Meditation is great for helping people look after their mental health to become happier, more relaxed and feeling more able to cope with the stresses and anxieties of life. If you are interested in starting Meditation we have some simple tips to help you on your way. At first, meditation might feel very strange, certainly not what you are used to but making meditation practice part of your daily routine will make it become easier and less alien to you and you will start to notice the benefits.
Pick a Time and Place
To begin, you should pick a relatively quiet spot where you can sit and meditate comfortable without being disturbed for around 10 or 15 minutes. You should aim to do this initially 2 or 3 times a week and try to make it a regular part of your routine. Some people prefer to do it first thing in the morning, but it is completely up to you.
What to wear?
As long as you are comfortable, it really doesn’t matter. Nothing tight or restrictive that might distract you.
Usually a sitting position is best. Either on a chair or on a mat, outside or inside it doesn’t matter. Just keep you back straight, neck relaxed and your hands rested on your lap, as long as you are comfortable.
Know What You Want
You should be clear on the reason or reasons you are going to start meditation. With clear objectives you are more likely to stick with it and see results. If you don’t know why you are doing it, you are unlikely to continue with the commitment
Take it slowly
Meditation is a journey not a sprint. You will not get instant results and there is no good or bad meditation. You will get better at maintaining awareness over time. Your mind is like a muscle and this is like starting at the gym.
Step 1. Prepare your space
Prepare your space and make it relaxing and distraction free. Nice touches such as a scented candle can help, as well as dimmer lighting. It doesn’t have to be completely silent, but minimise disturbing background noises such as the TV or loud street noise.
Step 2. Get into position and do a scan
Set a timer for the duration you want to meditate for. Over time you can make this longer. Sit comfortably and close your eyes. Imagine you have a giant scanner that is going to scan you from head to toe. Be aware of your body, how it feels, where it is tense and where relaxed. This should take about 20 seconds.
Sit upright with your chin tilted slightly downwards, breathe normally in and out through your nose. Relax your jaw muscles even though your mouth is closed.
Step 3. Focus on your breathing
This is what meditation is all about. Focus on your breathing entirely, in and out. Whether you are focusing on the lungs expanding or contracting or the breath entering and leaving your body, by concentrating only on your breathing, all other thoughts will fall away, without you having to try to ignore them.
You should just stay in the present and focus only on the breath. Don’t think about how it makes you feel, or try to describe it, just let yourself concentrate on each breath in and out and then on to the next one. Try not to use your mind to experience the breath, just your senses.
Step 4. Come back if you wander
Even people experienced in meditation will find that their mind might wander and thoughts of the outside world start to come in. Bills you need to pay or things you need to do. When this happens to you, don’t try to ignore them. Instead, focus your mind back onto your breathing and they will drop away. If you have trouble re-focusing, try counting your breaths or focusing more either on the in or the out breath. Many would say that the mindfulness of meditation is the act of recognising the outside thoughts and moving your thoughts back to the present.
If you stick with it and don’t be hard on yourself if at first, especially if you find it hard not to drift off into the mind “chatter”. You will find it becomes easier with time and practice, bringing with it all the benefits that the influence of mindfulness can bring to your life.