I have found myself seeking out new ways to find peace and comfort while stuck at home. I had heard about meditation but didn’t know much about it. In the beginning, I found I was resistant to the very thought of mediation. Sitting still for more than three minutes? I wanted to jolt out of my chair. I thought, Who has the time? I have important things to get done. Can you relate?
Though it was a struggle the first few sessions… I’m glad I stuck with it. Meditation has transformed my life in more ways than I can count. Including increasing my confidence.
I learned there are a lot of misconceptions around mediation. It’s not about mastering the ability to become enlightened. For some, it’s easy, and for others, it never happens. Most of us lie somewhere in between. Regardless, it makes a lovely addition to our self-care regimen.
There’s no one way to meditate, and everyone’s journey is unique. I’ve learned so much about how to mediate since I began this daily practice. I also learned what not to do. So, I put together this quick guide to help you get started on your daily meditation path. These tips aren’t about mastery but getting comfortable with the idea of mediation. I recommend trying one or two at first, and then slowly adding others as you gain your footing.
Anywhere will do. You don’t need an exclusive Zen Den or any other space dedicated to meditation. Find a comfortable place, be it a chair, the floor, outside, your car. Whatever works for you. I do not recommend meditating in your bed, however. This may often lead to a nap (which is excellent if you need one, but not your goal).
Start small. Even two minutes will do. It may sound like a waste of time, but it’s not. Try doing this every day for one week. Then bump it up another two minutes. Then another. Gradually add time that works for your schedule. Eventually, you will sit for longer sessions and realize it’s okay only to have a few minutes a day.
Don’t worry. About doing it right. About doing it wrong. The longer you practice, the more ways you can think about how to enhance your experience. But in the beginning, all you need to focus on is setting aside those two minutes each day.
Let your thoughts pass. Your mind will wander. Notice it and let it pass. Don’t try to talk yourself out of wandering. Let it happen. Observe it, and bring yourself back to focus.
Scan over your body. This is a great time to check in with your body. Start at your feet and work your way up to your head. Quietly observe how your body feels. Notice any discomfort, any points of relaxation or tension. This will help you quiet the mind and tune into your own needs.
- Time your breath. At first, don’t try to inhale or exhale for any specific time. Just see how long your inhales and exhales are. Also, see if you can pause your breath in between. Again, the idea is to become an observer of your body and not set any specific parameters around your practice. This will come later on when you start to grow into your practice.
Remember, at this stage it’s not about getting everything right. It’s about gaining some insight into your body, quieting the mind, and building in this habit that will support all areas of your life.
Stillness is good for you. It calms the nervous system. It supports homeostasis in the body and keeps you centered. So focus on the value it brings to your life rather than how boring or impossible it seems.