We’ve all heard that meditation is important for our wellbeing. Countless studies show health benefits for those who calm their mind and practice mindfulness regularly. So many successful people attribute part of their success to some sort of a mindful practice. I have been meditating on and off for a couple years now. Currently, I meditate for 15-20 minutes every single morning. In this post I’m going to give you all my tips on how to meditate so you can develop a mindfulness practice of your own.
According to Psychology Today, “In the Indus Valley, archaeologists discovered evidence of meditation in wall art dating from approximately 5,000 to 3,500 BCE. The images depict people sitting in what many of us would recognize as meditation postures.” They also go on to mention the various religions where meditation has been incorporated. Some of them include Judaism, Islam, Buddhism and even Christianity.
So it’s safe to say that meditation has been a part of the human experience for quite a while. All over the world pretty much. Frankly, this topic applies to everyone and I’m writing this post so you, too, can have the tools to develop your own meditation practice. In this post I’ll be covering the benefits of meditation, some types of meditation practices, and I’ll give you tools that can help you start your practice.
What is Meditation, and Why Does it Matter?
Meditation can be defined as a “profound and extended contemplation or reflection in order to achieve focused attention or an otherwise altered state of consciousness and to gain insight into oneself and the world. “ According to the American Psychological Association. To put it simply, essentially meditation is calming the mind to gain more awareness.
There are countless benefits gained from meditating regularly. Some of them are the following:
- Increases self-awareness
- Improves your mood
- Improves sleep quality
- Can help balance your emotions
Meditation matters because it is something so simple that can benefit you in so many ways. The more you sit with yourself, the easier it gets to release your thoughts and “go within.” What I mean by “going within,” is quieting your mind to be open to receiving messages from your higher self.
I’ve heard of meditation being compared to working out. The more you work out, the stronger your body gets. It is very similar to meditation. The more you practice it, the easier it is to calm your mind and to quiet your thoughts. After some time, you’ll see you might even start craving your mindfulness practice.
How to Meditate
Okay, so now that you know what meditation is and the importance of it, I’m going to give you tips on how to start your own meditation practice.
Choose a time of the day for your practice
- Mornings work best for some people (including myself). It’s a great way to start your day on a calm note.
- If you’re not a morning person though, meditating before bed works too. (Meditating before bed can even help you sleep better since you’ll be calming your mind).
- There’s really no bad time to do this. You can even do it during your work break in your car (or in the bathroom, no judgment here lol) for a few minutes.
Choose a safe place
Sounds pretty self explanatory. This is your time. Eliminate any and all distractions as best you can.
- Set your phone to the “do not disturb” setting if you’ll be using it as your timer
- If possible, try using noise-canceling headphones or a white noise machine if you can’t control the surrounding noise (#apartmentlife)
- Noise isn’t as important as safety. It’ll be easier to relax the less stressed you are.
Choose the length of time
If this is the beginning of your meditation journey, choose a length of time that resonates with you. I suggest starting with 3-5 minutes your first couple of times. You can always increase it each week. The goal is to meditate for 10 minutes or more for better results.
Choose your seat
- Sit on the floor with your back straight, legs crossed then place palms on your knees
- Sit on a cushion or yoga block with your back straight, legs crossed, palms on knees
- “Kneel” using the block/cushion as your seat to alleviate weight placed on your knees, back straight, place palms on your knees
- Sit on a chair with feet flat on the floor, back straight, hands on your lap
- Lie flat on a flat surface with hands on your sides. (I only suggest this if you’re meditating before bed and don’t mind falling asleep lol)
Choose a type of meditation
There are so many different types of meditations. I’ll link an article with a list of 12 types at the end of this post. For now I’ll only give you 3 examples to choose from when learning how to meditate.
- Guided Meditation-If you are new to this, a great way to start is by listening to guided meditations. The best place to find free ones are on YouTube. You can even specify the length of time during your search (i.e “3 minute guided meditation”). All you do is take your seat, close your eyes and follow the teacher’s voice as they guide you through the practice.
- Mindful Breathing-The main focus is on your breath. There’s no wrong way to do this. Take your seat, close your eyes and breathe. You can take intentional deep breaths through your nose, pause, then slowly exhale through your mouth (over and over till time’s up) or you can try counting.
- Inhale through your nose to the count of 5 (1-2-3-4-5)
- Exhale through your nose or mouth to the count of 5 (1-2-3-4-5)
- Then pause for 5 seconds (1-2-3-4-5)
- Repeat for a few minutes
- Mantra Meditation-During this type of meditation practice, you’re repeating a word or phrase over and over. Again, there’s really no wrong way to do this. Take your seat, close your eyes, then say your mantra over and over till time’s up.
- Choose a word you want to embody such as “love” or “peace.”
- You can also use a phrase such as “I am worthy” or “I am here, now.”
- A tip for this type of meditation is to use “mala” (prayer) beads or a rosary to stay focused when repeating your mantra.
So there you have it. After reading this post you now should know how to meditate. Now only do you have steps and meditation types but I also gave you reasons why meditation is important.
Some final tips but important tips are the following:
- Be gentle with yourself
- Don’t have expectations when you first begin
- Keep it simple
- Be proud of yourself!
Let’s work together!
- If you’re really ready to create the life you want
- If you want to increase your happiness and feel more confident in who you are
- If you want to trust yourself more and live on purpose
I can help you! Schedule your clarity call to work with me HERE.
- Psychology Today history of meditation article
- American Psychological Association Meditation definition
- Meditation health benefits
- 12 Types of meditations article
- Youtube 5 minute guided meditation
- Iphone apps
- Insight timer meditation app (my fave)
- Calm app
- Headspace app
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