Meditation is very simple. it’s just the act of making it into a daily habit that is hard. So today we’re going to talk about exactly how to meditate?
Where should I meditate?
Technically you can meditate anywhere you like because it is an exercise for the mind. You can meditate sitting in a chair, sitting on the floor, and even laying in bed. However, there is an optimal way to meditate. It’s best to avoid meditating in bed because you tend to fall asleep.
Meditating on the floor with your back straight up is actually considered to be the most formal and beneficial way to meditate. This is because it keeps you wide awake and allows you to sit for long periods of time.
What do I do with my body?
A lot of well-seasoned meditators will preach about how your feet need to be on top of each other. However, for the majority of people who are beginners is perfectly fine to have them criss-cross on top of each other like a pretzel.
Arms and Hands
Your arms should be resting on your thighs. Form a cup shape with your hands. If you want your thumbs can touch your feet, it’s totally up to you. What’s more important is that your arms should feel relaxed.
Back and Head
Your back should be straight. Your head should not be tilted upwards or downwards, just forward.
You have the option of meditating with your eyes open or with your eyes closed. However, for most beginners, I would recommend you to meditate with your eyes closed as it’s easier to focus. If you do choose to meditate with your eyes open do not focus your eyes on an object in front of you instead, look into the distance.
How long should I meditate?
Before you start your meditation session, you’ll want to set an alarm. This is because time tends to feel a lot slower when you first start meditating. So setting an alarm helps prevent a constant need to wonder about how much time is left in the session.
For first-time meditators, I’d recommend you start with just 5 minutes on the clock, as you make meditation into a daily practice and get more used to sitting in the meditative position for a long period of time you can increase the time. Most people recommend meditating between 10-20 minutes.
What do I do during meditation?
There are many different forms of meditation; some focus on things around you, some involve reciting words in your mind, the one you’ll be learning today is one of the most commonly taught forms of meditation and it’s called mindfulness breathing meditation. It’s very easy to learn and it’s considered to be just as powerful and insightful as any other form of meditation.
In this meditation, you have to focus on your breath. First, you want to make sure that you’re breathing through your nose. Then all you have to do is focus all of your attention on your breath. Observe the way the air feels as it flows through your nostrils, observe the way your breath transitions from inhale to exhale, observe that little pause between those two actions, observe every single aspect about the way it feels.
You’ll quickly notice is that thoughts will start appearing in your mind and will distract you from this. When you notice your mind wandering like this simply pull the focus back to the breath; this is how you train your mindfulness muscle.
Most people who meditate for the first time will find it extremely hard to focus on just the breath for even a couple of seconds. You’ll find themselves lost and dot quite often this is totally normal. So don’t criticize yourself if it happens. All you have to do is simply bring your attention back to your breathing. A good trick that I personally use to quickly bring my focus back is to focus all of my attention on the little bridge between inhale and exhale, that little pause where your body transitions during its act of breathing.
While meditating try as hard as possible to avoid moving. Itches and urges will arise throughout your meditation session, this is normal, simply bring your focus back to your breath and the feeling will eventually go away.
How often should I meditate?
In order to really start seeing the benefits of meditation, you should meditate on a daily basis. My routine is 10 minutes a day every single day when I wake up. Some people like to do it twice a day like Arnold Schwarzenegger, who does it 20 minutes a day when he wakes up and 20 minutes right before he goes to bed. As long as you make it into a daily habit that is the most important factor.
When will I start seeing benefits?
Well, first of all, you have to be doing it on a daily basis. The length of each session also plays a part on how fast you see the benefits but ultimately it’s hard to say because it really does differ from person to person. Certain people are less mindful in general due to the way they were brought up. So it’ll take them a little bit longer to start seeing the benefits.
My personal experience, it took me about a month of meditating every single day before I noticed any benefit myself. I found myself in a better mood overall and was less likely to get consumed by certain negative emotions. As I continued the practice I noticed more and more benefits along the line.