Eyes closed, back straight, hands on your lap facing the sky, a slight smile on your lips and an aura of peace – does this image appear in your mind when you imagine someone meditating?
But why just imagine? Why not experience true inner peace in you? You can try it right now. Simply read the tips below that will help you start your meditation and then practice with the help of online guided meditation below (link below).
- 1. Choose a convenient time
Meditation is essentially a time to relax, so it should be done entirely at your convenience. Book a time that you will not be interrupted and will be free to relax and enjoy.
The hours of sunrise and sunset, while nature moves between day and night, are ideal times for practice.
- 2. And choose a quiet environment
As well as a convenient time, the choice of location deserves attention. It is important to seek an environment where you are unlikely to be disturbed.
Quiet and calm environments can make meditation a more pleasant and relaxing experience.
- 3. Sit comfortably
Your posture also makes a difference. Make sure you are relaxed, comfortable and ready.
Sit up straight, relax your shoulders and neck and keep your eyes closed throughout the process.
Sitting in Padmasana (the lotus position) to meditate is not necessary, this is a very common myth in meditation. The important thing is that you are comfortable and stable.
- 4. Have a relatively empty stomach
A good time to meditate is before meals
After meals you can nap during meditation. However, do not force yourself to meditate if you are very hungry. You will find it difficult, because you can be thinking about food all the time. In that case, you can meditate two hours after the meal.
- 5. Start with some warm-ups
Some warm-ups or sukshma yoga exercises before sitting down to meditate help to improve circulation, remove inertia, tiredness, and make your body feel lighter.
You will be ready to sit upright for a longer time.
- 6. Breathe deeply
Breathing is also part of the process of preparing for easier meditation. Breathe, inhale, and exhale. Doing the Nadi Shodhan Pranayama (Alternate Nose Breathing Technique) before meditating is always a great idea. This helps to keep the rhythm of breathing and guides the mind to a meditative state of peace.
- 7. Keep a slight smile on your face
You will see the difference.
A light smile keeps you relaxed, at peace and improves your meditation experience.
- 8. Open your eyes slowly and gently
When you get close to the end of the meditation, don’t be in a hurry to open your eyes and start moving smoothly.
Open your eyes slowly, gradually and take time to become aware of yourself and the environment around you.
5 practical tips for those who want to start meditating
Meditating is not “not thinking about anything” or having a “blank” mind
According to data from the World Health Organization (WHO), Brazil is experiencing an epidemic of anxiety : 18.6 million Brazilians (9.3% of the population) live with the disorder, also considered the evil of the century, and which usually affects more women than men.
The classic symptoms of anxiety are: irritability, constant tension or nervousness, problems with concentration, lack of control over thoughts, difficulty in forgetting the object of concern, shortness of breath or wheezing, chronic fatigue and problems sleeping.
Feeling anxious is not necessarily a bad thing. The Ministry of Health states that, in the correct measure, the condition encourages the individual to take action. However, in excess, it does the exact opposite and prevents reactions.
The search for professional help in these cases, medical and psychological, is fundamental, and the Ministry of Health also recommends the adoption of healthy lifestyle habits to improve the quality of life.
The meditation can be a good option for your mental health and wellbeing. You do not need any special equipment to practice, it is suitable for anyone, at any stage of life and there are still several different “styles”.
Anxiety is a disorder related to over-worrying about the future, and meditation helps us to bring the mind to the present moment. Meditating teaches us to let go of the need to be in control of things that are going to happen and to try to solve problems that may not even exist.
The benefits of meditation have been widely verified and proven in scientific articles, which show us positive effects on long-term brain function when the practice is adopted daily. To start, it is quite simple. Here are some tips:
Choose a comfortable position
Start by choosing the most comfortable position: sitting on the floor, legs crossed and hands on your knees or sitting on a chair, with your hands on your thighs, close your eyes and feel your body in this posture. The spine should be straight, but not rigid, and the head should be in a neutral position with the chin parallel to the floor. Find comfort and disconnect from the outside world. There will always be sounds around, just accept their presence.
Let yourself go
Then, deepen the relaxation, breathing more slowly and deeply, but without forcing, and avoid changing the position already accommodated. Create awareness of each part of your body and bring the intention of relaxation to each part, for example, unfastening the forehead, separating the upper and lower teeth, loosening the shoulders, etc.
Then, let go of the control of what is happening to you, just recognize the thoughts and emotions, without judging them, and also keep your breathing smooth. Set them free. Take a contemplative perspective, the same as you take in front of the sunset or a starry sky.
Focus on your body
Don’t fight your mind. Meditating is not “not thinking about anything” or having a “blank” mind. We are alive, so thoughts are going to happen all the time. The practice of meditation helps us to lessen the agitation of the mind and, with that, we become more able to reflect on what we think and how we act, leaving the “autopilot”. During practice, when you realize that you are far away, that you have been carried away by the wave of thoughts, without criticism or judgment, turn your attention to your body, your breathing, to what you are doing at that moment.
Don’t be in a hurry to relax
If you are not used to meditating, I suggest you start with a minute of contemplation, and increase it gradually, without exaggeration. Make less time than you think you could, so that it is a pleasant moment and that, when finished, you feel like doing it again. Allow yourself that moment of encounter with yourself, to find peace and balance within yourself.
