When I first started meditating I had no idea what I was doing. I also didn’t have a regular practice established which meant I never really got to experience any of the full benefits meditation offers.
It wasn’t until I created a daily meditation ritual that it became hugely transformative and I started noticing the benefits filter through into all aspects of my life - everything from improving my focus and concentration (i.e not getting distracted by little things!); reducing my stress and overwhelm, sleeping better; as well as being able to stop and fully appreciate in the magic of small moments of beauty in each day.
I truly believe meditation to be the gateway of up-leveling your mindset; gaining greater clarity on your biggest goals and improving your well-being so, today I wanted to share with you some simple tips in getting started with your own practice.
Making a decision to do something positive for yourself like meditating is often met with a lot of resistance - so we keep putting it off and making excuses as to why we couldn’t possibly start.
I hope these tips will inspire you to take the first step towards creating your own nourishing ritual.
1. Create a dedicated space for you to meditate.
Treating your meditation space like a sanctuary is a great way to help build your positive habit. Decorate it with beautiful cushions, light candles and make it somewhere you will feel inspired and supported, so you’ll always look forward to your practice.
2. Set an intention to meditate at the same time each day.
Choose a time that works best for your practice. First thing in the morning is generally considered the best time to meditate before you have started your day and your mind is fully active. But some people find it helpful to meditate in the evening before bed to help calm down their busy mind.
Set a reminder in your calendar and allow yourself the extra time in the morning or evening so you’re not tempted to skip it!
3. Choose the right meditation style for you.
There are many different types of meditation, so choose one that feels right for you.
Some focus more on visualizations, others on mantras some focus only the breath - you can also find a blend of all three. I recommend starting with a guided meditation to begin with which will help keep it simple and easy to get started.
4. Focus on your breathing to begin with.
The first handful of times you meditate (and often longer!) you’re probably thinking ‘am I doing this right?’; 'is this how it’s supposed to feel/look like?'
Rather than getting caught up in whether you’re doing it right, focus all of your attention on your breath. Notice the flow of breath in and out of your lungs.
It’s sometimes helpful to place your hand on your belly while you breathe in and out deeply, noticing your diaphragm rise and fall. Soon enough you will find your mind will begin to settle down. And each time you find yourself getting distracted, simply return your attention to your breathe. Over and over (and over!) again.
5. Start small.
Begin with a 2 minute practice. Try this simple breathing exercise to start with: breathe-in for 4 counts. Hold your breath for 4 counts. Exhale for 4 counts. Repeat.
Next, challenge yourself to sit for 5 minutes. Once feel comfortable, push yourself to try a 10 minute mediation.
The more you are consistent the easier it becomes and soon enough 10 minutes won’t feel like long enough and you know you’ll need to set your next challenge of 15 minutes.
Gradually, over time if you can work your way up to meditation practice of 15-20 minutes a day, you will transform your life.