It’s all the hype. Your aunt sally called you up, and started telling you about the benefits of meditation and how it’s changed her life.
In the back of your mind you have no idea what meditation is. The only images that you can conjure up are the monks and hippies…which you definitely can’t
This ultimate guide will explain everything you need to know about how to meditate for beginners.
What is Meditation
Meditation is a practice (not skill) of quieting all thought. This may sound super simple, but it’s incredibly difficult in the beginning. The mind chatter in your mind is so loud that it’s hard to stop.
See, your entire life the world in general has trained you to be distracted. When you were a child deep into playing, the adult in your life wanted you to listen to him/ her. In school, when you were daydreaming, the teacher wanted you to pay attention to them.
Then, you started watching TV, and ads would disrupt your concentration.
The adults, TV, and other “authorities” trained you so well to be distracted by them, that it became part of your mind chatter. Imbedded into your daily living, without you ever realizing it was there.
Things they told you, became fact. That your sister was smarter than you, that you were no good, that the purpose in life is to go to college, get a job, and then get married.
The mind chatter isn’t you. The thoughts that you think are not you. See, these thoughts distract you from yourself.
Meditation helps you notice the distraction. The distraction that is so close, like a fish in the water.
The Basics ( getting your mind right)
There are a ton of different ways to meditate when you are beginner ( and advanced). The hardest thing about meditation, is doing it. This may be your first article on how to meditate, but the best advice is to JUST DO IT. RIGHT NOW.
Literally, go into a quiet room by yourself, and focus on a sound or breath, and try to quiet your mind. Maybe you will be successful, maybe you won’t. But who cares?
This is a practice that you are going to keep up for years. It may take a couple weeks to fully Quiet your mind, maybe even months… but does it matter? Those months will come anyway, and 20 minutes a day is not a large investment.
You’re most likely going to suck, and that’s alright. Fortunately, you don’t have to be perfect to start seeing beneficial things happen in your life.
Your Mind Will Wander. Some days the mind chatter will be so loud, it’s hopeless trying to meditate. But some days, you will be able to get there…and those will make all the difference.
You can experience disappointment, only if you set up expectation. Have no Expectations.
Just do it. Don’t think about it.
Mindfulness Vs Meditation
These two words are often used interchangeably but are different. Mindfulness is about focusing on the present moment, whether it be mindfulness when eating.
The quality of being is very important. It’s an awareness of what’s going on the present moment.
Meditation is the training of attention which cultivates mindfulness. It’s allows you to separate yourself from your thoughts, and deal with past issues.
When I started meditating, I started to have deep attacks of anxiety. Like out of nowhere. Meditation will start to bring up emotions that you have been suppressing, and make you very aware of them.
They were there before, just hidden. This allows you the chance to heal from all of your baggage.
You don’t have to subscribe to any weird beliefs to start meditation. It’s for everyday people. More and more celebrities are “coming out of the closet” about how mindfulness and meditation has helped them.
If you want to learn about meditation ideologies check out my meditation ideologies for beginners article.
Challenges of Meditation For Beginners
The biggest challenge you have is yourself. It’s the consistent and persistent training. Cultivating a life long habit. After 18 months of doing something daily, it becomes something that will stick with you for life.
Sometimes, you’re just not going to feel like meditating. That’s okay.
Just because you don’t feel like doing it, doesn’t mean that you should NOT MEDITATE. Do It anyway. Otherwise you will live your entire life making up excuses why you can’t do something.
Is that how you want to live? Waking up one day when you’re 40 realizing that you haven’t really accomplished anything?
Other Common Issues:
- Self-Criticism- This one is pointless. You are not going to be good at meditation when you begin. Why criticize yourself? You will get better, you will be able to quiet your mind, you will
- Sleepiness- This one is big, and it happened to me all the time when beginning. It probably will happen to you too. Don’t meditate in bed and wait 20 minutes after waking up before trying to meditate.
- Restlessness- You might get bored. That is okay. Bored is just your logical mind wanting to go DO something, see something, smell something, etc… Acknowledge this part of you, but tell yourself that you are going to continue to meditate, and there will be coffee afterwards. This most likely will happen in the first few weeks that you start to meditate, so if you do break meditation..it’s okay. There will be tomorrow J
Meditation tips for beginners
- Inform yourself
- Accountability Partner
Read a more in-depth guide on meditation tips here
Types of Meditation
The Perfect Ten Method
The perfect ten method is the beginning step anyone can take to instantly discover the benefits of mindfulness meditation.
All you have to do is close your eyes and count ten deep, slow breaths. These ten breaths need to need to be perfect. You can practice this anywhere.
All your attention must be on the numbers, and you must brush away intrusive thoughts.
