You must have heard that meditation has several health benefits. However, people tend to avoid meditation because they think it is awkward and is just another thing that they cannot give time from their busy schedules to do. But once they try it, they realize meditation is something that must be done to feel relaxed and calm.
For centuries, people have used meditation as a tool to keep the mind, body, and spirit relaxed. Some people believe meditation tends to boost the immune system to fight against diseases. Furthermore, meditation can reduce stress, improve focus and positively affect emotions. However, to achieve all these and many more health benefits, one needs to follow a set of steps to perform meditation the right way.
The problem is, beginners find it hard to follow instructions such as focusing on your breath or clearing your mind, which makes it hard for them to keep themselves calm. Beginners eventually give up thinking they cannot do it, or that meditation is not for them. To help beginners fight this feeling and start performing meditation the right way, we have compiled some meditation tips for beginners.
Meditation Tips for Beginners
Meditation is not easy; it requires focus, attention, and more importantly, commitment. But it most certainly is the best way to understand your mind and become more peaceful, focused and less stressed. The aim of the following meditation tips for beginners is not to help you become an expert at meditation, but to give you a kick start. You don’t have to follow all the tips at once. Just try to implement a few of them and when you feel comfortable with them, try others.
1. Start with Small Sessions (3-5 minutes or less)
One of the first mistakes that beginners make is meditating for 30 – 40 minutes in their first week. I am not saying it’s a bad thing to meditate for long periods but for a beginner, even a 3 to 5-minute session can feel like a lifetime. Remember, you don’t have to force yourself because the ultimate goal of meditation is to have fun and relax your mind and body. Start with small sessions and don’t worry about the duration; even if it is just a 2-minute session, it is good.
Focus on getting used to and adapting to this new change in your life. Duration will automatically increase, and you will be able to focus more on time.
2. Stretch Before Starting Meditation
Meditation is no different than any other exercise or workout. Just as you would stretch before your gym session, it is critical to do the same before you start meditation. The idea here is to start your session with a relaxed body because it requires sitting in the same position for a period of time. Another thing that many meditation experts suggest is performing yoga before meditation but since yoga itself requires practice, I would suggest doing simple stretching of your back and rolling your neck.
3. Set a Timer to Enjoy the Experience
Meditation is all about staying focused. The mistake that beginners make is looking at the wall clock or their wrist watch again and again to check the time. To avoid this distraction, one of the easiest ways is to set a timer for your session. This way you don’t have to worry about time, and you can just relax and enjoy the experience.
4. Perform Meditation First Thing in the Morning
Meditation is just like exercise. To witness change, you need to commit to it and do it every day. However, it is easy to say that you’ll perform meditation rather than actually doing it. A simple way to commit to meditation is to create a schedule and to stick to it. Set a reminder for every morning to perform meditation. This way, not only will you remind yourself to meditate every day, but since early morning is the calmest and quietest time of the day, you will also be able to focus more and achieve more results.
5. Don’t concentrate on doing it perfectly from the start
The most common mistake that beginners make is trying hard to do everything perfectly in the beginning. They think meditation would not benefit them unless they perform it correctly. This obsession with perfection results in negative thoughts like “Meditation is not for me” or “I cannot perform meditation” and eventually leads to leaving meditation forever.
The aim of a beginner meditator should not be achieving perfection in their practice, but it should be on turning meditation into a habit. With time, you will be able to reach perfection. For now, just follow these meditation tips for beginners and focus on performing meditation on a consistent basis.
6. Get Rid of Distractions
We are all surrounded by small distractions such as cell phones. To enjoy the meditation experience and get the most out of it, you must get rid of these distractions before the start of the session. Just turn off your cell phone, find a quiet place in your house – maybe a room or backyard and start meditating. The isolation from everyday distractions helps you connect with your inner self, resulting in increased focus.
7. Make Sure You are Relaxed before Performing Meditation
One of the best meditation tips for beginners that I got from my mentor when I was starting out was to get comfortable. Since the ultimate aim of meditation is to achieve relaxation and to increase focus, it is always a good practice to start your session with a relaxed body and mind. What beginners do not understand is that meditation is merely the exercise of focusing on your breathing with your full consciousness, so it is highly necessary to be relaxed, physically as well as mentally, before the start of the session to get the most out of it.
Wear loose and comfortable clothes and make sure the place where you are sitting is also comfortable. Just take a few deep breaths and start your session.
8. Counting helps you Focus on Your Breath
As I mentioned earlier, meditation is the exercise of focusing on your breathing with full awareness. The best way to focus on your breathing is to count the number of breaths you take. Count each and every breath that you take inside and let out. Instead of counting to hundreds, each time you reach ten, start over.
9. Always Come Back If your Thoughts Wander
Another common problem among beginners is they experience “wandering thoughts.” Almost everyone experiences this. The best action to deal with this dilemma is to always come back and focus on your breath when your thoughts wander. Eventually, with time, your focus will increase, and these wandering thoughts will decrease.
10. Try Different Types of Meditation
With a quick search on Google or YouTube, you will find dozens of meditation techniques. The best way to locate the method that best suits you is to try different techniques. Start with a guided meditation technique such as mantra, chanting or Zen meditation and see what suits you best.
11. Find Your Comfort Zone
Each and every article on the topic of meditation tips for beginners emphasizes the search for your comfort zone. To achieve the most out of your meditation experience, it is crucial to find your comfort zone. There is no hard and fast rule about how much time you must meditate or when and where to meditate. Try out various things until you find your comfort zone and then stick to it.
12. Have Fun
Please don’t think of meditation as a job. The whole idea is to keep yourself relaxed and calm which you cannot achieve unless you are having fun. Just allow yourself to enjoy the whole experience.
13. Keep Expectations Realistic
Meditation is exactly like exercise. Just like people who start a workout routine expect muscles or weight loss in a week, you might expect a drastic change in your life after meditating for a week. These unrealistic expectations feed your brain with negative thoughts. Avoid these unrealistic expectations and allow your meditation experience to unfold naturally and you will get the best results.
14. Meditate With Friends
Sometimes it’s hard to continue meditation when you’re doing it alone. You may be highly motivated in the start but the time will come when you are going to lose this motivation. The best way to overcome this is to meditate in a group with your friends. Every time you lose motivation, others can motivate you. If you don’t want to meditate in a group, you can join online groups where you can find several meditation tips for beginners and discuss meditation techniques, issues, share your experiences or read about other people’s experiences.
15. Always Finish with a Smile
Every time you’re done with a session, smile and appreciate the fact that you got this time for yourself. This appreciation will help you stick to your commitment.
Meditation isn’t easy, but if you follow the above-mentioned meditation tips for beginners, you will achieve many health benefits – both physically and mentally.
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