Happy World Meditation Day! Modern life can feel stressful (no joke), but with the right tools we can all live healthier and happier. World Meditation Day was founded to offer a pause button and to draw attention to the healing power of meditation. We all have the ability to venture inwards and turn our focus to our inner world through meditation. If you are new to meditation or just curious, here are six meditation tips for beginners that will help to guide you in your very first practice.
Meditation Tips For Beginners:
As yogis have known for centuries and scientists can now prove, the health benefits of practising meditation are rich and varied, from helping calm anxiety to reducing insomnia. Here are just a few ways that mediation can heal mind, body and soul:
- Reduce stress and tension
- Pain relief
- Resolving problems
- Calming anxiety
- Spiritual development
- Managing mental health
- Insomnia relief
- Mental clarity
- Energy increase
- Inner peace
Psychotherapist Dr. Ron Alexander, Author of ‘Wise Mind, Open Mind’ writes about ‘mind strength’ as being one of the most empowering tools we can utilise to impact and improve all aspects of our life. Practising Meditation enables us to move from higher frequency brain waves to lower frequency, which activates different centres in the brain. Slower wavelengths mean more time between thoughts. In short, Meditation allows our brain increased opportunity to choose more consciously which thoughts we wish to invest in and act on. Still curious? let’s dig in to the six meditation tips for beginners to guide you along your way…
1. Pick Your Space
You can pretty much meditate anywhere. When you get into the habit and have practised enough, you could even be sat on a busy flight or in a crowd of people and decide to meditate to reduce your anxiety. Don’t attempt to meditate when operating machinery or behind the wheel of the car. To start off with, it is advisable to choose a quiet spot where you feel at ease, maybe outside in nature or in the comfort of your bedroom.
2. Get Comfortable
Get comfortable, wear comfy clothes that allow you to breath fully. Avoid restrictive jeans or tight clothing. Make sure you are warm enough. Try to reduce any distractions. If you’re anything like me, then you’ll start by wearing your pj’s, wrapped in your favourite blanket, on the bed, listening to a guided meditation and probably fall asleep half way through! Which leads me on to my next point…
3. Start Small
Start small. Don’t think you’re going to enter in at an advanced level reaching a higher state of consciousness by meditating for hours. Start small and realise that these things take some time to figure out. You might feel silly at first or have all kinds of thoughts popping into your mind, that’s ok. Just begin by trying a short guided meditation and ease your way in, you can find guided meditations on apps like Headspace or Calm.
4. Focus On Breathing
Focusing on your breathing can help you to find mental clarity and achieve great things, like athletes running super marathons and deep sea divers reaching un-chartered waters. There are even courses that you can take to learn to harness the power of your breath from companies like Breath Guidance. Focus on your breath and this will help you to feel calm and allow you to slow down and enjoy the meditation.
5. Expect To Think
It’s inevitable that thoughts are going to pop up in your head as you ask yourself ‘am I doing it right? Is this how it’s supposed to feel?’ As you breathe in to the count of four and exhale to the count of four, silently repeat the mantra “Breathing In 1, 2, 3, 4 Breathing Out 1, 2, 3, 4” this will help to bring your focus back to your practice. Notice how your mind and body will begin to feel a sense of calm. This is a gentle feeling, so don’t sit there waiting for a big-bang style moment.
6. Practice Daily
When it comes to meditation, consistency is truly key. Try to practice a simple breath meditation in the morning or at night before sleep. Practice daily. It is more beneficial to practice short meditations consistently, rather than long sessions every few weeks. Try starting off by doing 5 minutes each day and build up the time by a minute or two each time you practice.
Remember that as with anything in life, the first few times you might struggle to focus, don’t feel discouraged- it will take some practice but is so worth it. Follow these simple meditation tips for beginners and you’ll be well on your way to zen…
“Knowing others is intelligence; knowing yourself is true wisdom. Mastering others is strength; mastering yourself is true power.”– Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching