Meditation is a wonderful practice to quiet the mind, find inner peace, and experience the present moment. But it can be intimidating if you’ve never attempted it or don’t have anyone to guide you through it at first.
Here are my top tips to help beginners get started with meditation!
1. Meditate first thing in the morning or as part of your morning routine.
It’s so easy to put it off as the day goes on! Take some time, even if it’s just a few minutes, each morning to start incorporating quiet alone time to meditate. However, some people find it beneficial to do their meditation as they transition into their evening right after work. If you think this might be beneficial in your life, I would recommend taking a little time to meditate both in the morning and evening. But be careful not to do so too close to bedtime as some people find it affects their sleepiness.
2. Find a comfortable seat!
It’s not unusual to get uncomfortable sitting in a ‘normal’ meditation seat after a few minutes. It helps to elevate the hips above the knees, so try sitting on a yoga block, pillows, or invest in a meditation cushion.
3. Start slow! You don’t have to meditate for long lengths of time to start feeling the benefits.
Personally, I start out meditating for just a few minutes a day, which also makes it easier to fit into my morning. Over time, slowly lengthen your sessions (for example, increase by one minute every few days or every week).
4. Use a timer!
You can set it and forget it and not worry about taking too long or going over time. Whatever timer you have will work, even the one that comes with your phone. Personally, I love using the Insight Timer app (this isn’t sponsored or affiliated, I just really believe in this particular tool 😉). It’s free to download & use! They do have a paid subscription, but they also offer thousands of free guided meditations. I love their timer because you can set separate interval bells, ambient sounds that play quietly in the background, and gentle starting/ending bells.
5. Follow a guided meditation!
Just put on the video or session and follow along! This is a great way to explore a new meditation or pranayama (breathing) technique. Insight Timer has many to choose from, but you can also search for guided classes on YouTube. See this article for some of my personal favorite free guided meditations on YouTube.
6. Find a quiet, calm space.
Sometimes this is easier said than done. If you don’t have access to such a place, then find a space where you feel comfortable closing your eyes and putting on some ambient noise through headphones.
7. Do yoga first!
The original Yogis practiced traditional yoga poses to prepare the body to sit in meditation. Even just doing gentle movement and stretching can help to start quieting the mind.
8. Be kind to yourself!
Meditating is hard, especially starting out. Our minds constantly crave distraction. We’re often used to living entirely in the past or future, and sitting in the present moment can be very uncomfortable. However, just remember that even the attempt to meditate is enough to experience the benefits. After a while, you’ll find yourself craving the peace meditation can provide.
I hope these tips help you feel comfortable enough to start meditating if you haven’t already. It truly is a wonderful practice to quiet the mind, find inner peace, and experience the present moment.
Let me know any tips you use in your personal practice to help you meditate!