6 tips for beginners to meditation
You’ve made a commitment to getting physically fit, but there’s more to being strong than muscles. Your mental wellbeing is just as (if not more!) important than how many squats you can do, so let’s start working on it.
Have you ever thought about trying meditation? Maybe you’re not sure if it’s really your thing, or where you’d even start. Or perhaps you’ve given it a shot before and don’t really get what all the fuss is about!
Regular meditation can help you release stress and tension, find calm and focus when you need it, and build up mental resilience to deal with life’s ups and downs. Yep, just like you exercise to make your body strong, you can do the same with your mind.
But knowing the benefits doesn’t necessarily make it easy to get started. While people have been doing it for thousands of years, meditation doesn’t always feel like the most comfortable or natural thing in the world when you begin.
On FIT you’ll find meditations to give you a boost, celebrate your body, and help you sleep better. To get into the mindfulness zone and start reaping the benefits, try our 6 tips for meditation beginners.
Not sure where to start? Emily made A Beginner’s Meditation just for you.
1. Start small
You don’t have to go from 0 to 100. Even a few minutes of meditation can be beneficial for your mental health. For instance, you may just take 60 seconds to stop, breathe and re-centre yourself before doing something important.
Emily’s made A Beginner’s Meditation to help you get comfortable with the basics in just a few minutes.
2. Make an appointment with your mind
Just like with your workouts, you’re more likely to meditate if it’s planned into your day. Find a time when you’ll have minimal distractions and set a reminder in your phone. Choose a realistic time of the day and meditation length, then stick to it. Maybe you find a 3-minute block in the afternoon, or perhaps right before bed will work for you.
Scheduling your meditation sessions like this will help you build the habit.
3. Find the right spot
No, you don’t have to sit in the ‘lotus’ pose with your legs wrapped up like a pretzel. But certain positions will set you up mentally and are easiest to hold for stretches of time without fidgeting. The most common positions recommended for beginners are:
Lying down on a firm surface with your hands on your stomach or by your sides.
Sitting on a chair with your legs uncrossed and your hands on your knees or folded in your lap.
4. Treat yourself
Meditation doesn’t have to feel like ‘work’ – it can be an opportunity to show yourself some love!
A face mask, a mug of tea and the Your Body is Your Friend meditation make the perfect self-care Sunday session.
5. Don’t try to ‘empty your mind’
Can’t stop your mind hopping from thought to thought? Try not to get frustrated. It’s a common misconception that meditation is about keeping your mind totally blank. In fact, learning how to observe where your mind wanders – without judging yourself – can be a rewarding part of it!
If you notice that your mind is drifting, try naming and acknowledging the thoughts that are distracting you before gently bringing your focus back to your meditation. You might have to do this a lot, especially in the beginning, but that’s OK!
Some people find it easier to meditate when they have mental images to focus on. Emily’s beach visualisation Let Go of Perfection is perfect for anyone who has found trying to ‘think about nothing’ frustrating in the past.
6. Sleep on it
You’re already lying there with your eyes closed, so a sleep meditation is your perfect gateway into regular mindfulness practice.
Our sleep meditations like The Night Garden are designed to calm your mind and lull you into a restful slumber.
Remember to stick with what works for you and stay consistent – your mindfulness habit will grow, and soon you’ll start to feel the benefits.
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