Meditation Tips For Beginners

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Meditation Tips For Beginners

The journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step. The same is true for the development of meditation skills. Beginners need to start somewhere and build healthy habits so that meditation becomes more beneficial with every passing day. These tips will help to make that happen.

#1. Decide to make it a habit.

If you aren’t committed to including meditation into your daily routine, then it isn’t going to happen. Decide right now that you’re going to make meditation a habit instead of a task to be completed.

#2. Take baby steps.

Any amount of time you spend meditating helps to improve your balance. Some people can meditate for 20 minutes twice a day. Others struggle to make 5 minutes for meditation. Find your comfort zone, keep at it, and increase the amount of time when you can.

#3. Schedule it in.

When you first get started with meditation, you’ll find that many other distractions will demand your time. Ignoring those distractions doesn’t always happen. To establish meditation as a habit, try scheduling in a specific time during your day on your calendar that is 100% dedicated to it. Make it yours no matter what.

#4. Get comfortable.

Meditation doesn’t require a specific pose. Some people transition from prayer to meditation and just remain on their knees. Others sit in a recliner. Some folks meditate while standing in the shower. Find what works for you so that your body feels supported by the practice.

#5. Set clear goals.

Meditation improves when you have something specific to accomplish. Reducing stress is a worthy goal. Improving your emotional stability is a great goal as well. By creating something to achieve, the subconscious is able to better work with the conscious mind to provide you with success.

#6. Find a focus point.

Many beginners tend to focus on their breathing as they start to meditate. Counting breaths and feeling the air flow in and out is good. Slow the breathing down. Feel your body relax. Anything that can help you focus can do the same thing.

#7. Stop worrying.

It’s easy to become frustrated when it feels like meditation time isn’t happening the way it should. Maybe the wind wanders or you feel worries creeping in as you’re trying to de-stress. Don’t worry about finding the perfect way to meditate. Find your own path.

#8. Be content in all things.

There is a lot to appreciate in life. Look for these things and be content with where you are. Good things will still come to you and bad things will still happen from time to time. Being grateful in all things allows us to look for good in any place and that can change the way stress is approached.

#9. Focus on the moment.

There is perfection that can be found in every moment of every day. We often get lost in looking forward to what will happen in the future. The future can wait. The moment right now that you’re in will only experience in this instant. Focus upon it and let it flow over you.

Far too often we focus on the process of meditation instead of the outcome. How you meditate is less important than the purpose of meditating. Set time aside, include these tips as they make sense, and you may just find it is a little easier to settle into a habit of meditating.

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6 Ways Meditation Could Change Your Life

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People choose to meditate for many reasons and there is much research to support the benefits of daily investment in this practice. When we make the decision to meditate, we can actually provide ourselves with a way to give our bodies the rest they need to withstand the problems a day may contain. Here are six ways meditation can make your life change your life.

#1. It helps to reduce stress. You don’t even need to put in a 20 minute meditation session to begin to relieve stress. A few simple deep breaths can be enough for your body to let that tension go. Deep breathing provides extra oxygen to the brain and the body, which then stimulates the remainder of the nervous system. In response, the body creates less of the stress hormone called cortisol.

#2. It can reduce the intensity of pain. All it takes is 4 days of meditation to begin experiencing all of its benefits. When there is more oxygen in the body and you are focusing on one task, such as the rhythm of your breathing, an interesting thing occurs: pain subsides. That doesn’t mean the pain isn’t still there. You’ve just made it less of a priority in your mind, so it discards the discomfort for more important things.

#3. It can lessen worry and fear. What’s the first thing we tell people to do when they’re feeling anxious? “Take a deep breath.” That’s right – meditation is so ingrained in our global culture that we encourage people to meditate without realizing that’s what we’re doing. When worries and fears take over a life, nothing seems pleasant any more. Meditation helps to take control back.

#4. Relationships become healthier. The reason why many relationships are close to failure is because of personal uncertainties. Am I good enough? Should I be loved? What if I’m not loved back? We worry about past decisions or what the future might hold. In the meantime, we ignore what happens right now, in this present time. Meditation helps to put everything into a greater perspective so that if there are issues, they can be seen from multiple perspectives instead of a personal perspective.

