Meditation how to get started and how to do it properly
For many people considering meditation how to get started at all is the big obstacle.
Why do we need meditation?
It’s well known these days that meditation is an antidote to the biggest problem in all our lives – stress.
In times long past we were surrounded by nature, listening to the sound of running water, feeling the wind and appreciating the beauty of the night sky and stars and the feel and smell of the grass beneath our feet. Nature was part of our daily routines and we felt a connection to it.
There were also dangers in those times, and when we were faced with one, our natural fight or flight reactions came into play. Our bodies tensed and released hormones to speed us up and sharpen our senses to help survive the danger.
And when it was over – if we survived – we went back to feeling nature, appreciating natural rhythms and our bodies naturally relaxed and slowed down, and released those hormones that helped us survive.
Nowadays, we are rarely placed in life or death scenarios but our bodies retain the fight or flight response. We rush to go into that mode at the slightest thing.
We worry about how we look and how we appear to other people. Advertising and social media reinforce those thoughts and we send ourselves in endless loops of negative thinking.
We worry about our work. It takes up an ever increasing amount of our time and thoughts. We strive ever more, putting in more and more hours, neglecting ourselves and our families and losing touch with what is important.
We worry about everything and it all causes stress. But because the cause of the stress is not a single event but is ongoing, we do not ever stop.
Stress can affect many parts of your life. It can affect your your thinking, your emotions, your behaviour and the health of your body. You may become easily upset, finding it difficult to quiet your mind and relax. You may feel bad about yourself, feel worthless and become withdrawn from your friends and family. You may feel overwhelmed and not in control.
Physically, you may feel aches and pains, headaches, upset stomach and have no energy. If left unchecked you may develop a weakened immune system leading to often suffering colds. Longer term more serious conditions may develop.
Meditation is an antidote to stress. With meditation how to slow your thoughts and relax becomes easier and we can access the benefits of meditation.
What are the benefits of Meditation?
The benefits of meditation are initially to do with stress reduction. That in itself is worth investing some time to practice.
Instantly you will notice that there is some relief from stress. As you practice a little more you will discover that your capacity to overcome stress and remain relaxed starts to increase. You can cope better with things that may have stressed you before. You will often feel calmer and more in control of your thoughts. You may feel happier more often and start to look forward.
Regular meditation will change your ability to access more useful brain states and you will start to think more effectively and creatively. You will start to have more insights into things and have more empathy for others. You will become more balanced in your thinking and your actions and you will become more motivated. You will have more energy and may even start to look younger than your age.
All of this is achieved through meditation relaxing you, ridding you of harmful hormones and chemicals and flooding your body with helpful, useful hormones that occur naturally when you experience certain brain wave patterns. In meditation how to maintain healthy hormone levels occurs naturally.
Meditation how to do it properly
I’m sorry but I deliberately misled you in the title of this post. There is no ‘proper’ way to meditate and the experience is different for everyone.
Many times meditation is promoted as a way to become a better person, achieve your full potential, be a better thinker etc but taking that approach assumes you agree there is something wrong with you to start with.
Of course we all have feelings and behaviours that we want to change because we don’t like them. It may be that we feel we are not good enough or we wish we didn’t do this or that thing to other people.
But it’s important to recognise that those are things we DO, not WHAT WE ARE.
In meditation how to become a better person isn’t the goal. We don’t want to become someone else. We want to remain ourselves whilst at the same time going inside ourselves to discover how we percieve ourselves and how we perceive the world. As we discover our beliefs we can determine which are beneficial and which are limiting. As we recognise the limiting beliefs for what they are and let them go, we automatically improve our outlook and become more relaxed, centered and motivated.
In this busy world, we can often start to feel distant and separated from things that matter. We become harder, reacting more and feeling less.
In meditation how to feel love is the goal. Love for yourself, love for others, love for the world.
If you achieve that, you will have meditated properly.
Meditation how to set yourself up to get the best results
Meditation doesn’t need to be complicated for it to be beneficial.
You can do as much or as little as you want to. A few minutes in the garden with your eyes closed, listening to the sounds and narrowing your focus just to those sounds and feelings can be remarkably beneficial.
A walk in the park or a relaxing long soak in the bath might be enough for you to get some benefits. Slow your breathing, narrow your focus and you get the benefits of meditation.
But if you really want to benefit from meditation how to set yourself up deserves some thought.
1. Consider using a special area
Habits form when you do the same thing in the same places. If you often meditate in the same place, your mind will get used to what it is supposed to be doing in that place. The size of the space itself isn’t really important but it should be relatively clutter free. This will reduce distractions and reduce the ‘I must do that leter’ thought.