- Find a quiet place to sit or stand. This isn’t even necessary, you can perfect ten in the checkout line if you want. Put your headphones in for a little more silence, or play some “white noise humming” sounds on YouTube to drown out distractions.
- Close your eyes and take a few deep breaths to center your focus inward. This is a great starting place of meditation, which is to turn your attention inside yourself, but not on your thoughts. Feel your belly expand, do a quick “check-up” of how your legs feel, and just start to relax.
- Breathe in deeply from the belly (not the chest), say “one” in your mind, and exhale. Do everything you can to make that number your only focus. Picture it as a large statue in a white room if you have to. Hear your mind speak the word as you say it.
- Repeat the last step all the way up to “ten”. Make this perfect, without losing focus. This should take you around a minute to complete. Once you have finished with the perfect ten, you can open your eyes, or continue with mindfulness meditation by replacing the counting with “in, out” as you breathe.
Source ( https://www.reddit.com/r/Meditation/comments/38w53b/best_guide_for_beginners/)
Scan Body Meditation
- Starting at the feet, visualize a small, black cloud raining on parts of my body. As the water washes down, it weighs down that body part, relaxing the muscles. After you think those muscles are relaxed, slowly and gently move that part, repeat the process (except moving) and go to the next body part.
- Teeth clenching, facial muscles: a lot of time when people can’t sleep, relax, or suffer from headaches, they are usually just clenching their teeth or holding certain facial muscles too tightly. Get a cloth (washrag, clean sock, blanket, etc) and gently place it between the teeth. Don’t bite down. In fact, the goal is to use it as a token barrier to relax your jaw and facial muscles. Usually works for facial muscle clenching as well.
To read a more in-depth guide about Meditation Techniques check it out here.
Benefits of Meditation
- MORE FOCUS
- Shrinking of the Fear Center of the Brain
- More Creativity
- Increased Income ( read the reason why in the article linked below)
Read a more in-depth guide about Benefits of Meditation for beginners here
How Meditation Has Improved my Life
Starting the practice of Meditation has improved my life in so many ways. It’s only been 2 months, and I wouldn’t give it up for the world. I’m excited for what the next few years has to bring me
Come up with Solutions incredibly easily
Like, it’s so easy. There is a guy at work who always complains about things, and instead of being irritated, I come up with solutions to his problems! This didn’t happen once or twice, but all day long.
It was simultaneous. He would state a problem (or complain) and I would automatically come up with a solution.
He even thanked me for it!
More aware of manipulation Tactics
I didn’t realize it before, but everyone is trying to manipulate you from fear!! Like seriously.
People threaten you with something that COULD happen…like why is it any of their concent??
No wonder there are so many worry warts around!
Less Judgement of Myself
This one is so important. I didn’t even notice I was judging myself. Without this judgement of myself, I have been able to be OKAY with where I am, but eager for more.
For example, I started going to gym consistently since I was in the Army ( which I was forced). Before, I would look in the mirror at the gym, and get discouraged. How would I ever achieve my goals? Now I look in the mirror and realize that I am BECOMING. I am not the final product.
This kindness to myself, has also trickled out to my perception of other people. Everyone is becoming something better than they are.
Random Moments of Joy
Out of nowhere, I get sudden feelings of joy. It will usually be sparked by drinking coffee, listening to music, or at the gym thinking about how blessed I am to have great health.
My thoughts are more positive, and I notice when they become more negative VERY QUICKLY.
I used to put off things like cleaning, paying bills, important tasks at work. Now I just do them ( well, not always, but I am a lot better than before.)
I’m about 400-800% more efficient. I know that sounds insane. But it’s not. It goes along with the more focus benefit.
You don’t realize how much energy is lost when switching tasks, or browsing the internet, or stopping “ when you feel like it”.
It used to take me a week to write a 1,500 word article, now it takes me couple of hours.
Crazy right? Work that I did in 6 months, I could probably do in a month. I was never one about efficiency, but I totally get it now.
I have way more energy. It’s like the thoughts I was thinking, took up way too much energy, and now that I am deleting those thoughts, it frees up a lot more space …therefore a lot more “ battery life”.
Okay..that was terrible analogy.
Basically, I have enough energy that I’m writing this article at 10:10 PM after work and the gym and feel pretty awake.
More Focus ( Less ADHD)
ADHD is completely made up. 85% of it exist in America. Why? Because we are trained to be distracted and hyped up on sugar!
After meditating, I can literally sit and hyperfocus on one task for HOURS. I’ve noticed it on my blog, and at work. It’s a little insane. Almost like a super power.
Meditate and you will become a superhero!
If you would like to learn more about meditation, check out my articles here:
If you would like a free 28 guide on meditation check it out here