Meditation is a mindful health practice that helps you build up the focus and control necessary to relax your body and mind. Not only is it great for dealing with stress and anxiety, but it also has a lot of other potential health benefits, positively influencing blood pressure, sleep disorders and even our reactions to pain. In fact, research suggests it may even physically change the brain to promote healthy behavior.
If you’ve never tried meditation before, here’s something crucial you should know—meditation is for everyone and it’s a process. It’s not just a one-time exercise that’ll make all your problems disappear. It takes patience and practice, but we promise, it’s completely worth it. Here are some things to know before getting started.
Get a Good Guide
How do you actually meditate? Well, it depends on what you’re trying to accomplish. To start a general routine, get yourself a good guide. There are tons of video tutorials and step-by-steps out there that’ll give you the break down. If you’re a fan of convenience, we recommend trying out Headspace—a free app that offers a new guided meditation tutorial each and every day.
Set the Mood
Especially when first starting out, we recommend finding a quiet place where you can fully relax, like a dimly lit room where you have the ability to close the door. Make sure to start in a comfortable position, seated in a chair with your feet on the ground and posture straight.
Keep it Light
Meditation is cumulative! The ability won’t happen all at once, so neither should your sessions. Start with three to 10 minute sessions, depending on how much time you have available. However, keep up with it! Short sessions every day will be way better for you in the long run than a 70-minute cram sesh once every two weeks.
Make Peace with Imperfect
Look, chances are, you’re not going to get it right at first. And the whole point with meditation is that it’s OK. If you find yourself going through your first session still plagued with thoughts, it doesn’t mean the practice isn’t working, it means that you’re learning. Sit back, focus and move through the process; eventually, you’ll find a method that works for you.