I love to meditate. Meditation now plays a big part in my life and I feel it gives me improved mental and physical health. I find that attending relaxation retreat days actually helps me focus on meditation. Have a read of my perfect retreat day here. So what is meditation?
Meditation is basically a tool that a person uses to achieve a state of deep peace. Years ago meditation was viewed as a ‘weird’ and ‘new age’ practice and was certainly not mainstream. Nowadays it is accepted as a common way to improve health, with even doctors recommending meditation to patients to compliment conventional medical care.
Even with the current trend in promoting meditation, I believe there are still many people who avoid using the practice due to a lack of understanding as to how to get started. Meditation doesn’t have to be complicated. It doesn’t have to take up a lot of your time and you can practice meditation even in just five minutes a day.
So, if you are a complete beginner to meditation, here are my top ten tips to help you meditate.
Create a meditation space at home. You don’t have to have a special room. Just a quiet corner that you can call your meditation space is enough. Perhaps you might like to clear a small area and pop a few objects there that might help you get into the mood of relaxation. A nice, scented candle is always a nice touch and I find that the fragrance and candle flame helps me relax.
Make yourself comfortable. I like to sit in a comfortable chair or on the bed and snuggle under a cozy blanket. It is important to keep warm when meditating as this helps the body totally relax.
Get rid of distractions. Switch off your phone and any other unnecessary noise. Of course you may want to follow a guided meditation or listen to some calming music and this is fine. If you have family in the house tell them you will need some time alone and you are not wanting to be disturbed.
Choose a time of day that suits you. Try choose a time when you will least be disturbed and when you feel you can reach relaxation quicker. I wait till I am in the house alone as I don’t worry unduly about anyone walking in the room while I am meditating.
Use guided meditations. I LOVE guided meditations as they help reach a calm state quicker and I would highly recommend using guided meditations if you are new to meditation. I use a fabulous free app on my smart phone called Insight Timer. It is full of different styles of meditations and so there is something to suit everyone.
Start with short meditations. As meditation can be overwhelming for a beginner I would suggest starting with short meditations. Just five minutes a day is enough for you to feel the benefits of the practice.
Don’t be tough on yourself. If you find one day that you are struggling to meditate, then don’t worry about it. Just leave it for that day. Sometimes life is a struggle and our mind just won’t switch off no matter how hard we try. You are human, so just accept it for what it is and try again another day.
Don’t worry if your mind wanders. Sometimes when I meditate I find my mind starts to think of the most random things! I can also find my thoughts become overwhelming to a point where I feel panic. If this happens I always return to concentrating on the breath. Just focus on your breathing and use the breath to help you return to a calmer state.
Try not to fall asleep. This can be a difficult one as the art of relaxation is so useful in helping us achieve a good sleep. I have fallen asleep many times while meditating, although this tends to be at night. For this reason I like to meditate in the morning when I am more alert. I also find a morning meditation is helpful to set me on the right track for a productive day.
Take it easy after your meditation. You will feel so relaxed that it will be more beneficial to your health if you can extend the calm feelings for as long as you can. So don’t jump up and start chasing round doing jobs or getting back into a stressful situation. Take it easy. Maybe have a cup of tea and read a book for a short while. Go for a walk and take in that wonderful fresh air. It all helps to enforce the feelings you experience during the meditation.
Meditation can be SO beneficial to our overall health and once you start practicing this wonderful relaxation form, you will wish you had started earlier. The trick is to keep practicing. Enjoy it and allow meditation to become an important part of your life. You will feel the benefits straight away and your body and mind will thank you for it.
Have you practiced meditation before? Did you find it of great benefit? If you have never meditated before, why not? Is it that you can’t find the time or does the practice make you nervous? As always let me know in the comments below.