The goal of meditation isn’t to control your thoughts, it’s to stop letting your thoughts control you. Our minds are so busy all the time, but with a regular meditation practice we become aware of our thoughts and emotions, we learn to be more present and to live in the moment.
Meditation aids in reducing negativity, anxiety, depression, anger, insecurities and fears; the list is endless. I have heard so many people say they don’t have time to meditate, but they watch Netflix for hours, sleep in, spend hours on social media, YOU as much as anybody else in the entire Universe, deserve your love and affection.
Here are some top tips to get you started and to keep you in the habit:
1. Practice DAILY and start small:
I cannot tell you how important it is to commit to your practice daily; if you can make this practice a part of your lifestyle, you will reap the benefits holistically (body-mind-spirit).
Make a commitment you can keep, one that fits in with your life and your schedule. For me personally, I prefer night time meditation, to assist in a good night’s sleep, to give my mind a rest of the day’s activities and to regroup, but most importantly, because I am not a morning person at all. I find it very difficult to do anything meaningful before 8AM.
Start with 2 minutes a day, consistency is far more important than intensity. Once you feel comfortable with 2 minutes, you can then move up to 3 minutes, then 5 minutes or you can add a minute each week.
2. Pick your space:
Try to be consistent with the same location. A location where you feel comfortable and safe. Choose a sacred space; you can light candles and incense. Make sure to select a quiet space where you will not be disturbed during your meditations.
3. Get comfortable:
Listen to your body and let your body determine how to sit. If sitting hurts your back, sit on a cushion or chair and choose a position that is comfortable for you. I would highly recommend a good (and beautiful) meditation cushion to sit on.
4. Focus on breathing:
Start with the intention to focus on your breath.
Start with a few deep & slow breaths (this type of breathing slows down ones heart rate, puts you into a relaxed state and focuses the mind). Continue with slow, deep breaths and when you feel your mind has settled and is more focused on the “here and now”, you can resume your normal breathing. Stay focused on the breathing.
5. Expect to think:
KNOW that your mind will have a lot of thoughts popping in and out, expect it. Many beginners have a difficult time quieting their minds during meditation, this is very normal. If your mind does wonder, acknowledge the thought like a cloud passing and bring your attention back to your breathing, without emotion and without judgement, every single time…
If you find your thoughts very distracting, take another three slow, deep breaths (inhaling and holding for a few seconds into your belly), then exhale slowly, to refocus the mind.
Our minds are easily distracted and think it is in control of us, it really isn’t, and we need to take back control of our minds!
6. Make use of multi-media
I love using meditation apps as well and highly recommend it for beginners. There are wonderful apps available for Apple iOS as well as Android. I personally use “Calm” and “Aura.
Meditation: Because some questions cannot be answered by Google.