When daily stress builds up or you feel overwhelmed by life, meditation is a good way to collect yourself and start over with a fresh outlook. Meditation can help clear your mind of racing thoughts, relax your body and is also beneficial for your physical and mental health.
People who meditate regularly can learn to slow down their thoughts and focus more on the present rather than running through the same memories or stressful worries over and over again. It can take time to get better at meditation and really experience the full benefits but any attempt to focus your energy inward can be beneficial.
Here are some tips to get started and learn important meditation techniques.
1. Sit Comfortably in a Quiet Place
The first step of meditation is creating a space that lends itself to quiet relaxation. When you are beginner it can be much easier to meditate if you have a quiet space away from any people or noisiness where you can sit for 10 or 15 minutes.
You need to find a comfortable sitting position that you can relax into for that period of time. Posture can be an important element of comfortable sitting so make sure you keep your spine upright so that your body is well-balanced.
2. Count Your Breath and Focus
The easiest way to get started with a meditation technique is to count your breath for the 10 or 15 minutes that you've set yourself. Set an alarm so you know when your meditation will end. Close your eyes and begin counting each breath in and out. Paying attention to your breath is a great way to anchor yourself into the present moment.
You can count each breath up to 10 and then return to one. Anytime you feel your thoughts straying away from your breath you can start counting over again on one. This is a good way to return to the present and refresh the meditation when you are distracted.
3. Distance Yourself from Thoughts and Feelings
Although the goal of meditation is to clear your mind and focus on the present this can be difficult to do. It is natural for many thoughts to come up or even strong emotions to be present. When you experience certain thoughts you don't need to try hard to stop them but simply notice them and let them pass.
You can distance yourself from your thoughts and realize "I'm having this thought again". You might find that your mind goes back to the same patterns over and over again. Strong emotions can often be accompanied by stories.
In meditation when you are experiencing certain emotions you can focus on the physical feelings in your body and distance yourself from the story associated with it.
4. Relax Your Whole Body
A good way to begin meditation is by finding ways to relax your body. You can start with stretching before you sit to loosen your muscles and relieve some tension.
As you begin your sitting meditation you can go through each of your body parts one by one and focus on relaxing them. You can start with your feet and move up your whole body. This is not only a way to relax but also begins the process of being present and aware.
5. Avoid Frustration or Stress About Your Meditation
Meditating is meant to be a break from the stress and worry about your daily life. Try not to bring any expectations to the practice because this can lead to frustration.
Meditation is what it is on a particular day and you should not expect yourself to do it perfectly every time. Avoid any nervous feelings beforehand or anger afterward because it can take away from your meditation experience.