It also helps if everything is ready for your meditation as the easier it is to get started, the less likely you are to put it off. Consider leaving everything you might need – cushions, sweater, water bottle, dedicated mp3 player and headphones – in your meditation space so that when it is time to meditate you can get right down to it and not have any reasons to delay or put it off.
2. Decide on how long to meditate for in advance.
Again, habits form when you do something repeatedly. It is easier in your mind to start a regular practice of five minutes a session than one hour. An hour might seem prohibitive but surely no one can find an excuse to put off a five minute exercise?
So if you find putting aside the time is a problem for you, start short and just resolve to meditate for five minutes. You will get some benefit from just five minutes and it will give your meditation impetus. Before you know it you will be wanting to go beyond the five minutes.
As it is in many things in life, in meditation how to get started is often an obstacle. If so set a short meditation and just get started.
3. Don’t try to clear your thoughts
Sometimes in meditation how to do something is the exact opposite of what might seem logical.
Many people believe that you need to clear your mind to meditate. But have you ever tried to do that for any period of time? All sorts of things pop up about your day, things you need to do, things you have forgotten to do.
So instead of trying to clear your mind, focus on one particular thing that isn’t too mentally taxing. It can be a spot on the wall you stare at or a short sound sound you make that you have to think of. Mantras work well and you can say them out loud or in your head depending on the circumstances.
If you find your mind starting to think of something other than the focus, gently thank it for pointing out the thought to you and go back to your focus.
4. Don’t beat yourself up if doesn’t go perfectly
This is a tough one.
When you start meditation how to do it right can cause real anxiety. You realise that you want and need the benefits of meditation but get hung up on doing it right and create extra stress instead!
Go easy and congratulate yourself for even resolving to try. If you get interrupted and don’t do the whole session, don’t worry. You will have got some benefit from any time meditating and tell yourself that the next session will go better.
If it happens a few times, instead of moaning about it to yourself and turning it into a negative experience, look for positive ways to make it better in the future. Move to a different location to meditate. Tell the people disturbing you that you don’t want to be disturbed. Use some earplugs to drown out distractions if you are not using music to meditate. Resolve to do whatever it takes to achieve your goal of meditating.
5. Don’t expect immediate results
Another tough one!
You WILL get some immediate benefits effects from your early sessions (from your very first session if you use brainwave entrainment music to help) but don’t set expectations too high. You will feel calmer and more relaxed just from setting aside time for yourself to go inside and quiet your mind.
But meditation is just like any other discipline – it takes time to master. You wouldn’t expect to be able to drive a car competently after just one lesson and meditation is no different.
Bear in mind that it can take a meditator 5-8 years of unaided practice to achieve mastery but that mastery bring massive mental, emotional and physical benefits.
However, if you want results faster, then consider meditating while listening to music or sound imbued with binaural beats or isochronic tones. These tones can guide your mind quickly into states associated with deep meditation and you can be getting the benefits in a much shorter time.
For more details on binaural beats, read my information post here.
6. After meditation, ease back into life, don’t rush back into things
At the end of your meditation session, allow yourself a little time to get back to normal.
Stretch a little. Drink some water if you’ve listened to a brainwave entrainment track as entrainment can dehydrate you a little.
Give your brain a bit of time to get back up to speed after its relaxed state. After each session it will be that much better overall.
7. Keep at it!
Once you have made a start, don’t waste it!
Keep up the momentum and allow your practice to expand and it will expand your mind
If you want to master meditation how to do it faster and more efficiently.
You can vastly speed up your progress along your meditation route by listening to brainwave entrainment tracks as you meditate.
The tracks work by ‘forcing’ your brain into the required brainwave patterns by using special tones to influence your brain through your hearing. There are five recognised brain states: beta waves, alpha waves, delta waves, theta waves and gamma waves. Each ties up with a particular frequency that affects your state, and therefore your mood. Find out more here.
Zen12picture If you want to experiment with brainwave entrainment, I recommend the Zen 12 Meditation Program.
Using cutting edge technology, the tracks quickly guide you into healthy brainwave patterns, each 12 minute track equivalent to an hour of unaided meditation.
There are different backgrounds so you can listen to relaxing music or sounds of nature, white noise to cover background noises if you are in a noisy environment or even have a guided experience as the background.
There are twelve levels and you are recommended to follow each for a month before moving on. Each level takes you to the required brainwave state for a longer period or a slightly deeper level than the previous so you are building your experience over time.
There is a detailed guide, instructions at each level and you can try level 1 for free. A 12 month money back guarantee ensures you will be satisfied with your meditation experience. You can’t go wrong.Zen12
I hope you enjoyed my Meditation how to get started article. If you did, please leave a comment or like us on Facebook. I’d love to hearb from you.