7 Meditation Tips For People Who’ve Never Meditated
In theory, meditation sounds easy you sit in one place for a while, not doing anything (even thinking). But when you realize you have no idea how TF to magically make your mind go black cue anxiety, which is basically the opposite of how meditation’s supposed to make you feel. In this article, we want to talk about 7 Meditation Tips For People Who’ve Never Meditated.
Before you give up and turn on another episode of Riverdale, know that meditation for beginners does exist you’re not expected to be a guru from the get-go.
You don’t need to meditate for hours
You don’t even have to last 20 minutes, tbh. For many first-time meditators, doing nothing other than sitting quietly with your thoughts can feel (and sound) totally strange. So, go ahead and toss any “go big or go home” mentality.
Instead, aim for shorter chunks of time and build from there: Try three to five minutes if using a guided app, says Andy Puddicombe, meditation and mindfulness expert and co-founder of meditation app Headspace. Better yet, if you’re going at it solo, try just 60 seconds at a time.
Practice focusing on different areas of your body
For those who get easily distracted and have a “restless” or anxious mind, doing a body scan focusing on different sensations from head to toes can help redirect your attention away from your thoughts. Counting breaths like breathing in for five seconds, holding for five seconds, then breathing out for five seconds, can also do the trick, says Puddicombe.
Do it while you’re drinking your morning coffee
Puddicombe’s fave way to make meditation fit more naturally into your routine: couple it with something you already do daily, like drinking coffee. (You never forget to caffeinate, so you won’t forget to meditate when the two are linked.)
Practicing in the a.m. also guarantees you won’t “forget” to meditate later in the day. Plus, it doesn’t hurt to start your day off on the right (read: calmer, more centered) foot, says Puddicombe.
Find a spot and just sit there for a while
You can practice on the floor, on a cushion, or, hey, cross-legged under a tree like a traditional monk—all that matters is that you’re in a position that is comfortable and will help you remain attentive (read: your bed might not be the most productive meditation space).
Once you find a location that works, make it your go-to zen zone, so that your body and mind start to associate it with meditation time. But this isn’t an excuse to avoid meditating on the days you can’t practice in your place. Remember, you can meditate anywhere from your bedroom to the bus, so it’s important to be flexible, too, says Puddicombe
Definitely, don’t force it
You know how when you’re really trying hard to fall asleep, it’s pretty much impossible to do so? Same goes for meditation. “When you try really hard to go to sleep, you only move further away from sleeping. So, if you try to make, say, relaxation happens when you meditate, you will get anxious and frustrated,” Puddicombe says.
The more you practice, the less you’ll feel compelled to force yourself to chill it will just happen.
Don’t expect to completely clear your mind
Contrary to popular belief, meditation is not about clearing your mind or stopping your thoughts. Sure, your mind might be calmer at some sessions than others. But, let’s be real, there will be times when your mind just won’t stop buzzing.
When you notice your mind has wandered (ahem, when last night’s date pops into your head), don’t panic or beat yourself up. Instead, just shift your focus back to your current exercise, be it breathing or body scan, or just tune back into your guided meditation.
Don’t necessarily search for silent spaces
Yes, being in a quieter space is typically easier for beginners, but some people actually prefer meditating in busier places (like maybe waiting in line at Vida) so don’t be afraid to try different things out to see which one works for you.
I know what you’re thinking: But shouldn’t meditation be quiet? That’s a myth, says Puddicombe. “Never be put off from meditation with the amount of noise around you, even when you’re a beginner,” he says. That’s because not to sound super-corny or anything meditation is all about what’s going on inside of you, not your surroundings.
The Truth Behind the Meditation Trend
You Can Do it Anywhere
Serenity is a second away anyplace, anytime. Your living room or bedroom will do wherever you feel comfortable.
“Eventually, you can learn to do it anywhere, but for beginners, it’s easier if they have their own little spot,” says Alan Finger, yoga master and founder of the Be Yoga and Yoga Works studios.
The more you practice, the easier it will become to reach your meditative state on command at your computer screen, waiting in traffic, or at the airport before a flight. Try to get in the habit of meditating in the morning instead of at night, when you’re more likely to forget or be distracted.
You Don’t Need an Hour
Some time is better than none. And like most things in life, if you’re drawn to it, you’ll invest yourself more fully with time, energy, and money. Start off by sitting for two or three minutes, five days a week. Slowly build up to 10, 15, and eventually 25 minutes.
“It’s a good amount of time to really feel refreshed afterward and calm,” Finger says. Your blood pressure may decrease after just 15 minutes of meditation twice a day, according to at least one recent study. Lowering blood pressure by a few millimeters can significantly reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease.
You Don’t Have to Sit in Some Awkward Pose
Holding your Half Lord of the Fishes pose (the what?) may require a lot more energy than needed. Meditation means doing nothing. If your muscles are tense, it will be difficult to slow and calm your breath.
“Meditation is the art of quieting yourself down so that your brain goes into the stillest rhythm, called delta, which is equal to deep sleep,” Finger says. “And when your brain goes still, you can’t be doing anything else.”
Sitting, standing, walking, and lying in bed or on the floor are all traditional positions for meditating. Suit up in some loose, comfortable clothes, lower the lights and sit cross-legged on the floor. Prop a pillow under each knee for support. If you’re having trouble keeping your back straight, it’s okay to sit in a chair instead. Relax your stomach muscles to allow free range of diaphragmatic breathing. Make yourself as comfortable as possible to better ease into this state of mind, but not so comfortable that you actually fall asleep.
In this article, we talked about 7 Meditation Tips For People Who’ve Never Meditated and the truth about meditation. If you have another ideas share with us and leave a comment.