#5. It slows the aging process. This could technically fall into the “dealing with stress” category. When there are many stressors affecting the human body, there can be many health consequences. Sleep can be affected. Mood stabilization may disappear. Aches, pains, and even nervous system issues like muscle twitches can begin. All of these negative symptoms age the body. Meditation helps you to rest better, stay calm more often, and this helps to naturally fight the aging process.

#6. It helps with depression. Severe depression must always be treated by a doctor. Any time depression exists for a prolonged period of time should result in a medical consultation. For those moments when you feel sad or lose interest in doing things that you’d normally enjoy doing, then meditation can help. This is because it allows the mind to better process the information it is receiving so that it can counter the issues that are being encountered.

Meditation can help you live a full life. Meditating just a few minutes per day has a transformative power that cannot be ignored. Even if you can only meditate for 5 minutes, do it. When you do, then you’ll be able to experience many of these benefits personally.

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How Mindfulness Meditation Leads To Real Happiness

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Have you ever noticed how so many people spend their day trying to find a way to be happy? Sometimes that happiness can never be found. Here’s a secret that makes finding happiness easier: it’s a choice.

We choose not to be happy. We choose to remain unbalanced. Many times we don’t even realize we are making these choices. Negative attention is better than no attention, so often we’ll choose to be unhappy because at least that allows others to send some attention our way.

This is where mindfulness meditation can really help. Instead of trying to find joy in fleeting moments, mindfulness helps us be able to discover the perfect joy that exists in every moment. Even when the bad things of life strike and pain is everywhere, there are still moments of joy that can be found. Why? Because mindfulness meditation helps us to choose happiness over any other emotion.

How Does Mindfulness Meditation Transform People?

There are thousands of articles online today that talk about how stress, emotional stability, and mental healing can all come from the practice of meditation. These are all wonderful benefits, but they are not benefits that transform people. What mindfulness meditation does is connect your mind to rest of the world.

It’s a practice that Carl Jung once called “individuation.” In essence, it’s the quest to seek out what we each consider to be divine. Many people use individuation as a way to seek out a supernatural being or long lost prophet. It’s a way to connect the spiritual side with the physical side so that every moment of the physical and spiritual worlds can eventually be experienced.

Individuation doesn’t have to be the pursuit of a deity. It can also be the pursuit of your own local awareness. Focus on the closest window next to you right now. Is it cold? Firm? Warm? Now go beyond these sensations. How does the firmness of the window feel against your fingertips? Does the cold of the window send chills through your nervous system? Then do not allow the moment to stop. Choose to keep experiencing it.

That’s What Leads To Choosing Happiness

In order for an athlete to become a professional, they must put in thousands of hours of practice to achieve their goals. Mindfulness meditation is not going to lead to happiness overnight. It isn’t a magic solution to all of life’s problems. What it does do is provide exposure to the mechanisms that are necessary for mindfulness to begin growing roots so it becomes easier to choose happiness over time.

If you’re ready to get started, then today is as good a day as any to explore mindfulness meditation. Take a few moments right now, close your eyes, and let the outside world fade away. What do you hear? What do you feel? Now take these feelings and find the perfection that exists within them. In doing so, you’ll be taking the first steps toward a life that is filled with real happiness.

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How To Make Meditation A Daily Habit

 

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It’s no secret that meditation has a lot of benefits and can help you with many aspects of your life. That’s why it is important to include meditation in your daily activities. A lot of people have the misconception that they have to dedicate hours a day in order to be good at meditation, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. You don’t have to take up your entire day or go out and purchase hundreds of dollars in equipment; all you need to do is take a few minutes of time each day and meditate in a quiet and relaxing area.  Let’s talk about some of the ways that you can include meditation into your daily schedule.

One of the things you’re going to want to do when you’re first starting out with meditation is to pace yourself. You don’t need to spend hours meditating, in fact its best that you ease into it because you can certainly burn yourself out if you try to spend too much time meditating. It’s best to keep it short and start out with 5 minute sessions to begin with. Just like lifting weights, you’re going to want to start out slow and work your way up. The quality of your meditation always is better than the quantity of time you spend in meditation.

It’s very important that you set a schedule you’ll be able to stick to. Put 5 or 10 minutes aside each day to have your meditation session. You don’t have to have your meditation session at the exact same time every day, but it’s best that you try to keep it generally at the same time of day. After you wake up or after you get home from work is a great time of day to base your meditation schedule around. As long as you’re making an effort to meditate once a day, at around the same time you are doing a good job.

