Have you always wanted to meditate, but don't know where to begin? Or, did you start a meditation practice but gave up after a few sessions? All you need is a little instruction on how to train your brain and before you know it, you'll use the power of your mind and improve your life.
Forgot why you wanted to create a regular meditation practice? Let us refresh your mind:
To treat a wide range of stress-related symptoms including anxiety, depression, anger, and insomnia.
To improve your focus and concentration.
To improve your emotional stability and your relationships with others.
To be happier. Unhappiness has been linked to a mind that’s constantly wandering. Meditation helps to cure you of wandering mind syndrome by increasing your mindfulness.
How to meditate
Not quite sure what to do when you actually sit down with your eyes closed. Try this: Begin to observe your breath without changing it. There is a tendency to want to deepen your breathing as soon as you notice it. Resist this urge. Focus all your attention on your inhalations and exhalations, maybe you can observe the sensation of air moving in and out of your nostrils. You can count the breaths if that helps you stay focused on them. When your mind starts to wander, as it inevitably will, notice your thoughts and then release them. Always returning your attention to your breathing.
"Meditation is called a practice for a reason; it takes time to build up your meditation skills. It isn't going to happen overnight."
Use these 7 golden tips to develop and maintain a meditation habit.
1. Use and existing habit
Activities such as showering, brushing teeth, or driving home from work are deeply ingrained habits that don’t require effort. They are known as instrumental tasks. By linking your meditation to one of these tasks, your chances of developing a steady meditation practice significantly improve.
2. Start Small
Meditate for short periods of time. You are more likely to keep meditating when you meditate for 10 minutes every day of the week then sit for a whole hour on the weekend. Establishing the habit of meditation is more important than increasing the amount of time spend meditating.
3. Sit Tall
Posture 101: Sit up nice and tall by straightening your spine. You can sit with crossed legs if that's comfortable for you, maybe with your back against the wall or you can sit on a chair with both you back against the chair feet rested on the floor if you need to. You want to be able to sit tall without experiencing discomfort. Lengthening the spine helps to increase your circulation and keep you alert.
4. Don’t worry too much that you’re doing it wrong
You will worry if you’re doing it wrong. That’s OK, we all do. You’re not doing it wrong. There’s no perfect way to do it, just be happy you’re doing it.
5. Use an App
Who says you have to turn off your smartphone during meditation? While you should refrain from checking emails and texts or taking calls, there are a variety of apps that can actually help you on your meditation journey. These apps allow you to choose the length of time for your meditation and select ambient sounds, ending tones, and interval bells. Yoga Vibes favorite meditation app is Insight Timer. This free app also has endless guided meditations available.
6. Create a Meditation Space
Make out a little corner of your room to use exclusively for meditation. In that corner, place your meditation seat of choice such as bolsters, blankets, or any props that you need to support yourself. Then fill your space with objects that inspire you such as photos, candles, incense, a diffuser, sacred books, or anything else that speaks to your soul. Use this space only for meditation. It will absorb the vibrations of calmness. Eventually, just entering your sacred space will initiate the relaxation response.
7. Don't give up
Lastly, don't give up if you don't get it right away. Meditation is called a practice for a reason; it takes time to build up your meditation skills. It isn't going to happen overnight. So if there are days when you're feeling totally stressed or your mind is all over the place, don't get mad at yourself. That's a natural part of life and happens to everyone. Or if there is a day or two that you miss your meditation, that's also okay!
And let's say you've been consistently meditating for 10 minutes daily and there's a day where you can only do 3. Also, totally fine!
THERE’S NO “RIGHT WAY”
There are no right or wrong ways of meditating. It doesn’t matter how or where you sit, whether you have your eyes open or closed, how you’re breathing, whether you’re silent or repeating a mantra or anything else. It’s all about you checking in with yourself and your breath.