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Meditation for Beginners

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Meditation is a mindfulness practice that many people are drawn to for its extensive benefits. By simply dedicating a short amount of time each day to a meditation practice, people can experience benefits such as reduced stress, enhanced sleep, improved focus, and better overall health. These benefits sound like something everyone would want to experience, but beginners often feel intimidated by the process of getting started with meditation. Fortunately, with a bit of dedication and the right tools, anyone can transform their life for the better by following a few simple steps on a regular basis.

An introduction to meditation

Meditation is a practice that has been around for about 3,000 years. It connects the mind and body and trains awareness to promote a feeling of calm and relaxation. The practice of meditation and mindfulness enhances overall wellness, and it encourages a sense of focused awareness and attention. A busy mind can be calmed through regular practice, and nearly every religion and culture around the world has utilized meditation in some shape or form. While some people choose to connect meditation with a spiritual or religious intent, this is not required. Absolutely anyone can practice meditation, regardless of their background or beliefs!

The benefits of meditation

Meditation can have extensive benefits, and it doesn’t take very long before beginners start to feel its positive effects. Studies show that meditation can help to improve many physical ailments such as high blood pressure, chronic pain, insomnia, depression, and irritable bowel syndrome, to name a few.

Beyond the physical benefits, meditation and mindfulness practices can enhance daily life by helping people to manage stress, feel less tension and anxiety, and improve self-awareness. Generally, people who meditate regularly open themselves up to more kindness and empathy both towards others and themselves.

A meditation guide for beginners

One of the best parts of getting started with meditation is that there is no special equipment required. People can choose to meditate almost anywhere at any time. Beginners may find it helpful to set aside a time and space to dedicate to their meditation practice. Creating a routine can be helpful when starting out to learn a basic method of mindfulness practice.

  • Choose a space that is quiet and free of noise and distraction. You can choose to sit on a chair, on a cushion, or directly on the floor.
  • Do your best to be aware of maintaining good posture as you sit so your breath can move easily and freely throughout your body.
  • Decide on a time limit. It is helpful to start with brief meditation times, and then to add a minute or two as you become more comfortable with the practice.
  • Focus on your breath, inhaling and exhaling deeply. You may close your eyes or choose to keep your eyes lowered and gently focused on an unmoving object.
  • Utilize a guided meditation from BetterSleep. Guided meditation is a very helpful way for beginners to practice as it will help you to focus your mind and relax while also sticking to a time limit that works for you. You might also consider selecting a guided meditation that aligns with your goals such as relaxation, falling asleep faster, reducing stress, or beginning the morning with clarity.

Meditation tips

There are certain challenges that beginners may face when starting a meditation practice. Just keep in mind that these challenges are common, and you will not be alone in facing them. The more you practice, the easier the process will become. Most importantly, the benefits of a regular meditation practice definitely outweigh any challenges.

  • If you are worried about finding the time to meditate, try adding a brief meditation time to your calendar as a daily appointment. Even five minutes per day can go a long way.
  • If you find it challenging to be still and quiet, start off with a guided meditation from BetterSleep so you can have some assistance with relaxing your busy mind.
  • If you fall asleep while meditating, then know you are taking a step in the right direction to achieve a state of calm and stillness. To avoid falling asleep, be sure to sit up straight and be mindful of your posture. You can also meditate during a time when you are generally more alert such as in the morning or on a break from work.

Despite any small challenges you may face with establishing a meditation practice, just keep in mind that consistency is the most important thing. Even the most experienced of meditators have days when they have trouble focusing on their breath. It’s the practice of consistently remaining dedicated to sitting and breathing that will have a positive impact and make this new routine more than worth the small time investment.