Have you wanted to meditate, but have trouble sitting in one place? Or maybe you can’t relax, or you get distracted so easily. One way or another, it’s hard to clear your mind when your body isn’t cooperating, right?
As you probably know, meditation has a lot of benefits that you can use in your life. Gain more energy, have peace, focus, relax your mind and body, etc. are just some perks of meditation. Meditate allows your mind to relax in a deeper and peaceful way that at the same time allows you to be more aware of your surroundings and your own body.
However, it can be difficult to do when you’re just starting out, just like I said at the beginning, trust me, I know. The first time I tried to meditate I just couldn’t, quit after a couple of minutes (or maybe just one) and try again after months. But with practice and consistency, I make it a habit and try to meditate for at least 10 minutes a day (5 in the morning and 5 before bed).
Now, after that introduction, here are some other benefits of meditating as a habit and a little guide on how to start.
Why you should meditate?
Meditation doesn’t have to be boring or tedious, quite the opposite. Probably you already know why you should start meditating and, well, there is a long list of reasons, but these are some of the most essential:
– Reduce stress
Cortisol levels are those that the body gives in response to stress (they can also increase when we eat chocolate, coffee, etc.). And meditation helps lower those levels, so we feel so much more relaxed.
– Helps you be more focused
Meditation can help you return your attention to what is really important, to focus more. You can use the breathing technique and just focus on it, in order to give a boost to your concentration in other aspects.
– Help your body
Anxiety, cancer, asthma, depression, heart disease, sleeping problems, among others, are problems and diseases in which meditation can be of help. Although obviously, it is always important to consult a doctor and not use it as a substitute for meditation.
– Strengthen your brain
Just like reading, meditating helps your brain. It is believed that it can increase the gray matter in our brain and also reduce those age-related impairments. In addition to being like an exercise for your brain that helps you improve memory and creativity.
How to start to meditate?
Now, the interesting part. While there are various methods of meditation and all of them have the same goal of quiet your mind and get into a state of inner peace. Here are the strategies that work for me as someone who has anxiety and had a hard time concentrating and that can help you get the most out of your meditation practice.
1. Find the best time and space
We all have different schedules, so say that the best time to meditate is in the morning when you’re the most hurried is probably a wrong decision. So the best time is the one that works for you.
- Chose a time when you know that you’ll be able to clear your mind and you won’t have phones ringing or any other type of distraction.
- Try to avoid times before or after eating.
- Set the time you want to meditate; you can start with 1 minute and then increase the time little by little. Some people just need 5 minutes, others 60.
It’s also important to find a place where you can meditate, a place that is calm a quiet, so nothing interrupts your meditation.
- Turn off your notifications, television, etc.
- If you want to, you can go outdoors. It sometimes helps and can provide inspiration and peace.
- Set a mood for meditation. It’s not obligatory, but if you want you can set your space; close the curtains, turn on a soft light or your favorite scented candle, just relax.
2. Find a guide
There’s a lot of apps, videos, and podcast that can help you with your meditation journey. Medito is one of my favorites, it’s 100% free and it’s so simple to use. I started to use it at the beginning of my meditation journey and I still use it.
Another option is to use YouTube. You can search something like; [time you want to meditate] [reason of your meditation. morning, relax, sleep, anxiety, etc.] meditation. It’d look something like this: 5 minute morning meditation, or 10-minute meditation for anxiety, etc.
You can also find a lot of podcasts on Spotify, Apple podcasts, etc. that guide you in your meditation. Or you can even find some free or paid meditation guides through the internet.
Here’s a playlist of my favorite meditations on YouTube:
3. Clear your mind
Even when we’re still, our minds still running with a lot of things. That’s why it’s so easy to get distracted with other things or problems of the day while we’re meditating. So it’s important to focus on your meditation, on your breath.
4. Close your eyes and don’t judge
This is an additional step to the last one because to clear your mind you need to close your eyes and don’t judge your thoughts, or you.
- Close your eyes and focus on taking deep breaths and relaxing your body. Imagine your body and every part of it, then imagine how each part relaxes. With each breath, breathe in peace and breathe out your worries.
- Imagine a place that makes you happy. It can be a real or imaginary place, just relax and forgot about your worries.
- Don’t judge your thoughts. Like I said, it’s easy that our thought go into our mind while we meditate. But don’t judge them, just acknowledge them and let them pass.
5. Find your inner peace
There’s a place where is quiet and far away from the cares of the world, a place that you can go to when you meditate.
- When you’re able to finally clear your mind, you’ll go to a place where you truly feel peace and happiness. Something like what we saw in the movie Soul, what they refer to as “the zone”.
- Allow yourself to stay there for a while, relaxing your mind and body.
To create a habit, we must practice. Get started and don’t feel bad failing one day, everything is a process, the thing is to continue.
Try to make small progress each day or week. You can, for example, practice a little more time each week, and it will get easier and easier.
What do I do if I can’t concentrate?
I know, it’s hard to concentrate when we’re starting in this world of meditation. However, if you want, you can; so here are some tips on how to achieve it.
– Prepare yourself
Switching from rushing to get still can be difficult sometimes. Smooth out the transition. Try to make some quiet activities that help you soothe.
– Remember your purpose
Being fidgeting can be a sign of boredom. Remember to yourself why you’re meditating, why it is important for you. This will help you in the process.
– Stretch regularly
This action will help your flexibility and your ability to meditate. You don’t need to stretch for hours or like a gymnastic, just remember to stretch your arms while you’re watching TV or your back when you get up from your chair or try to touch your toes in the morning, etc. Those little stretches can go a long way.
– Use prompts
This is totally optional, but if you’re feeling sleepy while you meditate, reciting prompts can help to bring your attention up. You can find these types of meditations also on YouTube and in my playlist.
– Listen to your body
Vary the way you meditate. Do it in your bed, in a chair, on the floor, sitting, lay down, walking, with prompts, without them, etc. Any modification can be beneficial if it helps you to focus.
– Keep going
As I said, practice is key to making meditation a habit. Don’t give up if you couldn’t focus the first, second, or third time. Keep going and you will find it a lot easier every time.
Meditation is a practice that has a lot of benefits, both in your personal life and in your health. And it doesn’t have to be bored or hard to do.
You don’t need to spend a lot of time doing it, you can start small. Likewise, there are many guides and ways to meditate, it is only a matter of finding the one that best suits you.
Tell me, will you start meditating, or are you already doing it? What other apps or channels can you recommend? Let me know in the comments
Thank you very much for being here, if this article was useful to you, do not forget to share it with someone who may also be of help.
I wish you a wonderful day, month, and life 🙂