If you are here I’m guessing you’ve heard that meditation is good for everything, physical health, mental health, success in your career….. But no one kind of meditation is good for everyone.
Begin a Meditation Practice with self care in mind, it’s not something to force your way through. Many people do much better with guided meditation than silent meditation. If you are under great stress, have a high level of pain, or are prone to anxiety, sitting silently with your thoughts may make you more stressed or anxious; guided meditation on the other hand may be just the thing to help relax your mind and body.
There are endless styles of meditation that you can learn but most boil down to slowing down and watching your breath as means to quiet the mind and calm the nervous system.
3 basic forms of meditation are:
- Walking Meditation
- Guided Meditation
- Silent Meditation
For me taking a bath, swimming, watching the ocean are forms of meditation.
Basic guidelines for beginning a mediation practice.
- Take a class, many yoga studios offer meditation on a regular basis, or do some research about styles of meditation.
- Relieve physical tension with exercise or stretching before settling in to a still position.
- Find a position that will keep you as pain free as possible. Decide if it’s better to sit, which could be in a chair, or lie down, which could be on the floor or in bed.
- Make it quiet, close windows, turn off the phone, ask others to be quiet while you meditate.
- Start slowly but commit to a regular schedule. Such as 3 minutes a day everyday.
- Play with different methods, if being still is unbearable try walking meditation…
- Guided meditation is the easiest way for most people to begin a meditation practice.
- Be kind to yourself, you are learning a new skill and it takes time.
- Notice thoughts, allow them to be, and return to watching your breath.
- Make the mental suggestion to allow your body to relax a little more with each exhale.
- If you miss a day you miss a day.
- If it’s not a good day, allow your mind to wander and let your body rest, or cut it short and try again tomorrow.
- START SLOWLY, shorter time periods done frequently help you develop a habit.
Try using a meditation app. I like Insight Timer, it’s FREE and you can download the app or listen to guided meditations online. The app also has a timer, you can create presets for timed meditations. Presets allow you to add interval bells that help tack how far along you are. For me this has been a huge help in developing a silent meditation practice, a regular yoga practice has also been hugely helpful.
You can also take my free mini course Guided Meditations to Relax Mind and Body, it’s a progressive series of 4 guided meditations to help you reduce stress and begin a meditation practice.