Meditation is becoming more and more popular across this planet and there is a good reason why. There has been so much scientific research on the healing power of this ancient art and even universities such as Harvard are finding positive results. But this is no easy task to perform and you will struggle at first. That is why I have developed some meditation techniques for beginners.
I am no guru, but I am a certified mindfulness meditation teacher with over 53K logged minutes of seat time contemplating in my own mind. So, I do have some practical experiences. Plus I have used this art to overcome my own challenges in my life. What I have found is every time I meditate a portable paradise opens in my heart releasing ecstasies far greater than one can ever imagine. It’s like a river fills every cell of my being with an invisible life force of energy.
Meditation not only makes you feel happier and more compassionate, but it also strengthens your focus and stimulates neurons in your brain. This is huge. So if you are suffering from depression, anxiety, and compulsive negative thinking, well then I highly recommend you keep reading.
Whether your goals are leaning toward well being, or just looking for a way to release the stress from a hard day at the office, meditation is by far the best natural way of healing. Incorporating a mindfulness meditation practice into your life will provide you with the foundation to living a happier and healthier life.
How Meditation Changed My Life
I have been meditating for over 4 years now and I have experienced incredible benefits and healings. I started out by meditation 10 minutes once a day to 20 minutes twice a day. It has helped me deal with the stresses of everyday life’s challenges.
I used to battle with anxiety and panic attacks which later lead to depression. I tried everything to overcome this mental challenge. I have been on prescriptions, I drank alcohol to try to calm my nerves, and I have seen many doctors. But nothing seemed to help. I hated talking about mental challenges because it showed a sign of my weakness. But if I don’t talk about my own struggles and how I overcame them, nobody will be able to learn to do the same.
I just lost a close friend to suicide. Never in a million years would I have ever imagined that he was battling a war in his own mind. If only I talked about my problems sooner, maybe we could have helped each other. Now I wasn’t able to save his life, but with me talking about my struggles and my victories, I truly hope I might be able to have a positive impact on someone else’s life.
I will honestly say that when I was going through my mental challenges I was looking for anything to help me out. I tired of feeling groggy from prescriptions and ready to throw them all away. But for some reason, I was drawn to the ancient art of mindfulness meditation.
It was a struggle at first. My mind was so busy compulsively thinking. But the more I did it, the more I become less attached to these thoughts. I started just observing them and then letting go. What I found is meditation isn’t about what you gain, but rather what you lose. Every time you meditate you bring to the surface your past emotional scars.
This is where true healing begins. This is when I learned to let that shit go. When a thought would arise in my head, I would recognize it and then let it drift on by. It has been over 4 years now and I can honestly say I haven’t had any more anxieties, panic attacks, and I feel so much happier.
That isn’t the only thing that happened. My immune system was boosted and I have kids in the school system. They are like a petri dish full of germs. I used to just look at one of them with a runny nose and I would get sick. But now, I hardly am ever sick. Meditation has even helped me finally start getting a full night’s rest.
Since I have been implementing this ancient art in my daily routine I have had many blessings come pouring into my life. Not only have I had physical healings, but I have also found my passion and purpose in life. Plus it helps me overcome the stress of everyday challenges.
How to Get Started with Meditation
There are many ways to perform this ritual. When I got started with my spiritual path, I read a lot of books, plus I went through multiple courses teaching me how to master the art of meditation. I downloaded many meditation guides, incorporated many meditation practices until I found that it really just comes down to taking the time to sit down and just DO IT.
Just like with anything else in life, you got to learn from your mistakes. You will never perfect your routine by waiting to learn everything. Set an intention to start today. Take just 10 minutes sitting down and just focusing on your breath. Whenever a thought comes into your mind, just observe it, recognize it, and let it go. This is called being mindful that your mind is full…
If we were to wait for the perfect time to get started, it would be too late. There is no time like the PRESENT to learn how to meditate.
During this process, you will need to do some homework. Research other mediation practices and start with the one that is interesting to you and then practice what you learn. It might be wise to start out with a guided meditation, but I strongly recommend progressing to focusing on your own.
I utilize the free insight timer app and highly recommend you use it. This app gives you milestones that will help motivate you to continue with your practice. I have been using it for a couple of years and highly recommend it. You can also connect with me if you are interested. Look my full name up “Brian Rodgers” and feel free to shoot me a message.
Guided meditation will do exactly what they say. Guide your mind to become still and focused. The ultimate goal of meditation is to gain control of your over-stimulated mind and learn how to be more focused.
The key to reaping the benefits of meditation is action. The more you do it, the better you condition your mind, body, and spirit.
You must be persistent and be patient…
How Long Should You Meditate as a Beginner?
The biggest tip for mastering meditation is to do it every day, preferably twice a day, no matter what. As a beginner, start out with 10 minutes daily and then work up to 20 minutes. But the key is, to meditate every day. This is your core foundation for establishing an intense meditation ritual.
The more you do it, the better you condition your body to sit still for 20 minutes. This is how you become the master of your fate. Through this disciplinary action, you will take your life back by establishing command over your subconscious mind.
This will not happen overnight. Just like all good things come to those who never give up.
Best Meditation Position for Beginners
You don’t need not sit in the full Lotus position or even in a crossed legged to perform your meditation routine. You can perform this practice anywhere you go. But it is crucial to have a straight spine. For beginners, it is most natural to sit in a chair and have your back as straight as you can.
