Looking to reduce stress and get more done in the office?
Maybe mediation is the answer you’re looking for.
We asked the experts for advice on mediation for beginners. Check out their tips below.
Many people feel that meditation has to be done for X minutes, says Jacob Kovacs of Wholistic Research.
Most people will assume that it’s an impossible task and will give up. The idea is to start small.
You may even start with 30 seconds on day one and then work your way up by adding more minutes to your meditation session.
As a former Buddhist monk who’s been practicing meditation for up to 8 hours per day, my #1 tip would be consistency, says Hugo Germon from TheToolScope.com
The mind needs to be constantly focused on its meditation object in order to develop deep mindfulness and concentration.
I’d add to that: Don’t rush and don’t be disappointed when experiencing concentration difficulties. It is very challenging for beginners to develop a steady focus and tame the mind. Don’t worry, it just takes time.
Find A Good Spot For It
Find a quiet space. In your home this means a place you can go to be alone without interruptions, says Alex Williams of The Body Training.
If you’re going to a guided meditation or a group session, this might mean sitting in a place where you aren’t distracted by things like cold breezes, noises, or sitting somewhere physically uncomfortable.
You Don’t Have to Make it Complicated
When I first heard of meditation, I was bombarded by different tips and tricks, says Tal Shelef of Condo Wizard. One expert says this, some experts say that.
Someone will tell you that there is a good app and three days later someone will tell you that there is another one that’s better. Eventually, I realized that in meditation, these things don’t matter that much.
So, if you are a beginner, don’t overwhelm yourself. Start simple. Get into a quiet space, get comfortable, and start doing it.
It’s Okay If Thoughts Pop Into Your Head
The hardest thing for beginners is to ignore the thoughts that pop in your head when you are trying to meditate. ‘What shall I have for dinner?’, ‘oh.. did I send that email?’ and then ‘*I am not doing this right; I keep on thinking of stuff!’
So, how do you ignore these? The answer is: don’t, says Alexander Burgemeester of The Narcissistic Life.
Imagine the thought is contained in a cloud, literally visualize a white friendly cloud with ‘dinner’ written on it, acknowledge it and see it pass, gently blown away by the wind. Then the sky is back to empty blue and you can focus.
Instead of a cloud, you can use a bubble, a train, a balloon, anything that works for you. One of the easiest ways to meditate is to use a guided meditation audio, it helps retain your attention on the sound and doesn’t simply rely on your ability to concentrate.
It’s Not That Serious
My #1 meditation tip for beginnings is done’t take it too seriously!
You don’t need candles, a special pillow and incense-rather the intention that your thoughts will affect your body, mind, and spirit, says Anita Perry of Yoga Anita.
One positive intention is enough to start you on your way.
Use The Field of Vision Technique
I love using the ‘Field of Vision’, a great and simple technique to get introduced to meditation: fixate one fixed spot on the wall.
Keep focusing on it for a few moments. Then start to become aware of your field of vision and how far you can see on the sides, up and down without taking your eyes off the fixed spot.
Notice how far you can see and all the things you can see.
This active meditation is very effective and ideal for beginners, suggests David Douek of Beeco, as it makes it very easy to place your entire focus on one thing alone.
It demands active concentration, driven by the task of identifying how much is covered in the field of vision.
It’s Okay If You Miss A Day
Sometimes life gets in the way of your best intentions, says Kieren Windsor of That Hammock Life.
Perhaps you accidentally sleep through your alarm, your child is ill, or you have to attend an early morning meeting.
Whatever the reason for skipping a day (or more) of your practice, don’t let it derail you.
Instead, recall your intention for meditating (aka your “why”) and simply start again. It can also help to notice how you feel on days you don’t meditate versus those when you do.
Experiment With It
My number 1 tip when is comes to meditation is to experiment, says Dr. Natalie Bernstein.
There is no one size fits all when it comes to meditation.
There are many different forms of meditation and it really is up to you to choose the style that fits best for your lifestyle.
Different types of meditation included guided, music only, quiet, and even movement.
It Should Feel Natural
The #1 tip for you to remember as a beginner is that meditation is not something you force. Meditation is something that happens naturally and automatically.
Digestion is not something you do, it happens naturally and automatically. You just have to eat the food.
Similarly, meditation is about sitting down comfortably and relaxing. Over time, it might take days and months, your mind will eventually learn to quiet down, and you will begin to experience meditation.
Meditation is not something you do, it happens, says Kevin Jourdan of Dot Market.
People often think meditation is a super complicated activity. The truth is we all meditate throughout the day.
Meditation is simply dwelling on a person, place, or thing. If you are looking to begin meditating, you probably already are.
If you are looking to begin meditating on a particular topic simply take control of your thoughts and* be intentional*.
What was the last thing you obsessed about? Apply that technique to meditation, suggests Tauras Sinkus of 21 Day Hero.