A lot of people believe that they need to have a special room, candles and other meditation equipment to have a successful meditation session, but this is untrue. You don’t have to setup an elaborate area for meditation; it just needs to be somewhere quiet. You have the option to sit on the floor or on a chair while you meditate; there are no rules as long as you’re comfortable. Try to find an area that doesn’t have a lot of noise and is free from distractions.

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7 Reasons Why Your Mondays Can Be Better With Meditation

meditation mondays

The alarm goes off on Monday morning. You groan, hit the snooze button, and lie in bed with a bad feeling in your gut. You are dreading this day. It’s more than just the realization that the two days of freedom from work you just experienced. Professional responsibilities bring stress, anxiety, anger, and even sadness. This roller coaster of emotions, combined with the feelings of dread that Mondays can produce serves no good purpose.

That’s why meditation as part of your morning routine can be so beneficial. It does more than just take you off of that roller coaster. It helps to make Mondays happier. Here’s how.

#1. You get to collect your thoughts. Meditation slows the mind and body down so that the real issues of the day can be faced. The flood of worry and fear that grips the mind is difficult to navigate, which means the core issues are never really addresses. Meditation is the GPS that lets you get through that flood of negative emotion.

#2. You can forget about Monday. Meditation will always take someone to a place they don’t expect. Instead of worrying about what is going to happen on Monday [or any other day], an emphasis on gratitude, contentment, or loving-kindness can be achieved.

#3. It provides a barrier. Taking care of your initial anxiety can help to make a Monday better, but what about the worries that you will face throughout the day? Meditation helps to create a barrier for the mind so that it can better resist anxiety, unhealthy fear, and other negative emotions that can be bothersome so you can focus on the task at hand.

#4. There is a moment to speak with yourself. Life gets pretty busy today. We all get focused on the tasks that need to be completed more than anything else. In the hustle and bustle of life, we can even lose touch with our core being. Meditation forces you to slow down, breathe deeply, and listen to who you really are.

#5. You can remember more things. How distracting is your environment? From televisions to social media to kids screaming in your ear, there are many things that can take the mind’s focus away from the task at hand. Meditation gives the mind a tool to help filter out these distractions so that the critical information can be better retained and recalled.

#6. It can help with hypertension. A busy lifestyle often means a high blood pressure reading. The benefits of meditation can start to be experienced in just 4 days. Nitric oxide, which helps the blood to flow better, begins to build up from that point in time until it effectively reduces blood pressure in 90-120 days for many people.

#7. You can see perfection. Meditation doesn’t look for a long-term view. It seeks to find perfect moments that exist around every person right now. With regular practice, you can begin to experience these small miracles of time yourself.

How long should you be meditating? A goal of 20 minutes is what many set, but even just 2 minutes of meditation can be beneficial. Incorporate time into your routine every day for meditation and you may just find that Mondays will no longer be a day to be dreaded.

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Why You Should Not Judge Your Meditations

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Have you ever found yourself thinking what a lousy job you did after you have finished meditating? Perhaps you had countless thoughts running through your mind and you just can’t sit still. Maybe you had a great meditation session and you start to think too highly of yourself. It is best to not judge your meditation. Here are 3 reasons why:

 1. There are no bad meditations.

You should not feel that you had a bad meditation. The only bad meditations are the ones you don’t do. As long as you are trying to meditate, you are making progress. All meditations are good and valuable because they cultivate the skill of being present. Instead of judging your meditation, practice gratitude for having the privilege to meditate everyday.

2. Length of time is not important.

How long you can meditate is not a good indicator of your progress. Someone who meditates for 30 minutes a day is not more advanced than someone who does it for 5 minutes a day. It is better to have a short meditation session in which you are totally focused than to have a long meditation where your mind wanders all over the place. In meditation, more time is not necessarily better.

3. Do not compare your meditation practice to others.

The most important thing is to try to meditate as well as you can each and everyday. It is not a good use of your time and energy to compare your meditation with someone else. This immediately creates a feeling of unhappiness and inferiority by comparison. Rather than spending so much time focusing on others, you can redirect that energy inwards.

