5 Things To Avoid When Learning To Meditate
Learning to meditate is not always easy, especially if you have tried before and felt less than thrilled with the results. Let me start out by saying that anyone can learn to meditate. There’s nothing special required except that you know how to navigate any obstacles that may arise while you are learning. I’ll be giving you some tips on this soon.
Just in case you’ve been living under a rock it’s commonly accepted now that meditation is good for your mental and physical well-being. If you’re not sure about the scientific research that’s been going on at places like Harvard University, then I encourage you to do so.
Before I go into a simple 2-minute meditation that can get you started on the right track, here are 5 things to avoid when you’re learning to meditate:
1. When you’re emotionally upset
If you’re upset about something and feeling emotional raw then it’s probably not the best time to try and meditate. Yes, meditation is meant to help quiet the mind but once emotions are involved then that’s a higher level of intensity that even experienced meditators would find challenging. You’re best off going for a walk, or waiting until you feel calmer before you meditate.
2. If you can’t be distraction free
If you’re trying to meditate in a space where you have your phone nearby and you can be easily disturbed by people, animals, or anything at all, then give it a miss. When you’re first learning to meditate it helps to have a quiet, comfortable place to meditate that is distraction free. Using headphones is a great start to being less distracted while meditating.
3. Trying to figure it out yourself
When I first was taught to meditate I had a teacher who led me through a 6-week course. This helped me to feel supported and get questions answered as I stumbled my way through what was for me something incredibly foreign. I still think that sticking to one meditation app or online course is the best way to get into good meditation habits.
4. Pre-judging your meditations
It’s easy to judge something that you don’t yet have an experience of how it can benefit you. The long-term benefits of meditation don’t happen overnight. They happen as a result of consistent practice (i.e. daily) even if that’s just a few minutes a day. Go into each meditation with no expectations other than to stay committed to your resolve to learn to meditate.
5. Expecting the mental chatter to go away
If your mind is busy when you try and meditate then let it be busy. The fastest way to quiet the mind is to accept the thoughts that come and go with an attitude of non-judgment. That’s when the magic of mindfulness really starts to kick in and the mind automatically starts to quiet down of its own accord.
Learn To Meditate In Just 2 Minutes
Here’s a really simple 2-minute meditation anyone can do:
Step 1. Find a space you can stand in where you won’t be bothered.
Step 2. With your eyes closed, shake your entire body from the bottom of your feet to the top of your head for as gentle or vigorous as you like for 1 minute. Keep your body loose and relaxed during this activity.
Step 3. When you stop shaking, stay perfectly still for 1 minute and let the energy from the shaking move into every cell of your body. Keep your eyes closed during this stage.
Step 4. Before opening your eyes, take a moment to notice how your body feels and what is going on in your head. Typically, people feel more centered, relaxed, and energized by this active meditation.
Most of all I always tell all my students that meditation is meant to be fun. If you find that you’re taking it too seriously then either give it a break for awhile or find a meditation technique or teacher that will help ignite your passion for it again. With so many tangible benefits to be gained from meditating, it’s certainly something not to be missed out on for a happier and healthier life.
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