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Does the thought of silencing the mind intimidate you? Or perhaps you’ve wanted to see what meditation is all about but don’t know where to start?
When you’re new to meditation and redeveloping a practice, it can seem daunting, especially with our minds trained to respond to an onslaught of news alerts, emails, and notifications; it’s almost disorienting to be truly undisturbed.
We all start as beginners
We all need to start somewhere. I was just like you when I first started getting into it.
Meditation was something I found endlessly unnerving at first, but it soon became the serenity and calmness that rocked my world. I can’t put my finger on the why or the how, but I will tell you this much, for me… I am just happier and much more collected.
I urge you to give it a shot. The worst thing that can happen is that you give yourself ten minutes of quiet in an endlessly loud world. Here are some tips to help you get started:
What To Expect
Finding a comfortable position is one of the most important things when starting meditation. Sitting in a chair with your feet on the ground or floor or sitting cross-legged on a cushion is a good option. You might also want to try lying down, which can sometimes lead to falling asleep. Once you’ve found a comfortable position, ensure your spine is straight, and your head is not tilted forward or backward. You can close or keep your eyes open and focus on a single point.
It’s also helpful to focus on your breathing. Inhale and exhale slowly and evenly through your nose. Don’t try to control your breath; just let it flow naturally. If your mind wanders, gently bring it back to your breath.
You may want to use a mantra or repeated phrase as another tool to help you focus during meditation. Pick a short phrase that has meaning for you, such as “I am peaceful.”
Meditation Tips for Beginners
Sit against your headboard in bed, on a chair, couch, car, or anywhere with comfortable back support. It’s best not to lie down, but sitting up completely straight is unnecessary.
Calculate Your Finish Time
Check the time and add ten minutes on top of your start time. This will be your finish time. So, if you begin at 7:30am, your finish time will be 7:40am. Repeat your finish time to yourself once or twice. It’s best not to set an alarm or you may end up shocking yourself out of your meditation. Close your eyes.
Notice Your Breathing
Without speeding up or slowing down your breathing, just notice it. Expect your mind to wander away from noticing your breath. Do not fight this; it’s a natural occurrence.
Embrace Your Thoughts
It’s okay to get lost in your thoughts. And whenever you realize you’re meditating, passively begin to notice your breathing again. For now, let meditating become synonymous with noticing your breathing and getting lost in your thoughts.
Let all the thoughts come and go—as you forget and become aware that you are meditating, it’s best not to resist thoughts, including ideas, songs, conversations, images, feelings, or sensations. Embrace all mental experiences without concern, remorse, or regret.
In a typical meditation, you’ll begin by noticing your breathing for a minute or two. You’ll get lost in thoughts for a minute or two, then you’ll remember you’re meditating and slowly return to noticing your breath for a little while, then you’ll get lost again.
Come Out Slowly
Check your timing device periodically, and after ten minutes, slowly open your eyes and bring yourself out.
If the above tips are still a bit daunting, try using the apps Open, Headspace or ALO Moves to help you with a guided meditation. I have found these apps very helpful, especially when you are first starting. And, if you are serious about establishing a meditation practice, build a routine with the Fabulous app.
Tools To Help You Meditate
If you’re new to meditation, having some guidance to get started can be helpful. There are many different approaches to meditation, but some simple tools can be used no matter what style you choose. We’ve rounded up some of our favorite go-to tools that are perfect for beginners.
Muse Meditation Headband
One of Our favorite tools. Muse is a smart headband that acts as your personal meditation coach. Its advanced sensors can detect when your mind wanders and give you gentle audio cues.
I'm an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach and Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT-200), offering guidance to high achievers in aligning their lifestyle with well-being through daily wellness and self-care routines, promoting balance and harmony. Join me at Wellness Bum for tips on living well, and consider subscribing to my newsletter or booking a coaching session.