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How to Meditate: A Beginner’s Guide

Meditation is a centuries-old technique that is thought to have emerged in India thousands of years ago. Early on in history, adjacent countries swiftly copied the practice, and it became a part of many religions around the world. The name “meditation,” which comes from the Latin word meditatum, was not coined until the 12th century AD.

What is Meditation?

Meditation can help you feel more calm and relaxed, improve your psychological equilibrium, manage the disease, reduce stress, and improve your general health and well-being. It can be defined as various forms of introspective practices and mental techniques used to develop positive states and traits of mind through disciplined training.

Commonalities of different meditation include:

How to Meditate for Beginners Properly

Meditation is a basic technique that anybody may learn. Learning to meditate is simple, and the advantages can be realized fast. However, figuring out where to begin might be challenging. Most newcomers to meditation find it weird to sit in silence, to sit with their innermost thoughts and sensations, to sit and do nothing — all of which, ironically, the mind resists. Meditation may seem strange at first, even intimidating to a newcomer, but that’s good.

Your thoughts will wander during meditation. Other feelings in your body, things going on around you, or simply becoming lost in contemplation, fantasizing about the past or present, possibly criticizing yourself or others, are all possibilities. This is perfectly normal; thinking is as natural as breathing.

Here are some basic techniques to help you get started with meditative exercises.

Set aside a specific time to meditate and stick to it.

Setting aside time during the day to meditate makes it easier to practice a habit, and you are more likely to do it every day. It is an important step in developing a routine and becoming acquainted with the practice. Even a few minutes per day can make a significant difference.

Make a special place for meditation.

Your thoughts will wander while you meditate. Selecting a room or space in which to meditate can assist in training the body and mind to feel more at ease. This will make it easier for you to shift into meditation.

You can meditate inside or outside, on the floor, on a cushion, a bench, a chair, or anywhere else that suits your needs. A clean and clutter-free meditation space can help make meditation feel special and important. It is also an opportunity to create a space that promotes a more relaxed state of mind.

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Allow yourself a few minutes to relax and clear your mind.

It’s not a good idea to start meditating right after a stressful work meeting. It may be more difficult to transition to sitting still and calming your mind after stressful events. So, try to relax for a few minutes before beginning your meditation practice. This can help keep your mind focused more clearly

Take a few deep breaths to relax the body

Before you begin your meditation, take a few deep breaths to generate a relaxation reaction, which is the polar opposite of your nervous system’s fight or flight response. The body prepares for danger when

the fight or flight response is activated, but when the relaxation response is activated, the body begins to feel comfortable and at ease.

Your breathing should then return to normal when you begin the meditation. Throughout the meditation, paying attention to your breathing will be crucial, and this form of attentive breathing can help to reduce stress levels in the body.

Simply take a breath

Meditation does not have to be difficult. The essence of mindfulness meditation is simply returning your awareness to your breath repeatedly.

Whenever a thought arises, acknowledge it by saying “thinking” or “thought,” and then return to the sensation of yourself breathing. To help you stay focused, label the breath “in” as you inhale and “out” as you exhale.

Remember to be kind to yourself.

Certain days will be more straightforward than others.

Meditation is, at its core, about learning to treat yourself with love regardless of what you are going through at the time.

Some days will be easier than others. This could be related to how much sleep you had the night before or how much stress you were under that week. It’s important to remember that this is a meditation practice, therefore it won’t always be flawless.

Don’t be too hard on yourself. What matters is how we react when it occurs. Simply notice whatever it is you were thinking about — without passing judgment on it or allowing it to drag you away — and take a minute to return to the present moment and resume your meditation.

After meditating, gradually reintroduce movement.

When you’re nearing the end of your meditation, you can begin to move your fingers and toes, then your hands and feet, and finally your arms and legs.

Because meditation is about putting a pause in your day, try to give yourself a few minutes before diving into a stressful task. At the end of your meditation, it’s important to acknowledge your state of mind at that moment and make the intention to carry that state of mind with you throughout the rest of your day. Make a plan for what you’ll do next, whether it’s brushing your teeth, taking a shower, or preparing breakfast. It will be easier to incorporate the skills you are learning through meditation into your daily life if you ease into your next activity.

Recognize your feelings.

After meditating, it’s natural to feel cheerful, but it’s also natural to feel down. Meditation brings up both positive and negative emotions, allowing us to better understand what our emotions are – transient thoughts and feelings that come and go.

There is no such thing as “good” or “poor” meditation, or “success” or “failure,” only awareness and non-awareness, or distraction and non-distraction. The more the mind learns to become less distracted and our awareness stabilizes, the better. Take a moment to thank yourself for practicing self-care and for putting up the effort to meditate.

Why do you need to learn meditation?

Meditation is not a cure-it-all medicine. It can certainly provide some much-needed breathing room in your life. That is sometimes all we need to make better decisions for ourselves, our families, and our communities. And the most important tools you can bring to your meditation practice are some patience, some self-kindness, and a comfortable place to sit.

