We are all beginners at everything, right? We have to train our minds to learn new things. Even simple little things. We have to teach ourselves how to do everything. Some things are super easy to learn, others not so much. Meditation seems to be one of those things that so many people struggle with. People ask me all the time about how to meditate and how to quiet your mind. I get asked so much, in fact, I thought it was time to write a short article about it with so me helpful tips for beginners.
In this busy and hectic world, where stress runs amuck, to be able to sit still for even 5 minutes, let alone 20 or 30, almost seems impossible. It's not. With lots of practice and patience, and these simple tips I am about to share with you, you will be mastering the art of meditation in no time.
Unless you have mastered at least one meditation session, you will not know what benefits you will reap. Everyone should be meditating. Really. Let's dive into the simple tips for the beginners so you all can reap these benefits too.
1. Set a time.
This is important. Commit to doing it at least once a day and at least 3 times a week to start. Choose a time that you think will be best for you. It could be morning, early afternoon or just before bed. Whenever it is, mark it on the calendar, set your alarm, set a reminder on your cell phone. Whatever you have to do, commit. Making a commitment is the first and easiest step. You have to make it a priority. Don't just think about doing it, tell yourself you are going to do. Make an appointment for it like you would a doctor's appointment. As you get better at it, you will be able to meditate whenever the urge hits you.
2. Find a spot with no distractions.
Turn phones and stuff off. This sounds like a no brainer but if you go somewhere that you may be distracted, you won't be able to relax. It could be your comfy chair, your bathtub, wherever. Just make sure it's quiet and no one will disturb you. This is super important as you are just learning how to quiet your mind and be still.
3. Close your eyes or not.
If you choose to keep your eyes open, make sure there are no mental stimulants near by. No pictures of your late great Aunt Gertrude. Close the curtains if your outside scenery is a park with kids or a busy highway. Closing your eyes is i deal but not everyone is comfortable doing this. Try both ways and see what works best but you should try to do it more with your eyes closed.
4. Let your thoughts flow.
You are going to be flooded with the thoughts from the day or yesterday. All the good ones, the bad ones, your mind is going to be super busy. Let them flow. Don't try to analyze them or go over that shit thing that happened. Just let them go. They will come in, see them, and then don't give them any more thought. Put them in thought bubbles. Imagine bubbles that you place each thought in and let it float away. Watch it float away. Say goodbye to it if you have to.
5. Don't tense up.
Sounds simple but really it takes practice. Pay attention to your body and your muscles. Each time you feel you are tensing up, relax. Remember all those thoughts that are going through your head are probably pretty stressful and you will naturally tense up. Calm down, breathe, take note and settle back into calmness. This takes plenty of practice but you will get it right eventually.
6. Imagine something beautiful.
Once you have released all your thoughts from the day, picture something beautiful to you. the ocean, some flowers, a meadow, the sky with pretty clouds, whatever that beauty is for you, put it in your line of vision. Keep going back to that vision if you feel yourself drifting away. Catch yourself and go back there. Embrace the sounds, the sights, the calmness. Feel it and imagine you are right there, right at that moment. And relax there.
The absolute hardest part of meditating is learning to relax enough to get it started. Once you master that, the meditation will flow. Remember to breathe in and out, calmly, and always be comfortable. You will soon discover that meditating is by far, one of the best things you can do for your emotional well being.