A beginner’s guide to meditation
Are you interested in meditation but don’t know where to begin? You may have heard people waxing lyrical about the practice and want to explore it for yourself, or maybe you’re intrigued to know what all the fuss is about. It can be difficult to get your head around when you first start out though – should I be thinking? What is it supposed to feel like? And how do you know if you are, in fact, meditating? The trick is to not overthink it but take it day by day and find what works for you.
What is meditation?
Meditation is the practice of training your mind to focus and redirect your thoughts. It won’t stop the mind from thinking entirely but its purpose is to allow thoughts to come and go and teach you to observe thoughts without judgement or bias. It’s an age-old practice used to increase awareness, reduce stress and promote a positive outlook on life.
Benefits of meditation
Meditation isn’t just a new-age fad. Countless studies have shown that meditation can help to reduce stress, improve emotional health, enhance self-awareness (understanding yourself better, enabling you to become the best version of yourself), help us to focus for longer and improve sleep.
How to meditate
1. Have a clear intention. If you don’t know why you’re meditating it will be hard to focus. Do you want to feel happier, calmer, more focused, less stressed? Setting an intention will help create the right attitude before you start.
2. Find a comfortable seated position. This helps us to feel grounded and not get distracted by movement or feelings of discomfort. Try sitting cross-legged on the floor or on a chair with feet firmly on the floor, hands in lap.
3. Keep your back straight. A lot of us tend to slump when we sit but keeping your spine straight and engaged can help us focus and stay aware. Try rolling your shoulders back before you begin.
4. Close your eyes and focus on your breath. Closing your eyes will help you to stop from being distracted by other objects in the room and by focusing on your breath coming in and out, our minds have something other than our thoughts to concentrate on.
5. Start small. It’s not often that we sit still with nothing distracting us, so meditating can be hard when you first begin. Start with a five or 10-minute meditation and gradually build up to 15, 20 minutes or longer.
6. Try a guided meditation. If you’re struggling to meditate on your own, try a meditation app like Headspace or Calm that will guide you through the process.
Another way to help with meditation is to create a calming environment. Try diffusing our Tranquil Blend Essential Oil before you begin, to calm the mind and body and shop our full range of aromatherapy here.