If you’ve ever tried beginning a meditation practice or are looking to begin one, here are 3 tips to help you get started. I feel quite confident in saying that you’ve probably got a lot going on. You’re alive, right? There’s work, friends, family, grocery shopping, housework and everything else that you do, so beginning a meditation practice may be just the thing you need to bring yourself back to yourself or improve your overall ability to function and navigate life.
Meditation is said to reduce stress, depression, and anxiety. You can lower your blood pressure, better your overall disposition, and enjoy more restful sleep. The physical changes that meditation brings to your nervous system and your brain are actually quite astonishing. There are no negatives to meditation. You have nothing to lose and plenty to gain.
1. Be Realistic, Start Small
If you’re following inspirational meditators or other mediation/mindfulness enthusiasts, you’ll probably be inspired to try to recreate their meditation technique, space or experience. But the truth is that trying to model your meditation practice after someone else’s may be the wrong approach, especially if they have a well-established practice, and you’re just getting started.
Here’s the truth. Every meditation is different because every moment is unique. So if you’re looking to be able to sit or lie down for long stretches of time at the beginning of your meditation journey, you may be unsuccessful or become discouraged. Start small. Begin with a 3 to 5 minute meditation. Not too long and not too short.
2. Make it a Habit
If you are trying to meditate daily, try linking your meditation to something you routinely do. While you shower, brush your teeth, wash dishes, or something else. I wouldn’t recommend meditating while driving. Safe driving requires your full attention. When you tie your meditation practice to something you do regularly, you don’t have to try to pencil in the time for it. In fact, the repetitive motion and sound associated with sweeping, shaving, or brushing your teeth just might help you go a little deeper into mindfulness.
3. Create a Meditation Space
Set up a you-sized area or larger if you like with cushions, special seat, blankets, or whatever you need to support yourself. Candles, incense, or healing crystals may also put you in a meditative frame of mind. If your meditation space is cluttered or uninviting, you may find it more difficult to put yourself in a mindful state. For some people, making an investment in their meditation space (purchasing singing bowls, meditation albums, mala beads, etc.) is one way to ensure that meditating becomes embedded in their daily routine. Others prefer to work their way up to these items. Whatever you prefer, be sure to keep your meditation space clean and ready for your next session.