Don’t Force It
My number one tip would be that meditation isn’t something you can force, says Don McCasland, LCSW-CCTP of Warrior Elder Counseling Services.
When first starting out, don’t expect to be able to clear your mind completely and sit there thought free for an hour straight.
Just be patient with yourself- if you can only do it for 5 or 10 seconds before your mind starts to drift, that’s OK. Just re-focus after that happens, take a breath and try again.
Just focus on doing what you can do, recommends Hafiz Muhammad Ali of Omnicore. Just because a friend can sit for a half hour in the morning doesn’t mean that you need to do the same. Focus on doing what you can instead of forcing it.
Make It A Habit
Same time, same place, suggests Alex Henry at Greenery Guide.
If you can’t meditate in the morning, try to make a commitment to meditating at the same time and in the same place every day.
Making your practice a regular part of your normal daily routine is key to developing a lasting habit.
It’s Okay If You Fall Asleep
Don’t even worry about falling asleep because if your body needs rest, give it to it, suggests author Spiro Koulouris of Gout and You.
The goal of meditation is to induce the relaxation response in the body. In that state, healing and repair can happen, even more so when the body is at rest in a state of deep sleep so don’t worry you will fall asleep.
Just relax and go with it.
There is even a style of meditation called yoga nidra, which I encourage you to do before bed to allow yourself to fall into restful, deep, healing sleep.
My #1 tip for people who are new to meditation is to be patient with themselves, and let go of the expectation that you must clear your mind of thoughts, says Lola Rutherford of Soulbird Coaching.
Instead, think about meditation as a practise of observing your thoughts; if something comes up, notice it but don’t get sucked into it and carried away with the story.
Like watching rain drops on a window, observe them and then refocus on your breath, in and out.
Likewise, don’t feel frustrated if thoughts are cropping up and you are having trouble clearing your mind; this is a natural part of the process in the beginning. Think of it as a necessary step, like riding a bike with training wheels.
Focus on Comfort
Don’t sit cross-legged if you do not find it comfortable, suggests Brian Wills of Nuts About Coffee.
When beginning the practise, it’s understandable that people will copy the stereotypical images of people sitting cross-legged to meditate; for most people, that position can be uncomfortable — and distracting.
What’s most important is to find the meditation position that’s most comfortable for you (and if that just so happens to be sitting cross-legged, then of course that’s perfectly fine).
Just find a spot where you’re comfortable and get started, says Michael Fayard of Fayard Law. If you’re like me, then you end up mediating whenever and wherever you have the chance to do. And to make it work for you, it needs to be a spot where you can get comfortable and focused.
Go Into It With No Expectations
If you want to get into meditation, then first drop all your expectations, says Julia Grässer of warrior Princess Yoga.
The more you can let go of them, the easier it will go. Meditation is not about not thinking. It is about understanding, that you are not your thoughts.
It is about letting them come AND go. When I sit down to meditate, I do not come with an agenda, but really enjoy sitting with my eyes close and am curious what there is to observe.
To my students I like to say, meditation is like an orgasm. If you want it too much, it won’t happen. Instead enjoy the ride.
Just Do It
A large number of meditation beginners get stuck because the focus on the how, where to get the perfect meditation cushions, how to control your breathing and other technicalities.
Granted it’s nice to have a grasp on the hows and wheres, it’s also important to point out the fact that they’re not as crucial as they’re made to appear.
Such things shouldn’t be a hurdle to blissful meditation for anyone, says Adena Adams of The Sage Divine.
People learning to try meditation for the first time should remember to start small. 3-5 minutes is enough to start.
Meditation is actually pretty hard work, even if it leaves you relaxed, says Henley Williams of Oxford Gold Group.
It is better to do 3 minutes, 4 days a week to start than try for 10-20 and get frustrated.
Not all meditations are for all people, when we start a program, sometimes we have to experiment a bit to see what kind of meditation suits a person best.
Set The Mood
A tip that I would like to share – try some candles, suggests Grace Young of House Fragrance. It sounds like something insignificant, but can definitely be helpful.
When burning a candle, make sure it is enriched with some essential oils. Specifically, options like lavender can be great.
These essential oils are promoted for relaxation – and for a good reason. Lavender really works.
Ambience is also useful. Switch off the light and get a subtle lighting system. Light a couple of candles close to you – but make sure the candles are not close to any fabrics or paper that could catch fire.
Take in the atmosphere, breathe the air that is infused with essential oils – this helps the person relax, wind down, and let go of what is clogging their mind.
It’s Not A Cure-All
Meditation will not magically make you happier, worry less, or sleep better, says Anita Carroll of Very Create.
The practice is about creating a space for yourself in the middle of your busy life. You should schedule a special time for yourself and your own thoughts.
You should not expect it to create immediate solutions to your pressing problems. Allow it to be a process that lets you be yourself.
That is the only thing you should hope to achieve with the practice.