One conscious breath in and out is a meditation.– Eckhart Tolle
Are you trying to include meditation into your daily routine? Has it been a struggle?
Many say that it is easy to start meditating. What happens when you find it to be difficult?
The fact is that starting a new habit which includes meditation isn’t easy for everyone.
Some people find quiet meditation to be boring.
Others feel like there is no benefit from the process. Scheduling barriers may also be present.
With some simple meditation techniques for beginners, it can become easier to start meditating on a regular basis.
Even if you just meditate 2-5 minutes when beginning, that’s better than not meditating at all.
In time, the benefits of meditation will begin to show themselves.
You’ll be able to reduce your stress and anxiety.
And it starts when you can begin adding techniques like these into your daily routine.
#1. Choose a time that is convenient for you.
Many meditation articles will tell you that meditating during your morning routine is preferable.
Talk about adding pressure to the situation. Meditate before work… or else!
Morning meditation doesn’t work for everyone.
Instead of trying to meditate like others do, it is more important to meditate in a way that works for you.
If that means you meditate at night before bed instead of in the morning, then do it.
Ignore the advice. Listen to your body.
Sometimes meditating during a lunch break is the best solution for some people.
Meditating during a walk is a possibility.
You can meditate when you’re taking a bath or a shower if that is where it fits best into your routine.
Now there is a benefit to meditating at the same time every day if you can.
If you cannot, then don’t worry about it.
It’s better to meditate every day at different times than not meditate at all.
This simple meditation technique works because it eliminates the pressure of adding meditation to your schedule at a specific time.
Schedule a time that is convenient for you and it will become a lot easier to meditate every day.
#2. Find a quiet place that works for you.
When you look at the average meditation article, there are pictures of these serene areas of nature that look isolated and perfect.
Go hike into the woods or find an isolated garden, assume the lotus position, and you’ll have perfect meditation.
Except life is seldom perfect.
Kids yell. Alarm clocks don’t work. Bosses have surprise projects for you at work.
The best place for meditation is one that makes you comfortable above anything else.
How one person defines 'quiet' can be quite different than another person's definition.
If listening to the sounds of a city relaxes you, then find a spot where you are unlikely to be disturbed and meditate away.
If any sound may disturb your concentration, then consider using white noise with noise-cancelling headphones to help you stay focused.
You can even meditate while watching TV if that’s what you need to do.
Maybe you won’t find the perfect tree or rock to meditate by.
That’s okay. Your couch can work just fine too.
#3. Meditate in a posture that makes you comfortable.
There are many health issues that can stop someone from adopting the traditional lotus position for meditation.
From a bad knee to a painful back, this position isn’t for everyone.
It is more important to be comfortable than to sit a certain way when you’re trying to meditate.
Your posture can make a difference in how you are able to meditate, so choose a posture that makes you steady, comfortable, and relaxed.
If that means you meditate while lying in bed, snuggled warm under the covers, then do it.
Or meditate while you’re stretched out on the couch. You can meditate while standing if that is comfortable for you.
The idea that you must be in the lotus position in order to meditate is a myth.
Unfortunately, it is a myth that has caused many people to abandon their quest to achieve the benefits of meditation. It needs to stop.
So get comfortable. Then meditate in a way that meets your needs, no matter what position that happens to be.
#4. Try to meditate before you eat.
Meditation can take up a surprising amount of energy.
If you’re meditating after you’ve just eaten a large meal, then you’re going to be dividing the energy of your body.
Part of it will go to digestion, while the other part goes toward your meditation efforts.
What does this do? It splits your attention.
At some level, you are thinking about how your body is reacting to the food you’ve given it.
This prevents you from focusing solely on the process of meditation.
Of course, the opposite is also true.
If you’re too hungry when you try to meditate, all you’ll be thinking about is the pain in your stomach.
So you need to balance these two issues.
If food is all you can think about, then have a snack before meditating so you’ll be able to focus.
And if you’ve had a meal, allow your body to digest the food for a little while before you start to meditate.
This will prevent the fatigue that occurs after eating from preventing a good meditation session.
#5. Find something real to focus upon.
For meditation to work, it becomes necessary at some level to focus on something.
This concentrates your thoughts and efforts toward the process of meditating, creating a transition from your daily responsibilities and to-do lists to a place of peace.
Forcing yourself to focus on your breathing in order to meditate is another myth that needs to go away.
So is the idea that a visual focus can only be a candle or some other “peaceful” item.
