When you first pick up a new activity, whether it’s just a hobby or a different venture, it’s always hard to get yourself comfortable with all the unfamiliar aspects of it. Often, we find ourselves wondering whether it was a waste of our time picking it up in the first place, and give up on it after the first underwhelming try.
This also applies to meditation. Often people struggle to dedicate some of their time to it, and, most importantly, make a consistent effort to it, thinking that they would rather use the time to get other errands done. If you belong to this group of people, ask yourself: are you sure that you’ve done everything in your power to make it work?
Read these tips on how to start off on the right foot with your meditation, and challenge yourself to give it (another) go!
1. The perfect place
First off, find a place where you can be alone with yourself, that gives you a sense of calmness and feels personal and safe to you. You can fix this space in order to encourage your meditation by adjusting the brightness of the room, by lighting a candle or some incense. In other words, make the room feel more suitable for setting a relaxed environment. You can put some meditation music in the background, which will help your mind avoid wandering by offering you something to focus on.
Another tool that will help you maintain your focus is establishing and repeating a mantra. It can be a word, a sound or a phrase that you repeat during your meditation session. Most people are familiar with the Om mantra, which is in fact the most commonly used because of the deep vibration that it entails, offering a firm and constant flow for the mind to aim its attention at.
3. Be Comfortable
When discussing meditation, we usually visualize somebody sitting in a very specific and stiff position, cross-legged with a very straight back. It appears to be a very uncomfortable position, especially to those who aren’t very flexible and used to assume that posture. When you first start meditating, don’t sit the way you think you’re supposed to sit, sit the way that makes you feel the most comfortable. Sit in a chair or an armchair and rest your back, or sit on the floor with pillows for support. Your position should be upright, but not rigid and tight.
4. Let your mind free
Don’t start off the session by forcing yourself not to dwell on your thoughts. Put yourself in an attitude of curiosity towards what happens in your mind. Don’t push your mind towards one way or another, let both the positive thoughts and the negative ones come and go, try not to focus or give importance to any particular one. See yourself as an external observer and witness this flow happen without any amount of judgement as to where it brings you. Feel every little sensation going through each part of your body, you can do a body scan meditation to appreciate this moment even more.
5. Just breathe
The most simple yet perfect anchor for you to focus on is your breathing. Feel how the air flows in through your nose and fills your lungs; feel the oxygen going through your entire body and reaching every little cell in the most remote parts of it; finally, feel the air exiting your body and enjoy the freeing sensation that comes with the exhaling. Through your meditation, you can repeat your mantra at any point and take a moment to cultivate gratitude, be thankful for this time that you’re dedicating solely to yourself and your self care.
6. Finish it right
In order not to keep looking at your watch during your meditation, set an alarm to ring to mark the end of your session. If you can, don’t open your eyes immediately and go straight back to your routine. Take some time to enjoy the new sensations that you might be feeling, look for any changes within you: are you feeling any different from when you started meditating? Give yourself some space to reconnect with the exterior world, visualize where you are before opening your eyes, make your transition back into reality as smooth as possible.
What’s more important, overall, is not to start by feeling that it’s not going to work, because your lack of motivation will unavoidably influence the result of your experience.
As said before, a soothing musical background can be extremely helpful in order to maintain your focus. Here’s a perfect instrumental background for your meditation session.
Are you going to put any of these tips into practice? Let us know in the comments!