When meditating, you might feel overwhelmed when trying to keep so many instructions in your head: watch your breathing, calm your mind, keep your back straight…
Here are 18 priceless tips to help your meditation practice to unfold more naturally. As a guiding principle, whatever happens during your meditation session is okay. Meet your experience with kindness and gratitude, and your meditation session will be well worth it, no matter what happens.
1. Begin With Quick 5-Minute Sessions
It’s easy for beginners to get overwhelmed when trying to sustain a 20-minute-meditation. That can feel brutal in the beginning. Start out nice and easy. Begin with 5-minute sessions, and when you’re ready for more, move it up to 10 minutes.
2. Stretch or Do Yoga First
By stretching or doing yoga before you start meditating, you’ll prepare your body to sit in one position for a long time. Yoga and meditation go hand in hand. Even just rolling your neck and stretching your back beforehand can help you stay comfortable for longer.
3. Try Out a Guided Meditation
For a fun experience and to have someone guide you through your meditation, try out a guided meditation. You might find it easier when you follow someone else’s instructions.
4. Set Your Timer When you set a timer for your meditation, youdon’t have to keep checking the clock. This removes a big distraction from your practice. Set your timer so you can relax and enjoy your experience. (Shop at Amazon.com for more timers)
5. Remove Distractions
You want to be in a space without distractions.Turn off your cell phone, put it on vibrate, or leave it in the other room. I find that the best place to meditate is in my room with the door closed.
6. Don’t Try Too Hard
Meditation at its best is soothing, relaxing, and effortless. It’s merely observation; observing your breathing with your conscious awareness. So there is no real effort involved, just being consciously aware. So don’t work too hard at it.
7. Create a Daily Practice or Ritual
By meditating every day at the same time or within the same daily routine, you develop a habit that becomes easier to practice every day. If you don’t build meditation into your daily routine, you’ll find yourself forgetting to do it.
8. Get Relaxed Beforehand
You want to wear comfortable, loose clothing and be in a relaxing environment. Make sure your room is comfortable. Before you start, take a few deliberate deep breaths and stretch any part of your body that feels tense or achy.
9. Try Out Different Types of Meditation
There are dozens of techniques to meditate, such as Zen meditation, chanting meditations, mantras, and so on. Try out different types to see which one feels right for you.
10. Let Go of Expectations
Meditation is about noticing and observing your own sensations, thoughts, and feelings. By just allowing your experience of meditation to unfold in any way that it does, you’ll get the best experience.
11. Stay Nonjudgmental
By simply noticing things as they are — without judging them — you are being mindful. When you notice your mind labelling, commenting, and making opinions about things, you’re judging. Try to stop judging and let go.
12. Your Mind Will Quiet Itself
Don’t try to force your mind to stop thinking; that’ll create distress. It will stop thinking all on its own when you practice your technique, whether it’s observing your breathing or repeating a mantra.
13. Your Mind Will Wander
It’s okay when your mind wanders. Just notice that your mind has wandered, and gently — with compassion — return your attention to your technique (observing your breathing).
14. Find a Comfortable Posture
There are no rules that you have to sit in the lotus position. Find a position that works well for you, whether it’s sitting on a chair, cushion, or bench.
15. Your Eyes Can Be Open Or Closed
Do what feels right for you. If you keep your eyes open, you might see visual distractions. If you close your eyes, it may feel forced and unnatural while you’re awake. So do what works for you.
16. Get Up Slowly
After you finish your practice, take your time getting up. Don’t rush off to the rest of your day, as you want to stay mindful and bring your meditative state into the rest of your day’s activities.
17. Meditate With Others
Meditating with other people will help you stay committed to the practice. So, meditate with friends, family members, your partner, a coach, or an organization. You can share your experiences afterwards. You might be surprised to hear how different their experience was.
18. Observe the Feeling Within Your Body
Notice how you feel internally, within your body. What sensations are there in your legs? Do you feel your toes and calves? Notice your diaphragm moving as you breath. This will keep you connected to your body.