Have you ever looked at a sunset or a peculiar painting and felt a more profound sense of peace, calm, and joy? Anyone who has tasted the true essence of meditation can say that this life-changing practice, when successfully implemented, can help clear the mind and sharpen perception.
Meditation is a mental and physical practice used by people from long ago to separate themselves and disconnect from their feelings and thoughts to become fully aware and connected. The course has been passed to generations in all religions in the form of contemplative practice.
Meditation doesn’t always connote a religious habit. It’s a natural human experience many people use in the form of therapy to promote wellness and improve the immune system. Successful meditation equates to the state of just being aware, peaceful, and living in the moment without judging or thinking.
Different Types Of Meditation
Meditation comes in many forms. Some of the most commonly practiced are the following:
- Concentration: Concentration meditation involves concentrating on one thing at a time. It helps train the brain to focus and be present in the moment. You may focus on breathing, repeating a mantra, counting breaths, or focusing on an object.
- Mindfulness: Mindfulness meditation is about paying attention and noticing everything around you. You learn to observe your thoughts, emotions, sensations, and surroundings without judgment. It is often referred to as ‘being here now.’
- Other Meditation Techniques: There are other ways to meditate. For example, yoga is another great way to develop mindfulness. Yoga focuses on stretching, breathwork, and relaxation while also helping to build strength and flexibility. You can also do tai chi, qi gong, Reiki, and hypnosis. All these techniques have varying benefits for different individuals.
How To Start With A Meditation Practice
There are different forms of meditation. Each requires a particular set of skills. If you want to start with meditation practice, here are some tips you can follow:
- Wake Up Early In The Morning
For most people, getting out of bed early in the morning can be a real challenge. It takes discipline and dedication to do so. Yet if you want to enjoy a peaceful and productive day, waking up early is essential. You need to make sure that you wake up early enough, or you’ll feel tired throughout the entire day.
A morning routine will help you wake up feeling refreshed and ready to face whatever challenges come your way during the day. Spend at least five minutes per day doing your morning meditation. Start slowly and gradually increase the time until you reach 10 to 15 minutes.
- Choose The Perfect Spot
Choosing your spot helps you set up an environment that allows maximum effectiveness when practicing meditation. Ensure that you’re comfortable and that nothing distracts you, whether you’re in your bed, desk, or any other place where you choose to meditate.
Maintain clean and clutter-free surroundings. Avoid anything that could distract you when you’re meditating. Choose or set up an area where you can sit comfortably upright and straight without slouching.
Sit about two feet away from the edge of your seat and keep your back straight. Avoid sitting too close to the wall because this position can cause neck pain and headaches. You may use a comfortable pillow under your knees to support your legs, like what you see here. You may also use a folded blanket as an alternative.
- Set Your Intentions
Once you’ve chosen your spot, prepared your environment, and laid down your mat with a fine meditation pillow such as this one from
it’s time to start meditating. Before beginning, take a moment to think about what you’d like to accomplish during this session. What would you like to gain? How would you like to change? Think about how you’d like to feel after completing your meditation session.
Think about why you want to meditate. Is it to relax? Is it to improve your mood? Or maybe you’d like to learn more about yourself? Whatever your intention is, make sure you know what you want to accomplish.
Think about all the things you’d like to let go of during your meditation session. These might include stress, anger, anxiety, fear, worry, sadness, guilt, regret, jealousy, envy, resentment, or any other emotion that you’d like to release.
- Never Mind The Hows
When you’re beginning your meditation, it’s easy to get caught up thinking about all the wrong things in your life. This can lead to frustration and disappointment. So, instead of worrying about what’s going wrong, concentrate on what’s right. Focus on the positive aspects of your life instead of dwelling on your problems.
- Focus On Your Breathing
Now, it’s time to begin focusing on your breath. Breathe deeply through your nose for three slow breaths. Then breathe shallowly through your mouth for four slow breaths. Finally, breathe deeply through your nose again for five slow breaths. Repeat these steps until you reach 10 full breaths.
As you continue to focus on your breathing, you’ll realize that your mind tends to wander. That’s okay. When your mind wanders off, you can simply come back to your breathing.
- Don’t Force Yourself To Clear The Mind
Try not to force yourself to clear your mind throughout your meditation session. The goal isn’t to empty your mind. It’s to focus on one thing at a time.
For example, if you’re trying to concentrate on your breathing, focus on your breathing. Don’t think about anything else. Thus, if you find yourself distracted by something else, turn your attention to your breathing.
- Whatever Happens, Stay Calm
During your meditation session, whatever happens, will happen. There’s no need to worry about it or control it. Accept whatever arises and stay calm.
You may also notice that certain emotions arise during your meditation sessions. For instance, you may experience happiness, sadness, anger, fear, or love. These emotions are normal and natural. They’re here to help you grow and heal.
- Perform A Body Scan
Next, perform a body scan. Notice where you feel tension, and then allow your awareness to move around your entire body.
Check for areas of tightness or discomfort. Allow your awareness to rest there for several moments. Afterward, slowly bring your awareness back to your breath. As you do this, you’ll notice that you’ve calmed down. You’re now ready to start practicing mindfulness again.
- Observe What You Feel And Think
The next step is to observe what you feel and think while performing your exercises. Be mindful of how you’re feeling. Are you happy, sad, angry, anxious, excited, or peaceful? Be aware of what you’re experiencing without judging or analyzing it.
Assess your physical state, too. Is your heart beating fast or slow? Do you have any pain anywhere? How does your body feel overall? Evaluating your physical condition helps you understand whether you’re doing well or struggling.
- Try To See Things In Perspective
Finally, make an effort to see things in perspective. Note that everything has two sides: good and bad. So, when you feel like you’re in a terrible phase in life, remember that everyone experiences difficult times sometimes.
When you view the world as filled with positive and negative aspects, you can learn to appreciate all parts of life, allowing you to enjoy each moment and live happily.
- Move Your Body Slowly After The Session
Take some time to move your body slowly after completing your exercise. Take deep breaths as you stretch your arms, legs, neck, shoulders, and back. Stretch your hands out front, bend over, touch your toes, and raise your arms above your head.
Take your time stretching and moving your body. Do this for two minutes. Afterward, sit quietly for another few minutes before getting up. It helps relax the muscles and allows them to recover.
- Commit And Come Back Every Day
If you want to see results, you have to commit to doing your practice every day. Set aside time each morning to meditate. Likewise, ensure you come back every day even if you don’t feel like it.
It takes time to build a habit. Yet once you establish a daily routine, you’ll naturally begin to enjoy your time spent meditating.
- Find A Meditation Community
If you’d prefer to connect with others pursuing similar goals, you may try and search for a local group. You can join an online community, too. These groups offer support and accountability. They can also provide guidance and tips on how to improve your meditation skills.
Benefits Of Meditating
People have tried various types of meditation for years. However, it wasn’t until recently that they realized its benefits. Those who practice meditation claim that it:
- helps reduce stress reduction
- lowers anxiety
- improves emotional health
- extends attention span
- raises self-awareness
- boosts memory
- helps fight addiction
- decreases blood pressure
- promotes better sleep
Note that not all meditation techniques will bring the same results. Different methods require different skillsets. As such, some people may find one method more effective than another.
It’s not easy to master meditation. Once you do so, it offers profound rewards. So, why not give it a shot? If you’re willing to dedicate yourself to mastering the art of meditation, you’ll find that it brings about significant changes in your life.