Relax. Calm down and breathe. Stop thinking, you’re thinking too much…great…now you’re thinking about thinking. Was that rain? Yep, that was a rain drop, but it wasn’t supposed to rain. It does look a bit gray out. Maybe it’s time to give up and go inside.
For a long time, I struggled with meditation. It was something that I wanted to do, but I just couldn’t will myself to do it. Just that word, meditation, seemed like an insurmountable mountain, an imposing figure that only grew larger the more I struggled to climb it. I couldn’t get out of my own head. I had a series of certain unrealistic expectations that acted as barriers, preventing me from quieting my mind.
What is meditation? Meditation is the practice of calming the mind and body. Meditation should not be scary and it can have some great benefits. Meditation can help you focus, it can ease anxiety, and help promote relaxation. To help you get over your fears and concerns, I compiled a simple guide directly designed to help people who are beginners and afraid/intimidated by meditation.
1) Start Slow
Set reasonable goals for yourself. Meditation is in no way a competition. There is no such thing at being the best at meditating. Try to meditate for just a few minutes every day. Even if it’s just two minutes at a time. As meditation becomes a regular part of your routine, you can increase your overall meditation time. It is highly recommended that you set an alarm if you have a busy schedule to shake you out of your meditation otherwise, it is possible to meditate for hours and not realize it.
2) Pay Attention to Posture
Posture is the absolute foundation of meditation. One of the first decisions you will need to make is what kind of meditation you would like to practice. The main positions for meditation are sitting, standing, and walking. The Padmasana or Lotus position is the most well-known position for sitting meditation. It is a cross-legged sitting position with the feet resting on top of the opposing thighs. You do not have to be sitting in this position to meditate. The most important area of the body to pay attention to is the back. Remember to keep your back straight and not to slouch.
3) Designate a Meditation Space
I have found that if I designate certain spaces for specific tasks, I am able to concentrate more and get more accomplished. For example, I typically watch movies, read, and watch sports when I’m in my living room and if I try to get work done there, I get distracted, but if I head into the spare bedroom, which I’ve been using as a makeshift office, I can be productive.
Pick an area that you find to be relaxing as your designated meditation space. Choose a space that is relatively quiet. You may want to designate multiple locations. I have a walking trail by my house that I love to go around practicing walking meditation, but if the weather is bad, I also have a big window by my front door that I like to sit in front of to meditate and watch the world go by.
4) Guided Meditation
If you’re struggling with meditation and quieting your mind, then I highly recommend trying guided meditation. A guided meditation is led by a guide either in person or recorded. Your guide will lead you through visualizations and prompts. Try checking online for free meditation guides. You can also look to see if someone in your area is offering meditation courses.
5) Keep an Open Mind
As much as I hope that this guide is helpful for you and aides you on your own spiritual journey, it is just a guide. There are no exact rules for meditation chiseled on stone tabs. You will need to figure out what works for you. There are a number of great resources both online and in print that you can read, as well as videos that you can watch. The history of meditation is ancient and various forms of meditations appear across a multitude of cultures.
Please leave a comment if you found this article helpful or if you have your own personal tips that you would like to share.
Marc | Copywriter