Meditation is an amazing practice to help you lead a calmer, happier and more productive life. But how you do actually cultivate a personal meditation or mindfulness practice?
Follow these simple, practical steps and start meditating today.
1. Get a timer
There are plenty of apps available, both free and paid but the basic timer on your phone works just as well. Set the timer for between 1-10 minutes to begin with, and work your way up from here. Consistency is more important than the length of time you sit for; 10 minutes every day is far better than an hour once a week.
2. Find Something to Sit On
Once your practice develops you can buy a meditation cushion, but to begin with, you may want to just sit on a chair. The most important thing is to keep the back straight and upright.
3. Focus on Your Breath
There is no need to over complicate things. To begin meditating, simply focus on the breath. Notice where you feel the breath the most, maybe that’s your belly, chest or nostril, and focus your attention here. Every time you feel your attention start to wonder, just gently bring it back to your breath.
Don’t try and clear your mind of thoughts. This is the biggest mistake people make when trying to meditate. They think meditation means having no thoughts, and the harder they try to clear the mind of thoughts, the more thoughts come! When a thought pops into your mind, just try not to get carried off with it. Every time you notice your thoughts moving away from your breath, just gently direct your attention back to where you feel your breath the most.