Meditation has so many amazing benefits (that you can read all about here) to help improve your mind and body. Though many meditation beginners get frustrated with the difficulty of completing a practice without their mind constantly wandering – which is actually entirely normal!
Here are 8 tips that will help you begin and improve your practice:
1. Get Comfortable
Feeling uncomfortable throughout your practice will distract you and pull your attention towards it. Try using pillows and others props to help support an upright and attentive posture.
2. Relax your body
For your mind to be able to effectively concentrate on your practice, you need to begin by relaxing the body. Try taking several deep breaths prior to beginning your practice. This will help release the tension in your body.
3. Prepare your surroundings
It is important to find a meditation location that is free from external interruptions (think phones, tv’s, etc.). Find a private space where you know that you won’t be disrupted. Using headphones is a great way to minimize distractions.
4. Watch your breath
Focus on the inhalation and exhalation of each breath. By doing this, you’ll be less likely to have your mind wander. You can also count in your ahead with each inhale, then count back down with each exhale.
5. Re-center your focus
Your mind inevitably will wander during your practice, this happens to even long time meditation practitioners. Simply let your thoughts and emotions come into presence, observe that they are there (that’s all they really want!) and then let them go. Try and refrain from identifying and holding onto them.
6. Keep a half-smile
Adopt a simple half-smile throughout your practice. A ton of stress and tension is actually held in our facial muscles – a subtle smile can help relieve this.
7. Bring attention to your heart beat
Following your heart beat will not only help you from wandering your mind, but also brings an aliveness as our heart pumps blood throughout our entire body. Be grateful for the power of the heart.
8. Don’t judge your practice
You are never doing it “wrong”. Meditation beginners often get turned off because they feel they aren’t doing it right. Remember, there is really no wrong way to meditate – it is simply just you being at one with your own self.