“Within you there is a stillness and a sanctuary to which you can retreat at any time and be yourself” – Hermann Hesse
Learning how to meditate can be overwhelming at the best of times. You sit down, imagine yourself calm like a guru, concentrate on not thinking… and hten you realize youre thinking about thinking. And then the phone rings. And then the dog starts barking. Or you realize you’ve left the oven on. Or you have to pee (…again). Or your back starts to bother you sitting on the floor… does this sound familiar?
Far too many people give up on meditation without even properly getting acquainted with it! Meditation should never be stressful, uncomfortable, or exhausting. If it is, chances are you might need to tweak your practice or better yet, read our tips for a little extra help.
Meditation is your time. Your time to unwind, relax, and connect with yourself. Release your expectations and learn to enjoy some peace. Let us show you how in these 10 simple steps.
1. Comfort is key
Get comfortable. Meditation was never meant to be uncomfortable, meaning, wear whatever it is that you would like. There is no designated outfit, just be comfortable. If you aren’t comfy, you’re going to be focusing on that instead of your practice.
2. Start slow
If you think that you can just hop on the meditation bandwagon and hold your practice for hours and hours at a time. If you do this, you will give up very quickly! Start slow, even for a few minutes per day. When you are ready, gradually increase your time so you don’t overwhelm yourself or get discouraged. Remember 2 minutes of meditation is better than none, so even if you just have a few moments, do it!
3. Keep a schedule
If you are just starting out, the easiest way to develop a new habit is to make it part of your routine. Incorporate meditation into your day at a certain time and try to keep it there so you practice regularly.
4. Meditate your own way
You don’t have to sit on a yoga mat in a bound lotus position to achieve a meditative state. Part of being comfortable means finding a space and position that works for you. Some people need to sit, while others stand, walk, do yoga, or lay down. Outside is a great place to meditate as you will get fresh air and your breathing will come more freely. Use headphones to cancel noise or play relaxing music if you need to practice in a chaotic place!
5. Let go
Especially when you first start meditating thoughts are going to come and go, maybe even a lot. That’s totally 100% okay! Don’t worry! This is a normal and natural part of the process. Just notice your thoughts and then let them go. The better you get at letting them go, the less often thoughts will rush in and the easier the process will become.
6. Don’t rush… this is you time
Enjoy the process, meaning this is you time! This is time that you have set aside in the day that is just for you. Maybe it is 10 minutes after dinner or early in the morning. Notice how good it feels to make some time that is just for you. Don’t rush it, savour it!
7. Take notice of the changes
The more you practice, the more you will start noticing changes. Maybe you see that smaller things bother you less. That you sleep better. That you are calmer. That you don’t get upset as often. Take notice of how this practice is changing you for the better.
8. Enjoy the journey
Enjoy the journey! This is your time to develop a whole new you! You are actually looking after yourself, nurturing your mind, body, and soul one practice at a time! How cool is that?!
9. Stick with it
So things come up, that’s life and maybe you don’t meditate for a few days. Get over it. No really, just get over it and get back to your practice. That’s what matters. No one is keeping track of your progress but you.
10. Bring meditation with you
Meditation was never meant to be something that you just do and then forget about the moment you go about your day. It is as much of a tool as it is a process. Learn to calm your mind in the most stressful situations and you will find that life is a whole lot more manageable. You’ll be amazed how transformative the process truly is and how much good you can achieve for your health, happiness, and relationships.