There are many benefits to be gained through meditation, but, let’s be honest, beginners often struggle to develop a meditation practice. There is a lot of confusion around meditation, but a few tips can make a significant difference.
How to meditate more effectively and enjoy greater benefits:
1. You don’t need anything to meditate. It can be nice to have somewhere comfy to sit, loose fitting clothing, and a quiet location, but you don’t need any of those things. You can meditate on the bus if you choose to. You always have everything you need with you to meditate properly.
2. Start with mindful breathing. Other forms of meditation can require higher levels of focus and discipline. No doubt, mindful breathing is the most valuable form of meditation. Just focus on your breathing. When your mind wanders, gently return your focus back to your breath.
3. Move if you need to. That doesn’t mean start moving around in your seat, but you can get up and take a walk instead. Be mindful in your walking. Ideally, you can find a peaceful location outside where you can still focus on your breath. But, remember, the more distractions you have, the more challenging it will be.
4. Use a timer. Let’s say you plan to meditate for 15-minutes. It can be very distracting to wonder how much time is left, so use a timer instead checking the clock and keep your attention where it belongs.
5. Be mindful throughout the day. Use a timer app on your phone or computer to remind you to be mindful. Set the timer to notify you every 10- to 15-minutes. Take a few mindful breaths and then return to your previous activity.
6. Meditate several times each day. Maybe, you can meditate for 1-minute each hour or 10-minutes every 4-hours. The goal is to maintain a mindful state 24-hours per day. This is much more easily accomplished if you meditate several times each day.
7. Be gentle. Meditation isn’t about forcing yourself to concentrate with tremendous effort. Meditation gives energy. It doesn’t take energy from you, so use gentle, persistent attention. You’ll be more successful and enjoy the process a lot more.
8. The longer you meditate, the more important your posture becomes. Almost any position can be comfortable for a few minutes, but not many positions are comfortable for 20-minutes or more. Even your comfy couch is inadequate. It’s important to maintain a well-supported position with a straight spine. Leaning or slouching will create tension and discomfort.
9. Avoid meditating after a large meal. A big meal can make you sluggish and uncomfortable, and it will make it hard for you to focus. That’s why we recommend meditating first thing in the morning. After using the bathroom and drinking a little bit of water, that’s when you should feel your lightest.
10. Add time to your meditation practice slowly. Avoid pushing yourself. 5-minutes is a good start, and you can always add a few minutes each week. A long session of 30-minutes per day is an amazing goal to work up to.
Meditation is a subtle skill that requires time and practice. Many beginners give up before realizing the benefits that meditation provides. Make meditation one of your daily habits. It won’t take long before you consider meditation to be one of your most important activities.
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