Does meditation make you feel more ummm than Om? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Sitting quietly with your thoughts is hard. Whenever I try to empty my mind the more full it seems to become. All of a sudden I’m remembering that my cat needs to go to the vet, my library books are officially overdue, and I’ve forgotten to buy parsley for dinner.
From what I’ve been told, cataloging a mental to-do list is not the point of meditation. There are so many mental, physical and emotional benefits to meditating, it’s worth the effort to find ways it can work for you. If you’re a beginner like me, these are some things I’ve found to be very helpful in my quest for a little inner peace. And while I’m nowhere near having an out-of-body-type-experience or being able to meditate for hours straight, these simple ways to meditate will help you get started.
1. Empty your mind in the AM.
I’ve noticed that taking time to write down your thoughts/fears/excitement/feelings first thing in the morning helps you feel less mentally drained throughout the day. The act of getting thoughts out of your brain and onto paper is such a relief.
2. Try out the Calm app.
While the more deluxe version costs money you can start out by doing their free ten minute meditations to see how you like it. You can seriously do anything for ten minutes. I love that it’s not super new-agey either.
3. Do whatever works for you.
Taking time to be present is half the battle of meditation. There are certain things that put you in a soothing mindset. Maybe it’s taking a hot bath and listening to music, or going for a walk and focusing on your breath, personally I find cooking to be really soothing and helps me to focus just on the task at hand. Carving out a moment to slow your mind down is the first step towards more traditional or longer periods of meditation.
When it comes to living my best life I definitely trust Oprah’s judgement. This partnership with Deepak Chopra offers a few free guided meditations, plus having someone guide me through helps me focus more than I would on my own. I also like that they have meditation themes too.
5. Be consistent with it.
Carve out a time and place, trying to meditate at the same time each day. Maybe you’re a morning person or maybe ten minutes of meditation helps you to switch gears after work. Keeping the time consistent just helps build it into your existing routine. Create a comfortable little spot for yourself too. I have a faux fur rug that I like to sit on (it’s so soft) but having things that make you feel good about the space will make you look forward to carving out the time for yourself. You can start with as little as five minutes and work your way up from there.