If you’re curious about meditation but have no clue how to get started, these essential meditation for beginners tips will help you avoid the frustration that’s commonly associated with meditation.
Beginners often have difficulty silencing their mental chatter. That’s the biggest complaint. It’s hard to sit still because of the urge to get up and take care of that stuff, and that leads to frustration and a belief that “I can’t meditate!”
Modern society insists that we always “do” something and that sitting still is a waste of time. But is it? What is wasteful about developing self-mastery? About healing your body? About allowing your inner guidance to help you make better decisions?
Think of meditation as an investment in yourself. You achieve greater clarity, self-awareness and receive inspiration very quickly. In fact, you may experience these effects shortly after starting your practice!
Meditation is a discipline. It takes commitment. However, with the advent of brainwave entrainment technology, you don’t have to go through the beginner’s woes. You can get right into meditation and in time, learn to get into that state anytime you desire.
Meditation for Beginners
1. Be well rested. If you meditate in the evening when you’re tired, you’re likely to fall asleep. Either catch up on sleep, or meditate when you are fresh and awake. It’s hard to meditate if all you do is nap!
2. Choose your meditation space carefully. Avoid places with distractions like other people, pets, music, traffic noise, etc. And turn off your phones and all electronic reminders!
3. Make it a ritual. A ritual becomes a habit when you repeat it. Making meditation a habit is one of the best ways you can improve your life! If you like incense, light some. If you find it hard to sit still, do some gentle stretching beforehand to get the kinks out. Allocate a certain time of day to your practice. You can think of it as sacred, precious “me time.”
4. Avoid heavy meals or large amounts of liquid before you meditate. Large meals make you sleepy. However, don’t meditate on an empty stomach either, unless it becomes part of your “first thing in the morning” routine and you aren’t feeling hungry yet.
5. Relax first. Meditation is relaxing, but if you’re all wound up just as you’re sitting down to meditate, you’ll find it next to impossible to sit still. Go for a walk first to clear your head. Take a bath. Do some stretching or something mindless like washing dishes.
Using binaural beats to get into meditation will definitely help if you’ve had a stressful day; but to make the process more enjoyable, relax first.
6. Make it feel good. You do NOT have to sit in the lotus position, on the cold hard ground, for hours on end. Don’t make it a chore! Sit comfortably – the only requirement is that you sit upright with your spine unsupported, to allow for deep breathing and for the free flow of energy through your body. If you can’t cross your legs, don’t. Use a chair instead. You’ll miss out on the benefits of meditation if you can’t get your mind off how much your knees hurt!
7. Don’t expect anything. Don’t go into meditation thinking that you’ll automatically start feeling blissful or that you’ll start having epiphanies. Maybe, maybe not. Every day is different. Expectations only lead to frustration. Get into the habit of simply experiencing meditation, and let it evolve as it will.
Notice small improvements in your abilities as the weeks pass:
- increasing gaps between thoughts
- growing sense of inner peace
- you are less prone to stress and anxiety
- you are calmer and happier
- you are more insightful, intuitive and creative
Remember, don’t meditate with these intentions in mind. Look at these states of being as wonderful side-effects that you may or may not experience (you might already be a calm, happy person so you might not notice an improvement there).
8. Don’t try so hard! The more you try, the harder it is! Release all “I must”, “I should” thoughts. These only tense you up. Approach meditation with a sense of wonder. The more you lighten up and allow yourself to experience meditation, the easier it will be. With that said, focusing your mind is not easy. It’s a constant process and you have to be vigilant and keep at it. But take the way of gentle guidance instead of a police-like “get back in line!”
9. Don’t judge yourself. Meditation is not a judged discipline! It’s perfectly normal to have a mind that is in the habit of being busy with thoughts and a fidgety body! Think of meditation as a “coffee break” for your mind. It gets to shut down for a little while. How cool is that?
Notice when you get frustrated and focus on the feeling of frustration itself. If your body is letting you know it’s there, fine. Pay attention to it. Really get into those aches and discomforts. Experience them. They will go away on their own.
No matter what happens in meditation, let it. Don’t stress about it, and don’t get frustrated.
10. Focus on your breath. Breath meditation teaches you to hold your focus. As you sit, bring your attention to your breath. Don’t control it, just feel it. Hear it. Experience it. You’ll notice that gaps will start to form between your thoughts. These are the first steps to a quiet mind!
Alternatively, you can focus on an object such as a candle, or on the music in your Omharmonics track. Anytime your mind starts chattering again, gently refocus it.
Focus is where most beginners become super frustrated. Don’t let that happen. It’s a very interesting process of focus/awareness that your mind has wandered/focus.
When you know what’s going on in your mind:
- your thought habits
- the stories you tell
- whether your thoughts are proactive or self-sabotaging
- whether your thoughts are habitually primarily negative or positive
… you can change those mental patterns.
Most of all: be interested, be curious.