Then balance your head as best as you can. Then slightly close your eyes and put your mind in the pit of your belly just below your navel and just focus on the rise and fall of your belly while breathing.
Later, when you get better, you can try the more traditional ways, such as sitting on the floor. I enjoy sitting on a meditation cushion have my legs crossed. To me, it makes me focus on keeping my back straight to help keep my mind from wandering. Plus, it helps strengthen my core.
The importance of having a straight back is to eliminate any resistance for your life force to flow freely from the base of your spine to the crown of your head.
How to Breathe while Meditating
You may not realize this, but there is a good chance you have poor breathing habits. It’s not your fault. No one taught you the right way.
It wasn’t until I started meditating and practicing yoga where I completely changed the way I breathe. I used yogic breathing alone to train for a high mountain Spartan Race while pushing my body to its full potential.
Most people breathe from the chest area putting havoc on their neck and back while taking short irregular breaths. When you breathe slow, deep, and steady from your diaphragm, you increase the amounts of oxygen while dispersing toxins out of your body.
There are so many healing benefits by changing your breathing habits which will boost your immune system, increase your energy levels, detoxify organs, stimulate the nervous system, regulate blood pressure, and reduce stress while fueling vital organs. Check out this great article by the Harvard Medical School.
A great way to practice is to put your hand on your belly and concentrate on expanding and contracting your stomach when you breathe. Don’t just do this for your meditation; incorporate it throughout your day. Set your timer on your phone to take periodic breaks to become mindful of your breathing throughout your day.
Breathe in through your nose for the count of 4 and hold for a second and then out for the count of 6 and then hold for a second. Find a rhythm that flows naturally. Just focus on your breathing. All you need is a couple of minutes to calm your nerves throughout your day.
Strengthen Your Focus
“Whatever you focus on is where your energy is flowing, and where this energy is flowing is what will manifest into your life.” Dandapandi
There are many different forms of meditation. Ultimately, any form of meditation trains your mind on being more focused, and let’s face it, we all need a little practice in that area.
Practice focusing on your breathing while in a meditative state and eventually incorporate visualization techniques where you concentrate on light flowing through your nervous system beginning at your feet, up to your spine, and towards your crown. Then reverse this light in the opposite direction moving from your head down towards your feet and into the earth.
Become aware of your body and how it feels. Be mindful of any sensations throughout your body such as tingling in your fingers or in your back. This is the source of your energy slowly waking up igniting a spark of light that has been burned out for so long. Your body is your temple and it has the power to heal itself. You just got to learn to recognize your inner strength.
Your focus on this light will strengthen your nerves and help to release toxic energy out of your body. The key is to form a habit by being consistent. Each time you do this strengthen your focus and your willpower.
Become Mindful of Your Thoughts
There is a big difference between being mindful and having your mind full. When you learn how to become mindful that your mind is full of compulsive negative thinking, you can start making changes. You must realize that your mind is overloaded with thoughts and they are unconsciously controlling your life. This is called running on autopilot.
When you repeat an action over and over it becomes second nature to you. Just like driving on a long road trip and when you arrive at your destination you have no recollection of how you got there. The same is with most people’s life. You wake up every morning and go through the same routine day after day, week after week…
You have done it so often that you are checked out just going through the motions and not feeling ALIVE or PASSIONATE. You are not living in the present. When you start waking up and becoming more mindful of these habits, you can start living a more meaningful life.
This is the same with compulsive thinking which leads to depression and anxiety. This mind is on a runaway because it has no direction. You are supposed to be the master over this mind, but the roles have become reversed. Most people are letting their subconscious mind run their life. Just automatically flooding their nervous system with stress hormones and letting your circumstance dictate how you feel.
By learning how to become mindful of your thoughts, you will be able to recognize negative patterns and make the necessary changes. Because you are not your mind and you are not your thoughts. Your mind is just a manifestation of the thoughts created by your thinking brain. The problem is this mind is so quick that you are not able to recognize that it is constantly firing over 40 million nerve impulses every second.
There are two ways to strengthen this mindfulness. One is during meditation, and the other is practicing being mindful of your actions throughout your day.
When you are mindful during meditation, you become aware of your body inside and out. Listen to the sounds in your environment. Hear your heartbeat. Feel your toes, your legs, arms in your mind. If a thought pops up in your head (AND IT WILL) just observe it as if you are the watcher of your thoughts. Don’t become attached to it, just let it float on by.
Being mindful throughout your day is the art of being PRESENT. Just like when your spouse, parents, or boss is talking to you and you are checked out in another world. You need to bring it back and give them your undivided attention.
By doing this, you are taking control of your life.
Practice Makes Perfection
Hopefully, the above meditation techniques for beginners help you get started with your meditation routine.
The only reason so many people are feeling stuck with negative compulsive thinking and depression is because of the outer senses. People are constantly being bombarded with their outer senses and stimuli. But by training yourself to recognizes these stressful patterns you can mindfully handle them by staying centered on your breath and not overreacting.
Here at the Living Life Project we firmly believe in the healing power of mindfulness and meditation. The work you do from here on out will train you to better handle a stressful situation. It will prepare you to become aware of your thoughts and your actions that are keeping you from living a happier and healthier life. So, keep practicing day after day and be patient and persistant. Because practice makes perfection.
“How much more could you accomplish over the next few decades if you choose today to begin a practice that will increase your productivity and improve your performance?” Emily Fletcher