Meditation is harder than it looks, but we’ve got some tips for anyone just getting started.
Anyone who’s actually tried meditation can tell you that quieting your mind is much harder than it looks! It takes years of regular practice to master meditation. But what does that mean for beginners? How can the average person break through the obstacles that arise and become “good” at meditation? We’ve got a few tips.
1. Master your breath first.
You can’t walk before you learn to crawl. Meditation must also be learned in incremental steps. The very first thing you need to master before you get into the advanced stuff is deceptively simple: Breathing. The breath is the center of all meditative practices; if you take away nothing else from your practice, at least get the hang of meditative breathing. The easiest way to do this is to count your breaths while meditating. Breathing at a slow but comfortable pace, count each inhale and exhale as one breath, up to ten breaths, then start over from one.
2. Start small.
It might be tempting to think you have to meditate for super long periods of time to reap the benefits. The Dalai Lama meditates 4 hours a day, after all, and he’s a pretty happy guy! But don’t stress yourself out if you can’t even make the 10-minute mark. You’re still new at this! Start as small as you need to. Even one meditative breath is more effective than none at all.
3. Try guided meditations.
Guided meditations are a great way to get your feet wet. Fabulous has guided meditations to serve all kinds of needs, from building self-esteem to increasing focus and more. Not only will a guide keep you on task, guided meditations can also be instructional and explain more of the theory and application behind meditation, which can be useful for understanding why posture is important or whether closing your eyes matters.
4. Meditate during different times of the day.
Some people find that meditating first thing in the morning helps them center themselves and feel ready for the day. Other people try to meditate in the morning only to fall right back asleep! Find a time of day that works best for you and your personal routine. Pick a time where you’re not too sleepy or keyed up and a quiet place where you can be alone for a few minutes.
5. Challenge yourself.
The only way you’ll ever improve at anything is to always keep pushing your boundaries. Once you find yourself getting comfortable with meditating, see if you can do more. Meditate for 15 minutes instead of 10. Try meditating without a guide. Fabulous even has a daily meditation challenge; check it out in the app!