Getting Started in Meditation

Just close your eyes and think of nothing else. Sound easy? Sure. But in practice, it can be harder than it seems. In meditation, there can be many unforeseen obstacles because our minds tend to wander. Have you ever tried focusing on anything for more than a minute? Random thoughts about any and everything seem to take over. It doesn’t help that meditation and breathing is just plain boring. Why focus on any of that when there are much more interesting things going on?

Unfortunately there’s no easy way around the boring stuff. At least to start. Over time it does get better with practice, but even for those experienced in meditation, it can be a struggle, especially when times get tough. The good news is that there are some techniques you can use to help increase your focus and decrease your frustration during your meditation session. Here are three tips that can make a big difference.

Observe

Don’t try to control your breathing. This can create an irregular breathing pattern and stifle your progress as a meditator rather than improve it. The idea is to just watch how you breath without effort. Controlling something as natural as breathing is not necessary. Just wait, it will come.

Be Compassionate

Don’t get upset at yourself when you begin meditation practice. Gently redirect wandering thoughts and try not to give yourself negative self talk. It will only damage your progress as you’ll be taking time away from the actual time you’re spending meditating. Just brush off the negativity and return to meditating.

Find Joy in Meditating

Sometimes life is all about perception. If we perceive that meditating is an enjoyable activity, it likely will become a part of your day that you look forward to. Even when times get tough for us, meditating can improve your outlook. If you can find a few minutes a day to be alone and meditate and breath, you can find some enjoyment. It doesn’t matter if you are extremely busy and preoccupied with other problems in your life. By taking time out for yourself, you can enjoy your time.

Remember that every expert was a beginner. Meditation is a lifelong practice that is not meant to be a chore but rather an enjoyable activity that can offer relaxation, calmness and even escape. Breath in, breath out and forget about the world around you for just a few minutes a day. By observing your breathing, being compassionate towards yourself, and realizing that meditation is joyful, you can make yourself feel happier in your time alone.

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