When my therapist mentioned that I start meditating, I thought she was mad! Me? Meditate? Isn’t that for monks who sit on top of mountains all day? I was working in the corporate world and was far too busy to be meditating every day.
But my panic attacks were getting worse and I was willing to try anything that would ease the anxiety.
So in a bid to feel some relief. I took her advice and started the 30-day free trial with Headspace. An app with guided meditations specially designed for complete beginners. And the rest is history!
Fast forward 3 years, and I have left that old frazzled self behind.
No longer tied down to a desk in the corporate world, I am free to travel the world and live life on my own terms.
And the panic attacks? Yes, occasionally they rear their ugly head. But overall I am much happier and healthier, just from my decision to start meditating.
If you want to feel more calm, balanced, and grounded. And feel free from anxiety. Try meditation. I can't recommend it enough!
Starting to meditate was the best decision I ever made. Now I want to help you do the same.
So here is my complete guide on How to Start Meditating for Beginners.
What is Meditation
Meditation is basically just quieting the mind. It’s a way to let go of thoughts and achieve a relaxed yet conscious state. In other words, you don’t fall asleep but feel very relaxed.
One way Abraham Hicks describes a good meditation is a detachment from your body. You can’t feel your nose from your toes for example.
Personally, a good meditation session for me is when I try to stand up and my whole leg has gone dead, and I didn’t even realise!
Meditation can also be described as a relaxed state with no thoughts. Or no attachment to thoughts.
Okay, I admit it is very hard to achieve a state with no thoughts completely! But you can learn to let them drift by like clouds in the sky, with no attachment to them.
Different Forms of Meditation
There are different forms of meditation. So try different ones to see which work best for you.
Guided meditation is when someone talks you through a meditation session. This is a great way to start meditating if you are new to this practice. It helps you to focus.
When you focus by listening to something you naturally will quiet your mind.
Headspace offers lots of different guided meditations so is perfect for complete beginners. This is how I got started meditating.
As you feel more comfortable meditating, you may feel a natural pull away from guided meditations. Learning to quieten your mind by yourself.
I struggle with guided meditations now. But when I first started I needed guided meditations otherwise my mind would drift off and get caught up in the day.
Other forms can be using a mantra, which you recite over and over again. They encouraged this when I was learning meditation in an ashram in India. See my blog on Living in an Ashram to find out more.
Your chosen mantra is repeated over and over in your head. Again, it is another way to focus your mind and keep it from getting distracted.
You can even get mala beads to help you count. Ideally, the mantra is repeated 108 times so the mala beads are made up of 108 beads.
Another form of meditation is to focus on a steady noise. Like the air conditioning, or a fridge. Something consistent and mundane.
This is recommended by Abraham Hicks. I think there are apps you can download if you want to try this.
If you don’t feel comfortable closing your eyes, you can focus on the flame of a candle or a crystal.
Personally, I like to close my eyes as I am quite visually distracted. But choose the method that best works for you to quieten your mind.
Benefits of Meditation
There are many benefits when you start meditating. For me, it was just a period of time where I could let go of any worries and feel a sense of calm.
I lived in London at the time and there is an air of chaos sometimes when living in a busy city. A feeling of hurry and frenzy as people try to cram all that the city offers into their lives. Rushing from one place to another.
I always felt late and strapped for time.
The Headspace app is really great! Andy, the guy who guides you through each meditation, reminds you to think about how you feel after each meditation session. This serene feeling of calm always kept me coming back each day.
We used to joke at work that we wanted Andy to be with us all day to calm everything down. He has such a calming voice.
Abraham Hicks highly encourages the use of meditation each morning to change your point of attraction for the day.
They say that by quieting your mind you release resistance. This changes your point of attraction and what you attract in your day.
The main benefit for me once I started to meditate was letting go of the angst and worry. It also helped to reduce my panic attacks significantly.
Today I feel much calmer and grounded due to my daily meditation practice.
How to Start Meditating
The best way to start meditating is to free up some time first thing in your morning to meditate. Just 10-20mins is all it takes.
I started with the 30-day free trial of Headspace and set aside 10-20mins each morning to meditate.
There are lots of guided meditations to choose from once you have completed the beginner sessions which teach you the basics of meditation. You can then pick 10-20min meditations for anxiety, worry, pain relief … etc.
Like all good intentions, I started getting up early and meditating before work. And then as my alarm got later and later, I fell into a routine of meditating on the train on my way into London.
Looking back, perhaps that was actually a blessing in disguise.
Learning to quieten your mind on a busy commuter train in the capital city, definitely improves your focus! It taught me how to drown out the noise and go within, even in the most chaotic of places.
However, I would recommend to any beginners of meditation to start at home.
Somewhere quiet and comfortable where you know you will not be disturbed for 20mins. I like to meditate either sitting on my bed, or on my yoga mat in our bedroom.
Once you have found a quiet, comfortable spot where you will not be disturbed for at least 20mins, you can start meditating.
Check out my Step-by-Step Meditation Guide (coming soon) which talks you through how to achieve a meditative state.
Other Forms of Meditation
There are of course other forms of meditation. Meditation is basically anything that quietens your mind.
Any activity where you feel “in the flow” will put you in a meditative state.
For example, a lot of creatives and artists talk about being "in the flow" when they are doing their chosen art form. Whether that be writing music, dancing, singing, painting, drawing, sculpting, acting etc.
Other ways to achieve this state are through journaling, yoga classes (especially a slow class like yin), listening to music, running, swimming, baking etc.
Only you will know which activities bring you that same feeling of calm and inner peace.
For me, running is really meditative. Especially if I run without music. I am able to get fully present and just focus on my breath and the rhythm of the steps.
Hope you enjoyed my blog on How to Meditate for Beginners. Stay tuned for my Step by Step Meditation Guide coming soon! This will help guide you into a meditative state.
I would love to hear from you! Any questions just let me know in the comments below.
How have you found meditating? Are there any apps or videos you would recommend to help with meditating? Anything you struggle with?
As always my friends, happy travelling and meditating 🙂
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