B’s Tips to Grow Your Meditation Practice
Starting a meditation practice is one of the best things that I have done for myself! Meditation isn’t about escaping from your life; it’s about focusing on your breath and entering the stillness inside. Meditating allows you to be receptive to insights and receive enlightenment from your higher power.
Meditation is powerful, and has mental, emotional, and physical benefits.
8 Benefits of Meditation:
- Lowers blood pressure
- Improves blood circulation
- Lowers heart rate
- Lessens anxiety
- Lowers blood cortisol levels
- Increases feelings of well-being
- Lessens stress
- Deepens relaxation
If you are new to meditation, it can be a little overwhelming wondering if you are doing it right or if you will see any results. When you start meditating you will notice how the mind seems to never be still. Well that’s what the mind does especially in the beginning. Your thoughts about your past and future will be running wildly through your mind. You may even experience some anxiety about not doing the things on your to-do-list.
Feelings of failure for not accomplishing your expectations during meditation is just one of the obstacles you’ll face in the beginning. It can seem like a big waste of time. So, if you’re starting a meditation practice or reviving your current one, (which I have had to do from time to time… no judgment J ), here are some ways to jump start and grow your practice.
10 Tips to Grow Your Meditation Practice.
- Get comfortable in a quiet place.
Whether you sit in a chair, on a cushion or with legs crossed, make sure your spine is straight and your head is upright. Turn off your cell phone, TV, radio, and any other devices.
- Close your eyes or open them.
I close my eyes to block out any distractions but some find it’s easier to be more present with eyes open. It’s good to experiment with both to see which works best for you.
- Try a guided meditation.
If this is your first time meditating it may be helpful to try a 5-min guided meditation and then increase your time
- Find the time that works best for you.
I enjoy meditating first thing in the morning before I start my day. In the beginning, I had to set a timer on my phone to remind me. There are also great meditation apps that will remind you. During the day when you find yourself in a stressful situation, find a quiet place for 5 or 10 minutes to refocus.
- Focus on your breath
Focus your attention on the breath and on how the body moves with each inhalation and exhalation. Observe where the air enters and exits to focus your attention without controlling it. It could be the chest, shoulders, rib cage, belly, or nostrils. If your mind wanders, return your focus back to your breath.
- Your mind will wander.
Lots of people think meditation is about clearing your mind, or stopping all thoughts. It’s not. This can sometimes happen, but it should not be your goal. If you have thoughts, that’s normal. Our brains are constantly thinking… that’s what it does. Instead, just try to practice focusing your attention back to your breath when your mind wanders.
- Let them be.
When thoughts or feelings arise, and they will, you might try staying with them awhile. We tend to want to avoid feelings like frustration, anger, and anxiety, but just be mindful of what comes up for you.
- Discover the value of silence.
We are distracted by so many things. Silence is powerful, healing, and restoring. Learn the benefits of silence in meditating, walking, or riding in your car.
- Practice in community
Meditation done in community can be a very effective way to begin and grow your meditation practice. There’s something powerful, and motivating about being in a community.
- End with ease.
When your meditation ends, don’t jump up, gradually begin to open your eyes and move your hands, arms, and legs. Enjoy to the fact that you have completed your session.
Practice, Practice, Practice. This is what it takes to have a meditation practice. Make time for meditation daily, and hopefully you will be able to see life changing benefits.
Do you have a meditation practice? What benefits have you received through meditation? What has or has not worked for you?
Feel free to leave your comments below.