If you are age 50 or older, Joseph Coughlin, founder and director of the Massachusetts Institute of...
Your Guide to Getting Started with Meditation
The hustle and bustle of modern life leaves even the most mindful, well-rounded people with unnecessary stress. Meditation can be an excellent way to alleviate these stresses and improve your sense of wellbeing. Meditation has been around since before the Common Era, making it one of the oldest recorded practices in history. Initially used as a spiritual practice to gain oneness and enlightenment, meditation now provides an escape from our modern, stress-ridden lives.
Though meditation is intended to relax and calm, it can be quite daunting to start meditating. Meditation beginners find themselves labored by certain obstacles like focus and concentration issues, falling asleep, and being alone with their thoughts. It doesn't have to be this way! With a few tips and tricks, and the right knowledge, anyone can find peace and self-understanding through meditation.
Everything a Beginner Needs to Know
As stated above, starting the path of meditation can be a little overwhelming. There is so much information to retain, many techniques to master, and tons of online meditation articles to browse through. The journey has many steps, but we've shortened the learning process. Below, we've collected everything a beginner needs to know about meditation.
Benefits and Purpose of Meditation
While many might be interested in meditation for the spiritual and emotional benefits, the advantages of taking a little "me time" are endless. Some of these benefits include lower blood pressure, decreased chronic pain, improved sleep, and increased mental illness coping mechanisms. Those that practice mediation often find themselves feeling better emotionally, mentally, spiritually, and physically.
There is No "Right Way" to Meditate
One of the most important things to keep in mind is that there is no "right way" to meditate. Though there are many frequently used meditation methods, that doesn't mean that everyone must practice them. Mediation is all about an inward journey, mindfulness, and an understanding of oneself. This is difficult when you're worried about doing the "wrong" things. There is no wrong way in meditation! You are not required to sit with your legs crossed and back straight, you can lay down in a comfortable position, or you can even stand. You do not have to follow the rules by the book to reap the benefits.
Meditation Apps are Your Friends!
If you find yourself struggling to remain focused, keep a routine, or stay motivated, meditation apps are your best friend. There are many apps on your mobile app store dedicated to improving your sessions and saving you money. Instead of spending money on a costly mediation class, beginners can receive all the help they need at a fraction of the price. Current meditation apps have many useful features like guided mediation audio, visual meditation aids, words of affirmation, daily reminders, curated monthly plans, and more.
Have a Relaxing Meditation Space
Whether we realize it or not, our environment directly impacts our mood. Our lives are separated into spaces. We have our sleep spaces, workspaces, dining spaces, and more, and when these spaces intersect, it causes issues. To ensure that you get the best results, create a meditation space dedicated to relaxation and calmness. Put in lights, rugs, blankets, pillows, drapery, whatever you need to transform the area into your safe space. Keep uplifting, positive energy in the space by using incense, candles, essential oils, and scents best associated with focus and relaxation. These scents commonly include lavender, lemongrass, and rosemary.
Practice, Practice, Practice!
Though some beginners may pick up the craft immediately, others may require a little longer to reach meditative success, and that's okay. The journey to wholeness and mental strength is not a race. It often takes meditation experts decades to develop their skills. Practice makes perfect in every aspect of our lives, and meditation is included. Beginners mustn't be too hard on themselves when starting meditation. It's a learning process that takes time. Just relax and allow yourself to grow.
Though it can be intimidating at first, the best way to start meditating is to dive in. If it sounds simple, it's because it truly is. All proper meditation takes a comfortable space, a little bit of dedication, and a lot of patience. Give yourself time, allow yourself to grow, and soon you'll find yourself to be a meditating expert.
Let us know in the comments below - What is your favorite thing about meditation?