“There are only two mistakes one can make along the road to truth; not going all the way, and not starting.”
Just like everything else in life, we have to show up and try. It's called a practice for a reason. Remember, progress not perfection.
med·i·tate verb \ˈme-də-ˌtāt\ - to engage in contemplation or reflection
1) Do It First Thing
Meditate first thing in the morning, before you’ve glanced at your inbox or even started thinking about what you’re going to wear that day.
It relaxes both your body and your mind, and creates a mindful contentment.
3) Try Counting
Close your eyes. Sit up . Smile.
Take a deep breath in through your nose and silently count to ONE. Slowly let that breath out through your nose and silently say TWO. Repeat this until you get to TEN.
Start over each time your mind wanders a (which will probably happen a few times and that’s okay).
You don't have to sit still to meditate. Shocking, I know.
Walking meditation is a form of meditation in action. You simply focus on walking.
Go outside and take a walk and just have the actual walk be your focus. Don’t use look at your phone, or bring music. Simply walk and take in the beauty around you (wherever you are).
5) Animal Love
Spending a few minutes petting an animal can be a very relaxing activity, especially when it’s done mindfully. Your touch calms the animal and at the same time, releases feel-good endorphins in you, reducing your heart rate.
Don’t have a pet? Even spending a few minutes watching fish swim will help you feel less anxious.
Research has shown that the level of cortisol (in your body), a hormone associated with stress, is lowered. And the production of serotonin, a chemical associated with well-being, is increased.
6) Use a Guide
They can help you focus, and stop worrying that you are doing it wrong.
There are so many awesome guided meditations available for free online:
UCLA Mindfulness Research Center
These 8 audio tracks are a great introduction to mindfulness meditation that you can practice on your own.
The Chopra Center for Wellbeing Podcast
Deepak Chopra, M.D. and David Simon, M.D. run The Chopra Center for Wellbeing and put out excellent guided meditations on their podcast. The sessions focus on specific themes ranging from gratitude to taking the plunge.
20+ Hour Playlist on Spotify
This is a wonderfully curated playlist of guided meditations for Spotify users.
YouTube is FULL of guided meditations
YouTube is a goldmine of guided meditations. You can choose to watch & listen or just listen. The link above will bring you to a list of the most popular ones.
This site offers a wealth of guided meditations from different teachers and on many different themes. Download them all for free or stream them directly.
Or Try An App:
7) Keep it short.
It doesn't have to be 20 minutes, or even 5 to count. It's a practice, so start practicing. Start as simply as with 60 seconds at a time.
Once you get comfortable with that, you can move up to 90 seconds, then 180 seconds, and etc.
Sometimes I need to keep it bite size.
Close your eyes. Sit still. And now your mind runs a muck! Visualization can help.
Don’t even attempt to not to have thoughts. You won’t be able to. Instead let them come and simply observe them. Imagine hem like leaves falling from a tree. Or clouds, or seaweed in the ocean. Watch them simply float away. Don’t get attached to them.
By embracing your wild thoughts, you take away their power and you can simply just be.
9) Try Writing
Pick up a pen and grab a piece of paper and JUST WRITE.
Write down whatever is one your mind, it doesn’t matter what it is…
- I need to buy milk on the way home tonight
- I really can’t stand Tim
- How can I find more time to work on my painting?
Get it out.
10) Try Yoga
The practice of yoga helps prepare the body to sit for meditation, so try a few simple poses before you sit for your meditation. Yoga helps with mindfulness and also lessens the aches and pains you may experience in this new practice.
A mantra is basically a word to keep you focused. “Om” is probably the most well known mantra, but another recommended mantra is “one.” If you feel silly or a mantra just isn’t for you, don’t sweat it. You don’t need to use a mantra and there’s no need to force it.
You can get some ideas here
Simply sit down and say “Thank you.” Say it. And then say it again. And again. Really feel and mean those words.
Then you can progress into thinking about some of the specific things that you are grateful for in your mind. And from there, everything becomes a possibility.
13) Practice Meditation on an Empty Stomach
In the beginning, it is easier to meditate when the stomach is empty. Do not meditate when you are absolutely hungry as food will dominate your mind instead of meditation. It is recommended to wait for at least two hours after a complete meal or an hour after a snack or any caffeine drink. This is because the digestive system may cause hindrance with peaceful meditation. An alert mind is the key component of meditation. Hence, it is advisable to abstain from alcohol, smoking or any kind of non-prescribed drugs or medication.
14) Try a Shower Meditation