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Walking Meditation

walking meditation

When you think of meditation, you might picture a person sitting down in a lotus posture, their hands in a certain position and their eyes closed. This is the common image of meditation. There are other meditation techniques and not all of them require you to be sitting still.  Walking may not be the first image that comes to mind when you think about meditation. However, the simple act of putting one foot in front of the other can be a meditative practice that enables you to be in the moment and connect with yourself.

Walking meditation has health benefits even beyond the benefits of sitting meditation. The slow, methodical movements relieve stress, calm the body, and focus the mind—all of which are essential for optimal health and well-being. Many practitioners find mindful walking to be more relaxing than sitting, especially during times of high stress.

In walking meditation, we use the experience of walking as our focus. We become mindful of our experience while walking, and try to keep our awareness involved with the experience of walking. The goal is to use walking meditation to gently shift the focus of our attention from worrying about the past or the future, and to focus on what is actually happening in the present moment. Walking meditation is a great way to develop mindfulness. Mindfulness is when we pay attention to what is happening in the present moment.

Some people new to meditation find walking meditation is easier to practice than sitting meditation. When your body is in motion, it is generally easier to be aware of it compared to when you are sitting still. Mindful walking relaxes the body by channeling anxiety and nervous energy into physical activity and calms the mind by promoting focused awareness.

When we’re sitting still in meditation the sensations that arise in the body are much more subtle and harder to pay attention to than those that arise while we’re walking. The great thing about walking meditation is that it can be done anytime when we are walking. It is an easy practice that can be done to improve our physical and mental well-being. Here are some tips for walking meditation.

Tip 1: Find a quiet place to walk where you won’t be disturbed. For example, an early morning walk at the beach or park.

Tip 2: As you walk, notice your surroundings. Mindful walking is about being in the present—paying attention to the thoughts, feelings, and sensations we are experiencing right now

Tip 3: Be aware of your breath. Use this focus on the breath as an anchor to stabilize your attention. Pay attention to the sensations of your feet touching the ground. Notice how your body feels as you move. Your goal is to be present in your body as you notice your experience of walking slowly in this moment.

Tip 4: If any thoughts come to your mind, notice it, and let it go. Try to stay focus at the present moment. Don’t let your thoughts take control of you.

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6 Tips If You Are New To Meditation

How To Not Turn Meditation Time Into Thinking Time

1. Make time to meditate. Turn your phone to silent and let anyone else in your home know you are not to be disturbed during your meditation time. Schedule your meditation as though it is an appointment you have with yourself, even writing it in your calendar if that will help you stick to it. Meditating at the same time each day will help you quickly make a habit of it.

2. Your environment matters. Choose a quiet place where you feel safe and comfortable and where you will not be disturbed. You do not need to contort your body into advanced yoga positions in order to meditate successfully, but you do need to be comfortable enough that you are not distracted by aches, pains, and discomfort.

3. Close your eyes. Breathe deeply and deliberately, inhaling through your nose and exhaling from your mouth. It can be difficult to breathe deeply at first, but after a few breaths your breathing should become deeper and fuller. Focus simply on the in and out of your breathing.

4. Do not get frustrated with yourself. Your mind will wander. This is normal and it is all right. As thoughts pass your mind, instead of focusing or dwelling on them, let them enter your mind and pass right out again. Learn to acknowledge your thoughts as you have them and then let them go instead of holding onto them and considering them. If you find yourself becoming too distracted, try repeating a mantra or concentrating again on your breathing until you have regained your inner peace.

5. Do not expect major results immediately. Starting a meditation practice is much like beginning an exercise routine. You should get into it slowly. 5 minutes of meditation is all that is required when you are new to meditation. Keep working at it and gradually you will be able to meditate for longer periods of time and achieve deeper states of consciousness. Above all, do not worry about meeting your expectations on a particular timetable. Simply relax and learn how to meditate by practicing regularly and dedicating yourself to it.

6. Get up slowly after you are done meditating. At the end of your session, do not jump up to answer the phone or start cook dinner or have a conversation. Allow yourself to return to regular consciousness gradually and gently. Open your eyes, stretch slowly, and reflect on how you feel. Meditation can be an amazing tool for rich and meaningful observations about yourself and the world around you. Always allow yourself the time to absorb whatever you have learned.

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5 Ways to Boost Your Meditation Practice

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Has your meditation time become shorter than it has been in the past? Are you maybe struggling with meditation practices because you just can’t sit still? Meditation does have certain key components to it that make it such a helpful practice, but ultimately meditation is tailored to be individualized and unique. These 5 tips will help you become more comfortable while meditating and hopefully breathe some life back into your practice.

