If you’ve been wanting to give meditation a try whether it be to reduce your stress level or quiet your mind, you are in for a treat with these 7 easy meditation for beginners tips that are just in time for Deepak Chopra’s and Oprah’s 21 Day Meditation Experience. It’s the perfect occasion to bring this practice into your life.
I’ve been meditating for over three years now and I can’t imagine not having this grounding practice in my life. It’s the perfect ritual to set the tone for the day (if you meditate in the morning) or to wind down at night and let those worries float away. If you are like I was and are a little freaked out at the thought of just sitting there and thinking about nothing, don’t be. In fact, that’s not what meditating is about. The human mind is always wandering off. It seems to be our default setting. But with meditation we can slow those “mind fluctuations” down and settle into a more peaceful place.
HOW TO SET YOURSELF UP FOR SUCCESS
As you begin, you might want to try just a one or two minute meditation session such as Gabrielle Bernstein’s free morning meditation (it’s #33 in the list) or sleeping meditation (#27). This is a great way to gently ease into the experience without putting too much pressure on yourself. There are also countless meditation sessions on You Tube and fantastic meditation apps like Headspace.
Make sure you are seated in a comfortable position. I like to sit in my bed, leaning on the headboard with two pillows behind my back and my legs stretched out in front of me (sitting legs crossed for 20 mins makes them go numb).
You can even prepare a nice cup of hot water and lemon and have that on your nightstand to sip on when you are done. The goal is to create an experience for yourself that is pleasant and relaxing.
Start by focusing on your breathing and taking in nice deep inhales and exhaling fully. Notice how your breath starts slowing down and becomes more nourishing. Focusing on your breath is also a great way to refocus the mind when it starts wandering.
HAVING THE RIGHT MEDITATION MINDSET
Super important: don’t expect not to think! You will not have a blank mind. You will not levitate. Seriously, you will start thinking about your grocery list, weekend plans and what you would like to eat for supper and that is completely normal. Just sit calmly and come back to your breath and how relaxed your body is starting to feel. When thoughts arise, just watch them pass like clouds floating in the sky in front of you and let them go without judgement.
Accept the experience for what it is. Don’t judge it or get upset at yourself for having thoughts, or if you squirmed around wondering when this wonderful experience would be over. Be thankful for the time you took to practice and be kind to yourself (watch those negative and critical thoughts). You don’t want meditating to become another performance based activity on which you judge yourself.
Give yourself time. Don’t get impatient with yourself or set high expectations. At first, when you aren’t used to sitting still, it might feel totally unnatural and your logical mind will start saying things like “What’s the point of this?” or “You’ve got things to do, stop wasting your time!”. Once again, release those thoughts and just be grateful for showing up and giving it a go. With practice, you will feel more at ease.
Just like working out at the gym, your meditation “muscles” will get stronger with each practice so don’t give up if you don’t feel any changes after just one or two sessions. See meditation as a great tool to create more balance in your life and to give you what you need to move forward in your daily routine with more ease. Now don’t we all need a bit of that? Enjoy! xoxo
For other great wellness habits you can incorporate to live a healthier life, click here. I also found this 5 minute clip on most of the tips I share above and featuring non other than Deepak and Oprah.
You can also reach out to me if you have any questions about meditation. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or post to the Red Fairy Project wall on Facebook. The questions that come up for you will likely be similar for others so by covering them on Facebook, we can let other meditation newbies reap the benefits from our exchange!
Illustrations by the fabulous Gemma Correll