Meditation has a host of benefits for you, which include making you feel calmer. But for a whole lot of people it looks like hard work with a lot of distractions thrown in. Here are 5 tips for better meditation that you should try to enhance your experience.
- Pick a regular time for meditation: Even with the best of intentions, it is easy for you to forget meditation in your daily routine. The best way to overcome this is to pick a time period every day and keeping that aside for meditation. If you stick to this time every day, it will create a habit and you will not forget to practice. It is normally recommended to do meditation in the early morning when distractions are at a minimum and you can concentrate on it. Additionally, you are rested in the morning and relaxed too, which are conducive to a good meditation session with enhanced benefits of meditation.
- Start small and increase the time: A lot of times, you try to do too much and too soon. This makes meditation seem unappealing and difficult but it does not have to be so. As a beginner, you should start small, say 3-5 minutes and be completely mindful during this period. With the passage of time, as you get used to it, gradually extend this time by a couple of minutes every day to 20 minutes of meditation. It helps if you concentrate on your breath, breathing in and out in slow and rhythmic manner. As soon as you observe yourself drifting away with thoughts coming into your mind, bring the focus back to your breathing.
- Do not try to empty the mind: It is much easier to observe the many thoughts that come into your mind during meditation than it is to stop them from forming. With time and practice, you will develop your skills as a practitioner and your thoughts will recede into the background, making you more peaceful during meditation. If you are prone to overthinking, do not try to fight it, keep the focus on your breathing and try to be aware of the moment the mind drifts so that you can bring it back. This is the basis of cognitive therapy where you first develop the ability to identify your thoughts and then restructure them.
- Have your own routine: It would help if you had your own routine, beginning with 1 minute of paying attention to each of the following- the sensations and feelings of the body walking, the sensation of your breath, the sensations of wind and air on the skin, what you hear and what you see. This should be followed by 5 minutes of an awareness session where thoughts rise up in the mind. During this, if your thoughts drift to future, past or evaluative thoughts, just go back to one of the described focus points so that your attention is stabilized.
- Try guided meditation: If you are one of those people who have difficulty in doing meditation without guidance, especially at the beginning, it is a good idea to try out guided meditation. This is especially helpful in giving you familiarity and comfort with the meditation session to the point that you can gradually start unguided meditation in due time.
Keep these tips in mind when you sit down to meditate and gradually with time, you will be able to harness the full benefits of meditation.