Interested in learning how to meditate but not quite sure where to start? We have you covered! Diving in can feel a bit intimidating, but not to worry - it’s called a meditation practice for a reason, the more we practice the easier it becomes!
If you’re anything like us, you often find yourself trying to see how much you can cram into a single day - bouncing back and forth between a computer, phone, tablet and tv - your busy mind constantly engaged! We live in a world where we’re constantly on the go. But we have forgotten how to just be in the moment - without the pressure to accomplish and achieve.
Meditation asks us to set all of the distraction, all of the noise, all of the busyness aside, and just be. We aren’t used to just being in the present moment but its such a beautiful place to be - a place where we can give our minds a much deserved break. We often find that after meditating we have new and unique solutions for issues in our lives, more calm and patience for those around us - learning to meditate can be the beginning of some pretty powerful changes in life.
Just like when we start anything new, there is a bit of a learning curve. Realize that this is something everyone struggles with. It’s completely normal. You aren’t doing it wrong, and it will get easier! We’ve got some tips for you today to help you on your way to developing a beautiful meditation practice.
When you think of meditation, what’s the visual that comes to mind for you? Is it a person sitting cross legged on the ground, back straight, hands resting on their knees with thumb and pointer finger touching? That’s what comes to mind for me when I think of what meditation looks like. Honestly though, that image of a peaceful yet rigid position can be a bit intimidating!
I challenge you to forget about how meditation is “supposed to” look! Play around with your position and find something that’s comfortable for you. It might be different on different days, and that’s totally okay. You can try sitting cross legged on the floor if you’re comfortable like that, or you can sit on a cushion, you can sit in a comfortable chair or the couch, or you can even lay down! The most important thing is finding a position that is comfortable for you and your body. The last thing you need when you’re learning to meditate is your body yelling at you about an uncomfortable or unsustainable position you’re in.
Once you’ve found a comfortable position, the next step is to close your eyes. Try to focus on any tension in and around your eyes when you do this. Instead of squeezing them shut, try to relax your eyes and allow them to just gently rest closed. If you prefer you can leave your eyes open and gaze gently at one spot. Pick somewhere like the floor in front of you, or the wall across for you to gently focus on. You’ll want to pick somewhere to focus that isn’t going to distract you.
Now you’re ready to meditate! There are so many styles of meditation for you to choose from, and I encourage you to explore as many as you can to see what resonates with you. As with everything else, what resonates for you might change as you continue your meditation practice.
While you’re meditating it’s pretty much guaranteed that you’re going to have random thoughts, memories, physical sensations, and emotions popping into your mind from time to time. It’s not possible to stop all thought, and that’s really not the goal of meditation anyways! The goal is to develop the ability to simply watch your thoughts as they come and go - don’t get attached to them, don’t get frustrated by their presence. Simply observe them and allow them to leave just as effortlessly as they appeared.
Starting your meditation practice
When you first begin to meditate, it’s important to start small and build your practice as you go. You might want to meditate for an hour a day, but I can guarantee you that definitely isn’t the place to start! Try starting off with just 5-10 minutes. If that feels way too difficult, you can start off even shorter - set a timer on your phone for just 2 minutes and start with that for the first week. As your meditation practice evolves, you can begin to extend the length of time you’re meditating for.
One of the keys to developing a regular meditation practice is to choose a time to meditate each day, and stick to it! If you make meditation a part of your daily routine, it will become a habit. You won’t even need to think about it, you’ll just find yourself sitting down for your daily meditation!
If you’re looking for additional tips and tricks for starting you meditation practice, we’ve got just the thing for you! We put together a free e-book with some of our favourite tips for developing a great meditation practice! You can get your copy here.