Meditation has been shown to have many benefits, including reducing stress, improving sleep quality, and increasing focus and concentration.
Thankfully, you don’t have to be a Buddhist to benefit from meditation. Almost anyone can benefit from meditating for just a few minutes per day. And best of all, it’s easy to learn.
If you’re new to meditation and need help getting started, don’t worry. This guide to meditation for beginners will help you understand the practice.
What Is Meditation?
Meditation is an ancient practice used by many cultures for centuries to promote physical and mental well-being. It is a form of mindfulness, which is the act of being present in the moment and aware of your feelings, surroundings, thoughts, and emotions.
There are many different types of meditation, but they all involve focusing the mind on a particular object, thought, or activity. You can do this by sitting quietly and focusing on your breath or repeating a mantra or affirmation.
Meditation can be practiced for a few minutes or hours at a time, and there are no rules about how to do it. The goal of meditation is to achieve a state of relaxation and inner peace.
Why Should I Meditate?
If you’re like most people, you lead a pretty hectic life. You’re juggling work, family, and social obligations. And it’s easy to get so caught up in the hustle and bustle of daily life that you don’t take time for yourself. That’s where meditation comes in.
In just a few minutes per day, meditation can offer a list of benefits. Here are four benefits of meditation that are very powerful.
1. Meditation Can Help Reduce Stress
In today’s fast-paced world, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by stress. Meditation can help to slow down racing thoughts, calm your mind, and promote relaxation.
2. Meditation Can Help You Sleep Better
Have trouble sleeping? Meditation might be the solution. When you meditate, you’re training your brain to slow down and focus on one thing instead of worrying about everything else on your mind. As a result, you get better sleep.
3. Meditation Can Reduce Anxiety
If you’re feeling anxious, meditation can help. When you meditate, you focus on your breathing or a mantra. Doing so can help you stop worrying about things that are stressing you out.
4. Meditation Improves Focus and Concentration
Do you struggle to focus on tasks or feel easily distracted? Meditation can help to improve your attention span and focus. By regularly training your mind to focus on a single point, you can give your attention to the present moment and what’s important.
How Does Meditation Work?
When we meditate, our brainwaves slow down from the normal beta waves—associated with conscious thought and logical thinking—to alpha and theta waves associated with relaxation.
This change in brainwave activity leads to increased relaxation, improved focus and concentration, and reduced stress and anxiety.
How Long Should I Meditate?
There is no one-size-fits-all answer to how long someone should meditate, as it depends on the individual’s goals and needs. However, most experts recommend starting with just a few minutes per day and gradually increasing the time as you become more comfortable with the practice.
Keep in mind that consistency is more important when it comes to meditation. Like with any other skill, the more you practice, the better you become at it.
Conversely, if you only meditate sporadically, it will be harder to reach a deep level of relaxation and see the benefits of meditation.
Therefore, it is more important to meditate for a short period of time each day than it is to meditate for a long period of time once a week.
When you are consistent with your meditation practice, you are more likely to see results than if you only meditate occasionally. Additionally, by meditating regularly, you will develop a deeper understanding of the practice and how it can benefit you.
What Is The Best Time Of Day To Meditate?
Meditation is a practice that you can do at any time of day. However, some people find that certain times of day are better for meditation than others.
For instance, some people find that meditating first thing in the morning helps them to start the day with a clear mind. Others find that meditating at night helps them to wind down and relax before bed.
Conversely, you might find it more difficult to meditate at certain times of the day. For example, you might have difficulty meditating at night because you fall asleep or find it hard to calm your mind after a busy day. And you might have difficulty meditating in the morning because you can’t find the time or you’re thinking about everything you must do that day.
Ultimately, the best time of day to meditate is whichever time works best for you. If you have trouble meditating at certain times of day, experiment until you find a time that works best for you.
What Are The Different Types Of Meditation?
There are many different types of meditation, each with its benefits. Here are a few examples.
