How to meditate properly? 8 Good tips
Meditation is far from being a load of old mumbo jumbo, practiced only by monks and hippies. Benefits of meditation are numerous: it can be a way to calm yourself, improve your mood, treat nervous disorders, fight stress and generally make you become a much more focused and ‘present’ person. The art of meditation is, essentially, clearing your mind of all the usual jumble of thoughts and focussing on one thing alone. You probably even did it when you were a child, when you couldn’t sleep, you focussed on sheep jumping over a gate or some other pleasant image. Meditation doesn’t take years and years to learn either, so read our eight introductory tips on how to meditate properly, to get you started:
1. Find the right location
You need to find a place where you can meditate, which is free from all distractions and where you can feel safe and relaxed. Ideally, this should not be the same place that you work or exercise, as it should be your comfortable place, preferably surrounded by nature, like your garden or in a quiet spot in a park. You can also meditate at home; soothing music and scented candles can help create relaxing and calm atmosphere for your mediation (it’s totally optional though).
2. Adopt the right posture
The next tip on how to meditate properly is – keep your back straight. There’s no need to contort your body into an impossible position like the lotus posture, but how you sit is important. Make sure that you are sitting comfortably and sit with your back straight and your head as high, as you can stretch it. Your straight back will help you breathe easier and, if you slump, your mind is more likely to start to wander.
Whilst you are keeping your back straight, you are not a soldier standing to attention! It may take a bit of practice, but try and relax. Think about each muscle in your body and allow it to relax and begin to feel calm in yourself.
4. Close your eyes and focus on your breathing
Our next step on how to meditate properly is – now close your eyes and breathe deeply. Slowly count your breaths in, from one to ten, and then start again and with each breath out, start to feel your body relaxing even further. There’s no magic to the number ten, so if you count too many or too few breaths, don’t worry, but concentrate on your breathing.
5. Dealing with thoughts
Though you are trying to clear your mind, thoughts will enter your head or noises around you may distract you. Don’t get angry with those thoughts, though, just gently remove them from your mind and return your attention and focus to your breathing.
6. Dealing with emotions
Emotions lead to thoughts and your mind begins to follow the story behind those emotions. When emotions threaten your meditation, try and focus on the part of your body that is being affected by the emotions, rather than the thoughts. For example, if you are experiencing fear, then this might be making you feel tight around the chest, so focus on relieving that physical tightness and not the cause of the fear.
7. Find pleasure in your meditation. Smile. Feel grateful.
Our next tip on how to meditate properly is – enjoy your meditation. Meditation does not need to be a sombre or religious experience; it is something to be enjoyed. With your mind focussed and at ease, and your body relaxed, enjoy the tranquillity and the peace in your mind that you are experiencing and even allow a smile to come to your face.
8. Never force yourself to mediate for longer, than you really want
How long should you meditate? There are no hard and fast rules in meditation; it’s whatever works for you. Don’t force yourself to meditate for any fixed period of time, but, beginners find that around 5-10 minutes, to start with, is usually enough. In time, twenty five minutes at a time might be more appropriate, but never force yourself to mediate for longer, than you really want, it just won’t work like that; meditation should be pleasant and enjoyable.
Do you practice meditation? Do you have some other tips on how to meditate properly? Feel free to share your thoughts and meditation tips in the comment section below.