Why Meditation Matters + 14 Tips To Start Meditating
Meditation is a great way to escape your stressful everyday life and find a balance. It allows your mind to unwind and helps you find your inner self – because not only our body needs some time for recovery every now and then.
Meditation requires practice. With some dedication, persistence, patience and the right mindset – to open yourself to new things – you too can integrate meditation in your lifestyle.
MyFitnessPal shows you how to cut your mind some slack and take a break for some mental wellness every day:
Deepen your breath
Slow down your breath by breathing deeply through your nose. Take a moment to just be. Be present, focus on your breath. If your thoughts start wandering, try to feel and listen to your breathing. Concentrating on your breath throughout the entire meditation is helpful, especially for those who’ve never meditated before.
Close your eyes – or don’t
If you prefer to meditate with your eyes open, concentrate on a single object or point. If you’d rather close your eyes, you can try to visualize your “third eye” (the spot between your eyebrows). It will help you shift your focus towards your inside. Try both variations and find out which one works better for you.
Find a calm place
You can meditate anytime, anywhere. However, especially for beginners, finding a calm place to meditate is often crucial. External sounds and distractions can impair your focus. Therefore, find a place where you feel safe, calm and protected – no matter if outdoors or indoors. A calm atmosphere has healing powers.
This one is vital! Your mind can’t be free unless your body is. Try different positions until you find one in which you feel comfortable. You could sit down with your legs crossed and you palms resting on your knees. Lean against a wall if it feels better. Or you could lay down on your back, with your palms facing the sky.
Be consistent and meditate regularly. Ten minutes per day is a great start. If you feel prepared to extend your meditation, increase your daily time to 15, then 20 minutes and so on. Determine a certain time of day for your meditation practice – this helps your mind get ready for it. It’s just 10 minutes a day, you can do this!
The hardest thing about meditation is a head full of thoughts. We’re made to think. We use our mind to analyse and cope with everything we see and that happens to us. Therefore, it’s hard to unwind and stop thinking while meditating. Focusing on just one thing can be very helpful: Try (silently) repeating a mantra or word you feel positive about. Or, as mentioned before, concentrate on your breath. If your thoughts drift off, gently lead them back to your focus. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself or try to force those thoughts from your mind, though.
Invite your friends or family to accompany you on your journey. Having people with positive energy around can boost your mental strength and personal growth. Support and remind each other to meditate on a daily basis. And, share your experiences!
Believe in yourself
Promise yourself you’ll improve with every single meditation. Challenge yourself to meditate daily (but don’t beat yourself up if you skip one day).
Reflect on yourself
Meditation allows us to direct all of our attention towards our inner selves. We can free our mind from baggage we don’t need to drag around anymore. It provides us with new, fresh energy and cleanses our body, mind and soul. Through meditation, we get to know ourselves better, we learn to love ourselves more and we’re prompted to reflect more thoroughly. Seize those few moments each day which belong to just you.
Open up to the powers of the universe – and to your own powers. Turn your palms towards the sky to boost your energy levels, or let them face the ground if you need to calm down.
Sounds, emotions and thoughts you perceive during a meditation can turn into distractions. Try to grasp and understand them, then let them move on. Find your way back to your mantra, your breathing or your “third eye.”
Don’t be afraid to experiment
Find out what works best for you when meditating and what makes you feel at ease. Some people like meditating in the morning, with their minds still free and clear, while others prefer to meditate in the evening, to unwind after a hard day. Plus, every day is different – listen to your body and do what feels best on that day.
Take your time
Meditation is not easy – it can actually be really hard – and requires a lot of practice. Integrating a new routine in your stressful everyday life can be challenging. There will be days where meditating will seem easier to you, followed by days where you think it’s just impossible. Embrace those days and forgive yourself if you don’t find enough strength to meditate. Take a few deep breaths and try again. Cut yourself some slack, be patient and take the time you need.