9 Tips to Help You Meditate Successfully
The benefits of meditation are numerous, including improved quality of life and increased general wellbeing. This is why it’s become a practice that health professionals highly recommend. If you want to make it part of your life, read the following tips that will help you to meditate successfully and enjoy its effects.
Broadly speaking, meditation is the training of the mind to achieve a state of peace and tranquillity. This ability isn’t something we manage to do immediately, as it requires patience and constancy. However, once we achieve it, we can feel genuine happiness as a product of inner calm.
If you want to undertake this training and take full advantage of its results, here are some tips that will help you to meditate and make meditation a habit.
1. Make yourself comfortable
Before you start, make sure you’re wearing comfortable clothes (preferably loose). Also, avoid using any accessories that might be annoying, such as watches or bracelets. Finally, try to be barefoot.
2. Choose a convenient time
Choose a time when you know you’ll be free from responsibilities and interruptions. Set aside this time for meditation and try to make it part of your routine. An important feature of this activity is continuity. If you want deep and lasting change, regular meditation is best.
If you meditate sporadically, you run the risk of returning to old habits or falling prey to negative emotions, without the possibility of turning to meditation as a source of support.
3. Find a quiet place
When beginning this practice, the best thing to do is to meditate in a quiet place that’s free of interruptions. Identify which part of your home is most suitable for this activity. You can also move to a place that provides you with serenity. The aim is to facilitate self-observation and involvement in the activity.
4. Sit down correctly
Physical posture is a very important aspect of meditation, for it influences the state of mind. Ideally, you should keep your back straight while relaxing your shoulders and arms. You should aim for a balance between relaxation and rigidity.
This means avoiding a position that’s too relaxed, as you run the risk of falling into drowsiness. Also, don’t be too tense, as this will lead to a state of mental agitation.
Meditation guides usually give detailed information about posture, providing step-by-step instructions on how to place each part of your body. The most popular positions are as follows: Sitting with your legs crossed, in a chair with your feet touching the ground, or on a cushion. The idea is to choose whichever one that gives you the most comfort and suits your needs.
5. Do some warm-up exercises
Among the tips that will help you meditate is to warm up beforehand. This helps you to feel more comfortable during meditation.
You can do some yoga postures or stretching exercises for your neck, arms, and back. This will help your circulation and relax your body.
6. Focus on an object to help you meditate
One way to encourage concentration and mental serenity is to focus on an object. This can be the swaying of your breath, your own physical sensations, or a previously seen image.
Ideally, let your mind be aware of that object and, in the event of a distraction, refocus on it as soon as you perceive that you’ve been distracted.
Another way of working with the mind, while meditating, is to visualize anything. For example, colors, yourself in another place, a path, a deity. This mental exercise is ideal for people who have an active imagination and who enjoy daydreaming.
Also read: 7 Kinds of Meditation and Their Benefits
8. Accept the thoughts that come and go
The purpose of meditation isn’t to modify or suppress thoughts, sensations, and feelings. On the contrary, this activity aims to learn and live with them. In other words, from acceptance comes a sense of wellbeing and tranquility.
It’s for this reason that, during meditation, you should observe your thoughts, without stopping. Look at your feelings without being carried away by them, and observes any mental, sensory, physiological, or behavioral content passively. In other words, without criticizing or drawing any conclusions.
That said, as these mental contents emerge, the ideal is to observe them, accept them, and let them go. The way forward is to refocus on that object or visualization you had in mind.
9. Increase meditation time progressively to help you meditate
Ideally, in the beginning, you should meditate for short periods and, as you progress, increase the time of activity. For example, you can start by doing short sessions and then progressively increase the time (up to 30 minutes a day or more).
This will make it easier to establish and adapt your routine.
Additional recommendations to help you meditate successfully
The above tips will certainly help you meditate. If you take them into account, you’ll likely acquire the habit without major difficulties. Also, we recommend the following:
- Have a guide: Ideally, you should have a teacher who’s experienced and knowledgeable in the art of meditation. If you can’t access someone like that, you can also resort to books or texts, which have been created to instruct and accompany people in this experience.
- Be perseverent: Meditate continually, daily. It’s not always easy, though, because it’s common for resistance to appear, both external (work, homework, travel) and internal (fatigue, lack of courage). We recommend overcoming all these obstacles and always trying to maintain the practice.
- Meditate independently of your state of mind: The continuity of the meditation shouldn’t depend on your state of mind at the time. It doesn’t matter if the practice is pleasant or not; what matters is that you persevere.
- Avoid setting goals and milestones: It’s common to want to perceive the benefits of meditation as soon as possible, but impatience is discouraged. Haste and meditation go in opposite directions. If you want deep transformation, then you must take your time.