Often we get overwhelmed in the course of our daily life. This can lead to stress and tensions that can ultimately affect our health. Using meditation on a regular basis gives our mind a chance to quiet itself and adjust to the stresses and strains that are part and parcel of our modern daily life.
To start meditating, choose a time and a place where you won't be disturbed for the duration of your meditation session.
When you are starting out, you may decide to set aside 10 or 15 minutes for your meditation session. This is plenty of time when you are beginning to meditate and in our hectic daily lives it may well be that this is the maximum amount of time that you feel you can devote to meditating.
Whatever works for you is good – it's much better to spend a few minutes a day meditating than to put it off completely. Over time, you may decide that you are getting sufficient benefits that you want to increase the amount of time you spend in a meditative state, but that's completely your choice.
If you can spare the time, your aim should be to have two 20 minute meditation sessions each day. Research has shown that spending this amount of time meditating leads to better health and can help reduce the stresses and strains of daily life.
Your checklist for starting meditation:
(1) Choose a time of day when you are unlikely to be disturbed.
(2) Choose a place where you feel comfortable and can relax.
That's all! :)
The time of day should be one where you can make it a habit to meditate at that time. Some people find that meditating first thing in the morning is a good time for them.
Other people, myself included, meditate last thing at night before going to sleep. You may find that the best time for you is whilst the rest of the family is watching a program on television. There is no exact time that is best for everyone. Whatever works for you is good! Just make sure that you practice on a regular basis.
The actual place where you decide to meditate is again up to you. A few people set aside a room in their house as their meditation room but if you're just starting out, that's probably a bit too extreme.
Instead, you may decide to meditate in your bedroom, the lounge, the kitchen or even the garden. The exact place where you meditate doesn't matter too much – it’s much more important that you actually start practicing meditation.
If you find that the original place you chose isn't working for you, don't be afraid to change it. The same goes for the time and the method that you chose. The ultimate benefit of meditation far exceeds the precise method of meditation that you use to reach the benefit.
One of the easiest ways to start meditating is to use a guided meditation. This is a CD or MP3 that contains all the instructions you need to achieve a state of meditation. All you need to do is to find somewhere that you won't be disturbed, sit or lie down and play the audio file.
You can also try focusing on your breath. This is probably one of the easiest methods of meditation to begin with.
Start by adopting a comfortable position. You could sit down in a chair or lie back on a bed. The important part is to be comfortable so that you're able to focus solely on your breathing.
Once you're comfortable, close your eyes.
Start to notice your breathing. We breathe so often that we tend to take breathing for granted. So take the time to notice your breathing.
Notice the air filling your lungs.
Then notice as you breathe out and the air leaves your lungs.
Repeat the process of noticing your breath.
As you do this, you'll find thoughts coming up. They might be about family, friends, work or absolutely anything else. That doesn't matter – it's all part of the process and it is perfectly normal to continue to have thoughts whilst you are meditating.
But once these thoughts come up, let them drift out with your next breath. Each time your thoughts drift, bring your mind back to focusing on your breathing.
Make it your routine. Start practicing meditation daily!