I’m starting to see a lot of people making New Years resolutions, vowing to start meditating. Feeling lost on the subject? Let this be a quick starting point to get you going on your meditation journey. Many are well aware of the benefits that meditation brings when it comes to strengthening the mind and body. Some have even attempted to practice it, but, after many failed attempts at quieting their thoughts in hopes of finding peace, they ultimately decided to give up. The problem is that most beginners don’t have the right mindset when they start with meditation; reaching for someone else’s definition of it can be detrimental to your personal success with the practice. This is why you may be having trouble following through with it, in spite of the benefits.
This article will go over 20 tips that can help any beginner overcome the initial challenges many experience with meditation so that you can get started with making it a part of your daily practice, ASAP.
Keep in mind these are just some general tips meant to help you get started meditating if you’re not sure where to begin. I personally believe that meditation should fit your lifestyle and personality. Maybe for you meditation is sitting in a hot bath, painting, or sunbathing on the beach. Make sure that when you’re ready you take the time to tailor this practice to whatever works best for YOU.
- Add meditation to your daily routine. Set aside a time every day for practicing. There’s no need to try to go all out the first time — you don’t have to start off trying to sit still for 30 mins a day. Meditation is a learned skill just like anything else. Start small (3 or 5 mins/day) and work your way up.
- Don’t compel yourself to meditate. The art should not feel like an annoying chore, especially at the beginning. You should engage in meditation as long as you find it enjoyable. Taking a break from it does not mean you’ve failed, just make sure to get yourself back on track when you can.
- Try stretching a little before meditating. Place all of the focus on your body and free your mind as much as possible before you get started. For example, yoga is a great practice to incorporate that will not only allow you stretch adequately, but it’ll also help you tone your muscles. The benefits of yoga go way beyond the physical; it helps improve the movement of energy in your body. Here’s a cool article on the benefits of yoga: 33 Health Benefits Of Yoga
- When beginning its also a great idea to set aside a location in your home specifically for meditation. Overtime, your body and subconscious mind will become conditioned for meditation anytime you are there. As time passes, you will automatically connect the space to meditation, which will make it easier for you to meditate.
- Be consistent with your meditation schedule. This is important when you are living with other people in the same home. Let them know that you need privacy while meditating (I have to do this). After that, be consistent with your time of meditation and avoid distractions, such as taking a break to answer a phone call as much as possible.
- Make your meditation spot special. You can add objects such as candles, a meditation rug, or plants. Keep it simple, make it work for you.
- You can incorporate rituals if they are beneficial. The ritual procedure does not have to be overly complicated. You can simply light a candle or perform some other art that allows you to relax and gets your mind conditioned for meditation.
- Make a long-term commitment: Have a mindset that the benefits of meditation will build up over time. Viewing the art as an ongoing process will help you overcome the frustration that makes people give up along the way.
- Have an in-depth understanding: Do your best to understand the art and clearly define the benefits you want from meditating. Since everyone has a different goal when it comes to this practice, you should set your own goals as soon as possible.
- Define your motivation for meditation: One of the benefits of understanding your motivation for meditating right from the start is that it helps you to select the right technique. The right meditation practice will help you achieve your goals faster. For example, there are meditations on Youtube created specifically to help you decrease anxiety if that’s what you need the most help with.
- Choose a single technique to start with and be consistent with it. One of the pitfalls of beginners is that they randomly switch from one method of meditation to another. Since meditation is about connecting with yourself, it requires a level of consistency to mature. You do not have to stick to one method forever. If you decide to change your method, you should make a conscious decision based on the benefits the new method provides.
- Continue to Learn. Most people get confused along the way due to ignorance and misinformation. Find a good book on meditation and get into it. Try contacting friends and others you know who practice it.
- Be wary of frustrations. If you start to feel that you are getting frustrated with your art of meditation try to look inward to discover the root cause of the frustration, calm yourself, and do your best to deal with it. Maybe stop for the day and try again the next day. This is a part of your expansion — don’t quit.
- Be sincere with yourself. Since meditation is about connecting with who you are, sincerity is crucial. You can find this level of peace within yourself through this practice.
- Sometimes in the beginning you will need to endure discomfort. It is quite common to experience some sort of discomfort when you are starting out with your meditation practice. People are not used to sitting still for a long time. It takes time to develop the strength to sit still and be comfortable. You may also experience uneasiness mentally and emotionally. Get prepared for this so you can cross the hurdle easily when the need arises.
- Use a recording (guided meditation) until you gain expertise. If you are just starting out with meditation, you can take advantage of this to make your practice easier. Once you’ve gotten used to it, you can stop using guided meditations.
- Find moments of awareness every day. You can elevate your practice of meditation by taking advantage of the right moments. For instance, when you are in traffic, in a line, or waiting for something use these brief moments to be present with yourself. The changes it brings to your life will surprise you.
- Find a partner. You can gain more benefits when you meditate with a partner or as a part of a group. Most people claim that meditating with others helps improve the quality of their meditation practice. Just make sure that there is a common agreement about the ground rules to prevent conflicts.
- Don’t get anxious. One of the challenges that beginners face in their journey into meditation is anxiety. They are often doubtful about their mode of meditation and uncertain about the experience they should expect. You should keep your mind at rest and just go for it. It won’t be perfect, but that’s okay. Keep going.
- FOCUS on your breathing as much as possible. As you breathe in and out either place your thoughts on the rise and fall of your chest, or the flow of air from your nose to your mouth. You WILL get off-track, that’s definitely okay. I’ve been meditating for a while now and there are days when my mind just will not chillout — it’s fine.
Here are 3 Youtube pages I used when I first started meditating:
Meditation can be one of the most useful practices you’ll ever have in life However, it will take your time, energy, and patience to receive the maximum benefits. As a beginner, take the time to practice the tips listed in this article to achieve a deeper and more fulfilling meditation experience & good luck on your journey.