Meditation may help boost your health, improve your mood, and increase feelings of connection with those around you. But for beginners, it might seem daunting to navigate. There are plenty of reasons why meditation for beginners can seem off-putting. Sometimes the meditation-curious never get started. Other times, they throw in the towel too soon. If you are interested in meditation, here are some tips for you.
- Go into your meditation practice without expectations
Meditation is no instant quick-fix to solving all of life’s problems. As with any other form of exercise, meditation takes effort, and it takes time to reap the benefits.
Try not to go into each meditation with expectations of how you will feel after or how much better of a person you will become. Instead, approach each time to meditate as an opportunity to get to know your own mind better.
- Choose a time to meditate, and stick to it
When you schedule a time of the day to meditate, it can be easier to establish the practice as a habit, and you’ll be more likely to do it each day. For example, you may want to try pairing meditation with a daily habit you already have in place, like journaling before bed or having a cup of coffee in the morning.
- Mediate for short periods of time at first
If you’re a beginner, long stints of meditation could be challenging. When starting anything new, taking it slow can help you build confidence.
According to research on establishing healthy habits, people should aim for small and manageable behavior changes because failure can be discouraging. If you’re getting into meditation, consider starting with just one or two minutes a day. Over time, you can work your way up to longer sessions.
- Create a designated space to meditate
Choosing a room or a space to meditate can help train the body and mind to feel more comfortable and allow you to more easily transition into meditation. Think of it in the same way you’d only go to your home office to focus on work — it’s important to set up a dedicated space to help you stay focused on meditation.
Creating a meditation space and keeping it clean and uncluttered can help make meditation feel special and important. It is also an opportunity to create a space that nourishes a more relaxed state of mind; for example, you could add plants, find a cool spot by a window, and keep it a phone-free zone in your home.
- Wear your favorite clothing
Meditation can feel like a battle for focus and attention. You can make it easier on yourself by limiting distractions like uncomfortable clothing.
Clothes that are too tight, too loose, or restricting, can be a drain on your attention. Keep the temperature in mind, as well. If your clothes are making you too hot or cold, it could be hard to meditate. Choose clothes that fit well and that are appropriate for the temperature.
- Get Comfortable
A floor cushion, pillow, or yoga mat can also help you sink into a more comfortable position. Consider lighting a soothing candle or turning on a white noise machine to get the ambiance just right. Overall, the more comfortable you are, the easier the meditation will be.