Have you decided to learn to meditate and make this practice a daily routine? Cool! Daily meditation has many benefits, although it can be difficult to start. If you’re new to meditating, don’t miss this list of tips from Light Watkins, a meditation teacher. These are their best strategies for you to get the most out of your efforts.
Make friends with your mind
Monkey mind syndrome (when you’re trying to concentrate but your mind is constantly jumping from one place to another) is incredibly common and you notice it as soon as you start meditating. What may surprise you is how to overcome it.
Instead of trying to control the thinking mind, take her side and hug her. When you are practicing, do it knowing that your thoughts will not stop. Meditate with kind intention towards all those thoughts, especially the negative ones. Try not to avoid them or get caught up in them: just observe them and bring your attention back to the breath. The more you practice this, the easier it will become, and the sooner you will discover that the key to quieting the mind lies in being completely indifferent to all your thoughts.
You don’t have to become a wax statue
Sitting with your back relatively straight is enough. And note that upright does not mean stiff. Sometimes, the effort to lift the spine leads us to tense that area of the body and it is the opposite, to be aware of possible stiffness and lengthen the spine upwards but in a smooth, relaxed way, with its natural curvatures. If you have to cough, sneeze, spit, or clear your throat, you don’t have to have seizures trying to avoid it. Instead, allow yourself to occupy yourself and pay attention to those little distractions naturally. That way you can move forward comfortably.
Practice with your palms facing up instead of fingers together
The big question is what to do with your hands. We see in the images people sitting with their fingers together. Well, instead of bringing your index finger and thumb together, try simply letting your hands rest in your lap, palms up. This gesture is enough to stay alert without having to constantly remind yourself that your fingers have to be touching.
Sit in a comfortable posture
There are plenty of meditation stools and cushions on the market. Choose the most comfortable option for you. Before you invest in a stool, try simply stacking up a few cushions and building a routine. But if sitting on the floor weighs you down, give yourself permission to sit on a chair or even a couch. No rule says that meditation is only effective if it is practiced on the ground. We return to point 2 to recommend an alert posture because you are not going to sleep, you are going to be present, aware. Firm and still like a mountain but with enough comfort, without forcing positions that could even cause an injury.
Do not use alarm
You’re probably wondering why this point is capitalized, thinking it’s unnecessarily alarming. That is the idea, that coming out of meditation with an alarm is unnecessary. As your mind settles into the last half of the meditation, as soon as the alarm goes off, your heart will burst out of your mouth. And that won’t make you feel good. Obviously, you need to time your session. What we recommend is that you look for a soft sound, that warns you but does not alter you. Many times we are asked why we do not use bells in timing and the reason is this. In the case of our method, as the practices are guided, a bell is not necessary. The voice that leads you in meditation also warns you of the end, in the same tone, and without interruptions.
The more often you practice, the closer you will be to meditation becoming a habit. As a psychological trick, you can put an “x” on the calendar after you meet your daily commitment. That will motivate you to keep going, especially on days when the last thing you want to do is sit in meditation. Keep your goals small and achievable. Start with a goal to meditate every day for at least 10 minutes for seven days in a row. As soon as you meet your goal, increase your meditation time from there.
Quantity is better than quality
No, it’s not a typo. When it comes to meditation, the saying “quality is better than quantity” doesn’t apply. It is rather the opposite. You should practice completely unconcerned about the quality of your meditations, and strive for quantity instead. In other words, be as consistent as possible. Meditate daily, without fail, whenever you can. You will find that the quality of your inner experiences only improves based on the amount or number of times you sit.
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