Want to be happier? More relaxed? More focused?...
Meditation can help you with all these things. So why can it be so hard to start?
My clients often tell me they can’t meditate because they can’t ‘switch their mind off’... don’t worry, very few people can! After all...
“You can't stop the waves, but you can learn to surf.”
– Jon Kabat Zinn
These 7 simple steps have always helped me and I hope you find them useful too.
We’re not aiming to become the Dalai Lama, just be a bit more chilled out and happy.
1) Use guided meditations
The easiest way to start is guided meditations. Search for the Head Space app or mindfulness and download some.
The key benefits are that you’ll know what to do and exactly how long it will take. So both those stresses can be forgotten.
Everyone has different tastes, so experiment. If the voice or content annoys you… move on
2) Don’t be a perfectionist
Don’t start worrying about sitting in a perfect Buddha-like lotus position!
Many people start with a straight forward body scan, lying on the floor… just try not to make it a nap!
For seated meditation, initially just adopt an upright ‘dignified’ position and make sure you are comfortable.
3) Find your best time and build a routine
Personally I find first thing in the morning and last thing at night as the best routine.
It’s a great way to both start and finish your day from a calm place.
4) Meditate throughout the day
Simply pausing, noticing your breath, your thoughts and just becoming present is a great habit to develop.
Use the skills you are learning by simply pausing and asking yourself ‘what am I doing? What’s going on with me?’… this can be said in your head rather than to room full of people.
5) Just about anything can be a meditation
Applying focus whilst cleaning your teeth, eating lunch or walking to the dentist can all be a form of meditation.
Recently psychologists found that colouring can be an effective form of meditation. Just pause frequently and bring yourself back in touch with your body.
6) Little and often is key
It can be intimidating at first however it’s important to set a realistic goal. An hour a day is great but could set you up for failure.
Maybe just 10 minutes a day listening to the headspace app is the start you need.
7) Don’t give up after 3 minutes
Initially it’s hard because the mind takes time to settle.
You might start thinking about more pressing matters such as what Instagram filter will best showcase your lunch.
However, don’t give up!
Just keep coming back to your breath and observe. This is the whole point after all!
Like anything else in life, things just take a little practise. And that’s what meditation means to me. Training your mind little and often.
When stressful situations occur, you’ll be better equipped to deal with them – making you happier, more relaxed and better focused.
If you found this post useful please share with others!