We’ve all been there – trying to meditate while wildly distracted with thoughts of texting your bestie back, making sure that piece of work is done, and contemplating whether you really need to spend $7 on coffee this morning. You sit down in an uncomfortable position, shut your eyes and hear…nothing.
For a split second.
Then all the thoughts you were trying not to think come whooshing in – you fidget, you open your eyes to note something *really* important down in your phone, you shut your eyes again, fidget some more, and finally, after a painful 2 minutes and 34 seconds… you give up. If this sounds like you, we have good news.
We’re going to help you nail down a fulfilling and enjoyable meditation practice with ease. But first, pinky promise that you’ll spare 5 minutes of your time to read all the way to the bottom, take in this (fabulous, if we do say so ourselves) information, and give these techniques a go for a week. ONE WEEK. You might surprise yourself and we promise you’ll feel much better after.
Meditation has a lot of mixed connotations. From thousands of years old practices to today’s aesthetic morning routine vlogs, it’s only really in the last 5-10 years that meditation has come into mainstream popularity. Apps such as Calm and Headspace have seen incredible success and tapped into the need we all have to s l o w d o w n.
We all crave connection, inner peace, and clarity. Meditation is widely associated with these concepts, but what about the physical benefits? Believe it or not, many people credit using meditation to help with overcoming ailments, curing chronic diseases, and fending off heart disease (thanks to the stress relief benefits) – simply through the power of the mind. If you’re looking for a convincing study into the incredible benefits that meditation can bring, Dr. Joe Dispenza’s bestselling book ‘Becoming Supernatural’ is a must-read. Each chapter will leave you feeling excited to sit down and quiet your mind.
The physical benefits aside, meditation can also bring about huge spiritual growth. Many people believe that it’s through meditation alone that you can connect with other realms, other Universes, and your guides and angels; plus, it’s from deeply meditative states that you can create your future and manifest your dreams.
So, you may be asking, how can you start a meditation practice that feels good, rather than one that feels like something else to cross off your to-do list? Read on for our top 4 tips for creating your very own meditation practice:
1). start with guided meditations
This can be where so many people go wrong. They start with simply sitting down in the deafening silence (which many of us are not at all used to, in this day and age) and wonder why they find their mind wandering after a couple of seconds.
Instead, listening to someone guiding you through can help you to stay focused and narrow your awareness. Headspace is a great app for this, but if you don’t want to commit to a download just yet, head over to YouTube and type in a meditation that fits with what you’re looking for (for example, ‘Meditation for spiritual connection’, ‘Meditation to feel calm’, ‘Meditation for personal growth’) and pick one. Don’t worry too much about which one, because there are loads to choose from – just try to pick one with someone whose voice you find calming and then sit down, and allow the sound of the voice guiding you to lull you into calmness.
2). release the pressure
Expecting to come out the other side of a meditation with the patience of a saint and the temperament of a monk is a tad bit unrealistic. Meditating is a practice and like all things that take practice, you get better over time.
Instead, go into meditation with no expectations at all. Yes, you might (and likely will) finish a great meditation feeling more patient and free, but you also might not. And that’s okay.
It’s possible that the first few times of being left with nothing but your own thoughts and a dead foot will leave you feeling a bit disjointed. The key here is to enjoy the experience for what it is and for how it changes each time. Revel in being able to notice differences in each session, have fun with yourself when you can’t seem to focus – look at it, why is it that today you’re not able to stop thinking, but yesterday you could? It’s these sorts of observations and discoveries that truly are the point of meditation. To get to know yourself better. To better understand why you do certain things and what it takes for you to just be.
3). keep a meditation journal
If you follow us, you know that we’re big fans of journaling. Keeping a diary or record of not only how many times you’ve meditated (because if you’re anything like us, you love to see a trend over time of how often you did something and get satisfaction from ticking off another day on the calendar), but also to note down any interesting experiences, thoughts or discoveries you have whilst meditating. Be your own science project: note down any consistencies, changes, feelings, and thoughts you have.
4). create a meditation space
While this isn’t essential and we don’t want this to be used as an excuse as to why you can’t meditate, having a designated spot in your room or home can really help to get into the right frame of mind simply by sitting in that space. It doesn’t have to be anything over the top with altars and crystals and incense – all it needs is to feel calm, free from distraction (and preferably people and animals), and comfortable. Bring a cushion from the couch to sit on, (as sitting cross-legged can get uncomfortable if you’ve not done it for a while), maybe grab a blanket too if it’s chilly and make the space as calming as you can.
With these four tips, you’re good to go and get started on your meditation journey. Remember, you’re not getting scored on how well your meditation goes – this is for you and you alone, so take it easy, have fun and build up to a routine that works for you.
[We’d love to know how you get on and which of these tips has helped you the most – let us know in the comments below!]