New to meditation? As you may know, meditation has received a lot of attention during the last decade. In fact, it is one method used by people who are looking for ways to reduce stress and anxiety. But, does it really work? Those who have never tried it before may wonder where they are supposed to start. What kind of benefits can they expect to enjoy after starting their meditation routine?
Getting started is actually not that hard. Guided meditation can, in fact, be as simple as just closing your eyes and relaxing for a minute while waiting for your tea to brew. Here is a simple and straightforward guide to get you started with meditation.
What’s the point of meditation anyway?
Some may be skeptical that meditation will help them at all. But, before you say no to it, be open to the possible and positive benefits of guided meditation. When you start to get into it, or even during your first session, you simply want to relax your mind. Bring your focus inwards. Understand and acknowledge the signs of stress that your mind or body is sending you.
Rushing to meeting after meeting while sipping our fifth cup of coffee tends to make us forget to take the time to focus on ourselves. So, when you start to practice meditation, you will notice how much more attentive you become in terms of noticing your own stress levels.
Whereupon you would normally just power on and focus on the hectic aspects of life, meditation will help you to stop and breathe. Even if only for a few seconds, you will unclench your jaw and allow yourself to relax in the middle of everything else.
So how do I start?
When you feel like you want to give it a shot, simply just give yourself a time-out a few minutes per day. Do it whenever you like, but it’s better to have somewhere comfortable where you’re certain you won’t be disturbed.
The office might not be the best place to start. So, perhaps it would be better to start your first sessions when you’re done with everything you have to do. We’re not super-humans, after all, and it’s rather hard to relax your mind when you have a deadline hanging over your head. At least in the beginning, that is.
Sit, lie down, or stand up when meditating–whatever feels most comfortable to you. You could even do it while soaking in a nice, warm bath after a long day at work. It will certainly help you to relax. Just make sure that you’re not about to fall asleep, though, as this isn’t really the point of your sessions.
If you notice that you’re about to fall asleep while meditating, it could be an indication that you simply need more rest. At least you’re aware enough to notice this. Just go to bed a bit earlier and consider your meditation session a success as you were able to listen to your body.
Let’s get started: Focus on your breath
Have you ever done yoga before? If you have, you can try to use the same breathing techniques when you meditate. The trick is, of course, that you want to focus on your breath so that your mind doesn’t wander. This will help to bring awareness to your mind and body.
If you enjoy both yoga and meditation, you could proceed to aura healing. This is a great way to complement your journey towards better mental health. It builds on many of the same principles and you’ll feel quite refreshed afterwards.
As you sit and breathe, try to focus on some of your body parts to make them relax. Work your way upwards from your toes to the crown of your head. Or, simply try to relax your fingers and your jaw which may tend to tense-up without us really noticing it.
If your mind starts to wander, simply bring your attention back to your breath. Allow your thoughts to drift away. Sit like this for as long as it feels good. Soon, you’ll drift into a state that is somewhere between asleep and awake. You will still be aware, though, just not as aware of your surroundings as of your inner life.
Try to exercise first
If you find it difficult to sit like this and actually enjoy it, you might want to treat yourself to a session of exercise first. This used to be the whole point of yoga. Yoga is as a way to get rid of excess energy and prepare your mind for meditation. Just think about how good it feels to stand in a forward-fold after a good round of exercise. It even feels like meditation without you even having to try. If yoga isn’t your cup of tea, you can always go for a run or do something else that’s active.
Do whatever works for you best. Ultimately, let the stress of the day fade away and release the tension that has built up. Namaste!
Feature photo: Patrick Schneider
*Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links.