Five tips to help you get used to meditation

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Meditation is a practice that millions of people around the world use today in order to destress and keep their focus and mental clarity in the best possible shape. However, for many it can be a difficult process getting to that position.

More and more people are being advised to practice meditation these days, from people going through residential rehab for a variety of conditions, notably addiction and mental health issues, to people suffering from cancer and other serious illnesses. But starting to meditate can often be a daunting, unfamiliar and, let’s face it, rather boring experience.

It’s something that many have to develop the patience for and if they do that they will reap the rewards a little further down the line. So, if you are thinking about starting to meditate, or have and couldn’t really get into it after one session, here are five top tips to help you get used to the practice…

Start Small and Be Consistent

A good place to start is small. You’re never going to be able to spend an hour meditating in your first session. You need to build that over time. Commit to just a couple of minutes per day in the first week or so of meditation. Something you can fit in when you wake up, at lunchtime or before you go to bed. Build on that into five or 10 minutes and try to do that in the same place at the same time each day. You’ll then start to make it a daily habit and part of your routine, something which you can then build upon.

Focus on Breath Awareness

The foundation of meditation is breath awareness. This helps anchor the mind and cultivate present-moment awareness. You can start by finding a comfortable place and position to sit, with your spine straight and shoulders relaxed. Close your eyes and bring to your attention the sensation of your breath as it enters and leaves your nostrils. Pay attention to the rhythm and quality of your breath without trying to control it. It’s the first thing to learn when meditating and while simple, can be really powerful in deepening the whole experience.

Embrace Guided Meditations

Starting meditation on your own without any guidance can make it much more difficult to appreciate the practice. Guided sessions are perfect for beginners as they provide the structure and steps needed for it to work. There are so many apps and online videos available these days that you can easily scroll through YouTube and find something that appeals to your needs and wants.

Be Kind to Yourself

Ultimately, it’s important to note that it might not click straight away and that shouldn’t put you off. It doesn’t mean you can’t do it. Approach meditation with self compassion and don’t be judgemental on yourself. Be kind and understand it takes time. Be patient with yourself and cultivate an attitude of curiosity and one that celebrates the small wins in meditation, while not getting down on a session that perhaps lacks progress. It’s all about creating a nurturing environment for growth and self discovery. 

Find What Works for You

Finally, it’s important to find a practice that works for you. There isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach and what works for one person might not for another. A good way to find what works for you is simply to experiment with different styles, techniques and duration to discover what you find most productive. 

You may want to integrate music into your sessions or different natural sounds or scents. Ultimately, by tailoring your practice to suit your preferences, you’re going to establish a much deeper connection and get a more fulfilling experience from your meditation.

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