You often see and hear advice that says meditation is good for you, but it is not always easy to find practical advice to get started.
It can help you to feel calm, reduce stress, and even sleep better with regular practice. When you see how some people describe their meditation practices, it is also something that can seem unappealing.
There are even times when your meditation sessions might bring up painful memories or old wounds. You must block out a specific amount of time in your schedule to practice it as well, which may not always be possible.
If you can take the time to meditate, then the positives often outweigh the negative components of this practice.
By following these tips for beginners, you’ll know how to start meditating as soon as tomorrow. What benefits do you hope to see in your life with these ideas?
Best Ways to Start Meditating
The easiest way to get started on your journey toward daily meditation is to start small. Try to complete about 3-5 minutes when you first get started. It can feel like an eternity during those first few days!
Then work toward extending that time up to 20 minutes when you begin to feel comfortable with that commitment.
These additional tips can help you to take those first few steps down the path toward a daily routine that includes meditation as well.
1. Use a method of meditating that makes you feel comfortable.
Did you know that there are over 100 different ways to meditate? If the method you choose at first doesn’t feel natural or comfortable, then try a new option. The goal is for you to feel comfortable with this new habit.
If you dread spending time in meditation, then there is an increased risk that you won’t commit to this practice.
Your posture contributes to your comfort levels too. If the traditional lotus position makes your hips or knees ache, then try meditating while lying in bed. You can make whatever adaptations are necessary to help you find your focus.
2. Choose a time for meditating that works well for you.
What is the best time for meditation?
The answer to that question depends on your schedule and personal responsibilities. You can meditate right away in the morning, during your lunch break, or right before bed.
If there is a time that feels comfortable and convenient in your schedule, then use it.
The reason why beginners receive encouragement to meditate right away in the morning is because that time of the day tends to have the most flexibility. It is easier to get up 15 minutes earlier than usual than most people realize.
Spending time during your lunch break in meditation is another prevalent practice. You could take ten minutes to meditate and spend the other 20 minutes refilling your tank.
There are times when you might need to switch your usual meditation schedule as well. It can help to have times set aside in the morning and evening in case the day gets away from you.
3. Remember that this isn’t an all-or-nothing practice.
One of the best approaches to meditation is to incorporate the practice in more of an informal manner. The idea of creating a 20-minute appointment to focus on something specific isn’t appealing to everyone, after all.
You could take some time to meditate when you’re in the shower in the morning or after a workout session. Walking is a popular activity that can include meditating if you remain aware of your surroundings.
Even a simple physical practice, like taking two minutes to sit back in your office chair to take deep breaths, can have a profoundly positive impact on your stress levels.
4. Try to maintain a soft focus on one thing.
Being mindful requires a focus on something specific. When you first begin to meditate, you might choose to become more aware of your breathing, how your body feels, or a physical object – like a candle.
Anything that comes into your field of awareness can serve as your point of focus.
Many people adopt a hard focus during this step, straining to maintain their mental energy on that one item.
Taking that approach can cause thoughts to flood into your mind immediately. Then there are feelings of failure that occur, making it feel like an overwhelming process.
It is okay to be aware of more than one thing when you first get started with meditation. Your point of focus should serve more as an anchor for the process.
If you feel like it is anchoring you down, then release some of that energy. Take a deep breath, and then work toward lightening your mental load once again.
There will be times when you feel drawn away from that point of focus. When that happens, acknowledge the thoughts or sensations, and then return to what you were doing.
5. Avoid meditating after a meal.
If you try to meditate after you have eaten a meal, then your body’s energy is dedicated to that process. It will become more challenging to stay focused on mindfulness.
You may even feel the urge to fall asleep in these moments.
Meditation should help you to feel energetic. It should inspire you to embrace the perfect moments in life that come your way.
Trying to meditate when all you can think about is food isn’t helpful either.
If you give yourself about 60 minutes after eating to restore your body’s energy thresholds, then you can maximize the effort to find your focus.
6. Set an alarm for your meditation session.
There will be a time in the future when your meditation sessions will embrace your circadian rhythm. Until that time comes, it is useful to set an alarm somewhere that lets you know your time is over.
If you don’t set a timer of some sort, then you will have no idea when to stop your time. This practice causes many beginners to stop what they are doing, interrupting the session so they can take a glance at a clock.
