep.
Later, as you get used to meditating, you can add moving meditation like walking or yoga - but to start, it’s best that you are still so you can be fully in the experience.
2. Start by getting used to sitting quietly. This can be very challenging in the beginning only because we’re so used to being on the go all day long, and “sitting and doing nothing” can feel like a waste of time!
Just be aware of what’s going on in your body and mind. Do you feel an urge to fidget? Do you feel discomfort somewhere? Are you aware of being chilly, or too hot, or hungry, or tired? Practice being fully aware of what’s going on in you - acknowledge it all, but don’t give in to the urge to do something about it. The feeling, whatever it is, will pass once you stop giving it your attention (this is one reason why meditation is so effective in pain management - it teaches you to focus on something with enough intensity that you stop being aware of what’s bothering you).
3. Start controlling the torrent of thoughts. One great tip for helping slow the mental chatter is to say to yourself, “Listen!”. This is an effective mantra you can use anytime your mind feels busy. Giving yourself the command to listen, forces you to stop thinking for a moment and with practice, these moments of mental stillness will increase in duration.
Practice this for a week and see how much control you can get over your chatty mind! Bonus: this is a great tip to use when you’re particularly stressed!
4. To assist with #2 and #3, learn to breathe. Breathing is so automatic - most days, we don’t give this miraculous ability even a moment’s notice! How brilliant, that our bodies do it all on their own!
You can learn to breathe properly during meditation so that you amplify meditation’s capacity to activate your body’s healing mechanisms… and as a bonus, you can use it to quiet your mind.
Simply pay attention to your breath, without controlling it in any way. Listen to the inhale. Feel the inhale. Note the pause between inhale and exhale. Feel and listen to the exhale. Note the pause… and repeat. When thoughts intrude - and they will - simply breathe a bit more loudly, and you’ll effectively drown out the mental noise. Once the thought has passed, you can return to normal breathing.
Make sure you’re breathing deeply from the diaphragm and not taking short, shallow breaths. This will help relax your body and activate the parasympathetic nervous system.
5. Add brainwave entrainment. Now that you know the basics, you can supercharge your practice using brainwave entrainment. This will help you get into a meditative state quickly, and stay there - particularly when you’re having a stressful day.
I encourage you to keep going with your other practices of awareness, listening and breathing, and notice how much more effective they become when you’re in a deep state of meditation.
By the way - if you fall asleep during meditation, it’s okay! It just means that your body really needed the rest so be grateful you got it. This will lessen as you practice more, because the de-stressing that occurs during meditation will translate into sounder sleep at night, and you won’t feel the need to nap during the day.
These techniques for meditating are quite fun, and they don’t require years and years of intense meditation to master.
Anyone can do it, even before you consider yourself a “real” meditator! Try it today - be aware of what’s going on in you… ask yourself to listen… breathe… and amplify the effects with LifeFlow!
The point is to make meditation something you look forward to eagerly; instead of fighting with your mind and feeling agitated because you’ve got so much to do, you’ll welcome the break because when you do get back in action, you’ll do so with greater calm and focus - and your personal productivity will increase as a result.