Mindfulness meditation is a form of meditation that you can practice in any moment. It helps you focus on the present moment and be aware of your thoughts and feelings without judgment. There are my types of mindfulness meditation techniques.
For example, a body scan is a mindfulness meditation technique in which you focus your attention on each part of your body, from head to toe.
The body scan aims to bring your attention to the present moment and increase your awareness of your body and its sensations.
While doing this exercise, you may notice sensations of heat, cold, tingling, or heaviness, or you may simply become aware of the sensation of touch.
Loving-kindness meditation is a form of meditation that focuses on cultivating positive emotions, such as love, compassion, and joy. This type of meditation can be helpful in improving relationships and increasing overall well-being.
Visualization meditation is a form of meditation that typically involves creating positive mental images. Examples include achieving goals or improving your health.
Walking meditation is a form of mindfulness that involves paying attention to your thoughts and feelings while walking. This type of meditation can help improve your concentration and focus.
Transcendental meditation is a form of meditation that uses a mantra, or a sound, to focus your attention. This type of meditation can help reduce stress and anxiety.
Which Type Of Meditation Is Right For Me?
If you are new to meditation, the most important thing you can do is get started. So don’t worry about picking the perfect type of meditation.
If you’re not sure where to start and want to learn how to meditate, consider trying a basic mindfulness meditation. This type of meditation involves focusing your attention on your breath and being aware of your thoughts and sensations without judgment. Additionally, mindfulness meditation can be practiced anywhere, at any time, in only a few minutes.
Thankfully, many guided meditation apps make it easy to get started with meditation.
What Is Guided Meditation?
Guided meditation is a practice in which a meditator is led through a meditation. Guided meditation can be done in person or via audio or video recordings.
There are also many smartphone apps that offer guided meditation, which can be a convenient way to practice. There are many good meditation apps on the market, but Headspace, Waking Up, and our own app, Awair, are popular meditation apps that can help you begin formal meditation. Most of these apps offer free guided meditations to get you started.
Guided meditation is often recommended for beginners because it can help to provide structure and focus for the practice. In addition, having someone guide you through the meditation can help ensure that you are doing it correctly and increase your motivation.
Guided meditation is also an excellent way for experienced meditators to deepen their practice and gain new insights. By following a guided meditation, experienced meditators can let go of any expectations or preconceived notions they may have about meditation and simply allow the experience to unfold. Guided meditation can also help experienced meditators focus more deeply on their practice and explore new areas of meditation that pique their curiosity.
The goal of guided meditation is to help the practitioner achieve a state of relaxation and mindfulness. During guided meditation, the meditation teacher will typically guide the practitioner through a series of deep breathing exercises and visualization techniques.
For example, meditators may be asked to focus on their breath or a specific mantra as the guide leads them through the meditation. Often instructions are provided to add reassurance along the way.
Regardless of your level of experience with meditation, many people find the guidance of an experienced teacher very beneficial when meditating.
Want To Get Started With Meditation?
Check out our meditation app Awair.
How Do I Make Meditation a Habit?
As you’ve learned, to get the biggest benefit from meditation, it helps to practice consistently. Knowing this, here are some tips for fitting a regular meditation practice into your daily routine.
Find A Trigger
Finding a trigger can help you build a meditation habit because it provides a reminder to meditate each day. Triggers are any activity that cue you to start meditating.
Examples include meditating after brushing your teeth, taking a break at work, or going for a walk. Tying your trigger to meditating will create a strong association that will remind you to take a few moments each day to practice.
Set A Time And Place
One of the most important things to do when trying to establish a new habit is to be consistent with the time and place you do it.
For example, if you want to meditate in the morning, you should be consistent about when you wake up and where you practice. This consistency is important because it helps your brain create a stronger association between the behavior and the cue.
