Meditation is a natural practice that everyone can do to relieve tension, achieve calmness, clarity, and encourage happiness. Learning to meditate is easy, and the benefits can be realized quickly. If you are new to meditation, we’ve put together some basic advice to help you get started on the road to greater equanimity, acceptance, and joy.
- Focus on your breathing
In this practice we will focus on the normal experience of breathing to bring the mind back to the present moment. Close your eyes. Begin by feeling how your body feels as you breathe in and out naturally. When you’re ready, take a deep breath in and notice how your body feels. Do you have a tummy ache? Do you have a heavy feeling in your chest? Hold the air for a few seconds before softly exhaling for as long as the breath calls for. When you let go of the breath, pay attention to how your body feels.
- Dedicate a specific time of day to meditation
Some people find that meditating first thing in the morning will help them to manage their stress levels during the day. Meditating first thing in the morning will help you incorporate this practice into your everyday routine. If you’re a night owl or have trouble sleeping, meditating right before bedtime may be a better option. There is no such thing as a bad time to meditate. What matters most is figuring out when you’ll be able to work it regularly into your schedule.
- Find a comfortable position
There is no one posture that is more conducive to meditation than another. Some people enjoy the traditional meditation poses, such as the crossed-legged lotus posture. However, you can meditate while sitting in your favorite chair or lying down in bed. Make sure that the position you pick is comfortable enough to maintain for the duration of your meditation session.
- Wear relaxed clothing
If your waistband digs into your skin or your sweater itches, it can be more difficult to calm your mind. Wear clothing that is comfortable.
- Turn off your phone
Meditate in a calm and quiet environment, free of electronic device notifications such as text messages and incoming emails. Close the door or go somewhere where you can be alone for the duration of your meditation.
- Remember that quiet is relative
It is possible to meditate effectively even if you live in a city on a busy street. Meditation, with practice, will allow you to tune out noise by concentrating on your breathing patterns. You can also block out noise by meditating to soft music or using a guided meditation app.
- Allow your to mind wander
It is natural for the mind to keep busy. Thoughts and emotions are common during meditation. When you find your mind drifting take note and direct your attention back to your breathing. Don’t criticize yourself for having feelings, but don’t give them your undivided attention. Gently restore your concentration on breathing to bring your mind back to the present moment.
- Slowly wind down the practice
After you’ve meditated for a period of 1 minute or 30 minutes, take a few seconds or minutes to return to your life after the meditation.
- Open your eyes.
- Take a moment to observe what is going on around you.
- Pay attention to how the body feels.
- Take a few moments to reflect on your current state of well-being.