Tip #1: It’s Ok To Let Some Thoughts Creep In

One of the first pieces of advice you’ll get when learning to meditation is to try to “silent your mind.” It’s nearly impossible to keep our thoughts from popping up during meditation because we have been trained to think since we were little. It’s ok to let some thoughts creep into your mind. Instead of thinking about negative thoughts, however, try thinking about things that makes you happy.

Tip #2: Let It Come Naturally

Meditation causes the mind and body to settle down naturally. Each body is unique, which means the settling pattern that your body needs is something that you’ll need to discover for yourself. Taking the advice of others is a good place to start when it comes to meditation, but don’t try to force yourself to meditate a certain way if it’s just not working! Let the relaxation seep in naturally, keep track of what started that process, and you’ll be able to adapt the “right” way to “your” way.

Tip #3: Be Reasonable With Your Expectations

The expectations you have about your meditation will likely dictate how successful or unsuccessful each session happens to be. There’s nothing wrong with setting high expectations as a beginner, but to experience expert-level status meditation benefits on your second ever meditation session isn’t a realistic expectation! If anything, simply aim to be a little bit better tomorrow than you are today with your meditation practices and you’ll soon discover that your growth charts will be way outside the curve!

Tip #4: Practice Positive Self-Talk

When failure hits, and failure will always hit you at some point during the journey toward better meditation, don’t let the negative self-talk begin. You’re not “stupid.” You’re not a “failure.” You can meditate and you can be a success! Speak positively to yourself whenever you feel like being in a negative mood and you’ll increase your chances of having a successful meditation session.

Tip #5: Keep Going!

In order to get good at something, you’ve got to keep practicing. The more you practice every day, the better each subsequent meditation session will seem. You’ll experience deeper relaxation, more energy, and potentially even more happiness! So what if it wasn’t a perfect meditation session today? Learn from what happened today so that it doesn’t get repeated tomorrow!

Daily meditation can be maximized when you consistently use these tips. Take the good out of this advice today so that tomorrow, your next meditation session can potentially be the best ever!

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6 Things You Can Do Before You Meditate

 

what to do before meditating

If you take the time to prepare for your meditation, you will have a better meditation experience. You might be thinking to yourself, “I barely have enough time to meditate. Now I need to set aside additional time before I can meditate!” The truth is that it doesn’t have to take more than a few minutes. Below are a few things that you can do to prepare for your meditation.

1. Exercise. When we exercise, we release a lot of toxins that is stored in our body. You will notice that your meditation tends to be better when you have done some physical exercise. Exercise has the power to alter your mood and make you feel elated. You will experience a natural high similar to a drug high but without any of the negative side effects. You will have greater mental clarity, feel more relaxed, have more energy and a stronger focus.

2. Take a shower or bath. Water has an amazing ability to purify your body and mind. It also helps to keep us alert and relives stress. After a shower or bath, we feel better, refreshed and calm. Bathing can bring you the restful solitude you need to reflect and relax. You can literally close the door on the outside world and disappear for a while.

3. Yoga. Yoga has a calming effect on the mind. Even doing some simple stretches will allow you to release any tension and stress that has accumulated in your body. Physical and mental tension blocks the free flow of energy in the body and draws our awareness outward. We are trying to redirect our energy inward in meditation, so tension of any kind hinders our efforts. Practicing yoga postures before meditation is a marvelous way to release these energy blocks.

4. Read. Reading has the ability to soothe the mind like no other. Reading forces us to be still. This stillness will carry over to our meditation practice. Read something inspirational or spiritual that will turn your mind towards matters of the soul before you begin to meditate. It’s a good idea to spend 5 or 10 minutes just reading and absorbing the lessons of what you’ve read.

5.Write. If your mind can’t slow down before you meditate, try writing down everything that is in your head. When you do a mental brain dump, it has the effect of calming yourself down. When we put thoughts to paper—or type them—we are able to clear our mind and and gain perspective on any given situation

6. Breathe. Take a few deep breaths before you begin your meditation. You will find your whole body and mind will slow down, which makes it very easy  to enter into a meditative state. By focusing on the breath you become aware of the mind’s tendency to jump from one thing to another. The simple discipline of concentration brings us back to the present moment.

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