Meditation Tips for Beginners
The goal when meditating is to become more mindful. Mindfulness focuses on being in the moment. Rather than worrying about the past or the future, you simply experience what is happening now. The concept seems simple, and the benefits are notable, but convincing your mind to cooperate can be harder than you expect. Like almost any other skill, meditating takes practice. If you’re working to develop this healthy habit, these meditation tips for beginners may help.
Begin Without Expectations
Meditation has a reputation. In countless books and movies, the wise, all-knowing advisor is introduced while meditating. Every wellness and self-help aisle overflows with displays that feature people in meditation poses, and health gurus inevitably mention their meditation practice. You’re interested in meditation because you hope to benefit from it, but when you start, try to do so with an open mind that’s unweighted with expectations. Business Insider suggests viewing your meditation time as a chance to get to know your mind better. When you approach meditation openly, you’re ready to experience whatever awaits, and your practice will grow organically.
If you were a novice runner, you’d plan to start with a short distance rather than a marathon. Do the same thing here. For the first week, choose to meditate for just two minutes. Then, increase your sessions by two minutes every week as you grow your practice.
Use a Timer
Watching a clock is a distraction that pulls your thoughts out of the moment. Set a timer so that you’ll be sure to know when your meditation time is over.
Choose a Comfortable Position
There’s no right way to position yourself when you’re ready to meditate. Headspace recommends selecting one of the four traditional postures: sitting, standing, lying down, or walking. The important thing is that you choose a position that you’re comfortable in. Many people prefer sitting on a chair with their legs uncrossed. Others like to sit on the floor on a cushion, especially if they can lean back against a wall or piece of furniture for support. Don’t worry about trying to sit cross-legged if it isn’t comfortable. It isn’t necessary. Lying down also works, but you’ll need to take care not to fall asleep while meditating. Standing and walking around are often popular with people who delight in more active forms of meditation.
Opt for Comfy Clothes
You can wear anything to meditate. However, when you’re first learning, it helps to reduce distractions. Since uncomfortable clothing is a distraction, opt for comfy clothing when you’re ready to meditate.
Follow Your Breath
Feel your breath as it flows in and out of your body. Focus on the sensation. Inevitably, your mind will wander to other sensations or thoughts. That’s okay. As Mindful indicates, you simply need to note the thoughts or feelings that you experience. Then, direct your attention back to your breath. After all, meditation isn’t about learning to empty your mind. It’s about training your brain to be intentional. Giving it a workout by requiring it to herd stray thoughts is part of that process.
Consider Guided Meditation
If sitting there alone with your thoughts is anything but relaxing, guided meditation may be a gateway to mindfulness. Available online at Insight Timer and countless other places, guided meditations have spoken word meditations that lead the way, removing some of the pressure for those who aren’t used to corralling their thoughts.
Don’t Worry That You’re Meditating Wrong
Don’t worry that you’re doing it wrong. As Zen Habits notes, the fear that you’re meditating wrong is part of meditating. Breathe, accept your fears, and draw your mind back to where you want it to be. Treat yourself with kindness.
A meditation habit can be a wonderful addition to any wellness lifestyle. With so many different styles to discover and tips to explore, there’s always something new to learn, so there’s always room for your meditation practice to evolve.
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