The five pillars of wellness include Exercise and Loving and Forgiving. We believe treating oneself as a whole is vital for a person to achieve optimal health of his or her mind, body, and spirit. We infuse much

further long-lasting benefits into our lives when we meditate. Plus, you don’t need any additional equipment or a costly membership.

The following are five compelling reasons to meditate:

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Benefits of Daily Meditation

Relaxation is frequently a byproduct of meditation, even if it is not the goal. After conducting research on people who practiced transcendental meditation, Herbert Benson, MD, a researcher at Harvard University Medical School, coined the term “relaxation response” in the 1970s. The relaxation response, in Benson’s words, is “an opposite, involuntary response that causes a reduction in the activity of the sympathetic nervous system.”

Since then, research into the relaxation response has revealed the following short-term benefits to the nervous system:

Researchers are now looking into whether a regular meditation practice has long-term benefits, and they’re finding that meditators have improved brain and immune function. However, it is worth

emphasizing that the goal of meditation is not to achieve benefits. To use the words of an Eastern philosopher, the goal of meditation is “no goal.” It is simply being present.

The ultimate benefit of meditation, according to Buddhist philosophy, is the liberation of the mind from attachment to things it cannot control, such as external circumstances or strong internal emotions. The liberated or “enlightened” practitioner no longer follows desires or clings to experiences unnecessarily, but instead maintains a calm mind and a sense of inner harmony.

Non-transcendental meditation was identified as a “promising alternative approach” for lowering systolic and diastolic blood pressure in a 2017 review, and mindfulness-based interventions were found to reduce levels of the stress hormone cortisol in employees participating in workplace mindfulness programs in a 2019 review.

According to a 2018 review, meditation may help people age well.

Meditation may also aid with the symptoms of certain illnesses, such as:

A 2019 review found that mindfulness-based meditation had favorable effects on depression that can persist for up to 6 months or longer. The lack of negative effects of mindfulness-based therapies, according to the same review, makes them a viable additional therapy for depression and anxiety disorders.

As shown in a 2018 review, meditation reduced cognitive decline and perceived stress while increasing quality of life, connectivity, and blood flow to the brain.

A 2017 study discovered low-quality evidence that mindfulness meditation is associated with a small reduction in chronic pain when compared to controls. More research is needed to confirm this link.

Different Types of Meditation Practices

Mindfulness Meditation

The attribute, state, or practice of non-judgmentally focusing with a receptive awareness of sensations, feelings, thoughts, or external stimuli that arise in the present moment is referred to as mindfulness. It means you’re entirely focused on the present moment, what you’re doing, and the surroundings you’re in.

Learn more [here]

Loving-Kindness Meditation

Loving-kindness meditation was once thought to be a way of self-healing, sweetening, and pacifying the mind, as well as producing positive thoughts about everything in our environment (Salzberg, 1997).
Love and kindness meditation provides us with self-compassion, increased focus and attention, and a profound sense of emotional strength, all of
which help us to balance our thoughts and actions.

Learn more [here]

Breathing Meditation

Breathing is a natural meditation object. You can modify your state of consciousness, relax, and detach from ordinary awareness by focusing your attention on your breath. The basic strategy in many meditation systems is to focus on the breath.

Learn more [here]

Progressive Muscle Relaxation

Progressive muscle relaxation (PMR) is a deep relaxation technique that aids in the relief of chronic pain symptoms as well as the management of tension and anxiety. It’s a muscle-tension-relieving technique.

Learn more [here]

Mindful Body Scan

Body Scan Meditation is a meditative technique that involves scanning your body for discomfort, stress, or anything out of the ordinary. By mentally scanning your body, you bring awareness to every part of it.

Learn more [here]

Yoga Meditation

Meditation is a yoga practice that emphasizes mental calm and concentration. Concentration is focused on the breath and thoughts. Being aware of one’s breathing regulates one’s mental process automatically, allowing the mind to completely relax.

Learn more [here]

Grounding Exercise

Grounding techniques are coping mechanisms that can assist a person in dealing with traumatic memories or intense emotions. Grounding exercises are activities that assist you in connecting with the present moment – the here and now.

Learn more [here]

FAQs

What to think about while meditating?

People have a difficult time meditating because they believe they shouldn’t be thinking at all. However, as you’ve discovered if you’ve tried it yourself, being fully free of all thoughts is impossible. The mind is prone to wandering toward numerous chores that need to be completed, general worries, or merely in random directions depending on our moods. “The key is being aware of your ideas and allowing them to exist without needing to act on them right away,” adds Barajas. “There’s no need to think about anything.” There is no such thing as ‘should.’ Your mental process can be whatever you want it to be.

Practical Tips on how to meditate?

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How to Meditate: A Beginner’s Guide