Meditation has received so much attention and support from both yogis and health care experts that we need almost no convincing about the benefits of meditation. Of course, it’s easier to talk about meditation than it is to actually practice it – or so it may seem for many of us. With our fast-paced lifestyles, we urbanites are addicted to chaos, multitasking, and running the rat race – the very antithesis of meditation. The idea of sitting still and clearing your mind is just inconceivable. This is why so many of us struggle to meditate and some of us don’t even bother to try. Whichever category you might fit into, don’t write off meditation just yet. With this simple meditation guide, inner peace is just 5 steps away. But before we jump right into it, let’s talk a little about meditation in brief.
Meditation helps us do more than just reduce stress and help us focus better. It helps us connect with our inner self, liberates the mind, soothes the soul, and allows us to live in the present moment. There are several types of meditation that help us attain various benefits. The most commonly practiced types include:
- Mindfulness Meditation: In mindfulness meditation, you tend to pay attention to all your thoughts that cross your mind without judging them or getting involved with them.
- Spiritual Meditation: Spiritual meditation is similar to praying. One practicing spiritual meditation reflects on the silence around while seeking a deeper connection with God.
- Focused Meditation: In this type of meditation you focus on something using one of your five senses.
- Movement Meditation: Movement meditation is not yoga. It can be any action that brings you peace. Examples include gardening, walking in a silent place, etc.
- Mantra Meditation: Mantra Meditation uses a repetitive sound to clear the mind. Most popularly the sound of “Om” is used.
Now without further ado, let’s jump right into the steps to help you meditate the right way.
The Step By Step Guide To Meditation
1. Select a Quiet Place and a Comfortable Posture
Although meditation can be done anywhere and anytime, it helps if one can find a calm and comfortable place, especially to get started. Select a place where you are certain that you won’t be disturbed for those few minutes.
Once you’ve found your spot, the next thing you’d want to do is choose a posture in which you are most comfortable. This is really important because you can’t relax if you’re uncomfortable, defeating the entire purpose of meditation. Sit comfortably, release all the tension in your body, especially in the neck, shoulders, and jaw, and keep your back straight. Now, you are ready to begin your meditation .
2. Start Small
Initially, sit still for two minutes. That’s it! Just two minutes, and then increase the duration of your sessions gradually. Keep adding two minutes to your session every week and voila! By the 2nd month, you’ll be meditating for 10 minutes straight. It might sound like a very short duration, but trust us, it’s good enough to start with, while you work your way up.
3. Make Your Breath Your Anchor
Concentrating on your breath is a popular mindfulness technique. With this, you will be able to clear your mind of those chaotic thoughts, giving you greater clarity. You can use this renewed focus to observe your thoughts, sensations and emotions, and learn to acknowledge them. After all, meditation is all about awareness, non-judgment, and letting go .
4. It’s Okay To Drift Away
It’s okay to drift off and allow your mind to wander in the initial stages of meditation. What’s important is that you rein it in and return to focus every once in a while. When you find your mind wandering, acknowledge it, and return to focus on your breathing. Start all over. It can get a little frustrating, but it’s okay to lose focus at first – we’ve all done it; no one started out as a yogi pro. You’ll need a little practice, but you’ll get there, that’s absolutely certain .
5. Commit Yourself To Building A Habit
This last step is probably the most difficult thing to do, but it is extremely important to commit yourself to the practice. If you enter into meditation with reservations or reluctance, you’re just setting yourself up for failure. Accept that the process is slow and precise, requiring persistence and consistency. Eventually, you settle into the routine and will find it hard to imagine life without meditation.
There are times when you’ll want to analyze the process and examine its impact on your life. The changes are subtle and accumulate over time, however, so it’s easy to feel frustrated under the mistaken assumption that you’re not making any progress. But one reaps benefits out of meditation when one is dedicated and patient, so stay strong, and fight the urge to give up.