Meditation has many positive effects, reducing stress among them. One of the best ways to consistently experience those benefits is to practice meditating regularly – the key is to be consistent with your practice of meditation to see the full benefits. Use the following tips towards better meditation:
1. Choose Between Guided or Self-Directed Meditation
The first option is to decide whether you are going to let someone else help you get to the right mental state, or whether you will take it upon yourself to learn the correct techniques. The benefits of guided meditation are that you can simply let the guide tell you what to do. In the age of the internet, you can find this guidance online or pre-recorded. In contrast self-directed meditation requires spending some time learning the techniques, but doesn’t require any special equipment or technology.
2. Establish the Right Environment
People react differently to stimuli within their environments. Some prefer meditation to music while others prefer total silence. The type of music can also affect how well you do when establishing your environment. Relaxation or classical music is often helpful, but you need to pick something that works for you.
3. Consider Taking a Yoga Class
Keeping your mind in shape is important. However, if your body is also not in shape, you may not experience the maximum benefits from meditation. Yoga is a natural fit with a meditation practice, as many yoga styles or forms naturally include meditation in their routines.
4. Focus on Your Breathing
If you decide to do-it-yourself and learn meditation, start with your breathing. The idea is to focus on your breathing as a means to remove distractions. Don’t fight your mind if it starts to wander. Just bring the focus back to your breathing. Also, don’t try to control your breathing. Breathe naturally, and simply listen and observe.
5. Keep a Consistent Schedule
Meditation is a skill, like any other, and requires practice. Getting to the right mindset requires time. You may not reach the desired level of mindset in the beginning, but it will happen over time the more you practice. Too many people give up early on because they don’t see the benefits. Keep at it.
6. Find a place to start your meditation practice
Use the same place every session and try to schedule at the same time for the same duration. You want to view this place as your sanctuary as it will become your special solitude when you develop your meditation skills. It’s a personal preference if you want to include others or if you want to keep it to yourself. If possible, use this space only for meditating so that it is easy to return. A multipurpose space has too much potential for distractions.
7. Watch the TED Talk about How Meditation Can Reshape Our Brains.
It is a 2012 talk by Sara Lazar and describes the neurobiological effects of meditation.
In summary, you might want to start with guided meditations so you learn how to do it right, and later learn the necessary skills to meditate on your own.