The power of meditation is incredible. Just meditating for a mere ten minutes can significantly reduce your stress and boost your mood. However, the biggest reason I do it is to become content with myself. With all the bullshit that surrounds me every day from all aspects of life, it is key to set time aside just for me.
Once you can focus on the current moment everything becomes clearer. Social interactions, working out, your vision, and your family all become more lucid after meditating. It also helps you not worry about things as much.
As humans we are programmed from our ancestors to worry, because that’s what kept us alive as species for so long. Thousands of years ago we had to worry about all sorts of things: predators, foreign armies, and even your own tribe killing you. In our current day in age, it can actually hurt us more than it helps us.
Today humans don’t have much to worry about, so we make up things to worry about. We worry about irrelevant things like what others think about us, what our boss thinks about us, and what is completely out of our control. All this worrying can put a drain on your mind and prohibit you from growing yourself. With the power of meditation you can block out these negative worrying thoughts and begin to focus on what really matters.
As for meditation its self-there are many different forms and names, but for the beginner I have three keys to have a successful session.
1. Have The Right Setting
A big part of meditation is the ability to connect with yourself and only yourself. This is hard to do when you have outside distractions hindering you. That’s why I suggest you meditate in a quiet place that you know you won’t be bothered. It doesn’t have to be absolute silence, but it should be a place where you find peace in.
Also it should be a place that has somewhat dim light. You want your mind to be at peace, and that is hard to do when you have a bright light shining right at you. Some people like to meditate in absolute darkness; while this is better than a bright light, it is not ideal. A lot of the time having no light whatsoever can put a sense of fear in our subconscious, and can hurt your chances of having a good meditation session.
When you’re in your ideal room it is crucial to find a spot that is comfortable to sit for an extended period of time. A floor with carpet is great because it provides stability for your back, but at the same time does not put too much discomfort on the bones in your butt. Another option you might have is a bed. While this does cushion your butt, it can put unnecessary strain on your back, so I do not advise this spot.
2. Set A Time And A Timer
One of the things a beginner to meditation struggles with is the ability to stay focused for an extended period of time. The beginner’s mind wanders easily because it has not yet been trained through meditation. That’s why I suggest beginners start with short sessions and build their way up. A good baseline for the first few sessions is five minutes. While this might not seem that long, it is actually very hard to stay focused on your mantra for this amount of time if you’re a beginner. Once you become more experienced you can go for more time, but at first you must start small so you can train your brain to stay focused.
In order to know when you’ve completed your time you’re going to need to set a timer. Many people advice against this because they say it distracts you from the meditation and more on the timer and when it goes off it abruptly ends your session. While this may be true, if you leave it up to the beginner to time it by himself the sessions will be shorter than intended. A session that he thought felt like was five minutes might have been closer to three or four. There is no cheating with timers.
Once the timer goes off it is important not to suddenly stop meditating. If you just suddenly stop, your results from that session will suffer. Instead when that timer goes off you should continue meditating until you feel content with it. It might be just one more minute of meditating or five more, but the point is that you should go until YOU feel satisfied with the session.
3. Have Something To Focus On
This is probably the most important part of meditating. This could be a mantra or it could just be your breathing, but you have to always return to that to stay on track. A mantra is a word or sound repeated to aid concentration such as “hummm,” but it can also be an word that calms you. In my experience I have always found it best to focus on my breathing, but it is different for everyone. You just have to experiment with all of them to find out which one is best for you.
Once you have that mantra or your breathing to focus on, you’re going to have hold on to that focus through the entire session. This may be really hard for a beginner, and you will find that your mind will wander onto other things about your daily life, but recognize those thoughts and shut them down and return to your focus.
In those first couple sessions these thoughts are going to pop into your head all the time, but don’t let that discourage you. The key for the first few sessions is having the ability to recognize these outside thoughts.
Switching up your focus throughout sessions can also be beneficial. Try switching up a focus to every other session to experiment with what fits best.
All of these things above are great pointers, but the best learning material is experience. Through experience you will find what fits best for you and what your goals are with meditating. Use this article for help, but don’t rely on it and also don’t get discouraged if you don’t find success in your first few sessions. It will come to you it’s a matter of time and persistence.
Read More: The Top 5 Benefits Of Meditation For Men