So when you’re building your meditation habit, it helps if you can meditate at the same time and place every day. This pattern will eventually become automatic, making it easier to stick to your meditation routine.
The bottom line, find a time and place you like to meditate and stick to it.
Make It Easy
When building a habit, it is important to make it easy so that you are more likely to stick with it. Doing so removes many of the barriers that might prevent you from starting or continuing the habit.
For example, suppose you want to start meditating. In that case, you might make it easy by downloading a meditation app and setting a reminder for yourself each day. These two steps increase the chances that you will actually start a meditation practice, which is the ultimate goal.
Set A Goal
Setting goals is important for any habit, including meditation. Having a goal gives you something to work towards, creates a sense of purpose, and helps you measure progress. A
dditionally, goals can help you stay motivated and on track with your meditation practice when things get tough. Ultimately, even small goals can make a big difference when forming a new habit.
When you reward yourself for building a habit, it helps to increase your motivation and encourages you to continue working on that habit. It also makes the process more enjoyable, which can help you to stick with it for the long term.
To reward yourself for staying consistent with your meditation practice, you might purchase a new meditation cushion, timer, or chair.
How To Meditate
Here is a list of meditation instructions that includes some great tips on how to get started.
Remember, meditation doesn’t have to be complicated, and there isn’t one right way to meditate. While there are many ways to get started, the following six steps can help you learn how to meditate correctly.
A Beginner’s Guide To Meditation
- When you’re ready to meditate, find a comfortable place to practice. You can lie down or sit to meditate. If you discover that you fall asleep while lying down, be sure to sit. Commonly, people sit in a chair when they meditate and focus on keeping good posture. Doing so keeps them alert and focused.
- With your eyes closed, take a deep breath in through the nose, then exhale through your mouth. Repeat this a few times.
- Pay attention to the breath and any sensations in the body.
- If you notice that your mind has wandered, gently return your attention and focus back to the breath. Don’t worry when this happens. It’s natural for your mind to wander. The goal is to focus on the breath as you let thoughts come and go.
- Continue for 5-10 minutes.
- When you’re finished, open your eyes and return to your day.
While these steps might sound simple, meditation isn’t easy. Keeping your mind from wandering is very hard to do, especially early on, as you learn to meditate.
Thankfully, every time you notice your mind wandering and bring your attention back to the breath, you strengthen your ability to focus. To give you an analogy, it’s like doing a bicep curl for your focus muscle.
In the beginning, your mind may wander a lot. But with enough practice, you’ll notice that your mind wanders less often. In fact, that’s how the mind works. Whenever you regularly repeat a behavior, it gets better at doing that thing.
How To Overcome Common Meditation Problems
Here are a few common problems that people have when they meditate.
- They have trouble focusing and keeping their mind from wandering.
- They have trouble sitting still because they get antsy and restless.
- They get bored.
- They fall asleep.
Fortunately, you can do a few things to overcome these problems.
- If you have trouble focusing, try counting your breaths. To do this, count each inhale and exhale. Continue counting until you get to ten. Then, as you move on to the next breath, begin again at one.
- If you get antsy and restless, try standing up and walking around. Then, sit back down and focus on your breath again. If that doesn’t work, try meditating when you are already naturally calm, such as after a yoga class or walk.
- If you get bored, try focusing on a mantra or a specific word or phrase that you repeat to yourself.
- If you fall asleep, try sitting up straight and keeping your eyes open. If you keep your eyes open, resist the urge to look around. Instead, relax your gaze on a single point and let your focus fade.
In conclusion, meditation is a great way to focus and calm the mind. It can be done anywhere, at any time, and doesn’t require special equipment. Meditation can help improve mental and emotional well-being. With regular practice, you will see the benefits of meditation in everyday life.
If you’re looking to improve your mental well-being, our meditation app, Awair, can help. In just ten minutes per day, Awair can help you start and stick to your own meditation practice. Join thousands of others who have found peace of mind through mindfulness meditation.