I know what you’re thinking…
“not another article about meditation. I know it’s supposed to be good for me & that I should do it…I’ve heard it probably 500 times.”
I feel you dude! Meditation is something I’ve always rolled my eyes at. I’ve tried the apps such as Headspace, I’ve attempted it in yoga classes, and done the whole “sit cross legged in a quiet room while questioning if I’m doing it right” thing. Meditation never did anything for me. I saw it as this huge fad and always felt antsy and kind of agitated. Recently a close friend of mine kept telling me (and still does!), “Meditate. You need to do it! It is definitely what you want.” I always nodded dismissing it, but he finally repeated it enough to where I gave it, yet again, another college try. I am noooo expert. I write this to you as an aspiring meditator. Now you’re probably thinking, “who is this chick trying to tell me about meditation when she barely does it?!” I know…I’m with you! As someone who is working on it, I want to share what I have realized.
I have a very busy mind. I constantly have 5,000 irrelevant thoughts bouncing around in my head, which my anxiety tells me are extremely relevant. I worry about what everyone’s thinking, what I think they are thinking, what I’m doing ten years from now, what I did seven minutes ago, and what the neighbor’s dog thinks of me. Sounds ridiculous, right? Exhausting too! I think we think of meditating as something extremely uncomfortable, because it totally is! It’s unnatural for us now a day to do absolutely nothing. We are always so “on” due to constant communication and technology that we often don’t take time for ourselves. Meditation can be whatever you want it to be. You don’t have to be sitting a certain way, saying “om”, breathing this way or that way…it’s up to you. You can do it at anytime, anywhere, and however you want. Meditation is your practice.
Here are my tips for starting a meditation practice:
- Set a timer: Like I said, it’s hard to take time out of our day and I find that setting a timer helps you focus on how you are feeling in a moment; rather than checking your phone constantly to see how long you’ve been doing it. It’s one less thing you have to worry about! Start with five minutes & work your way up.
- Sit, lay, do whatever: Just be comfortable. I meditate sitting on my couch, laying down in bed, just wherever I feel relaxed. If you want to sit with great posture on the floor, go for it! I find it easier to accomplish meditating when I’m in a position that doesn’t stress me out. Find what works for you! Nothing is “wrong”.
- Focus on something: My friend gave me different ways of concentrating to work on your practice. Meditation beads are something I like. I count them & have little mantras I say that comfort me. Another thing is a concentration practice. You know when you see Buddha holding his hands in that kind of “ok” position? I was told that is a concentration practice by focusing on the pressure of your fingers pressing together. I found that helpful, and you can focus on a sound, color, image, what have you. Breath is also a huge thing. It’s nice to start your practice with a series of breaths. I switch it up every time, and am still figuring out what works for me.
- Make it a priority: You won’t do it if you don’t make time for it. It’s hard, but that’s what makes it a practice. If you don’t keep working on it, you won’t see results. Making it consistent is the part I find most difficult, but if it makes you feel good and more in tune with yourself, why wouldn’t you take five minutes for you to do that?
I’m still working on taking my own advice, but because I’ve decided to do it on my own and try to make it a priority…I enjoy it & am starting to believe it. Coming from someone working on it as well, maybe you’ll want to give it another chance.