3 Secrets to Beginner Meditation (And Why It's Easier Than You Think)
It’s no secret that starting a meditation practice is a good idea. Meditation can reduce anxiety, help you focus, and give you a boost in the health department.
Then why don’t more people meditate? Sitting down to meditate can be intimidating. And if you don’t do it right, numb legs and extreme boredom might make you quit after the first try.
But meditation doesn’t have to be so hard. And eventually, meditation can become more of a reward than a challenge. After all, wouldn’t you like to escape the stress of your daily life by sitting and breathing? Sure, you would.
And it’s not as hard as you might think.
The trick is to give yourself a break and allow yourself to be a beginner. Here are 3 easy ways to start:
Find a Comfortable Seat
Getting comfortable is the most important factor in beginning a meditation practice. When you’re uncomfortable, your mind will only focus on your numb legs or aching back. And there’s no chance you’re going to find your inner peace with those obstacles in the way.
So you need to be comfortable before you even start.
Often times, beginners think they need to imitate the position and posture of a Zen monk. This is just not true. All bodies are different, which results in different needs— you have to figure out what works best for you.
Try sitting in a comfortable chair with your feet on the ground. Or sit cross-legged on your couch or your bed. If you’re able to sit on the floor, use a blanket or pillow for support.
Whatever you do, find a position you can sustain for at least 15 minutes without pain or aggravation. You’ll realize meditation is much more enjoyable when you’re in a comfy position.
Get Some Guidance
Sure, there are forms of meditation where one is supposed to simply “sit and observe the mind”. But that is hard. And it takes practice. A lot of practice.
Guided meditation is the way to go for most beginners.
Start by downloading meditation apps, like Headspace or The Mindfulness App. YouTube also has plenty of meditation videos and they’re free. And Spotify has guided meditations from well-known teachers. (My personal favorite is David Harshada Wagner.)
You can also try your local yoga studio to see if they offer meditation classes. Or search MeetUp or Facebook for meditation gatherings and groups. Once you find a group or teacher that you enjoy, you won’t want to stop.
Is it good to meditate for 30 minutes a day/7 days a week? Yes, of course. Is it realistic for your busy and hectic life? Probably not.
Starting small is the most realistic way to meditate every day.
Begin with 5-10 minutes of guided meditation every day, for 10 days. After 10 days, if you feel comfortable enough, increase the time to 15 minutes.
Make these 10-15 minutes a part of your daily routine, as necessary as brushing your teeth. Meditate in the morning after you’ve had your cup of coffee or find a quiet place in your office during lunch. Meditate after you put the kids to bed or before you begin your nighttime routine.
Find a time that works for you and stick with it. You won’t regret it.
So go ahead—use these three simple tips and start a meditation practice today!