Meditation is an ancient practice that many people are beginning to explore. Some people use it as a way to relax, while others use it for more spiritual reasons. Regardless of the reason you want to start meditating, this guide will help you get started today!
We’ll cover everything from how meditation can benefit your life, what type of things you need in order to meditate, how long should you meditate, and how to do it for beginners like yourself.
Importance of the Meditation
Research shows that starting a regular meditation routine can lead to improved sleep quality, decreased anxiety and depression symptoms, healthier relationships with family members and friends, higher self-esteem levels, and lower stress levels overall.
Benefits of meditation you can achieve
There are countless benefits attached to meditation. Some of the benefits include:
- improved mental clarity and focus
- a decrease in unhealthy habits such as smoking and drinking
- an improved immune system
- reduced stress and anxiety levels
- improved sleep quality
- increased feelings of happiness and well-being
- enhanced creativity and productivity
How to get started
Set a time:
Make sure that you allow enough of your time from your schedule every day to meditate. Either a few minutes of the day before work, school, or even just after breakfast could be all you need! If this doesn’t fit with your daily routine, try scheduling specific time throughout the week when it is possible for you to sit down and focus on yourself, your body, your breath, and your mind more closely. This way, there won’t be any excuses not to meditate!
Make it a habit:
When you’re just starting to meditate, try to practice every day of the week instead of once or twice a week. Try setting an alarm in your phone as a reminder each morning for the practice and make sure to leave enough time in your schedule so that nothing gets pushed back too far – this is important since meditation may take some getting used to before you really start noticing the benefits .
Remember why it's beneficial:
Meditation for beginners isn’t always easy – there will be times when sitting down and focusing on yourself feels impossible! If these moments arise throughout your meditation sessions, remember how good they’ll feel after. Once those benefits do kick in, it’ll be easy to want to keep meditating and reap all the rewards that come with the practice.
The most important thing is to give yourself and your body the time to get into the routine. It can be a little overwhelming in the beginning but it is important that you give yourself the time to adjust to a practice.
How to not get overwhelmed in the beginning
In order for meditation to be effective, you need to practice it regularly. However, this doesn’t mean that you need to sit in the lotus position for hours on end!
There is no “right” way to get started, as everyone’s needs and preferences vary. However, there are a few basics that all beginners should know before they start their meditation practice.
As a beginner, it is important to start with a short practice session and work your way up gradually. You may want to sit for just five or ten minutes per day to begin with and focus your attention, and then increase the duration of your sessions as you get more comfortable.
It’s also important not to force yourself to sit for longer than you can handle – if needed take a break.
Initially, your mind will take some time to get adjusted to sit without thoughts but gradually it will learn how to quieten the thought and bring the focus and attention to breath, and slowly drift into the realm of thoughtlessness.
Right way to sit during meditation
When it comes to the posture, there is no “right” method of sitting in the meditation. However, it is important to be as comfortable as possible so that you are able to concentrate on your practice instead of being uncomfortable.
If sitting up straight is too much of a strain for you, get a little help and use cushions to elevate your hips or lie down instead.
Right place for meditation
When it comes for a place to meditate, the possibilities are nearly endless. You can choose anywhere outdoors or indoors that is quiet and free of distractions so that you’re able to fully relax during your meditation sessions.
Make sure the place you choose to meditate is a well-ventilated and distraction-free zone. For a more soothing ambiance, light some scented candles or incense if you want and put on some light zen music or mantras for better practice and to help you relax.
Sit in a comfortable pose on your mat. if you are unable to sit on the floor for long you can also sit on a chair. If sitting up straight is too difficult, use cushions to your hips or lie down instead. When you sit to meditate bring your attention to the mind, the body, and your breath.
Right time to meditate
The best time to meditate is early hours of the morning before the day starts. When you meditate early in the morning, you will start your day with a clear head.
When you focus on the breath and the mind everyday at a specific time, this way you will train your mind to be more productive. So squeeze in few minutes of meditation into your daily routine.
When should I not meditate?
There are a few occasions when it is better not to commit to the practice – these include during or after menstruation (for women), during illness, and immediately after surgery.
If in doubt, you might consult your doctor or health care professional.
What to wear for meditation practice
You don’t need to wear any specific clothes to meditate, but it is important that you are comfortable. Loose-fitting clothing is often best, as it enables you to move around freely without feeling constricted.
What to do with your hands during meditation
Again, there is no “right” method to position your hands when meditating. You can also learn how to use various hand mudras in meditation practice, like chin mudra, gyan mudra, bhairav mudra, etc. Ask your yoga teacher to help you with mudras.
Mudras during meditation help to concentrate better as we press the various pressure points of our hand during mudras and it helps to calm the mind. However, if mudras are not comfortable, you can simply put your hands on your knees or hang them loosely on the side. You can also place one hand on the top of the other in order to keep them still.
Feeling sleepy during meditation practice?
If you feel sleepy during meditation, there may be a few reasons why this is happening. It maybe because you are losing focus of your body and the mind is drifting back to sleep zone.
To make sure you don’t fall into your sleep zone during meditation, make sure that your room is well-ventilated and not too warm or stuffy.
Avoid eating heavy meals before the meditation– instead of snacking right before practice, wait at least for a few hours after eating so that your body has time to digest your food first. Lastly, don’t drink caffeinated beverages just before the meditation session. As you know caffeine can stimulate rather than relax the nervous system.
Stereotypes about meditation
There seem to be many stereotypes about meditation that can make people feel discouraged from taking up a regular practice.
