Starting a personal meditation habit doesn’t have to be complicated and there is no one right method. You can start with the basics and build from there as you become more aware and mindful through tuning inward and observing your body’s reactions. Here are some simple first step starter tips for basic meditation.
- Find a focus point: concentrate with your eyes opened or closed. Think of an image that helps you feel calm like an object from nature (flower, dew drop on grass, snow falling, ocean waves, or your dog’s face). If you have difficulty staying focused with your eyes closed, open them and try looking at a lighted candle flicker (real or virtual) or another object of meaning (a ring or pendant on a necklace), or try to visualize your thoughts written out on a chalkboard and gradually erase the cluttered images as you breath in and out watching the old-school eraser wipe away the slate board.
- Repeat a Mantra: come up with a few positive phrases that are simple and resonate with what you personally struggle with as a way of resetting your mindset back to a more balanced center. Then once you have cleared your mine by focusing, repeat the phrase either out loud or silently in your mind. If you can’t come up with one, try repeating your favorite quote or download an app like Insight Timer and try some of their featured guided meditations.
- Tune inward: observing or counting your breaths and noticing bodily sensations like muscle tension, anger, negative thoughts, or pain and try to visualize that sensation as a spark or light. As you slow and deepen your breathing; in through the nose and out through the mouth, “breath” the spark from where it is stuck in your body, out through your fingertips, and let it go. Or, try working from head to toe, focusing on each area as you work down your whole body and breathe away the tension easing your body into a state of relaxation.
- Ready yourself to awaken: allow a pause when you have reached a place of calmness and savor the moment as it may take a while to get to that place of peace. Your breath may have become slow and shallow as you have become more relaxed. Take a deep cleansing breath at this point, filling your lungs to capacity then give one final release before opening your eyes or stretching yourself to alertness to your outside environment.
Meditation can be done in just a few short minutes or planned for longer sessions. You can try meditation in motion by walking and counting your breaths; in for three steps, out for three steps. Or, make it an invigorating meditation session by doing some stretching. If you need rejuvenation, try an inversion yoga pose and lay on the floor with your legs elevated against a wall while you meditate. Regardless of what you choose, the act of calming your mind and tuning inward actually changes your brain wave frequency. It can help manage stress, reduce anxiety, lower your blood pressure, increase alertness, improve mindfulness, and help you feel alive as you learn to tap into your inner energy and let go of the negative energy you do not need in your quest to LiVe Well.