Meditation Tips for Beginners

meditation for beginners

You already know how beneficial it can be to develop a meditation practice, but if you’re new to it, you may have found it more challenging than you expected to get into a daily routine of being still and quieting your mind. Sitting calmly and seemingly doing nothing is harder than it sounds – within a few minutes, intrusive thoughts might begin to creep in, or worse, you could start to get bored.

It’s normal to experience some bumps in the road as you try to establish any new, healthy habit. With that in mind, here are some strategies to help you get started with a meditation routine. 

1. Stay Consistent

Put meditation on your daily to-do list, just as you would with any other activity you want to accomplish. Setting aside the same time each day will help solidify it in your mind as a habit and will make it something you eventually look forward to doing. 

2. Get Comfortable

The stereotypical image of a meditating person is someone sitting in lotus position, but many people find it uncomfortable to sit that way for more than a couple of minutes. Being uncomfortable can be a tremendous distraction, and there’s no rule that says you have to sit cross-legged. If you want, you can meditate while sitting on a soft cushion, or even lying down. 

3. Breathe Naturally

Though the key to meditation is focusing on your breath, don’t try to force yourself into a breathing pattern you wouldn’t normally use. Continue to inhale and exhale through your nose, while paying attention to the sensation of your breath moving throughout your body. 

4. Remain Calm

You may have heard that the goal of meditation is the complete absence of thought, but that’s not necessarily the case. Even people who have years of meditating experience under their belts can experience anxiety and other disruptive emotions while they are practicing. Rather than letting these thoughts and feelings distract you, acknowledge their presence and let them go. With time, you will develop the ability to work through negativity without getting hung up on it, which is a beneficial life skill. 

5. Be Patient

Meditation might not click for you the first five – or 50 – times, but that does not mean you’ve failed. Even a supposedly “unproductive” meditation session that only lasts a few minutes can help reduce your stress levels and help improve your focus and attention. Instead of blaming yourself for being “bad” at meditating, think about how you feel after each session. Are you more relaxed than you were before you started? Have you achieved more mental clarity? If you can form a positive connection between meditation and your physical and emotional well-being, it will help you stick with the habit. 

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