When you hear meditation you probably start thinking about monks sitting for hours in some temple with their legs crossed not moving even the slightest, maybe they’re even chanting some mantras?
This is the view that many people still have to this day when they hear about meditation, although it’s slowly changing. This most likely thanks to the popularization of yoga in the western world.
So how does one meditate? It’s not that hard and doesn’t really require a lot of time to get started. The only thing that it requires is consistency when getting started, otherwise, you’ll quickly get discouraged as you won’t see results immediately.
Remember that there is no correct or wrong way to meditate, some things work better for some than for others, so if you feel a certain method doesn’t work you can try to change it up a bit. The most important part of meditation is to calm you mind down to a frequency that will make you more relaxed.
1. Set the environment
Dim the lights so that you won’t be as distracted by surrounding objects. Some people even go fully dark with a candle lit in the room to have something to focus on, I don’t like this as staring at the flame usually makes my eyes very tired.
Try to get rid of all distracting noises from computers, windows, anything that creates noise really
2. Find a comfortable position
Try to find a comfortable position sitting or lying down where your back is straight, no slouching here.
One risk with lying down meditating is that you fall asleep as it is very relaxing.
3. Set your phone on total silence
Not even vibrate mode.. you don’t want to be distracted by any of the social media apps or email accounts you have on your phone. Your friends won’t mind if you don’t answer instantly; they can wait 10 minutes for your answer…
4. Set an alarm for 20 minutes
If 20 minutes is too long you can go 15 or 10 also. 5 is too short to silence the mind and relax… If you don’t think you have time to spend 20 minutes you should do some prioritization in your life and try cutting out watching tv or surfing Facebook, that usually helps.
5. Clear your mind and take deep breaths
Focus on your breath: Breathe in slowly, wait a few seconds and the out slowly, waiting a few seconds before inhaling again.
Try not to let your mind wander, but when it does just acknowledge it and try to focus on breathing again. Any thoughts that might appear in your mind you just let pass, don’t engage with the thoughts but rather just let them come and go without putting any focus on them. Don’t try to suppress thoughts either as it will just make you focus on the thought, instead just let them be.
You will get restless and bored when doing this. Don’t give up, just realize that it is your ego trying to discourage you from continuing to quiet your thoughts down.
6. Keep going until your alarm sounds
No matter how boring or useless it might seem just keep going until the alarm sounds. It will get easier over time to do meditation but at the beginning it will be really hard to quiet down the mind and actually sit, trying to think of nothing for 20 minutes.
When you get more advanced you will notice that it only takes a couple of seconds to quiet down the mind and then you will just need to keep it that way. Even an experienced meditator will have his mind wander from time to time.
7. Continue practicing meditation on a daily basis
Try to meditate every day or even more if you have time. You will become calmer and be able to reduce stress from your life, or should I say you’ll react less to things that don’t matter in the end.
Other ways to get started with meditation
If you think my guidelines for getting started with meditation are not clear or don’t really work for you there are other things you can try; I’m not the first person to write down how to meditate.
There’s also a bunch of videos on YouTube for both binaural beat tracks and guided meditation, you’ll just have to find you own favorite and what’s working for you.
Binaural beats are music or sounds that are made in a way that makes the brain work on lower frequencies, something that meditation also achieves. By listening to some binaural beat while meditating you’ll be able to quicker reach a relaxed state. It requires that you use headphones as the effect is achieved by playing slightly different/off frequencies in each ear, which will make the brain slow down the frequency it’s working on.
This is another great way to start meditating, and there’s a bunch of videos like this one on YouTube that all try to focus on different objectives. Definitely, a great way to learn meditation as the ambient sounds they play will help your mind to not wonder as much.
So hopefully you’ve got enough info now to get started on your meditation practice. You won’t notice it at first, but after some weeks of constantly meditating you’ll notice a shift in your mind and how everything is much more in sync. Things happening around you won’t affect your mood as much and you’ll be better at handling stressful situations.
Let me know your meditation tips in the comments below =)