One of the most healthy habits you can develop for yourself is meditation, hands down.
Countless research studies have shown its benefits, ranging from increases in immune function, to lowering stress and anxiety.
And now, science is showing that it makes actual changes to the physical structures of the brain!
However, one complaint I commonly hear is that meditation is too hard. People complain that they can’t feel peaceful, or clear their mind, so therefore they can’t meditate.
But this is simply not true. Meditation isn’t about feeling completely at peace. In fact, if you’re just sitting there with your eyes closed, guess what, you’re meditating!
So here are some simple tips (and myth busting!) for you to get started and begin your meditation habit.
1) Start with just 2 minutes
Yes, you heard it right. Simply sit there for 2 minutes and focus on your breathe (or whatever you want to focus on). As you become comfortable with 2 minutes, increase it to 3 minutes and so on.
2) Don’t worry about clearing the mind
Your mind will wander. It’s inevitable. Just smile, and return your focus to your breathe
3) Do it first thing in the morning
Many people ‘forget’ about doing meditation because they don’t have a routine. Doing it first thing in the morning is an excellent way to get in the habit.
4) Develop an accepting attitude
As you sit with yourself, you will feel different emotions such as anxiety and stress. We tend to run away from those feelings, but this is a time for you to accept them and even welcome them. Simply smile, accept that you’re feeling the way you are, and return to focusing on your breathe.
5) Don’t worry about ‘doing it wrong’
The ultimate goal of meditation isn’t to clear your mind. Actually, there are no goals to meditation as that would go against the practice. It is simply to be, in the here and now.
6) Focus on an object
Most beginners are taught to focus on their breathe, however another effective way to meditate is just to focus on an object. Make sure the object isn’t too big that you have to scan your eyes.
7) Keep your expectations realistic
Sure, there are many research studies showing it’s amazing benefits, but you’re not going to solve all your problems in a week or even a month. All good things take time.
Looking to increase your mental toughness? Check out our new eBook on the Art of Resilience. Resilience is a crucial ingredient to a happy, healthy life, and determines how high we rise above what threatens to wear us down. Check it out here: https://t.co/9VNCGXqdIR pic.twitter.com/z7UDqRhNCg— Lachlan Brown (@Lachybe) September 20, 2018
Remember, meditation won’t always be peaceful or fun. But if you stay with it, then after a few weeks or months, you’ll begin to enjoy your meditation practice and experience the many benefits that science is now showing.
Recommended Meditation Course: How to Meditate Quickly and Deeply
If you really want to give meditation a shot, it can be a lot easier when a meditation expert guides you.
We highly recommend this meditation course created by renowned meditation expert Ken Wells.
In this course, Ken teaches meditation techniques in short, sweet and easy to consume audios that give a great foundation for first timers.
The best bit?
Once you take the time to learn these techniques, you can use them for the rest of your life.
Check out his course here.
Check out Hack Spirit's eBook on How to Use Buddhist Teachings for a Mindful, Peaceful and Happy Life.
Here's what you'll learn:
• How and why to be mindful: There are many simple exercises you can do to bring a mindful attitude to quotidian activities such as eating breakfast, walking the dog, or sitting on the floor to stretch.
• How to meditate: Many beginning meditators have a lot of questions: How should I sit? How long should I meditate? What if it feels awkward or uncomfortable or my foot falls asleep? Am I doing it wrong? In this book, you’ll find simple steps and explanations to answer these questions and demystify meditation. (And no, you’re not doing it wrong).
• How to approach relationships: This section offers tips for interacting with friends and enemies alike and walks you through a loving kindness meditation.
• How to minimize harm: There is a lot of suffering in the world; it’s best for everyone if we try not to add to it. Here you’ll read about the idea of ahimsa (non-harming) and how you might apply it to your actions.
• How to let things go: As Buddhism teaches, excessive attachment (whether we’re clinging to something or actively resisting it) all too often leads to suffering. Practitioners of mindfulness meditation find peace in letting go and accepting things as they are in the moment.
Check it out here.