Want to Try Meditation? This is the way to get started
BY KATIE SMITH
If you have always wanted to meditate but weren’t sure where to begin, here’s help. There are many styles and free guided audio practices that can help you reach your meditation goals, and you do not have to spend an hour a day in a quiet room. Aiming for a few minutes is better than nothing. Experts say meditating for 12 minutes daily, five days a week can improve mindfulness and focus.
Meditation takes practice. It may feel like you are not doing it right, or you may be antsy during your initial sessions. The key is to keep at it. Our muscles get stronger the more we work them, and meditation practice is no different. So, where do you start?
First, sit in a calm place where you are comfortable and will not be interrupted. If others are in the house, let them know that you will meditate and don’t want to be disturbed. Also, make sure you are in a position that feels comfortable, so you’ll be able to stay in it the entire time.
Set a time limit. Experts recommend that beginners start with a period of around five minutes. You can increase your time the longer you practice. Begin by paying attention to your breath. Notice it entering your body and leaving it. Breathe in a rhythm that feels relaxed to you. You can keep your eyes open or closed, whichever you prefer.
Your mind will wander, especially at first. The key is to be attentive to your breath and to clear your mind. When you notice that your mind has wandered, refocus on your breath. This involves practice. It’s normal for your mind to drift or stress over things, particularly when it’s quiet. Just keep going back to your breath.
Free meditation apps that can help you get started: Headspace, Aura, and Insight Timer.
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