How to start a meditation practice
Starting a meditation practice can seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. You don’t need any special equipment or props, and you can meditate anywhere – even sitting in a chair. The most important thing is to find a comfortable position that you can maintain for at least five minutes.
Once you’re settled, simply focus your attention on your breath, and count each inhale and exhale. If your mind wanders, that’s OK – just gently bring your attention back to your breath. With regular practice, you’ll be able to extend your meditation sessions for longer periods of time.
Here are a few tips to help you get started:
1. Find a comfortable position.
You can sit in a chair with your feet on the ground or cross-legged on a cushion or mat. If you’re sitting in a chair, make sure your back is straight and your shoulders are relaxed.
2. Set a timer.
Starting off with shorter meditation sessions will help you stay focused. Once you get used to meditating, you can gradually increase the length of time.
3. Focus on your breath.
Pay attention to the sensation of your breath as it enters and leaves your body.
4. Don’t worry if your mind wanders.
It’s natural for your thoughts to drift during meditation. When you notice that your mind has wandered, simply bring your attention back to your breath.
5. Be patient.
Meditation takes practice, so don’t be discouraged if it’s difficult at first. With regular practice, you’ll be able to sit for longer periods of time and develop a deeper level of concentration.
6. Try a guided meditation.
If you find it difficult to meditate on your own, there are plenty of guided meditation apps and websites that can help you get started.
7. Start by finding a comfortable place to sit or recline.
You may want to sit in a chair with your feet flat on the ground, or you may prefer to cross-legged on a cushion on the floor. If you are using a chair, make sure your back is straight but not rigid, and that your shoulders are relaxed. You can close your eyes if you like, or keep them open and simply focus on a spot in front of you.
8. Begin by taking some deep breaths in through your nose and out through your mouth.
As you inhale, feel your belly expand; as you exhale, feel your belly contract. Continue breathing deeply for a few minutes until you feel yourself beginning to relax.
9. Once you’re feeling more relaxed, start to focus your attention on your breath.
Notice the sensation of the air moving in and out of your nose and throat. Try to breathe without making any effort; simply let the breath flow in and out naturally.
10. If your mind wanders, that’s OK!
Just gently bring your attention back to your breath. You may find it helpful to count each time you inhale and exhale or to repeat a mantra or certain word or phrase to yourself as you breathe.
11. Continue meditating for as long as you like.
Even a few minutes of mindfulness can be beneficial. When you’re ready to finish, slowly open your eyes and take a few deep breaths before getting up.
12. Once you get the hang of it, you can meditate anywhere and anytime.
Just find a quiet spot and make yourself comfortable.
With regular practice, meditation can help to reduce stress and anxiety, improve sleep, and increase overall well-being. So give it a try today!
There are many different ways to meditate, so don’t be afraid to experiment until you find a method that works best for you. Remember that the goal is simply to focus your attention and bring awareness to your present moment experience. With regular practice, you’ll likely find that your ability to focus and stay present improves over time.
The above steps are just a general guide on how to start a meditation practice. The most important thing is to find a comfortable place to sit or recline in and to focus on your breath. If your mind wanders, just gently bring your attention back to your breath. With regular practice, you’ll likely find that your ability to focus and stay present improves over time.