Meditation is great for the mind, body, and soul. However, keeping it up regularly can sometimes feel like a bit of a chore. Life can get in the way, with work responsibilities and familial duties, or even just fatigue can prevent you from engaging with meditating. When life gets busy, this is actually when we need meditation the most. Especially with how the world is right now, meditation can serve as an escape from covid-19 anxiety.
Instead of doom scrolling on your phone, put into practice these 9 simple tips that will greatly improve the way you meditate.
1. Accept That Your Mind Will Wander
As much as we would like to be able to just switch off our brains, sadly it does not work like that. Our minds are powerful things and so it is very natural that your mind will wander during meditation. Do not feel frustrated with yourself if you find your concentration is lacking. Take the time to explore those thoughts, then when you are ready, reset and start again. If you are someone with an active imagination do not try and force your mind to be blank because then you will spend the entirety of the session chasing something that is not possible. This will only hinder you from achieving the benefits of meditation.
2. Create A Meditation Space
Some people benefit from having a meditation space. To do this, you can set aside an area in your home that is specific for your meditation. Having a regular setting dedicated to meditation will help you get in the zone quicker. Ideally, you will want a quiet area with as few distractions around as possible.
This is a great method for improving your meditation. Often people try to meditate in spaces such as their office, and so it is no surprise they can’t concentrate because they are surrounded by things that act as cues for turning on your working brain. So, if you have a specific meditation space, the cues there will naturally engage your brain into focusing just on your meditation and not focusing on whether your boss has replied to your email.
3. Short And Sweet Sessions
A big mistake people often make is assuming that meditation sessions need to last long periods of time. Do not force yourself into doing 30-minute sessions, especially if you are a beginner, because when you can’t do it you will feel disheartened. This will then lead to you avoiding meditation more and more. Short sessions are just as valuable, and if you can complete a 5-minute session successfully then this is far better than doing a long one that leaves you feeling frustrated.
4. Use Visualization Methods
If you are someone who struggles to clear your mind then this is the tip for you! There’s a lot of personalization with this method, so it is up to you how you choose to visualize. Some examples of visualization include imagining colors coming from your body or watching yourself in a serene setting. Colors and light are good things to focus on, and while it may seem simple, it is an effective and powerful method to improve your meditation.
5. Put On Meditation Music
Music is a great way to aid your meditation. Sometimes just lying down and listening to some meditation music can be the most effective way for people to meditate. It allows you to just listen to the sounds, the instruments, and even your breath. Counting along to the sounds of the beat can be extremely therapeutic if you have a musical mind. Even just listening to the rhythm and sounds of your breath can improve how you meditate.
6. Follow Meditation Guides
There are lots of meditation guides out there that can help guide you through your own sessions. Sometimes it is easier to listen to a guide than it is to lead our own session, and that is absolutely fine. It can be an effective means to reduce the thinking that is going on in your mind. Using techniques like Ishayas meditation allows you to follow someone else’s lead and let your mind and body go with the flow and relax.
7. Write Down Any Key Thoughts After
During your session, you might find that there are recurring thoughts that keep interrupting your meditation. This is inevitable, but one way to reduce the same thoughts coming back, again and again, is to write them down immediately after your session. Buy yourself a notebook that is specific for your mediation thoughts and then you can scribble any intruding thoughts in there and close them away.
8. Stretch Before!
This tip may come as a surprise to some of you, but stretching is a great way to clear your mind and to get your body and brain in sync. Stretching wakes up your body and can be a very soothing activity. Too often can we fall victim to neglecting our bodies as we slump over desks and sink-into sofas. Pay attention to your posture and stretching will not only give you the flexibility of the body but also the flexibility of the mind.
9. Focus On The Sensations You Feel
This last tip is very important for anyone who meditates, whether you are a well-seasoned pro or a beginner. Pay attention to the sensations you are feeling and take the time to explore them. Take in your surroundings, notice what you are doing with your body, do you feel any aches or pains anywhere? Even the smallest sensation is important and giving it your attention will empower you and strengthen the connection between body and brain. Focusing on the sensations you feel will leave you feeling energized and alive. This is exactly what you want following a meditation session. It may take some practice and this method does not always come naturally, however, it is worth continuing until you feel comfortable with it.
These 9 meditation tips are simple and easy to incorporate into your meditation routines. The more you practice them the more effective they become. So, have patience with yourself, and most importantly, be kind to yourself! Meditating is a journey, enjoy it.