If you’ve been looking for another way to calm down that might not involve a glass of wine after work, these meditation tips for beginners might be just what you’re looking for. While it might seem pointless to sit in silence when you have so many things to do, having that quiet time really has proven to make people more peaceful and productive. So, let’s all take a deep breath and find a comfortable position as I give you seven meditation tips for beginners.
1. The Monkey Brain
One of the first meditation tips for beginners is to introduce you to what yogis call the monkey brain. And here you thought that was just your son. The monkey brain refers to the constant chatter and tangents that your brain goes through when you first sit down to meditate. It starts telling you that you need to call someone, or pick something up at the market, or finish an assignment RIGHT NOW! Your conscious brain will do anything to distract you from being quiet. While it’s good to get your errands done, nothing is ever really done if you think about it. Tell your monkey brain that you will come back to it but right now it needs a time out for fifteen minutes.
The common visual of someone meditating is sitting straight up, cross-legged on a hard surface. Ouch. Meditating is about calming down and connecting with yourself and beyond, so you want to be comfortable. As long as your spine is straight, you can sit or lie down. Sometimes in the beginning, lying down is a great way to start. Your body knows that lying down already signals quiet time, so do just that.
3. Focused Awareness
When you’re meditating there are all kinds of things you can do to keep the monkey mind at bay. Some people use a mantra. This can be as simple as taking a deep breath in and holding the word “ah” or “om” on a comfortable note as you exhale. As you progress you can use other mantras. The idea is to give your brain something to focus on while you’re being still. Some meditations are focused on manifesting so it’s important to actually think about the things you want to manifest in your life. Whatever you use in the beginning will train your mind where to go.
Breathing is a huge part of meditation. It creates circulation in your body and reminds you that breath is what keeps your body ticking. Take a deep breath in through your nose and on the exhale silently count, “one,” then “two” and up to “four.” Whenever you notice your thoughts have strayed, simply return to “one.” “One” is like coming home to the present moment.
Emotions will come up. Before you go to meditate, it might be a good idea to write down everything you’re feeling in your life, like your stress, anger or anything that could distract you. Writing it down helps you to release it from you mind for the time being. Then find your spot and start to meditate. If emotions do come up during the meditation simply acknowledge them and tell them to go away for now and return to your breathing.
6. Length of Time
Determine the length of time you want to meditate in the beginning. When you’re first starting you may want to do ten minutes and slowly work your way up. Twenty minutes is a good amount of time to relax your body and really lose yourself in meditation. You can always follow a guided meditation as well. This really helps when you’re just starting, and you’ll know how long you’ve been meditating without having a timer go off and startle you.
7. Happy Monk
I once read that some monks smile when they meditate. This is actually a great way to meditate. A smile tells your face, which then tells your body, that this is a happy thing that you’re doing. Or, if you feel any kind of awkwardness in meditating smiling can calm you down by simply admitting to yourself that the whole thing kind of makes you giggle. Meditating doesn’t have to be this serious thing. It’s a practice in being calmer, happier and more serene.
If you’re new to meditating it may take some time to get the hang of it. Let yourself discover the process the way that it feels right for you. Don’t think it has to be this very serious, quiet time where your brain doesn’t think about anything but darkness. In fact, meditating is known to give you beautiful visions. Above all, enjoy the process. Have you just started mediating or have you been doing it for a long time? Leave a comment and let us know!