7 Beginner Tips for Starting a Meditation Practice
People want a method to unplug and give their minds a break as modern life becomes more and more dependent on constant streams of information from our mobile gadgets. One method for doing this is meditation.
This article discusses the many advantages that meditation offers, what it is, how to begin meditating, and potential difficulties you may encounter while meditating (and how to overcome them).
What Is Meditation?
Let’s use the definition of meditation for our purposes: paying attention to your thoughts as they change. Most of the time, there is no distinction between the thinker and the thoughts; rather, we entirely connect with our own thoughts. This connection starts to erode during meditation.
There are numerous ways to meditate, but the following three are the most common:
Keeping your attention: your breathing is a Buddhist practice. You are shifting your attention away from focusing on any one specific thought by paying attention to your breath. Some individuals find it beneficial to count each inhalation and exhalation.
Observing thoughts: It’s a widespread fallacy that the goal of meditation is to empty the mind of all thoughts. Although you’ll still have thoughts in reality, using this strategy will help you ignore them. Say that while you’re meditating, you consider a sizable project that is due at work. You recognize the idea, label it, and allow it to pass without reacting, as opposed to holding onto it and allowing it to be followed up with others such, “I’m concerned I won’t submit it on time.”
Body scanning: you can focus on your body instead of your thoughts by doing a body scan. You frequently transfer your attention between various regions of the body and concentrate entirely on one particular area of your body. You might, for instance, begin at the top of your head and gradually work your way down to the tips of your toes by first going over your face, neck, shoulders, and so on.
Being patient and nice to yourself when you meditate is a crucial component of the practice.
How to Start a Meditation Practice
To begin practicing meditation, all you need to do is set aside some time in your schedule and be open to learning new techniques. From there, you can develop your own special style of meditation.
1. Designate a Time
Many individuals prefer to meditate in the morning, but if another time of day works better for you, use that time instead. It’s best to set aside the same amount of time each day for your practice; nevertheless, if you aren’t able to meditate at the same time every day, be understanding. Anytime you meditate, you are still taking care of yourself.
You don’t need to spend a lot of time practicing meditation (particularly at first). A decent place to start is with ten or fifteen minutes.
You might try including your meditation at the end of your home yoga exercise.
Start with five minutes if it’s difficult for you to focus on your breathing for ten. Before extending the time beyond five minutes, focus on those five. When you’re ready, start lengthening your sitting period by one minute. Work your way up gradually.
To avoid repeatedly checking the time to see how much time is left in your meditation session, you’ll need a timer that will sound when it is over. Put your phone on silent so that you won’t be tempted to interrupt your meditation if it rings.
Since most meditation apps will count you in and out of the practice, you won’t need to bother about setting a timer if you use them.
2. Create the Space
You must find a location for your practice in addition to a time. It doesn’t need to be large or decorated in a certain way, but it must be removed from domestic distractions. The ideal location is a corner of your bedroom or living area. You can start playing meditation music right away if you want to (there are lots of free playlists online).
3. Warm Up
If you plan to meditate first thing in the morning, you might wish to warm up with a little yoga sequence before sitting. It’s okay if you discover that warming up is unnecessary.
4. Select a Relaxed Position
Have blankets or a pillow handy if you can sit on the floor. A zafu, also known as a meditation cushion, is optional but may be purchased. Try sitting cross-legged in the sukasana pose. Even though you may observe people meditating in the lotus posture, it might not be a secure or pleasant position to hold for extended periods of time.
Just keep in mind that as long as you feel comfortable, you can meditate well regardless of how you appear.
5. Position Your Hands
You might have seen images of people meditating while holding their hands in different gestures known as mudras. You can adopt any of the positions you’ve seen, or you can simply rest your hands on your lap. Another choice is to rest your hands, palms up or down, on your knees. Try to settle into a comfortable position.
6. Focus On Your Breath
Take a seat, then close your eyes. Start by paying attention to your breath without altering it. As soon as you become aware of it, there is a propensity to want to deepen your breathing. Defy the desire.
Pay close attention to each breath you take in and out, perhaps focusing on the sensation of air passing in and out of your nostrils. If counting the breaths makes it easier for you to concentrate on them, do so. Try seeing your thoughts escaping when they invade, then bring your focus back to your breathing.
Recognize your ideas when they arise—which they certainly will—and then let them go.
7. End Your Practice
Open your eyes when the timer goes off. Just pause for a moment and assess how you feel following your practice. After sitting, if you feel stiff, slowly get to your hands and knees. You can relax up by doing a small stretch, such as a downward dog.
When meditating, people frequently run into certain difficulties. It’s crucial to keep in mind that everyone, regardless matter how long they’ve been meditating, occasionally has trouble with the practice. It is a step in the procedure. Here are some difficulties you might experience and solutions to overcome.
If you become antsy while meditating, you’re not the only one. This is a waste of time, you might say, and you might list all the other “useful” activities you could be doing in their place. During meditation, this is a typical sensation.
Resistance to the present moment is what causes restlessness. Allow yourself to be restless and simply acknowledge it. Does the sensation disappear after a while? Or is it longer than that? What about the subsequent meditation session? More practice can be beneficial for certain people. It takes time to learn to be in the present moment because many of us are constantly doing something.
It’s typical to feel like dozing off during a meditation session because sleep and meditation have comparable effects on the brain. However, there are techniques to stop this from happening. Avoid meditating in your bedroom, and avoid meditating while lying down if it would be too easy to nod off.
Try to avoid meditating just after a meal because you’re probably going to feel more exhausted. To stay awake when meditating, try using meditation music, moving meditation, or meditating while keeping your eyes open.
You might be thinking, “Am I doing this right?” when meditating. or Does it even function? According to research, many people are discouraged from practicing meditation because they have doubts about its value.
It can take as little as eight weeks for meditation to have a physical impact on the brain, according to one study of 30 studies on the subject. Greater emotional regulation and improved focus are supported by these physical modifications to particular brain regions.
However, if you’re hesitant, keep in mind that it could take some time before you experience the benefits of meditating.
Benefits of Meditation
The advantages of meditation are numerous. Mediation can:
- Immune system boosting
- Decreased negative thoughts
- Help with addiction recovery
- Help with quitting smoking
- Enhance ability to pay attention, concentrate, and make decisions
- Enhance emotional control
- Reduce tiredness
- Lower levels of stress
- Reduce physical pain
- Reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety
As contemporary life is more and more reliant on non-stop streams of information from our mobile devices, and constant stimulation becomes the norm, people crave a way to unplug and give their minds a rest. Meditation offers one way to do this.
A Word From Verywell
When you first begin to meditate, you can experience some discomfort if you’re a beginner. Try, nonetheless, to maintain your routine for at least a few weeks. To assist you to stay motivated on your meditation journey, you can even create a meditation notebook to note any small, beneficial changes you begin to observe.
Always keep in mind that there are a ton of materials accessible, including classes, books, podcasts, and articles, to assist you in determining the style of meditation practice that is most effective for you.
If you want to read more meditation information, the links below here belong to you:
Deeply Breathing: How it reduces your stress