When I first began the practice of meditation, it was extremely hard for me. Am I breathing correctly? Is my posture precise? Why can’t I seem to concentrate? I soon began to understand that meditation is an approach to training the mind, similar to the way fitness is an approach to training the body. And with practice soon comes perfection. When I meditate I can now fully settle my mind and let go of everything else that’s preoccupying my thoughts for a few minutes. Below I’d like to share a few meditation tips for beginners to help with this wonderfully relaxing practice that has amazing health benefits.
If relaxation is not the goal of meditation, it’s often a result. Multiple studies have proved that meditation can reduce stress, decrease blood pressure, control anxiety, promote emotional health, and enhance self-awareness. This just scratches the surface — click on this link to see more of the amazing benefits of meditation.
However, in Buddhist philosophy, the ultimate benefit of meditation is liberation of the mind. By simply being present, you can free your mind from attachment to strong internal emotions and outside circumstances.
Yet in our hectic lives, how can we settle our minds and simply be present? This is something I struggled with a lot at the beginning and my best piece of advice is this: Don’t worry about it. While I’m not saying it’s easy, you can start small and get better and better as you practice with these meditation tips. Don’t expect to be good at first – it will come in time!
Tip #1 – Find a Quiet Place
It doesn’t matter whether you sit or lay down as long as you find a place where you won’t be disturbed. Just make sure your body is in a somewhat stable position and have the palms of your hands face the sky.
Tip #2 – Become Aware
Once you’ve found your posture, check in with how your body feels. The goal is to divert all thoughts to your body and current surroundings. Pay attention to what you hear and the sensations flowing through your body.
Tip #3 – Focus on Your Breath
Have you ever noticed how your lungs expand when you take a deep breath? Or how your body begins to lose tension when you slowly exhale? Be in the moment. Your breathing should come naturally – don’t force it. It’s not important whether your breathing is slow, deep, or consistent. Over time, as your mind calms down, so will your breath.
This is one of the important meditation tips: If your mind starts wandering, remember that it’s perfectly normal. Don’t beat yourself up for allowing your thoughts to stray. If you get distracted, just notice the present moment and let your thoughts pass.
Tip #4 – Do a Mental Body Scan
Observe your chest, shoulders, rib cage, and belly. How do they feel? Is there any tension? Try focusing your attention on one body part at a time. You may choose to start with your toes and gradually work your way up to the top of your head.
Tip #5 – Keep Practicing
Don’t get frustrated! These tips aren’t aimed at helping you become an expert…they should help you get started and keep going. If you’re new, I suggest starting with only two minutes of meditation a day for a week. If that goes well, try increasing just a little bit of time each day. I find that it’s easier to make time to meditate first thing in the morning. However, do what works best for you as long as it’s intentional.
Did these meditation tips work for you? If you’d like to read more, I’ve written a blog post focusing on daily meditation habits. I’d love to hear your thoughts at firstname.lastname@example.org. And don’t forget to sign up for my weekly newsletter within the registration box below this page.