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How to start a meditation practice (even if you’re a little bit skeptical)
You’ve probably heard of the many benefits of meditation, and maybe you’re curious about how to start a meditation practice for yourself. Maybe you are a little skeptical about the benefits of meditation. That’s okay!
At one point, I was a little skeptical of meditation too. I didn’t see how simply sitting still could possibly be of any benefit. Furthermore, sitting still is really hard for me, so I didn’t even try.
Meditation can truly be life-changing, and if you don’t believe me, you should try it yourself! If you’re wondering how to do meditation, it’s really easy. The hardest part is making meditation a habit. It takes a quite a while to form a new habit!
However, the first few days are typically the hardest. I promise that it doesn’t take 66 days to want to do meditation. For me, it was 2-3 weeks. Once you have a regular habit of meditation, you’ll actually want to do it!
I even talked my husband into trying a guided meditation. Although he hasn’t established a regular practice (he works a lot of crazy hours) he did enjoy it more than he thought he would. He even meditates from time to time. I am mentioning this because he is probably one of the least likely people to try meditation! If he can do it, you can do it.
I also wrote a post about mindfulness for kids, make sure to check it out if you have kids!
What meditation is (and isn’t)
Let’s talk real quick about what meditation is, and what it isn’t. Meditation practice has nothing to do with a particular religion. You can be any religion, or no religion at all, and still practice and benefit from meditation. There are a few different types of meditation but for the sake of simplicity, we’re primarily talking about mindfulness meditation today.
I had tried meditation a few times, but it really started to click for me after I read “The Miracle Morning.” I do my own version of The Miracle Morning now, and it includes starting my day with meditation (yes, even before coffee!) I highly recommend checking out the book to anyone who wants to improve their life.
How to start a meditation practice
Fortunately starting a meditation practice is pretty easy! All you need is a few minutes of time. If you’re brand new to meditation, I recommend guided meditation. I do a guided meditation the majority of the time but occasionally meditate on my own.
Here are my favorite resources for guided meditations
I started meditation with Jason Stephenson on YouTube. It’s only on YouTube as far as I know, but I wish there was an app. He has a few short meditations that are excellent for beginners. I started alternating between his meditations and using the free version of Calm to keep track. The free version of Calm is pretty limited. I wasn’t a huge fan of the voice on the guided meditations, although it grew on me after a while.
After cycling through all the free meditations on Calm, I considered the paid version. First, I decided to try Insight Timer. I’m so glad that I did because I love it. It’s free and it has so many features. You can do guided meditations, classes, or meditate on your own with a customizable timer.
Headspace is very popular but it’s a little pricey, it’s worth mentioning because so many people love it. I haven’t tried it so I can’t really comment on it further than that. I did try 10% Happier but I didn’t love the interface. I’m not an affiliate for any of these products, this is simply what I use and recommend.
How to start meditating
I recommend starting with five minutes. If you want to start running, you probably won’t start your first day with a 5k. With meditation, try starting with five minutes once a day and go from there. I typically meditate first thing in the morning alone, and then before going to be with my oldest son. From time to time, I will add another session in the middle of the day.
If you don’t want to use an app or don’t want to do a guided meditation, you can meditate on your own at any time. Simply find a quiet space and either sit or lie down. I recommend sitting in a cross-legged position. Set a timer for five minutes and close your eyes.
There are a few things you can do to focus. A popular technique is following your breath in and out of your nose. I also like imagining a light inside of you glowing brighter on the inhale and dimming slightly on the exhale.
It’s okay if it’s hard to focus!
If your mind wanders, that’s okay. That’s why it’s called a meditation practice. Simply let the thoughts pass, and don’t dwell on them. Sometimes you’ll have amazing meditations, and sometimes you’ll feel like you couldn’t focus at all. That’s okay, the point is to show up to your practice. Trust me, you’ll start to enjoy and look forward to it!
I hope that this helped you if you’re interested in how to start a meditation practice or how to do meditation. Have you tried meditating? Do you prefer guided meditation or doing it on your own? If you have any other tips and tricks please share them in the comments! Want to get more wellness tips sent straight to your inbox? Sign up to get the latest every Saturday.