Written by: Chrissy King. Chrissy is a writer, speaker, strength coach and educator with a passion for creating a diverse and inclusive wellness industry. She empowers individuals to stop shrinking, start taking up space and use their energy to create their specific magic in the world. Chrissy has been featured in SELF, SHAPE, Health, Cosmopolitan, BuzzFeed, Muscle and Fitness and Livestrong. Find Chrissy on Instagram: @iamchrissyking.
The benefits of meditating are bountiful, ranging from reducing stress and negative thoughts to increasing patience, creativity, and gratitude.
For a lot of people, the idea of meditation sounds great but the execution may feel daunting. Perhaps it seems impossible to quiet your mind or even find time to fit in another task. Here’s the thing, meditation doesn’t have to be an arduous task. It can be easy, simple and attainable.
Here are four tips to start your meditation practice today.
It may feel tempting to have the inclination to jump into a 30 minute a day meditation practice. You may have even read about the benefits of this in books. However, if you are new to meditation, 30 minutes is a long time. Instead of striving for such a long period of time, start with just five minutes a day upon rising or before heading to bed. Slowly, as it becomes easier and more enjoyable, you can increase to 10 minutes and slowly work your way up to your goal.
Start Your Practice with the Help of an App
A big struggle when starting a meditation practice is deciding what to think about (or not think about). While many seasoned meditators are able to quiet their minds and settle into meditation without any assistance, it can be really helpful for those new to meditation to begin with a guided practice. There are lots of apps such as Calm, Headspace, or Simple Habit. They offer a variety of meditation focuses, as well as time frames, so no matter what your preference, you are sure to find something that works for you.
Be Kind to Yourself
You can’t fail at meditation. Even if you find your mind wandering or find it difficult to ground your energy, it’s totally okay and normal. The fact that you showed up for even a five minute meditation practice is amazing. Regardless of how good or bad you feel like it went, remember to treat yourself with kindness and compassion. In the words of Jeff Kober, “meditation allows us to be with life as it is rather than looking at it and comparing it with how we think it’s supposed to be.”
While it may be tempting to compare your meditation practice to those of others, keep your eyes on yourself and lead with kindness.
Stick with It
We’ve all heard the phrase, practice makes perfect.
While we aren’t seeking perfection by any means, the reality is that the more we continue our meditation practice, the easier it will get over time. “You don’t meditate once and suddenly your life turns around. What it does is it lets you train your brain to be able to become more stable in an action-oriented way.” (Goldie Hawn)
We reap the benefits of meditation when we stick to our practice, even if it’s simply five minutes a day.
With these four simple tips, you are well on your way to starting your meditation practice today. Meditation may appear daunting on the surface, but it’s actually quite simple. Get comfortable, set your time for five minutes, and be guided through a meditation to start or end your day.