When people are setting out to meditate, they tend to overthink the whole process, get anxious and end up failing to do it or feeling disappointed by how they do it. Some people even give up on it completely after the first session.
Although meditation is said to require effort to make it work, it is not as difficult as people make it appear. If you understand the basics of it, you should have a relatively easy time doing it.
Here are the 13 top tips on how to meditate that will give you a good foundation for your meditation practice.
1. Get Started Right Away
Before doing meditation, there is the desire to want to know how it is done properly and wanting to do it perfectly. And to be honest, this is something that can make you delay the time you will actually get to start meditating.
People want to know the procedure of meditation and everything about it before meditating. It is also a good excuse for people who afraid or anxious about the exercise.
But the truth is, there is no perfect way of meditating as you are beginning. You just need to do it, no matter how bad you think it will be. Just get started and the rest will make out as you go.
If you keep postponing, you will never begin.
2. Choose Your Most Suitable Type of Meditation And Stick With it
We all know that there are many types of meditation that handle different aspects of our lives. As you commence, it is always important that you choose the type that you feel will help you achieve what you want.
On the same breath, you should also make sure that you stick to the type you have chosen for at least 1 to 3 months before you can think about switching to another style.
Giving it a good deal of time will help you determine if the first style is actually benefiting you. Don’t jump from one style to the other.
Give yourself time to assess your progress, see how it is going for you and then decide if you will keep at it or try another one.
3. Get a Specific Place and Time For Your Meditation
Meditation should be seen as a long term project. Therefore, it is critical that you set out a time you know you are free to meditate every day and a place you can dedicate to meditation.
It could be in the morning, afternoon or evening. You just need to know what the best time is for you to meditate. Doing this help you organize yourself and make up your mind on making it a serious practice for you.
However, you should note that you may not always be around your place of meditation. So you can consider meditating anywhere you feel you are comfortable with when you are away from your meditating spot or held up somewhere.
4. Start Small (Short and Simple)
Meditation is simple but can get overwhelming if you do it wrong. Think of it as a training with levels. The first level is the simplest and easiest and it grows tougher with every level, as you also get tougher.
The first level of meditation is where you meditate for a few minutes (1 or 2 minutes) and then go to 5, then 10, then 15, then 20 minutes and so on, as you feel more comfortable with it.
If you start from the highest level of 45 minutes, there is a good chance you will feel drained and weighed down and this can make you feel discouraged.
Remember to keep it very simple as you start.
5. Add it to Your Daily Schedule
Meditation is more of a lifestyle than anything else, you should seek to create a habit out of it.
By establishing a specific time and place to meditate and being committed to doing it every day, if you can, you get to make it a regular thing and you get used to it in good time.
Fight with all the excuses that come up to prevent you from meditating. Soon enough, you will find yourself wanting to meditate more as you have trained your mind to have it on a frequent basis.
6. Don’t Worry Too Much About How You Are Doing it
There is that tendency to want to judge how good or bad your meditation session was. We also have the urge of knowing whether we are actually improving after we have meditated for a few days or weeks.
However, these are the things that keep us from growing in meditation. Instead of wondering if our meditation session was good or bad, be happy that you actually got to meditate.
And instead of worrying if you are improving, focus on meditating more. Improvements from meditation don’t just happen instantly.
They come slowly and there are times you will feel as if nothing is happening when you are having major improvements behind the scenes.
Just keep doing it and let the benefits and mental shifts sneak in on you.
7. Get Guidance When You Feel You Need it
Using guided meditation resources is a great starting point in meditation. You will be taken through the whole experience of meditation by someone who knows it well and you will have the confidence that you are doing it right and feel supported as you do it.
It will also help you understand how your preferred type of meditation is done and get a good feel of it without having to actually know anything at all in the beginning.
8. Understand Yourself and Your Preffered Meditation Type
Meditation is very personal and your experiences will not be exactly like the other person you are probably meditating with.
Understanding yourself, individually, and blending who you are with what you are expected to do is of utmost value. It helps you improve yourself in a big way.
So you need to know which negative emotions affect you when you meditate and learn to observe them without judging or forming opinions.
You also have to know the meditation position that works well for you based on the type of meditation you are using and stick to that.
Don’t force yourself to do it exactly like someone else who is quite comfortable with the lotus position.
9. Understand the Ups and Downs of Meditation and Endure
Meditation is not going to be a feel good experience for you every time. There are times you will feel tensed up, irritated, discouraged, overwhelmed, overstimulated and other negative feelings.
But you need to know that this is a part of the practice and it is happening for your own good. By learning to accommodate these feelings as you proceed with your practice, you will be able to move forward and keep growing strong.
10. Be Consistent in Your Meditation Practice
Meditation is more like a muscle that you have to train, or a skill. Some people say it is an actual skill. And just like you work continuously to build the skill, so should you do with meditation.
The more you do it, the better you become and the more the benefits you get to enjoy. If you fail to do it on a frequent basis, you will be losing its value and essence.
That is why you are encouraged to add it to your daily routine and make it a habit.
11. Remember Your Why (Motivation) and The Benefits
There are many benefits that meditation offers. They range from mental to emotional as well as physical benefits.
Among these many benefits, is the ability to be calm, peaceful and feel fulfilled. And keeping this in mind as you meditate will help you keep going even when you have reasonable excuses not to.
Always remember why you chose to be doing meditation. This will help fuel your motivation to be consistent.
12. Understand the Reality of Meditation
There are countless myths about meditation out there that are quite misleading. For instance, many people perceive meditation to be the solution to all problems, which is not the case. It won’t take away all your misery and sorrows.
Yes, it will help you solve a few major problems but it is not your way out of all the challenges you are facing in life.
Instead, it gives you the mental strength to fight with the problems as well as make you more able to respond to difficult situations better.
13. Get a Group to Motivate Each Other (If that is your thing)
Meditation can be pretty interesting when you have someone else who is doing it with you. You can take a friend or family member and hold each other accountable which will help you meditate often and longer.
You can also join a meditation group, either online or from a nearby meditation center and be meditating together. It is not only empowering when you meditate together but also fun.
However, this is if you are comfortable with it. Some people like doing alone and this is also cool too.
In the grand scheme of things, meditation is about knowing how it works, what you’re required to do, how you handle the whole meditation experience and getting started as soon you can without thinking too much about it.
Also, knowing what you want out of it, your commitment and patience are needing, if you understand these and put them to work, you are going to have a smooth flow with the practice.