What do you think of when you hear the word meditation?
Here's some of things I've heard: Hard. Peaceful. Zen. Pretentious. Oprah. Challenging. Confusing. Mantras. Monks. Mind control.
I get it... There are so many people advocating the benefits of meditation, how to do it, what to do, what not to do... Meditation can seem really confusing.
But you know what? It's not! It's actually really simple.
The goal of meditation is to focus on your body, notice your breath, and quiet your mind.
This week I'm sharing my top 10 tips to make meditation an easy and regular practice so you can enjoy all the mental and physical benefits.
- You can't do it wrong. Simply paying attention to your body, your thoughts, and how you feel are the cornerstones to meditation. Don't stress out over the details.
- Your position doesn't matter. You don't have to be sitting down! If you sit down all day and the thought of sitting meditation sounds terrible, try slooooowly walking around the block, taking deep breaths, and focusing on your breathing (no cellphones allowed unless in airplane mode). If you're on the go (or on your feet) most of the day, try sitting down in a quiet area to practice.
- Time of day doesn't matter. I love meditating first thing in the morning, but will often do little mini-meditations throughout the day. There is no right time. Practice when you can.
- Length doesn't matter. My meditations last anywhere from 60 seconds to 30 minutes. There is no right or wrong. I love meditating for about 20 minutes in the morning and practice 60 second meditations throughout the day before meetings, calls, even dates! This allows me to "clean up" my energy so I can be more connected and present for the person I'm meeting.
- Location doesn't matter. You don't have to be in a yoga studio or quiet zen den. Find pockets of time during your normal routine. Some of my favorite places for a quick meditation are super random, but they work. If you're just getting started with meditation I recommend putting a post-it somewhere in your bathroom with a word that will remind you to meditate. After you're done brushing your teeth, sit down for 60 seconds to connect with your (fresh) breath, feel your heart, and set an intention for the day. Another tip: take 60 seconds to relax in the car before running into your next meeting, your house, a meeting with a friend, etc. It will do WONDERS for how you feel, and are perceived.
- Thoughts during meditation are normal. Meditation is Attention Management. Studies have shown our use of technology has shortened our attention span dramatically over the last decade. When we disconnect from our devices for even just a few minutes and quiet our mind, we're strengthening our ability to focus. When a thought comes in your mind while meditating, release it and refocus on your breath.
- Visualizations can be very helpful. Random thoughts driving you crazy? Totally normal. Gently let them go and visualize your ideal life instead. Where are you living? What does your career look like? How is your relationship with yourself? Your partner? Your family? Take slow, deep breaths and notice how your body feels.
- Use a mantra...or not. If chanting makes you feel good, do it! You can say something as simple as "om" or "thanks", or it can even be a quote like "As I change my thoughts, I change my life." Experiment to find out if this is right for you.
- Think of these basic steps to relax and chill out during your meditation: uncross your legs, unclench your hands (let go of anything you may be holding), and relax your shoulders.
- There are thousands of guided meditations that make meditating easy! Check out YouTube or the App store to find one that works for you.
I hope you found this helpful!