Tranquility. Solace. Peace of Mind. These are some of the words that come to mind when you think of meditation. I’ll be the first to admit that it took some time before I could get on board with the meditation trend. Sitting still for 30 minutes? What! I have things to do, moves to shake, stuff like that. Anywho, I decided before I write off the Eastern practice of stillness, I would actually try it first.
And I’m sure you can guess what happened next? I actually enjoyed sitting still. Dedicating time before I start my day to clearing out my thoughts, centering my energy and focusing my intentions has done wonders for my well-being and peace of mind. Go figure.
While meditation may seem like its involved or requires deep knowledge of Buddhism, it really doesn’t and anyone can incorporate the basic practice of meditation into their daily lives. Here are some quick tips to get still and start meditating.
Find a Quiet Place
The key to clearing out your thoughts, shaping your mental picture and quieting your mind is silence; internally and externally. Find a quiet place in your home and make it your meditation corner. Grab a comfortable pillow to sit on, easy lighting and maybe a candle or two. You want to be relaxed and at ease in order to sit for extended periods of time. Treat your corner as your sanctuary. Read Madame Noire’s piece on creating a meditation corner.
Add some Soothing Sounds
I tend to focus when I have soothing sounds to clear out my thoughts. Water works well or sounds from nature. You can invest in a mini fountain or nature sounds playlist. I also like to put on the site Rainymood.com and listen to the rain soundtrack.
Breathing is essential to meditation. Practice taking measured deep breathes to slow your mind. Focus your attention on inhaling and exhaling. When a negative or unsavory thought enters your mind, take a deep breath and breathe that thought out of your mind. Do this until your mind is empty.
Honor Your Mantra
Some people meditate with mantras, some don’t. It’s really a personal preference. Instead of focusing on your breath you can repeat (in your head or aloud) your mantra. Remember to make your mantra a declarative statement and positive. Instead of saying “I will be happy” say “I am happy” or instead of “I want to be rich” repeat “I am full of abundance in wealth”.
Increase your Frequency Over Time
If you’re new to meditation or stillnesss, start with a doable time period. 10-15 minutes a day is a good start. Ideally you want to increase it over time to doing anywhere from 30-60 minutes a session. The longer you are in a meditative state the more you reap the benefits.
If you’re ready to get still, take these steps and incorporate the daily practice of meditation in your life. Still not convinced? Check out these 100 benefits of Meditation.
Do you meditate? How has it changed your life, mind or health? What tips do you have for us?