Meditation is a practice that has been around for thousands of years, and it is a great way to reduce stress, improve focus, get better sleep, gain clarity of thoughts or simply be mentally strong. If you are a beginner, it can seem intimidating or confusing, but it uses some quite basic techniques and is simple to learn. Anyone, at any time, anyplace, can meditate.
Remember, each meditation brings you one step closer to a healthier lifestyle. By the end of this article, we will be more familiar with the concept of meditation along with providing meditation tips for beginners.
Meditation is simply a practice of spending time with our mind and understanding the interplay of our thoughts, feelings and emotions. It helps us declutter and re-organize our mind, and gives us the power to respond rather than react in any given situation.
It involves focusing the mind on a particular object, thought, or activity to increase awareness, calm the mind, and improve mental clarity.
Being a beginner, you may often tend to associate meditation with the practice of sitting in silence while putting an end to all of your thoughts and emotions in order to calm down. But that’s not the case. Instead of stopping your thoughts, the purpose of meditation is to let your thoughts come and go.
It can be practiced in many different ways, including sitting, lying down, walking, or even doing a simple task like washing dishes.
Before you begin meditating, there are a few things you should consider to make your experience more enjoyable and effective.
Find a comfortable place to meditate in
Especially when you’re just starting out, it is advisable to find a place which is comfortable and distraction free. This can be a dedicated meditation space, such as a room or corner of a room, or it can be a spot in your home or office where you can sit or lie down comfortably.
Wear comfortable clothing
Here’s an important meditation tip for a beginner- Since you will be sitting in the same position for a period of time, you do not want to be distracted by clothes that are too tight or itchy.
Wear clothing loose-fitting, breathable fabrics that are comfortable and allow you to move freely. Avoid clothing that is too tight or constricting like jeans or tight pants. It is also a good idea to remove any tight-fitting jewellery or watches that may cause you to feel uncomfortable and distracted.
Set a specific time for meditation
Next, you'll want to choose a time that works best for you. Some people find it most helpful to meditate in the morning, as it sets a positive tone for the rest of the day. Others find it easier to relax and clear their minds later in the day, such as in the evening before bed.
As a beginner, try to experiment with different times of day to see what works best for you. Ultimately, the best time to meditate is whenever you can make it a consistent part of your daily routine.
Set a timer
This can be especially useful for people who are new to meditation and may not be used to sitting still for long periods of time. So, to ensure you practice your meditation for long enough, set a timer so that you don't break your concentration by checking the time.
Consider your posture
Maintaining good posture is especially important for beginners as it can help to stay alert and focused, and it can also help to prevent physical discomfort or pain that might be a distraction from their meditation.
If you're sitting, you may want to sit on a cushion or in a chair with a straight back. If you're lying down, try to keep your spine straight and your arms and legs relaxed.
Get started with guided meditation
Guided meditations provide a structure and a clear set of instructions, which can be particularly helpful for if you are new to meditation and are unsure of how to get started. Additionally, your mind is quick enough to return to the breath through the instructions even if it starts to wander.
Once you've found a comfortable and quiet place, and you've decided on a time that works best for you, you're prepared to begin your meditation. Here are some steps you can follow:
Find a comfortable position
As already mentioned, it's important for you to find a position that is comfortable and allows you to stay focused. You can sit in a chair with your feet on the floor or if you want, you can sit loosely cross legged.
Be sure to keep your straight but not rigid and your arms and legs relaxed.
Close your eyes and focus on your breath
Take a few deep breaths and try to bring to your attention the sensation of the air entering and leaving your body. If your mind starts to wander, gently bring your awareness back to your breath.
Notice when your mind starts to wander
If your mind starts to wander during meditation, don’t worry. Being a beginner, it’s bound to happen and it's okay if you get lost in thought. When this happens, simply acknowledge the thought and then gently bring your attention back to your breath. Don’t judge yourself for being carried away.
Start small and improve gradually
When you're first starting out, it's best to keep your meditation sessions short and gradually increase the length as you become more comfortable with the practice. A good starting point is 5-10 minutes, and you can gradually increase the length as you feel ready.
The power of meditation can be felt in its effects on relaxation, stress reduction, and overall well-being. However, for those new to meditation, it can be challenging to get started and stay focused.
Your mind tends to wander
One of the most common problems is difficulty focusing during meditation. It is natural for your mind to wander, but it is important to try to bring your attention back to your breath whenever you notice your mind has wandered.
What to do?
Keep returning from distracted thoughts to your breath. Also, you can set a timer for your meditation, so that you know how long you will be meditating for and can stay focused on the task at hand. A guided meditation can help keep you on track and provide a structure for your practice.
You might feel distracted
Although it can be challenging, there are strategies to reduce external distractions like noise and people.
What to do?
Find a quiet, peaceful place to meditate. This could be a dedicated meditation room, or even just a quiet corner of your home. If you live in a noisy environment, you might try using noise-cancelling headphones or white noise to block out external distractions.
3. You might feel anxious
This is normal, especially if you are a beginner. Meditation involves quieting the mind and focusing on the present moment, which can be difficult for those who are used to thinking constantly and multitasking. It is also typical for feelings and thoughts that you may have been suppressing or avoiding to surface when you are meditating.
What to do?
One way to deal with these feelings is to acknowledge them and let them pass. Instead of trying to push them away, try to observe them without judgement and try to let them go. You can also try taking a few deep breaths to help you relax.
You might feel sleepy
It is common to feel sleepy or drowsy while meditating, especially if you are not used to the practice or if you are meditating at a time when you would normally be sleeping.
What to do?
Meditate at a time of day when you are normally awake. Also, avoid meditating immediately after a large meal.
Meditation is surely a great way to boost mental and physical health. There are many benefits to be gained from incorporating meditation into your daily routine, especially if you are a student.
To get started, you can search for meditation titled 'Stop panic in exams' on the Level Supermind app. Boost your brain power, reduce stress and enhance overall well being by downloading the app from here- Level Supermind.
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Improved focus and concentration
If you are a student, meditation will improve your ability to concentrate and stay focused on your studies, which can be especially useful when preparing for exams.
Reduced stress and anxiety
Being a student, you may be well aware that school can be stressful. So, meditation will help you to relax and manage your stress and anxiety levels.
Meditation will help you as a student to fall asleep faster and sleep more soundly, which can be beneficial for both physical and mental health.
At this age, getting hold of your thoughts can seem to be difficult. Once you start meditating, you’ll become more self-aware and in tune with your thoughts and emotions, which can lead to better decision-making and improved mental health.
Improved memory and learning
Do you find it difficult to memorize things during exam time? Meditation has been shown to improve memory and learning, which can be helpful for you to retain information for exams and assignments.
Level Supermind provides hundreds of guided meditations to improve your mind performance in the long run. Here are two of the best meditations to help you get started:
Beginner’s series: Learn the basics of meditation and integrate it in your daily routine to sharpen your focus, handle stress better and become more self aware.
21 days challenge: Does building a daily meditation habit seem impossible to you? Get started with this 21-day meditation challenge to build consistency with quick 4 minute meditations everyday.
Additionally, Level Supermind has a music library to boost your mind performance with tunes specially meant for focus, work, relaxation, sleep and managing emotions better.