a woman sitting in a well-lit room meditating among flowers

How to Start Meditating Every Day: Tips for Beginners

Meditation is like the ultimate wellness multitasker. It’s not just about getting all zen and stuff; it’s backed by research that shows it can do wonders for anxiety, stress levels, sleep quality, and even pain relief. But if you’re new to this whole meditation thing, don’t worry. We’ve got you covered with some beginner-friendly tips on how to do meditation to kickstart your daily practice.

Start Small with Breathing Exercises

Let’s not overwhelm ourselves here – don’t think about how to meditate properly. Begin your journey into meditation with just five minutes of simple breathing exercises. Dr. Eva Tsuda, a meditation instructor at the UMass Memorial Health Center for Mindfulness, suggests a short session to calm and focus your mind each morning. It’s like setting the tone for the day ahead.

Starting with your breath is like dipping your toes into the ocean of meditation. You don’t need any fancy equipment or special skills; just find a comfortable seat, close your eyes, and pay attention to your breath. Feel the air entering your nostrils, filling your lungs, and then gently exhaling. 

If your mind starts to wander (as it inevitably will), gently bring your focus back to your breath. This simple act of returning to the breath is a powerful tool for training your mind to stay present. It’s not about clearing your mind of thoughts (spoiler alert: that’s impossible) but rather about observing your thoughts without getting swept away by them.

a serene room in light tones with a place for meditation

Establish Your Meditation Spot

Alma Ivanovic, owner of the Tiny Space to Breathe studio in Chicago, has a designated meditation spot beside her bed. Having a specific place for your practice helps create consistency. It’s a visual cue that tells your brain, “Hey, it’s meditation time here.”

Your meditation spot doesn’t have to be elaborate; it could be a corner of your bedroom, a cozy nook by a window, or even a cushion on the floor. The key is to make it comfortable and inviting, a place where you feel at ease and free from distractions. This is a great start for beginners learning how to meditate.

Consider adding a few elements that enhance the ambiance, like a soft blanket, a scented candle, or a small plant. These little touches can make your meditation spot feel sacred and special, enticing you to return to it each morning. Before you know it, just seeing your meditation corner will trigger a sense of calm and readiness to dive into your practice.

Tie It to Your Morning Routine

Make meditation a part of your morning rituals, like brushing your teeth. Research shows that people who link their meditation practice to their morning routine tend to stick with it longer. 

Integrating some meditation techniques into your existing morning routine can make it feel like less of a chore and more like a natural extension of your day. After brushing your teeth, sit in your meditation spot and begin your practice. This simple act of association can help solidify meditation as a regular habit in your mind. 

Plus, starting your day with mindfulness sets a positive tone for the hours ahead. Instead of rushing into the chaos of the day, you’ll find yourself grounded and ready to tackle whatever comes your way. Whether it’s a busy day at work or a leisurely weekend, these few minutes of morning meditation can be your anchor in the storm of life.

a flatlay with morning tea and lemon, clock, and journal

Set a Gentle Timer

Whether it’s an hourglass for that calming sand trick or a gentle chime on your phone, set a timer for your meditation session. Even five minutes can work wonders for your stress levels throughout the day. Don’t feel pressured to go the full five if it feels too much; start with two and a half minutes and see how you feel.

The beauty of setting a timer is that it takes the pressure off. Instead of constantly checking the clock, you can fully immerse yourself in the present moment. Allow yourself to surrender to the practice without worrying about time slipping away. 

As the timer gently reminds you to return to reality, notice how your body and mind feel. Are you more relaxed? Clear-headed? Even if it’s just a few minutes, this intentional pause in your day can have a profound impact on your overall well-being. So, let the timer be your guide as you journey through the calming waters of meditation.

Be Kind to Yourself

Remember, meditation is not about achieving a state of complete thoughtlessness or perfect concentration. There is no success in meditation. It’s a practice of acceptance and gentle redirection. When you notice your mind wandering, acknowledge the thought with kindness instead of getting frustrated or critical. Say to yourself, “Ah, there goes my mind again,” and gently guide your attention back to your breath.

Just as you wouldn’t scold a child for being curious or a friend for sharing their thoughts, offer yourself the same compassion. Your mind is naturally active, and that’s okay. The essence of meditation is not to suppress thoughts but to observe them without attachment. So, embrace this process with patience and understanding.

As you cultivate this attitude of kindness toward yourself during meditation, you’ll find it naturally flowing into other aspects of your life. You’ll become more forgiving of your imperfections, more patient with challenges, and more appreciative of moments of peace. This is one of the many meditation benefits.

a calming scenery in soft blue tones with sea and sun

Add Mantras

Mantras are like little anchors for your mind during meditation. They give your wandering thoughts something to hold onto, helping you stay present and centered. The “sohum” mantra is a simple yet powerful tool derived from ancient yoga practices. As you inhale, silently say “so” to yourself, and as you exhale, say “hum.” This rhythmic repetition aligns with your breath, creating a soothing cadence that can quiet the chatter in your mind.

If “sohum” doesn’t resonate with you, don’t worry. Mantras are personal, so feel free to customize it to suit your needs. For example, on the inhale, you might say “I am” and on the exhale, complete the sentence with a word that reflects how you want to feel. “I am grateful,” “I am present,” “I am calm,” or any positive affirmation that resonates with you can serve as your mantra.

As you settle into your meditation practice, let the mantra become a gentle guide, bringing you back to the present moment whenever your mind starts to wander. With each repetition, allow the words to sink deeper into your consciousness, reinforcing the intention behind your practice. Whether it’s peace, gratitude, or simply a sense of calm, let your chosen mantra infuse your meditation with meaning and purpose.

So there you have it — a beginner’s guide to starting your meditation journey. Remember, it’s not about perfection; it’s about showing up for yourself each day, even if it’s just for a few minutes.


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