For a practice that’s all about finding inner calm, peace, and focus, meditation can actually be something that causes a lot of people to put pressure on themselves. A lot of people know they should meditate, or have tried, but struggled to make it a regular part of their day. While it may not be for every, we’re big fans over here at Squatch HQ, and think it can help you in a ton of different ways. So, we’re gonna break it down and make it easy. Whether you’re a skeptic, newbie, or someone looking to break through that wall of start/stop, we’re gonna break it down and make it easy with a few simple steps to help you (finally!) start meditating.
The Basics of Meditation
There are a ton of misconceptions about meditation. That it’s a bunch of woo-woo nonsense, it requires a huge time commitment and a fancy class, or that it’s only for monks, among many others. The truth is, that’s all B.S. Sure, it takes some dedication and commitment, but anyone can do it, it doesn’t require a ton of effort, and most importantly, the benefits can help literally everyone. We could go on and on about what meditation can do to help improve your daily life, but let’s start with a few basics: better focus and performance at work, a quieter mind, less stress, better sleep, help with anxiety, and more. It’s like hitting a reset button on your brain. Plus, these benefits have been backed by science too. There are a ton of clinical trials and info out there about the benefits, but for a bit more, check this handy guide out.
5 Tips To Help You Start Meditating
Start Small, Keep It Simple
As we mentioned, many people think that meditation requires a huge weekly time commitment and you need to sit motionless in silence for an hour a day every day. Nope. Something as little as 10 minutes a few times a week is enough to help you see some benefits, build your confidence, and help you start a regular routine. You’ve got 10 minutes to spare, 3 days a week don’t you?
Begin With Guided Meditation
Yeah, meditation is hard, really hard in the beginning. But it’s not just forcing yourself to sit by yourself contemplating the universe. To be successful, you need some help. Put simply, meditation is based on techniques, which is why you often hear it referred to as a “practice”. It’s about learning how to breathe, unplug, and clear your mind. Like athletes have coaches and trainers, it’s great to start with some help. That’s why we highly recommend starting with some form of guided meditation. It really helps beginners learn the process of meditation and the techniques used in an easy way. Set yourself up for success early on and you’ll make this a habit in no time.
Make Technology Work For You
Sure, it may seem counterintuitive, but there are a huge range of apps, programs, videos, and podcasts that can all be extremely helpful on-ramps into the world of meditation. You’ve probably seen apps like Calm and Headspace around, and they offer full guided meditation programs that help you build up a regular practice, but there are tons of other options out there too. Our personal favorite, Oak, is lean, simple and a great (and free!) no-frills option that’s perfect for beginners. If you’re in the mix on youtube or podcasts, there are a ton of guided meditation options out there for whatever your needs are.
Find The Right Time
One of the most important things to remember when starting to learn how to meditate is that there’s no right or wrong time to do it. There are a million articles out there about when the “best” time to meditate is, or that everyone should start or end their day with meditation. But the truth is, there’s no perfect time for everyone. So, take some time to start experimenting with different times of the day. Morning person? Maybe kicking off your day with 10-15 minutes of meditation is the perfect addition to your routine. Or, maybe you struggle to decompress in the evenings and it works better for you then. You’re not going to know without trying different times. So, start by carving out 10 minutes in the morning, after lunch, or in the evenings, give it a week or two of regular practice, and see what sticks.
Stick To It
Yup, this is the tough part. Just like your personal care or fitness, meditation is all about the routine. Like any habit, you’ve got to stick to it and make it work for you. That means consistency and good effort with incremental games. Like we said earlier, start small, a couple chunks each week. You don’t have to go big right out of the gate, in fact, that’s probably going to be much more counter-productive.
Like any way you’re going to improve yourself, adopting a meditation routine takes commitment and some smart planning. But, once you get in the groove and start to reap the rewards that a good mediation routine can bring to your life, you’ll only get more comfortable and confident as you progress. Before you know it, you’ll be a meditation guy.