For example, some may believe meditation is a boring activity and requires spending hours on end in lotus position which is unrealistic for most beginners. Others might think that practicing meditation means you have to give up worldly pleasures and live like a monk – this couldn’t be further from the truth! Meditation does not require you to become someone else and do anything special – it is a process to improve your attention span and bring in the mind and the breath in sync.
When you sit to meditate the body simply makes changes happen naturally as time goes by. You don’t have to go back to the stone age to become a meditator.
Things NOT to do during meditation practice
When people start out with their meditation practice they tend to get excited and nervous at the same time- while eagerness takes them closer towards their goal; anxiety prevents them from getting there fast enough (or at all).
Some beginners, in order to control their anxiety, develop the habit of constantly talking to themselves. This is a big NO-NO during meditation as this will only lead you astray from your practice. The same goes for thinking about things other than what you are trying to focus on during meditation. Be patient with yourself and allow your thoughts to come and go in a pattern without judgment – eventually, your mind will come to a standstill.
How to avoid distractions during meditation
There are many ways to avoid distractions during meditation. One way is to find a quiet and peaceful place to practice in, where you are unlikely to be disturbed. You can also try using headphones to listen to calming music or sounds, which can help you focus better.
If you find that your mind tends to wander off during meditation, try to bring your focus back to your breathing. Just watch your breath.
Why you should make meditation a habit
We are all born with a mind that can be trained. Since we didn’t spend much time learning how to use our brains, the more deliberate and new activities you engage in will help stimulate neuroplasticity which produces stronger grey matter – full of the newly sprouted neurons ready for “ autopilot ‘brain.’
We might be constantly playing tug-of-war with ourselves as we try to maintain an unhappy balance between work or family life on one side and personal happiness in the other direction—a difficult challenge made even more so by today’s fast-paced world where distractions are everywhere around us at every turn!
Meditation can help take back this power so you don’t get pulled into old patterns again without remembering what was happening before they happened.
The Best Type of Meditation for Beginners:
The most popular types of meditation are guided meditation, mantra meditation, and mindfulness.
Guided meditation is a type of meditative practice led by teachers. This process can be done in person or via audio and video, depending on your preference for convenience’s sake as well as the location where you would like to pursue this form of self-improvement practice.
There are many different types of meditation, but guided meditations allow for an experienced teacher to guide you through the process. This makes it easier and more effective than self-lead practices where one must rely on their own abilities in exploring how our minds work at a deeper level without help.
If you want to know about guided meditation our Guru Manju Jha can help you with that.
Mindfulness is a mental training practice that helps you to slow down racing thoughts, let go of negativity and calm both your mind and body.
Mindfulness meditation is also used as a form of awareness-based cognitive behavioral therapy. This type of meditation focuses on bringing attention to the present moment through techniques such as body scan and focus on the breath. The aim is to increase awareness of thoughts and feelings without judging them so that you can better understand your reactions to the different situations.
Techniques of Mindfulness of Meditation
There are different techniques in mindfulness meditation, and each person may find that they respond better to one than another.
One way is by focusing on the breath, paying attention only to the air coming in and out of the nostrils as you breathe continuously for ten minutes or so at a stretch. You can also focus on specific parts of the body such as toes or fingers, noticing how they feel when touched gently against something else (like if someone were to run their hand across them). As this practice becomes easier over time there will be less room for distractions from other thoughts. This makes it possible to train yourself into getting rid of the unhelpful feelings like stress and anxiety by sticking with it every day!
Mantra meditation is a practice where a sound or phrase (mantra) is repeated over and over again to the point of losing focus of everything else except the mind and the breath. This is the type of meditation often used in a conjunction with visualization, in order to create a more immersive experience. The most common mantra used in this type of meditation is the ‘Om’ mantra.
For beginners, the mantra meditation process may seem rather mechanical. But repetition is anything but robotic! With regular practice and with each japa session your understanding of self will grow deeper as various layers within become more transparent.
How meditation helps with stress relief
As you might have guessed, meditation isn’t just about relaxation. There are many different ways in which this practice can be useful to your overall health and well-being.
Meditation is often used as a form of stress relief for people who struggle with feelings of anxiety or worry on an almost constant basis. The more that these thoughts build up the harder it becomes for them to pass through us without leaving some kind of residue behind. However, when we meditate our mind slows down enough so that small niggling problems don’t become major distractions.
A regular meditation routine also helps strengthen our ability to focus at will; better focus means that we can get more work done in a shorter amount of time without feeling overwhelmed. Additionally, it allows for a deeper level of understanding about ourselves and our reactions to different situations – something which can be incredibly useful when trying to manage stressors.
So there you have it: meditation is not just some ‘exotic’ thing that only people who live in the mountains or on an ashram do! It’s a practice that anyone can learn and benefit from, regardless of your age, lifestyle, or occupation. All you need is a few minutes each day to yourself, and soon you will start to know the difference.
Meditation and thought control
Meditation focuses on the breath so you can stay in control while parts of your brain starts working through all kinds of mental issues like worrying about work or money problems – which we know only leads to more stress and anxiety instead!
Meditation and disease prevention
Meditation helps fight against common illnesses such as heart disease, cancer, and diabetes by strengthening immune function when done regularly over time. It also lowers cortisol levels (stress hormone) in the body.
When you are practicing daily, and diligently by focusing on the breath and mind, it helps reduce symptoms caused by chronic stress—like high blood pressure, sleep disruption and lower bp.
Meditation has been shown to help reduce symptoms associated with:
- Heart disease
Over and all Meditation is a healthy habit that can help decrease stress and anxiety levels in the brain by altering how our brains respond to certain stimuli. Over time, regular meditation practice may even increase grey matter production in areas related to memory, awareness, empathy, and sense of self.