If you’re new to meditation, it’s important to know what to think about while you’re doing it. This can help you get the most out of your practice and achieve the peace of mind that you’re looking for. In this blog post, we will discuss some tips for beginners on how to meditate effectively.
Meditation can be a difficult exercise, but with a few basic tips and tricks, it’s easier than you might think.
First, find a quiet place where you won’t be disturbed. The more distraction-free the environment is, the better. You can even block out any light that might distract you from your concentration by wearing earplugs or a sleep mask.
Once you’re comfortable in your meditation space, sit up straight and take a few deep breaths. This will help you relax and prepare for the exercise of focusing on one thing without allowing other thoughts or distractions.
Next, choose one point to focus on during the meditation. It should be something simple that doesn’t require too much concentration – perhaps counting breaths or repeating a mantra in your head until you’ve blocked out all other thoughts and can focus only on the present moment.
Focus on Your Breath
When you meditate, it’s easy to get lost in your thoughts. But if you focus on breathing, you can stay grounded and in the moment.
The breath is always there, no matter what else is going on. Even if you think you can’t focus on your breathing because you’re too busy thinking about how busy your mind is, know that the breath is always there – and that’s what makes it such an effective tool for meditation.
When we focus on our breath, we not only think about it, but we feel it. We can feel the air moving through our nose and lungs or flowing over our lips as we exhale. The more we focus on this sensation of breathing in and out, the more we bring ourselves into the present moment.
Do a Body Scan
The body scan is a great way to focus on your breath and then move on to other things happening in your body.
The body scan is exactly what it sounds like: you move through your whole body, from head to toe. You don’t need any special equipment – just yourself and your practice!
- Start by lying down in a comfortable position (on your back or side). You can also do the exercise sitting down if that’s more comfortable for you.
- Once you’re settled, take a deep breath in through your nose and count to three as the air flows through your nostrils.
- Then slowly exhale through your mouth with an audible sigh while counting backward from five to one as you exhale. Repeat this process a total of three times – once for each inhale-exhale cycle – and then begin to move through your body parts one by one, becoming aware of each part: hair, scalp, forehead, face (cheeks), nose, lips (upper lip), chin (lower lip), throat/neck area where the jaw meets the neck at the level of the collarbone, etc.
You may find that during this exercise, your mind wanders away from thoughts of meditation and instead focuses on what’s happening in your body. That’s okay! Just keep coming back to the exercise – it’ll help you focus.
Notice Sensations in Your Body and Mind
When you’re sitting in meditation, your mind can be a wild ride. You may notice thoughts coming and going or feel like you’re falling asleep. But whether you notice these things or not, it’s important to remember that your body also senses sensations during meditation.
If you’re sitting on a chair or cushion, notice how your weight is distributed on your butt and feet. If you’re lying down, how does it feel when you’re on your back? How does gravity affect your body?
Feelings of hunger and thirst are a natural part of life – we all experience them from time to time – but when you meditate, it’s easy to get caught up in them. The more aware you’re of these feelings during meditation, the better you’ll be able to deal with them later when they arise in real life.
Observe Your Thoughts Without Engaging in Them
When you meditate, you’ll have thoughts. This is normal – everyone has thoughts. But the goal of meditation isn’t to get rid of thoughts but to observe them without engaging in them.
Here are some tips on how to observe your thoughts without getting involved:
- Don’t judge yourself! It’s not helpful to think something like “I’m so sad” or “I should be able to stop this.” Instead, try saying something like, “Wow, I have a thought that tells me I’m sad,” or “That’s interesting, my brain tells me that.” You’ll find that you can observe your thoughts with less judgment and more curiosity if you just name what’s going on in your head.
- Be kind. Being kind to yourself and others is one of the most important things in life, especially when trying to be present with your thoughts. If you find it difficult to be kind to yourself during meditation, try affirmations or mantras (such as “I’m safe,” “This too shall pass,” etc.) and repeat them as many times as necessary until they feel more natural to you.
Health Benefits of Meditation
Meditation is one of the best ways to improve your life. It can help you become more aware, present, and focused. But it’s not always easy to start meditating – and even once you do, you sometimes feel stuck.
To help you get the most out of your meditation practice, we’ve put together a few quick tips to keep in mind when meditating:
- Don’t try too hard! Meditation doesn’t require much effort or concentration – if anything, it requires less than other activities because it’s about letting go rather than working toward a goal. So allow yourself to relax and let go of any expectations or pressure about how long or good your meditation should be.
- Take time for yourself every day – even if it’s just 10 minutes! This way, you can ensure that the time you spend meditating feels like a pleasure, not an obligation.
- Remember that meditation isn’t about achieving anything in particular – it’s about being present with yourself and your experience in the moment, which means that every time you sit down to meditate is different.
You’re not trying to achieve something or get an outcome that will change your life. Rather, it’s about noticing what is happening at that moment without judgment or expectations.
During meditation, if your mind wanders off into thoughts about the past or the future, simply notice where those thoughts are taking you, and then gently redirect them back to what’s happening right here, right now, at this moment.
Meditation is a great way to help you relax, but there are other benefits.
- It can improve your concentration and focus
- It can help you manage your mental health, stress, and anxiety
- It can help your peace of mind and sleep better
- It can improve the function of your immune system
- You may feel less pain
Choosing the Right Type of Guided Meditation
There are many different types of mindfulness meditation, and it can be difficult to find the right one for you.
Meditation can range from focusing on your breath to focusing on an object or phrase, but the most important thing to remember about mindfulness meditation is that it’s not about what you do; it’s about how it makes you feel. If you’re frustrated because you can’t meditate like someone else, take a break and try something else!
If you’re not sure where to start, here are some tips on how to find the right type of meditative practice:
- Take time to figure out what things give you a sense of calm and peace. You may know what works for other people, but what works for them may not work for you. Try to keep a journal of different activities or materials that make you feel relaxed or calm, and consider these when choosing a type of meditation or mindfulness practice.
- Try different types of meditation until you find the right one for you. If listening to music helps you relax your mind, try listening to music while meditating! There are so many different ways to meditate, like walking meditation, mindfulness-based stress reduction training, and transcendental meditation; just keep trying until it feels right for you.
Regular Meditation Practice
When you meditate, it’s important to set aside some time each day for your regular meditation practice. You may have heard that you meditate most effectively when you meditate daily, so you can improve your mindfulness and ability to concentrate over time. While this is true, you also need to consider how much time you’ve available in your schedule and whether it’s challenging for your lifestyle to provide that much time.
If you want to meditate regularly, here are some tips to help you do so.
- Set a goal, and then schedule your daily meditation session.
- Practice your meditation technique consistently – even if it’s just one minute a day!
- Use a meditation app for your meditative practice at home.