How to meditate properly
Meditation is a great way to clear your mind and has many, many benefits. In this guide I’m going to show you how to meditate properly so you can get the most out of it.
Firstly, I would like to list some of the main benefits of meditation and what it can do for your life:
It increases your concentration so you are not distracted by useless thoughts. It helps to relax the body so it can recover from daily stresses. It shows how you are able to control your emotions which will spread to other areas of your life which leads to an emotionally balanced existence.
If you are reading this article I am going to assume that you have tried meditation before but have not been able to stick with it, I am going to show you a simple meditation technique that will allow you to realize the full potential of this art form. The purpose of meditation is to clear your mind from all the distractions of life that take away from what you are really meant to be doing. Through clearing your mind your brain gets used to the quietness and becomes more aware of everything; this includes your emotions, your surroundings and all 5 of your senses.
Through meditation, we attempt to go beyond the conditioning of the human mind and into a deeper sense of awareness and wholeness. The most common and simple method of meditation is to concentrate on your breathing. The trick here is to try and silence the thoughts in your mind by concentrating on the level and depth of your breathing; this will give your brain some much-needed relaxation and allow it to regroup its thoughts.
The first thing that I have to say is: you must meditate every day for at least 15 minutes but preferably more. You cannot skip a day of meditation, it should be in the same league as brushing your teeth, you wouldn’t leave your house without brushing your teeth would you? So why would you leave your house without meditating?
A Practical Meditation for the Modern Man
The first part of meditation is to sit in a comfortable position, the lotus position is preferable as it provides a good posture and can sometimes make it easier to meditate as just sitting in the position triggers the mind into a peaceful and calming state. If it is too difficult to sit in the lotus position then it is best for you to sit with a straight back with a cushion place at your lower back to support your spine. This should be a position that you can comfortably sit in for long periods of time without hurting yourself.
You can view my more in-depth guide about the lotus position here:
Close your eyes and start taking deep breaths to relax yourself, breathe in for 6 seconds, hold it for 2 seconds and then breathe out for 7 seconds. Do this a few times and make sure you breathe in through your nose and out of your mouth. It is also important to remember to breathe from your diaphragm, the air should feel like it is filling up your lower abdomen first and then it moves up to your chest. You should hear a soft hissing noise in your throat/head area; this should be another point of reference to come back to if you ever find yourself getting distracted.
I also have a more in-depth guide to breathing here:
Now once you have relaxed do not move a single muscle in your body except your diaphragm, try to stay as still as possible. We do this because when the body moves it causes commotion within the mind, this will therefore help settle the mind and enter a meditative state. When you enter a deep meditation your limbs may begin to feel like they are paralyzed but there is no reason for alarm and I will assure you that you will be able to move your body parts again.
Now all you have to do is sit very still and concentrate on your breathing, when you find you’re getting distracted just calmly return your attention to your slow and steady breathing. After about 2 or 3 weeks of meditating every day you should begin noticing some changes, these will be different for everyone except for one thing, meditating will become easier and more natural for you.
Once you begin noticing the changes you will want to meditate more often and for longer which will make these changes even more prominent. This is the beauty of meditation as it allows you to realize the full power of your mind and all the things that distract you in life.
Here are some of my personal tips that I have come up with over the years:
Close the blinds as I find it helps to have as little stimulation as possible. Go in a quiet room with windows and blinds closed. Set a timer so that time itself is not a distraction. I recommend setting it for 15 minutes and then make the time longer as you get better. Try and meditate in the same position in the same environment so your mind will get used to it easier and make it a routine. Stretch beforehand , this will loosen your muscles and tendons and allow you to sit still comfortably for a longer period of time. Meditation is an active thing; it is hard work to stay 100% focused on a single thing so you need to be fully engaged. Light a certain incense when meditating, this is a form of aromatherapy and can sometimes help with your concentration. Meditate earlier in the morning , this is when it is more quiet and your mind isn’t filled with all the thoughts of the day.
Another hobby that I greatly recommend is to take up yoga. This is combination with meditation is an incredibly powerful form of exercise that connects your body, mind and spirit. If you want to see how I have now lost over 16kg with yoga then have a look at this post:
Did I miss anything? Is there anything you would like to add? Simply leave a comment and I’ll get right back to you.