For anyone who has never tried meditation, this ancient practice may seem mysterious and even a little strange. But no matter what you have heard about mediation, here is what it boils down to: meditation is about quieting your mind for a set period of time.
During meditation, the goal is to cast out all your wild and varied thoughts and focus on the simple state of being conscious. Through daily practice, meditating for just a short time every day can have surprising benefits for your health and well-being.
If you are not sure how to get started with your meditation, here are some tips that might help:
1. Get educated: You do not need to know too much about meditation in order to practice it yourself, but it is helpful to know what you are getting into from the historical, cultural, and practical perspectives. You might want to start with a basic book on meditation, or you can even attend a local class. You do not have to become an expert, but knowing a little about the practice of meditation will deepen your experience.
2. Make it a daily practice: The only way to achieve the full benefits of meditation is to use it daily. A huge reason to do meditation is to calm your mind, even on the most stressful days. So consider your daily meditation an unbreakable appointment. Continue practicing daily in the long-term, and you will eventually begin to notice positive effects for your body, mind, and soul.
3. Focus on breathing: There are many different ideas about how one should calm one’s mind during meditation, but focusing on your breathing is the easiest and most basic. Feel your breath going in and out of your lungs, and try to slow and deepen your breath. This will slow your heart rate and put you into a relaxed state of mind.
4. Forget about results: Every other aspect of life can be goal-oriented, but meditation is different. While there are many things that can be achieved through meditation, the focus should be on the act of meditating itself. If you are always thinking about what you will or will not get out of it, then you may become discouraged from your practice if the results are slow in coming.
5. Do not get frustrated: You will hear a lot about how meditation is supposed to calm your mind and free it of all stressful thoughts. However, this does not mean that you need to struggle to force all thoughts out of your mind. This will only make you frustrated. When a thought enters, do not try to push it out. Rather, let it flow through your consciousness in a natural manner, and then lay it to rest.
6. Practice in a quiet, undisturbed place: Your meditation will be useless if you are constantly being distracted by background noises and interruptions. Whenever you begin your meditation session, be sure to close yourself into a quiet place, and make sure everyone in your household knows that you are not to be disturbed during this time.
7. Find the best time: Meditation usually works best when it is practiced at roughly the same time every day. Many people find that morning works best, but it is ultimately up to you. When you set a daily routine for your meditation, your mind will fall into a natural rhythm, and you will begin to feel the relaxing effects even before your meditation starts.