Meditation guide for beginners: the best tips and techniques to start with
Meditation is a very powerful antidote for relieving today’s stress. In a fast-paced world like the one we live in, we no longer have time to listen to our minds.
Work, home, bills, commitments: they all occupy our heads from morning to evening, every day. Nonetheless, we are the first to commit ourselves to keep all hours of the day well filled.
This happens because, just for a moment we are alone with ourselves, bad thoughts resurface in our consciousness. Unpleasant feeling, isn’t it?
Many people stop them by force, others ignore them, thinking or doing something else.
However, when we do not perceive the energy flowing in our body, we end up seeing only its effects, immobile and powerless. In fact, while we try to avoid them, they pop up when you least expect it.
Therefore, nervousness, uncontrolled anxiety, and stress are the emotions that prevail in all of us today.
Why meditation is important
Let me ask you something: how long has it been since you last had time to get bored?
Probably since you were a child. This happens because as children we have much more time to be alone with ourselves.
What we mistake for boredom is actually the process of creating a new creative space in our heads. It allows us to find the desire to play, fulfill ourselves, be happy
It is wrong that adults have less imagination. Our mind has simply no space to let it grow and manifest.
What is common to all artists, poets and great writers, from ordinary people? The time.
They have time to feel their self, and manifest it by writing, composing or drawing. Have you ever seen a real artist busy from morning to night?
So, you too can carve out some space to be happy.
Therefore, below we will find out the meaning of meditation, how to meditate and why it can really change your life. In addition, you will also learn some practical tips to integrate it gradually into everyday life.
What meditation is
In the common imagination, meditation involves sitting motionless on a carpet for hours. However, that’s not quite the case.
Meditation is a tool that allows us to reach a state of mind of profound peace, with ourselves and with the world. In this state, the mind becomes still while still remaining alert.
We all often meditate every day. You know when you stop for a moment to look into space without thinking about anything? Subsequently, you realize this state and go back to doing the previous activity.
Well, at that moment you were meditating. The difference is that you did it for a few seconds and unknowingly.
Meditation means being present to yourself, here and now. All this allows you to put a spotlight of dazzling light on your mind, to see your thoughts more clearly.
Plus, as we’ll see, it lets you choose which ones to keep, and which ones to let go.
2 types of meditation
There are thousands of different types of meditation associated with different cultures and traditions, even religions. What is important to know is that they can be divided into two macro-groups:
Focusing (focused meditation) is about focusing solely on something. It can be your own breath, or an image in front of you, or a detail of this.
An example of this typology is Zen meditation.
Focusing on detail, even an unknown one, allows you to lighten your mind. In fact, concentration requires brain processes that tend to smooth out emotions, negative and otherwise.
Observation, on the other hand, allows you to become aware of your thoughts.
Listening to our minds and emotions allows us to witness what is happening in our heads as spectators.
Imagine watching a match you played yourself in the past, soccer, volleyball, etc. from the stands. This would undoubtedly allow you to observe your person from another point of view.
Why meditation is good for you
Many think that meditation serves only to “empty” the mind and stop thoughts. In reality, doing this is next to impossible. In fact, it is easier to observe and become aware of them.
However, the benefits you can obtain by meditating are many, and we will list them below:
- It Reduces Stress: The real problem today is that you are no longer able to control and dominate stress. What could make you feel better is a situation of tranquility, primarily with yourself.
- It Boosts Mental Health: According to much scientific research, meditation also nurtures peace and harmony, not only with one’s mind but also with the surrounding world. All this can have a significant impact on irascibility, fear, anxiety, pain.
- It Decreases physical pain: all these sensations described above often turn into physical pain. Therefore, the mind-body system cannot be disconnected.
- It Improves sleep: another common aspect of today is sleep, we sleep little and badly. The first cause of all this is precisely a feeling of constant anguish, associated with stress.
- It improves self-awareness: meditation also helps us to become aware of our true values, which we sometimes forget. It makes us mentally strong and allows us to resist the temptation to fall back into harmful habits.
How to meditate for beginners
There are thousands of different meditation techniques. What is important to know is that the common goal is to remain relaxed, present and focused for enough time.
Of course, those starting from scratch cannot expect to succeed on the first try. Meditation is a skill, and as such it must be acquired with time and exercise.
This is like when you learn to play the guitar. You can’t expect to immediately interpret a Led Zeppelin song.
How to meditate at home and everywhere
You can start meditation by concentrating on an object or a part of your body. It can be a picture, the edge of a table, or even your breath or heartbeat.
Contrary to what one might think, you can meditate like this in any place, not only at home but while sitting on the bus or walking as well.
For a successful meditation session, focus on the characteristics of the object in question and on your feelings about it.
Your mind will tend to wander on its own. You just think about bringing it back to concentration. It only takes a few minutes a day and gradually you can gradually increase the duration.
At first, it will seem useless, but only by practicing every day, even for a few minutes, will you be able to experience its countless benefits.
The important thing to understand is that it doesn’t matter how stressed, happy, or scared your mind is at that moment. What matters is to consciously live that state of mind, present it to yourself.
We must look within ourselves from an impartial point of view without judgments, neither positive nor negative.
Tips and techniques for a successful meditation session
Below, we will list some advice given by the experts, to give a starting point for approaching meditation in a successful way.
Do not force yourself not to think. At first, just limit yourself to observing the flow of your thoughts from the outside. They are like cars passing on a highway. Trying to stop them right away would mean trying to walk through the street without being run over. At first, just sit on the platform and watch the cars go by.
Practice meditation consistently. The brain works like a muscle. The more input you give, the more it will follow your directions. You don’t need to meditate for hours at the beginning. Even a minute a day is enough. You can gradually increase the length of the session over time. What is important is to do it consistently. This will give continuity to the learning process of a new skill.
Don’t expect results right away. At first, it will seem like you are doing something senseless because you will not see macroscopic results. However, you will have to arm yourself with patience as the end result will be a constant improvement in your life. It will completely change your perception of things, much more serene and genuine.
Don’t give in to negative thoughts. It doesn’t matter what happens outside us. Only our reaction counts. This depends entirely on how we choose to react. Sometimes, negative emotions are difficult to contain. However, with exercise, you will gradually increase your self-control. With training, you will gradually have more and more power over yourself and how to react to all situations.
You have learned what meditation is, the long-term benefits, practical tips for approaching it in the best possible way.
Our goals can be of various kinds such as removing anxiety and stress, eliminating uncontrolled fear, or living all our days with serenity and joy.
Many say: “I don’t have time”, “It’s not for me”, “I’m not good at”.
As we have seen, meditation doesn’t take that long, just what you choose to dedicate.
Therefore, it is not true that you are not inclined, only because you have already tried in the past to practice it without success. The results come over time, and in a completely almost imperceptible way initially.
So, now it’s your turn to try to change your life. Is it worth it to eliminate all the emotions that wear you down inside and take away your energy to live? Is it worth choosing to live instead of surviving?