When it comes to top wellness practices that really make a significant impact on a person’s wellbeing, meditation most definitely makes the list for me.
Although it’s only been about a year since I started meditating consistently, I firmly believe it’s inspired significant strides in decreasing my anxiety, and has helped me learn how to approach each day with less reactivity.
But it’s taken me all this time to get into it because truthfully:
Meditation looks intimidating.
I mean, common- crossing your legs for any longer than a couple of minutes just can’t be comfortable, can it?
And isn’t the “ohming” aloud part embarrassing?
Low-key my thoughts a little over one year ago.^
While I’m no glorified guru today, what I’ve learned is that meditation doesn’t have to look just one type of way.
Which is why I can’t wait to share the simple steps to help you build your practice from beginner to Buddha status AND begin experiencing the life-changing benefits in the next few minutes!
Designed to teach you the methods I’ve found most meaningful for attracting a deeper sense of mental clarity and combatting anxiety, today’s blog is here to help you “ohm out” with effort and ease, wrinkle free.
But before we get into the five strategies that empowered me, let’s briefly back it up to overview the basics for us newbies:
WHAT’S THE GOAL WITH MEDITATION ANYWAY?
Meditation is defined in the Merriam-Webster as:
To engage in contemplation or reflection (and)
To engage in mental exercise for the purpose of reaching a heightened level of spiritual awareness
In other words, meditation is a self-reflective, spiritual practice that’s been utilized for thousands of years to help people connect with the divine inside, access clarity and peace of mind, and achieve an empowered state of awareness.
It’s benefits range from easing anxiety and chronic pain to increasing one’s capability to capture creativity and a connection to their internal – and eternal – wisdom.
Seeking out extra assistance with anxiety, emotion management and overthinking is what personally got me started with meditating.
And although it sounds like a mouthful, maybe one (or all!) of those reasons resonate with why you’re reading this today too?
Maybe you’re like so many of us and sometimes struggle with feeling:
Anxious about the future (and that upcoming career merger)..Impatient with the present (and it not being perfectly on point with your color-coded, invites-already-accepted plans).. and/or emotional about the past (be it by triggering thoughts about your breakup or trauma from your childhood).
Whatever it may be, I’m so happy you’re here with me, and can’t wait to start our beginner-to-Buddha, newbie’s guide to meditation journey!
With step #1 being:
#1. SET THE STAGE FOR MINDFULNESS & GET COMFY
Your environment is an element that will undoubtedly affect your meditation experience.
Unless, of course, you’ve already achieved #EnlightenmentStatus. (*wink wink*)
You’ve gotta get comfy, conscious being!
Start by sliding up your favorite pair of sweats or stretchy pants, and then secure a special setup in a (ideally) quiet spot in your house.
Here’s what my lil spot looks like right now:
As you can see, you can create a pretty magical space with a small amount of equipment.
Secured in my spot I’ve got:
Books like A Course In Miracles and Meditations on Self-Love, my journal and a cutie gel pen, candles, essential oil, and a floor pillow paired with a 1/2-inch extra thick mat to create a supported, soft and soothing sanctuary.
But that’s just me!
Your corner can look completely different as long as you give yourself that permission.
Which leads us to:
#2. GIVE YOURSELF PERMISSION TO MAKE MEDITATION WORK FOR YOU
As we briefed over before, meditation comes in many, MANY forms.
You can breathe quietly or you can exhale as if there’s an entire opera in need of escaping your lungs.
Or maybe you’re looking for some sort of sign, and just sit there in silence instead, like a snake soaking up its life-force from the sun.
All off these examples to simply say:
(My fellow, recovering perfectionists will love this!)
There’s NO right way.
It all depends on how you feel that day, and what you’re looking to get out of your practice.
You could really use some music to set the tone and help soothe the cyclical stressin’ goin’ on in your head?
Go for it!
Want to tap your toes to create a good, ol’ fashioned, grounding rhythm?
Tippity-tap away hunnay.
Truth be told, my meditation practice morphs into some pretty curious forms.
One morning I’m making sweet love to my mindset, mulling over some motivational mantra, and the next I’m mosh pit style banging my head back and forth as I work to free my mind of unwanted negativity.
Oh- and that’s one more thing.
Meditation doesn’t just have to be a motivational, Monday morning, bright and early kinda thing.
Especially after consistently coming back to your practice for a bit, you’ll develop the skill to tap into your mindfulness practice anytime, anywhere.
Middle of a meeting ‘cause you can’t freaking breathe you’re so stressed your presentation might not meet the standards of your team?
On the squished-like-sardines Subway because you’re claustrophobic and can’t see the door?
You’ve got it, girl.
Like I said- anytime, anywhere!
Now, how do you build UP to this level of expertise?
Keep scrolling to see your beginner’s guide to meditation, step #3:
#3. CHALLENGE YOURSELF WITH A TIMER
Let’s consider the point made- there’s TONS of ways to meditate.
But you won’t meditate at all if you don’t invest your awareness in real time.
So mark your calendar and make it happen!
Something I would also suggest you do when just beginning with meditating is to set your timer, start slow, steady and simple.
Challenge yourself to a quick 10 minutes a day- and five if you don’t have that.
BUT- whether you sit on a puppy bed or pillow you must be careful and PLZ just:
#4. DON’T JUDGE
Whatever you do:
Don’t judge yourself if your mind runs wild the entire ten minutes you had committed, and don’t judge your practice if you sit there in complete silence and still don’t get any answers from your eternal spirit.
Remember, there’s no right way to do this – and no one’s watching but you anyways.
You’ve got this!
Just like Aristotle said, “Patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet.”
Breathe it out, ohm it out, mantra it out – whatever you need to do.
But trust that YOU, your Universe/God/Guardian Angel, and this step-by-step mediation guide have got you.
#5. RINSE & REPEAT
I’ve already hinted at this, so we’ll make this one quick:
Consistency is KEY.
So please, if you are interested in adopting a meditation practice because you want to benefit from REAL results, don’t ghost.
Even if the first try feels icky and uncomfortable — come back.
Prove to yourself that your wellbeing is worth showing up for.
Because it will more than likely be uncomfortable at first, but it absolutely gets easier.
I mean, we DO have to remember- Buddha didn’t reach enlightenment in a few, five-minute sit downs either.
Be patient with your practice and with yourself!
Besides, there’s a strikingly special, divine beauty in devoting yourself to development and growth, regardless of knowing the outcome.
P.S. What’s your favorite meditation tip? Drop it below and let’s share the love!