Meditation For Beginner: 15 Simple Tips To Get You Started
I am a firm believer of the effect of our mindset, belief, affirmation and positivity to our daily lives and our dreams. But I’ve recently read a blog post somewhere, where the writer advised readers to screw meditation and affirmation, and grab a beer instead.
While it is such a funny and interesting thought and it shows the writer’s sense of humor, I didn’t like the idea so much just by thinking about it.
Simply, I cannot drink beer. Or alcohol. Or smoking. Or gambling.
It’s not that I haven’t tried them before. I did. But I didn’t like it.
I don’t like the sting taste of beer, the bitterness of alcohol. I tried smoking, but when I breathed in the cigarette, it tasted bitter in my mouth. I spat out right away, but the smell still stayed.
I don’t like gambling. Because it’s kinda too noisy for me. I have to predict and calculate (God knows what for) a lot, and that is just out of my relaxation dictionary.
So, what choice do I have?
Thank God I still have meditation.
Now that you might don’t like the idea of meditation, before you can protest and tell me you rather taking a beer, just read on my post on 9 reasons why you should start meditating today. If you still have more doubts that meditation is not for you, you might have believed in the most 9 common myths about meditation.
I’ve been meditating for a while now by myself. Here are some practical tips to get you started.
1. Sit somewhere comfortably
Don’t worry about the “where” or “how”. You don’t need to sit in a lotus posture and hurt your thighs trying to hold it in place. Just find a chair, your bed or whatever to sit on. Feel comfortable with your seat.
It’s better for you to sit in your chair and count your breath, rather than sitting in the lotus posture and wishing you have a nice cushion chair.
2. Take a few deep breath with your eyes open before meditating
I used to get up, find a comfortable seat and start meditating right away. But I soon realized I didn’t really get into the meditation mood. At that time, my mind is still blurry and my sleepiness gest the best of me. I don’t really focus on the present.
The best practice I do is to take a few deep breath with my eyes open. This pumps air into my mind, refresh and wake me up to really stay focus on the present.
3. Start with 5 minutes
It is frustrating if you think of wasting 30 minutes sitting and do nothing (or so it seems). But here’s the thing, I am as busy as you are. Maybe more, maybe less. But we are all busy and we value our precious time. We just don’t have 30 minutes for meditation. Period.
Start slowly. With 5 minutes first. Or even less if 5 minutes is still too much for you. Add one more minute after every week.
This incredibly easy task will guarantee success in your meditation.
4. Check in with your emotions
Meditation doesn’t make you emotionless. In contrast, it encourages you to pay more attention to your feelings.
Get to know your feelings. Recognize them when they arise, accept them and let them go.
Remember, you are the passenger.
5. Follow your breath
When you meditate, turn your attention to your breath. Embrace the moment, feel the air when it comes inside your lungs, feel how your lungs extend and how refreshing it feels. Acknowledge when the air comes out of your lungs.
Try to count every time you breathe in, and count when you breathe out. And keep counting.
6. Regularly check if your mind wanders and gently come back
Your mind will wander. No matter how hard you try to focus. You will notice yourself thinking about your task today at work, or getting mad because of an interrupting noise.
That’s normal. And that’s ok.
When it happens, you just need to gently come back. Your breath is your home. Come back home.
7. Don’t try to clear your mind
It’s impossible to empty your mind. You can think 1,000 thoughts in a minute and there is no way you can clear your mind. It can happen from times to times, but it’s very rare, especially when you first start.
Just shift your focus to your breath and come back when you get lost.
8. Don’t worry about doing it wrong. Just do it.
There is no right way or wrong way in anything whatsoever. If you do it, you already do it right. Just be happy with it.
9. Stay committed
Many people try to meditate for couple days. Then things happen. They get up late in the morning, they are too busy or they just don’t feel like it.
They skip for couple days and then forget about meditation. Their habit is not even formed.
Don’t do it. Just stay with it. Maybe try to throw a challenge to yourself, announce it with your friends to get yourself motivated.
10. Appreciate your good thoughts
Sometimes when you are trying to count your breath, some good thoughts will arise. Embrace them. If your thoughts make you feel good, appreciate them and linger on for a while.
11. Affirm yourself with love and kindness
Meditation is a perfect time to affirm yourself with love and kindness. Use this time to repeat your positive affirmations.
When your mind is open and your brain is fresh, affirmations can have a bigger impact on your belief and mindset.
12. Celebrate every day after you are done
When you get done every day, don’t forget to thank yourself and celebrate. Even though it might seem easy if you just do it for 2 or 3 minutes, the point is you already do it. Many people don’t even make this step.
13. Follow guided meditation if you find it helpful
When you first start, you might want to check out some guided meditation. The guided meditation can help to direct your thoughts back to your breathe and create a better relaxation visualization.
14. Regularly keep track of your progress
You might not be aware of this, but you are getting better and better every day. They are small changes, but they change you every day without being noticed. When being noticed, you are a changed person.
Keep track of your progress. Constantly check your improvement and stay motivated.
15. Do it every day, first thing in the morning
It’s easy to tell yourself to get back to meditation later in the day, when you are less busy. But you often forget, or just get lazy. Because after one long day, your deepest desire is to hit the bed.
I understand that. So let’s make it easy for you.
Do it every day, first thing in the morning. Even before you get your water or brush your teeth.
You cannot go wrong if you just start meditating
That is one thing I love about meditation. I don’t need to do the “right thing”. Because as long as I sit down, close my eyes and start counting my breath, no matter how many times my mind wanders or I don’t feel calm and relaxed like “I’m supposed to”, I still celebrate my victory.
If you just do it, you already nail it.
Be open-minded, give it a try and watch yourself transform.