When you know that the alarm is set, it will become easier to relax. That means it will be a more comfortable experience to find a moment of peace.
This option does not work for everyone. Some people worry about whether or not they will accomplish their meditation goals within that time frame. If this tip causes restlessness, then find a moment in your schedule where deadlines aren’t as important.
7. Create a specific space at home for meditating.
When employees are given the option to telecommute, a home office allows them to stay focused on their work better. It eliminates the distractions that can draw attention away from the current project.
Having a dedicated space for your meditating can provide the same benefit. You don’t need to have a specific room where nothing else can happen.
It does help to create a small corner of comfort that is away from the usual distractions of your home. You might consider using a small screen to create a cozy corner where you can find some peace.
If you have noisy kids or an interruptive spouse, consider asking them to join you on this journey.
Your meditation space doesn’t need to be indoors either. You could meditate on a garden bench, sit in the lotus position in your backyard, or even in your car while it’s in your driveway. If it works for you, then use it.
8. Guided meditation can be helpful for some beginners.
If you struggle to find a soft focus point, then it may be helpful to start meditating with a guided session instead of being alone. You can attend in-person meetings, listen to audio tracks, or use specific programs that work toward generating the results you want from this practice.
The advantage of using guided meditation programs is that you can take them with you wherever you go. You can even listen to them while you are at work if your job allows it.
Another benefit that you will find with guided meditation is the inclusion of positive affirmations. Many people guide themselves using negative self-talk in today’s world. When you are your worst critic, then it can feel like it is impossible to grow or achieve a goal.
When you listen to positive affirmations, then it can reinforce the specific benefits you want to experience through meditation.
You can even repeat some of the statements to yourself throughout the day like a mantra.
Some common examples are:
“I will succeed at what I am doing today.”
“I can release the stress in my life.”
“I am a positive example for others to follow.”
There can be times when your interest in these practices might begin to fade. It is at those moments when you can reaffirm your work by using this technique.
9. Embrace the idea of silence.
If you find guided meditation distracting, then silence might be a better solution. There are times when peaceful music or brainwave entrainment is helpful to establish a soft focus, but it can also be quite distracting to some people.
Silence has a power that can become uncomfortable and disturbing. It can provide healing moments. Some people feel revitalized, confident, or powerful after having a quiet moment with themselves.
Your mind may extend its field of awareness in the quiet to pick up whatever noise might be lingering around you. That’s okay! The sound you hear can become a soft focus point for your meditation efforts.
Try walking, driving, or eating in silence sometimes too. You may find that embracing this idea is an easy way to cope with anxiety and stress in your life.
10. Join a community.
Finding a community of people who are also beginning their journey toward meditation can be a rewarding experience.
It is more than a chance to find new friends. Your group can also hold you accountable to your meditation goals.
Even if all you do is bring your family or a couple of close friends into your circle, this practice can provide you with more support than if you try to walk alone.
There are times when quieting the mind is useful when learning how to meditate. You will also discover that one of your greatest sources of peace can come from the advice of the people you trust the most.
11. Stick with it for as long as you can.
It may take between 4-6 weeks before you can establish a new habit that includes meditation. Most people find that the second and third weeks tend to be the most challenging of them all.
The urge to give up can get quite intense. You may need to wrestle against all of the adverse habits that rob you of energy so that you can keep walking on this journey.
Every day that you meditate will bring you one step closer to making this practice part of your daily routine. It will eventually get easier as time goes by.
You might even find yourself wanting to turn your 5-minute sessions into something longer.
Some people will eventually add a second period of meditation to their schedule so that they can start and finish their day with these benefits.
If you miss a day or two, then don’t sweat it. Get back into the new routine that includes meditation as soon as you can. When it becomes part of your lifestyle, you’ll feel an urge to make time for it when you miss your usual appointment.
Are You Ready to Start Meditating Today?
Meditation can be a fantastic experience. You don’t need to master this practice to gain its benefits.
Some people can see changes start in their lives after just four consecutive 20-minute sessions.
The resources found in this guide can help you to navigate your first steps toward this helpful practice. You can then work toward more control over your stress and extra peace in your life.
Now is the perfect time to begin. Try meditating today, even if it is only for a few minutes, to see how it has the potential to change your life.
You may also be interested in:
Visun Khankasem © 123RF.com
photochicken © 123RF.com
Nataliya Velykanova © 123RF.com