Meditation is becoming more popular every day. People are appealing to the opportunity to calm anxieties, relax their minds, and become more aware of their deeper self. Studies have confirmed the positive effects of meditation on the body so it is no surprise! When first getting started, the process can sometimes become discouraging. To set yourself up for success, it is a good idea to spend some time experimenting with different types of meditation or working with instruction from a teacher to get started.
A common pitfall when just starting out is believing that meditation only occurs when you are able to clear your mind of all thought. When someone realizes they are unable to do this successfully, they sometimes give up and believe they just cannot do it. This could not be less true! Losing track of your thoughts and becoming distracted is normal and part of the process. The goal is to recognize that your mind has wandered and then intentionally redirect your mind to the present moment. Think of meditation as you would think of exercise and training your body. It takes a lot of practice to train your mind. This is all part of the meditation practice.
Beginning the Journey
Start by setting aside five to ten minutes to meditate. Ideally, you should look to find a quiet space to do this. A lot of external noise distractions can make it more difficult, especially for beginners. A more traditional posture to take is to sit cross-legged with your hands resting on your knees. The main object though is to get into a posture that is comfortable while still keeping you alert. Lying down in your bed may end with you falling asleep instead. There are various approaches to meditation which include focusing on the breath, repeating a mantra, or practicing visualizations. You may also find some teachers recommending keeping your eyes closed while others will allow you to keep them open. It will take some time and experimentation to figure out which approach you feel is the most effective for you. The most important part is to make sure you are meditating with consistency. After only a few weeks you will likely notice the practice becoming easier while also noticing the impact it has on other areas of your life. Over time you may want to increase the duration of your sessions or even practice multiple times a day.
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