You’ve probably heard that meditation can change your life for the better.  Well, I can support that claim from personal experience. Meditation can do different things for different people, but for me I noticed myself feeling calmer, less overwhelmed and more productive throughout my daily life after incorporating meditation sessions into my routine.  Getting started with meditation can feel intimidating if you’ve never done it before. These five tips helped me develop a positive practice that I’ve incorporated into my everyday life!

1.Pick a place that is quiet and consistent

Especially when you first get started, it’s choose a quiet place and try to use that same place every time you meditate.  The keyword here is quiet. Especially when you are first starting out, you’ll want to minimize noise and distractions as much as possible. It doesn’t need to be fancy- for my practice I use a room upstairs that has a nice view of some greenery that puts me at peace.  

2.Start small.  

A lot of people think that you need to meditate for some massive amount of time to be effective…. You definitely don’t.  Begin by dedicating 3 minutes per day and work your way up to where you feel comfortable. You can still get the benefits of meditation with just 3 minutes per day!  Eventually it will feel so good that you will naturally want to increase your time. I like to use the Head space app so that I don’t have to worry about how much time has passed, and I can select a guided practice if I’m feeling unfocused.

3. Get comfortable.

Most people like to meditate sitting up, with a straight back and palms facing up resting gently on the lap.  I personally like to lay down on the floor when I meditate. For a lot of people this can cause drowsiness, but for me it works.  If you prefer to meditate sitting up, make sure your back is supported so that you don’t get tired and begin to slouch. Slouching can cause back pain and take away from the practice.

4. Be patient.  

When I first started meditating, I really thought it was all about the absence of thought.  As it turns out, trying to force yourself to not think only brings more thoughts. A strategy I like to use is focusing on the breath and counting to ten.  One count for the inhale and one count for the exhale, starting over once you’ve reached ten. If you find yourself drifting off into thought, have patience with yourself… this is NORMAL! Gently let that thought drift away and bring your focus back to your breath. ​

5. Don’t judge your practice.  

Most people who are just starting out on their meditation journey are critical of their meditative practice.  It is really important that you LET THAT SHIT GO. There is no wrong way to meditate and there is no such thing as a “bad meditation.”  Try to take a deep breath, say a few ohms and just enjoy the journey!

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