Pick something that is important and familiar to you.
It could be a family photograph. It could be a favorite book. It could be your favorite coffee mug.
Then focus on that object and let your mind go.
If you prefer a flame and a candle isn’t working, then stare at a fireplace.
You can even stare at a burner on your stove if you wish.
As long as you are safe, then it becomes possible to focus upon something to begin the process of meditation.
There will be thoughts and memories that flood your mind first.
It’s okay to get lost in those memories for some time or to examine those thoughts.
Then file them away and bring your attention back to the current moment.
The first days may be difficult. You may feel like you haven’t meditated at all. This is normal.
What you are doing here is changing how you think at a core level about meditation.
You’re creating a new skill that will help you be able to meditate in the future.
This skill can take some time to develop.
Even if meditating is hard in the first days, you’ll still be working toward an ability to reduce stress and anxiety.
Look toward the big picture. If today felt like a failure, then pick yourself up, dust off, and try again the next day.
#6. Think about a mantra that works for you.
What is a mantra? It is the repetition of a certain word or phrase.
When we repeat words, it creates a certain level of calmness and focus that allows the mind to look for deeper truths.
This is why many religions and spiritual practices incorporate mantras at some level.
Even the Catholic church includes mantras. This is the structure behind praying the rosary.
When it comes to meditation, many may encourage you to adopt Sanskrit mantras.
Mind Body Green offers 5 ancient mantras that will transform your life.
In reality, this is another point of focus.
If you’re the type of person who has racing thoughts when it is time to go to bed, then consider using this technique for meditation.
It will help your mind stay busy. This will reduce random thoughts.
It makes it easier to continue with meditation when normally you might be ready to throw in the towel.
You can choose your own mantra. You can choose a religious mantra. You can choose ancient mantras.
Just choose something that makes sense for your needs and you’ll find that the benefits of meditation will be easier to obtain.
#7. Use a physical activity to stay focused.
Adults often need something to keep their hands busy in order to stay focused on the present moment.
This is why one of the most common pieces of advice to improve meeting productivity is to introduce toys and other objects.
Physical activities inspire creativity. Hand movements can diffuse anxiety.
Items offer a tactile sensation that can even engage the whole person.
If you’re really struggling to keep a mental focus and you’ve incorporated the other simple meditation techniques already, then consider adding something tactile to your new routine.
Prayer beads, mala beads, a rosary, or some other item can help you to stay focused on the task at hand.
Some may say that introducing items like this creates a distraction.
That it could minimize the benefits of meditation that could be achieved.
For some, this may be true if the sole focus of meditating is to count off a specific mantra for every bead.
If beads are a distraction, other physical activities may also be used as a meditation aid.
Walking and meditation is very common. Swinging in a park while meditating is a possibility.
As long as it works for you, then it becomes a simple meditation technique that can be used.
And if something isn’t working for you, don’t be afraid to change things up.
Adding a physical activity can be a process of trial and error until you get it right.
#8. Bring in a guide.
Sometimes the biggest barrier toward meaningful meditation is our own brain.
If you find yourself always being distracted from the process of meditation, then it can be helpful to bring in a guide to help you stay focused.
This may mean joining a guided meditation group in your community.
You may consider asking a friend or family member to meditate with you.
There are also downloadable aids that you can play during a meditation session that can help you stay focused.
Certain sounds can also be used as a guide for meditating.
Sounds like rain hitting a window, ocean waves coming ashore, or various nature sounds can help to guide your environment toward a setting that works well for your needs.
#9. Don’t give up.
If an environment isn’t working for you, then choose a different place to meditation to see if it will work better.
If you struggle to meditate in the morning, then meditate in the evening to see if that works better.
Or meditate at lunch. Or whatever time works best in your schedule.
If you struggle to stay focused, then change your point of focus.
Keep changing it until you find something that works.
Meditation looks different for everyone.
Go into a new routine of meditation with the idea that you will not give up and it will become easier to eventually find the right solution for you.
Otherwise you’re giving yourself an opportunity to give up. This often becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Meditation can be a difficult habit to start.
There are many ways to meditate. More than 100 different meditation techniques are possible.
This means it is more important to find the way that works for you instead of trying to copy what everyone else is trying to do.
Including these simple meditation techniques into your daily routine is a good place to start.
Be patient with yourself. Be forgiving of yourself if your time of meditation doesn’t seem to be fruitful.
Your persistence will one day pay off.