Do you think meditation is complicated? If so, you’re sadly mistaken. Here’s how to meditate for the first time ever in 6 simple steps (#2 is totally a life-saver).
1. Find a quiet place.
If you have kids, this might be tricky. You need to find a room where you won’t be distracted. Ask a trusted friend, partner, or parent to watch your mini-me for 10-20 minutes so you can meditate. Here’s your mantra: “Find peace and quiet by any means necessary.”
2. Experiment with mantras.
Mantras (a.k.a. affirmations) can make your meditation practice more inspiring. Mantras are a meaningful quote or positive reminder to yourself. They typically involve goals you want to achieve or characteristics you hope to embody. Here are 3 of my favorite mantras:
- Nothing can break me.
- I am the CEO of my life.
- Get 1% better every day.
3. Turn off your phone.
You waste too much time reading about trivial aspects of other people’s lives. Turn your phone off and put it away. Don’t worry about missing an email. It can wait. Check your inbox 3 times per day: morning, afternoon, and evening. No more (unless you have a really good reason).
4. Detach from the outcome.
I’m simplifying, but detachment means letting go of your expectations (or trying to find the bright side of a bad situation). Don’t obsess with the outcome; whether it’s losing a hundred pounds or making a million dollars, or whatever you want to do. Instead, find joy in the process of achieving your goal. This will help you stay motivated.
5. Sit in a comfy position.
If you have tight hips, it might feel uncomfortable to sit cross-legged on on the floor. That’s fine. You can sit on a chair or use props like blankets and bolsters to support your body. If you can’t sit still, that’s okay too. Take a walk down the block. Breathe in. Listen to the sounds of your city. Breathe out. Admire your environment. Ah. Isn’t life swell?
6. Ride your breath with the concentration of a surfer.
Conscious breathing (a key part of any meditation practice) is scientifically proven to reduce stress and anxiety. This is great news, because stress has nasty health consequences. Indeed, 75-90% of all doctor visits in the U.S. are for stress-related issues.
I don’t mean to scare you. I’m simply illustrating the nature of the problem so we can tackle it. Are you ready? Okay. Find a quiet place. Turn off your phone. Dim the lights. Get comfortable. Feel free to play music (classical and soft piano are my favorite genres for this specific purpose). If you like pleasant aromas, light a candle or incense.
Are you in the mood? Good. Take a deep breath through your nostrils. Your belly should come forward. Pause for a brief moment. Gently exhale through your nostrils. Belly goes back. Some people struggle with nostril breathing due to allergies and other medical issues. In that case, simply breathe through your mouth instead. Make it work for you.
Your breathing capacity depends on a lot of things. If you smoke (or used to smoke), meditation might seem frustrating at first. Please don’t give up. Your lungs will get stronger as you practice. No matter how mad you get, be gentle with yourself,. You will learn to love meditation in time (promise). How does meditation benefit you? Many ways (click here to learn more).
Comprehend the basics now? Excellent. Let’s get creative. I like to combine meditation with mantras and affirmations as suggested in step #2. Breathe in love. Breathe out hate. Breathe in light. Breathe out darkness. Breathe in courage. Breathe out fear. Breathe in clarity. Breathe out chaos. You get the concept. Use my examples as inspiration for your own mantras.
Let’s learn and grow together.
Have you ever tried to meditate? If so, how did it go? Tell us about your experience in the comments. Please share this post with your friends so they can learn how to meditate too. Thanks! :)