11 Meditation Tips You Need To Know When You Start
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I’ve tried to implement the habit of meditating. Research shows that meditation is good for the brain and especially to fight stress and depression.
It all looked easy on paper, all you have to do is to close your eyes and focus on your breathing. But I have to tell you that it was hard.
You see my mind is always speeding, I have an obsessive personality and am creative. So you get the idea of what is going on over there. As soon as I try to meditate I am thinking about all the things that need to be done or coming with new ideas of projects.
You will be happy to know that I am at a point where I can meditate and focus on my body and breathing for more than 5 minutes!
This article is for all the people like me who have trouble shutting their mind! Try these tips and you will get through it!
1. Learn about meditation
I started to be interested in meditation thanks to a book that caught my eyes. I was at a local bookstore when I discovered the book Calm by Michael Acton Smith.
To be honest I mostly bought it because I thought it was a beautiful book. My husband who had tried to convince me to try meditation for months (maybe years) was very happy with this buy (for once :D)!
So this was the first step of my journey toward a mindful life.
This book actually stayed closed for a few months, until my visit to the doctor when I decided to finally take action to change my life.
Calm helped me to learn so much about mindfulness and how to live more intentionally.
This is why the first thing you need to do when starting a new journey is to acquire the skills and knowledge to find your way!
Here is my selection of places to learn more about Meditation:
- Calm Book
- The Mindful Kind Podcast
- 10% Happier Podcast
- Zen Habits Blog
- TIME Mindfulness: The New Science of Health and Happiness
- Mindful Magazine
- Spirituality & Health Magazine
2. Start With Yoga
After reading the book Calm, I started to follow through their recommendations and did meditation every day using their app. It only lasted 5 days …
I quickly became discouraged because my mind kept wandering instead of focusing on my breathing. It simply didn’t work.
So I realized that I had a problem of attention that needed to be fixed before being able to do meditation and came up with a different plan.
Instead, I added yoga to my exercising routine. The reason why I chose yoga is that it teaches you to focus on the part of your body you are working on and being more mindful.
After sending an email to my amazing mailing list asking for recommendations (PS: you can subscribe here) I discovered Yoga with Adriene on YouTube and absolutely love it. So THANK YOU peaceful friends!
It’s easier for me to be mindful while doing yoga because I am focusing on the movements making it more difficult for my mind to wander.
So if you find it hard to focus, I highly recommend starting a yoga routine to slowly teach your mind to be mindful.
3. Get A Fitbit Charge 2
My husband got me the Fitbit Charge 2 for our 5 years wedding anniversary and I have to say that I absolutely love it.
I use it all day long, in the morning to check the data of my sleep, during the day to make sure that I move enough and in the evening to meditate.
The reason why I love the Fitbit Charge 2 so much is that it has breathing exercises, and they are customized to follow your own breathing!
All you have to do is select the time of the exercise between 2 and 5 minutes and then start by pushing the side button. First, the Fitbit will register your breathing to create the perfect rhythm for you. Then it will vibrate to let you know when you need to inhale and exhale.
Having this little vibration on my wrist helps me focus on breathing and make it more difficult to let my mind wander!
4. Try Different Exercises
On the article with my summer reading list, I shared with you a book that has since become part of my evening routine! I’m talking about The Little Pocket Book of Mindfulness.Not only is this book cute, yeah I know I can be a bit superficial sometimes, but the content is awesome. It has a lot of different meditations that you can try!
So, every night I try a new meditation from the book and use the breathing exercise option on my Fitbit to meditate for 5 minutes.
I can tell you one thing, it’s rare that I stop when the Fitbit vibrate at the end of the 5 minutes. And after that, I am so ready to fall asleep!
5. Follow Guided Meditations
If you feel lost when you try to meditate I would highly recommend you to follow guided meditations.
You can find guided meditations everywhere, in apps, on YouTube, Spotify, podcasts, …
Here is a selection for you to try:
6. Start with 2- 5 minutes a day
Some people can meditate for 30 minutes or even hours daily but they all started where you are today! Yes, they all struggled at the beginning to focus on their breathing. If you want to create a habit and are shooting for a long-term meditation practice, well you need to start slowly.
My first exercises were for 2 minutes, and it was hard, my mind kept thinking about the stressful things that happened during the day. But slowly I succeeded to control my thoughts for 2 minutes and then started to practice for 5 minutes.
So start slowly and when you feel ready to add more time to your practice. Meditation is not a competition, it’s about you and your mind, it’s about healing and feeling amazing.
7. Set a time to meditate
If you want to create a new habit, any habit, you need to set a dedicated time for it during your day. Some people like to do meditation in the morning to start the day positively, I personally benefit more of the practice in the evening when I get to bed. It helps me let go of any negative rumbling from the day and find peace to fall asleep more easily.
This is all up to you. If you are not sure what would work for you, try in the morning for a week then try in the evening for a week and journal how you feel to help you make a decision.
What matters is to know when during the day you will practice, and share it with the people who live with you to make you more accountable!
8. Focus on Your Breathing
The first thing I always do when I start to meditate is to focus on my breathing. No matter the exercise I am planning to do.
It might take one or two minutes for me to be ready to move my attention to other parts of my body. And when I find my thoughts wandering, I come back to the practice by first focusing on my breathing.
If you need help to do it, I highly recommend the Fitbit Charge 2. As we saw earlier, its breathing exercise will help you concentrate on your breathing.
9. Relax when your thoughts wander
Your thoughts are going to wander and it’s okay.
Don’t get frustrated about it. Just get your attention back to your breathing. Feel where the air travel into your body, follow its journey and your mind will be back on track.
The truth is that the more you practice and the easier it will get. So don’t get discouraged like I was.
10. Lay on your bed
When I started meditation, I did like I saw in movies and sat. But I honestly feel more comfortable when I am laying down on my bed. Plus this way, my cat thinks I am sleeping and is not climbing all over me wondering what I am doing.
So give it a try to see if it works better for you!
11. Stay Away From Your Cat
As I was saying before, my cat climbs on me when I am meditating in a sitting position.
He’s wondering what I am doing and since I am closing my eyes he’s trying to get my attention by putting his paws on my shoulders and smell my cheeks.
Same when I do yoga, he likes to pet himself on my arms and walk all around me.
It’s really cute, but it makes it hard to focus on my breathing!! So try to keep your pets away.
- Everything You Need To Know To Stop Stress
- 5 Powerful Summer Reading Books To Make You Happier
- Book Review: Calm, Learn How to Calm Your Mind
- How to Easily Sleep when your Mind is Preoccupied
- The Best Audiobooks That Will Change Your Life
Over to you
Do you meditate? What helped you start? Share your tips in the comments to help newbies like me 🙂
Robert HudsonMarch 20, 2019 at 7:07 am
I must say this is a wonderful article and the way author has discussed about the importance and tips regarding meditation is quite helpful for people like me who are fighting depression and anxiety. i was reading an article similar to yours regarding Checklist for meditational journey . I hope this helps you and other people who will read this article.