7 Simple Tips to Get the Most out of Mindfulness Meditation
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There’s no denying that meditation can be a real challenge, both for experienced meditators and those new to the practice.
It’s very normal to experience both discomfort and frustration during your first few practices, and you may reach the end of the session feeling a little deflated.
These feelings are very normal, and not everyone can get to grips with a new practice straight away. You may feel restless, unsettled or even bored.
If you’re getting frustrated, that’s all the more reason to keep at it!
The following tips should help ease some of the feelings of frustration, allowing you to make the most of even the shortest meditation sessions.
Make Mindfulness Easy
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It can help to meditate first thing in the morning. This will get your day off to a productive start, and you’ll be able to experience the benefits of your session throughout the day.
No matter what the task, if we leave it until the end of the day, we will find it much harder to get started. Those new to meditation often struggle to look forward to their practice, putting it off until the very end of the day.
To start, it can help to think of meditation as just another task on your to-do list. It’s best to get it done as early as you can and, let’s face it, a 10-minute meditation session is probably the shortest task on your list anyway!
Meditating first thing in the morning will also allow you to feel the benefits of the practice throughout the day. You may find yourself feeling calmer, more productive and more alert. In noting the change in your mood after a morning practice, you may even start to look forward to your next session.
Be Consistent with Time
Try to meditate at the same time and in the same place every day. This will help you get into a routine.
Making your mediation practice a habit is the best way to keep it up. Just as you brush your teeth at roughly the same time every day, meditation will soon be something you do without really thinking about it. It’ll become an integral and essential part of your day.
Try to meditate at the same time and in the same place every day. This can be first thing in the morning, or if you struggle with time in the morning, try a 10 minute session during your lunch break. Making your practice consistent will help you to form a lasting habit.
Try not to go overboard with goal setting. Short and frequent sessions are the easiest to stick to. Set yourself up for success with a 5 or 10 minute session each day.
It’s a very human trait to start something new and go completely overboard. We like to set our expectations very high, and this often leads to us throwing in the towel when we invariably fall short.
While 5 or 10 minutes a day may seem too short to be valuable, starting easy is one of the best ways to make your meditation practice a habit.
The days where you are struggling to find the time or motivation to meditate, tell yourself it’s only 5 minutes.
While goals are motivating, it’s more important to set yourself up for success.
Find the Right Position
Sit comfortably with a straight back. You may need to experiment with a few seated positions before you find what works best for you.
We’ve spoken a lot about meditation positions in a previous post, and being unable to get comfortable is one of the main reasons that people give up with meditation.
Different people and bodies suit different positions, and it’s important to take time to find what’s right for you.
When it comes to finding the best position, there’s a few basic principles to follow. You should have a straight back, but try not to sacrifice comfort to achieve this. Sitting on a chair or sofa will allow you to sit both straight and comfortably.
While you should be comfortable, you should try to sit with good posture so you don’t fall asleep.
How Often and Long Should I Meditate for?
If you’re new to meditation, short and frequent sessions are best. These are easier to keep up with, and you’ll be more likely to make it a habit.
The average person doesn’t have hours of spare time to meditate every day, and even just 5 or 10 minutes can have a huge impact.
Forcing yourself through an hour of meditation is counter-productive when you have a long to-do list, but a few minutes of focused breathing in between tasks is hugely beneficial.
Where does Mindfulness Originate?
Mindfulness has its origins in Buddhism, although meditation is not a solely Buddhist practice. Mindfulness teachings are based on achieving the Buddhist goal of nirvana.
Mindfulness practices are popular all over the globe, but many people aren’t aware of their origins. Most mindfulness practices are based on Buddhist teachings. Attaining nirvana is the ultimate goal in Buddhism, and mindfulness is the tool used to achieve this heightened state of awareness and happiness.
Of course, modern-day mindfulness looks very different from this ancient practice, but there are still very similar elements. Mindfulness requires us to become aware of the present, the physical body and its systems.
What does Mindfulness Feel Like?
A mindfulness meditation practice can leave you feeling calm yet alert. You will move through the day with greater awareness, able to look at your thoughts and experiences objectively.
It can be hard to know whether you’re meditating correctly if you’re not sure what meditation and mindfulness should feel like. People often think they’ll experience life altering revelations in their first session. The reality of meditation is rarely as dramatic.
People new to meditation and mindfulness report feeling calm, alert, and aware during and after a session. They may be more likely to notice things throughout the day, whether that’s the bright blue sky or an especially aromatic coffee.
They may feel as though they are moving through the day slightly slower, with a greater awareness of their physical bodies.
Mindfulness brings you into the present, away from the constant buzz of thoughts. This gives you more time to notice what’s going on around you, while allowing you to look at your thoughts and feelings objectively.
- Many people struggle with feelings of frustration, restlessness and even boredom when they begin meditating.
- It’s important to acknowledge these feelings and remember that they are very normal.
- Meditating first thing in the morning, sticking to a regular time and place, and starting with short sessions can help you to make your meditation session a habit.
- Finding the right position is very important – as meditation is far harder if you can’t get comfortable.
- If you stick to your meditation practice, you should experience a range of benefits. Following a session, you may feel both calmer and more alert, ready to tackle whatever the day throws at you.
- While meditation and mindfulness has evolved, it still retains the same basic principles from ancient Buddhist teachings.