Inside: 9 ways to start your meditation practice, with quick action steps and resources
Do you think of meditation as some odd woo-woo thing? Or is it something you’d like to try?
Meditation used to be framed as a foreign, weird thing to do. Intensely focusing on the flame of a single lit candle in an otherwise pitch-dark room while chanting ohm, that kind of stuff.
Well, that’s one way to do it, sure. But meditation has gone mainstream in the past decade or so. It’s excellent as part of your self-care routine. And totally amazing as a tool for lowering anxiety.
Don’t have a self-care routine? Here’s how you can create one.
Meditation is a powerful tool that can help you achieve your goals. In some ways, it is similar to prayer, minus the verbal appeal to an outside being.
If you’d like to get into the habit of meditating regularly, I have nine tips for you to follow, three quick action steps, and links to a few extra resources at the end.
Let’s get started with the tips first.
Tip#1: Start in the morning
Obviously, you can meditate any time during the day, but here’s a couple of reasons to try morning meditation.
First, when you do it first thing in the morning, you definitely get it done. No chance you’ll skip it when your day goes off the rails.
And second, it’s a fabulous way to get motivated and ready for the day ahead.
Tip #2: Start small
Starting small is an excellent way to prevent giving up in frustration later. It also keeps you from setting an unrealistic goal for your new meditation practice.
No one says you need to become a Zen master overnight. It’s not a competition or a test of your skills.
So start small. Meditate when you can. Meditate for just a few minutes if that’s all the time you have. Eventually, it will become a habit.
Tip#3: Create a meditation routine
To make your new meditation practice stick, turn it into a routine. Try meditating at the same time every day. Or tie it to something else you already do every day.
You could try meditating for a few minutes as you wait for your morning cup of coffee to brew. Or right after you brush your teeth.
Either way, when you create a meditation routine, it will become a habit soon.
Tip #4: Find your technique
No one meditation method works for everyone. Find the one that works best for you. Here’s a good overview of available techniques.
Choosing one that works well for you is the key to making your new meditation practice a habit and sticking with it in the long run.
Tip #5: Keep it simple
Just as there’s no one meditation technique that works for everyone, there’s no right or wrong here. So don’t get caught up in that kind of thinking.
Keep your meditation simple. You can close your eyes and focus on your breathing – that’s as simple as it comes, and it works.
Nothing prevents you from developing a more complex meditation practice later. But in the beginning, especially if you’re struggling to get in the habit, stick with simple and easy.
Tip #6: Try a guided meditation
If this whole meditation thing makes you wonder what to do other than focus on your breathing, try a guided meditation.
Guided meditation gives you a little more structure and is usually easy to follow. There are quite a few good ones on YouTube, and I’ll link them below.
Tip #7: Create the right atmosphere
As meditation starts becoming a habit for you, you can help things along by creating the right atmosphere for it.
Have a clutter-free and comfortable area in which to practice meditation. That will help you get the maximum benefit from it.
Tip #8: Eliminate all distractions
This goes hand-in-hand with creating the right atmosphere. You want your meditation area to be quiet.
So turn off your phone, iPad, watch, and anything other potential sources of beeps and interruptions. If you’re not alone in the house, let your family know it’s essential they don’t disturb you while you meditate.
Tip #9: Embrace technology
This sounds weird after I just told you to turn off all your tech, I know. And maybe you think technology and spirituality don’t mix.
But it also totally makes sense. You can set a phone reminder to let you know it’s time for your meditation.
You can also use an app like Headspace or try one of the many guided meditations available on YouTube.
Quick action steps
- Close your eyes and focus on your breathing for the next three minutes. It may not seem like much, but this easy meditation will help you clear your mind.
- Go to YouTube and listen to a few guided meditations to find one that speaks to you. You can usually search by specific topics to narrow down your search.
- Schedule meditation into your week. Add it to your calendar or planner. If you can get it in five days in a row, woohoo!
These are books and guided meditations that can help you turn meditation into an easy daily habit.
Just Sit: A Meditation Guidebook for People Who Know They Should But Don’t – this is a playful but informative intro to meditation, with an eight-week plan for busy meditation newbies. And it’s available in Kindle version for just a few dollars.
Practical Meditation for Beginners – this is an excellent initiation plan for newbies. It’s a 10-day program to introduce you to 10 different meditation techniques. And yes, it’s also available in Kindle version.
Mindfully heal yourself from the inside out – this one is 15 minutes long, starts around 00:47.
Meditation for reducing anxiety and stress – this one is 20 minutes total, with meditation starting around 3:00, but the first three minutes are worth listening to at least the first time around.
Meditation for positive energy – a short meditation, only 6 minutes, to give you a quick timeout from the busy chaos of the day
Meditation is an incredibly powerful tool to have in your toolbox. And it’s pretty easy, too. Create an uncomplicated routine to make meditation a regular habit – start small, keep it simple, and try a guided meditation to help you as you learn.
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