If this practice seems too difficult, you can also start by listening to guided meditations (there are apps and videos on the internet with many of them) to start your journey. There are also different styles of practice, from different lineages, such as transcendental meditation, raja yoga, vipassana, zazen, tantric, and others. Certainly with some of them you will identify yourself. Do not give up!
8 TIPS TO MAKE MEDITATION A WELLNESS HABIT
If you heard that there is a recipe to reduce anxiety, sleep better, improve focus, relax, deal with health problems, among others, would you experience it? This recipe exists and is nothing new: I am talking about meditation.
Meditation is a unique practice that can be done in different ways, but it has the same multiple results.
“The Buddha was asked: What did you gain from meditation? He replied: nothing. But let me tell you what I missed: anxiety, anger, depression, insecurity, fear of old age and death. ”
What is meditation?
The great Eastern religions have known and used meditation for 2,500 years. Started in India and spread throughout Asia, the practice began to become popular in the West with guru Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, who in the 1960s convinced the Beatles to cross the planet to learn to meditate.
Some myths or beliefs about meditation that can prevent you from experiencing:
- Anxious, impatient, or accelerated people cannot meditate;
- I would love to, but I don’t have time;
- I already took Yoga class, but I didn’t like it;
- My environments are very noisy;
- My mind doesn’t stop;
- In order to meditate I need to be a lonely buddha at the top of the mountain;
- Meditating is very difficult;
- I’m already calm and balanced, so it’s not for me.
If you’ve made it this far, you may be curious to try it or try again to incorporate it into your routine.
But making meditation a daily activity is only possible if you are a priority for yourself.
Are you willing to dedicate a few minutes a day to you? If so, you can continue reading the article!
8 special meditation tips
To start practicing meditation you will also need courage. Courage to allow yourself to be silent, to dive into yourself and listen to your thoughts, feelings and intuition.
Let’s go together? I have prepared 8 special meditation tips that can help you start this practice:
1- Be an observer of your thoughts
It is impossible not to think about anything. The thoughts will come and go, and that’s fine!
Start exercising to be an observer of your thoughts and feelings. What are they trying to say to you? When they come, imagine that thoughts are like clouds, let them come and let them go.
Simply refocus on your breathing.
2- You can change your present state by changing your breathing
Your body speaks to you through your breath.
Breathing is the main basis of meditation and is one of the most effective remedies for your emotional health. Being silent, sitting or lying down, and focusing on your breathing, helps to calm down, relax and notice your inner state.
Watch your breathing. If it is too short, it can mean anxiety. So, focus on making it longer and calm.
If you are very slow and weak, increase the amount of air you put into yourself a little.
3- Your mind is where you put your attention
When someone is experiencing difficulties or suffering for some reason, you may think that it is right to suffer together with them.
But the best thing to do is to take care of your energy, because it reverberates to your surroundings. For your family, friends, for the planet and for someone you want to help. We are all one.
If you are watching sad or tragic news for much of your day, you will be directing your mind to these places and feelings. Choose to pay attention and focus on positive things and direct your mind to these places.
If a negative thought comes, remember that you have the power to take your mind to another, more positive place by choosing to exchange that thought.
4- Expansion of gaze and awareness
Even with your eyes closed, notice what you see and hear. Meditation favors intuition and perhaps some answers may come to your mind at the sound of your own voice.
It is possible to start a meditation in search of an answer to a problem, for example, and obtain that answer during practice.
For that, you need to allow yourself and be open to expanding your gaze, your awareness and letting whatever comes. Anything that comes is welcome. If it’s good, let it stay. If it’s bad, let it go.
5- State of presence
When there is an excess of future and little presence, symptoms such as: restlessness, anxiety, tension, stress and worry may appear.
When there is an excess of past and little presence, the main symptoms are: guilt, regret, resentment, hurt, sadness, bitterness and all forms of forgiveness.
At present, everything is fine. Be where your feet are to better enjoy the journey and every moment of your day.
We hope that the joy will come after graduation, marriage, birth, travel, promotion, lottery, election, new home, separation, retirement … It’s a long list!
But joy doesn’t live in the future, it lives in the present.
6- Taking small steps is better than taking none
To make meditation a habit you need to be consistent. For this, it is better to meditate three minutes a day, every day, than one hour once a week.
Respect your limits, set a goal and stick to it so you can experience the benefits. Then, gradually increase this time.
If, for some reason, you don’t make it one day, don’t give up. Resume the next day and try to make it a habit.
Remember that you are giving yourself this moment of gift. This is a dive into you. Whether it’s three minutes or thirty, it’s for you. So enjoy.
7- Your way is the right way
You may prefer guided meditation or just be silent. Some like music and others don’t.
Many people meditate to start the day and others prefer it before bed. There are those who meditate twice a day, morning and night.
Sitting or lying down. With incense or without. In a room prepared for this or in any environment. Counting the times of breathing or breathing freely.
Find what works best for you.
I really like the movie “ Eat, pray and love”, in which the main character Liz spends time in Bali, Indonesia, after having made a retreat in India. There, she coexists with Master Ketut, who transmits various teachings to her.
In one of the excerpts from the film, the master gives a tip on Balinese meditation to Liz:
“Sit in silence and smile. Serious guy scares good energy. To meditate you just need to smile. Smile with your face, smile with your mind and good energy will come to you. Smile even with your liver. ”
Sitting in silence and smiling, as well as breathing, automatically changes your emotional state.