More and more people are turning to meditation to clear their minds, calm anxiety, and connect deeper to their internal self. With research confirming the calming effects of meditation on the body, it is no wonder! However, beginning to meditate for the first time can become overwhelming very quickly. It is important to do a little experimentation or to practice with guidance from a teacher while you are starting out.
Some people come into it believing that they must clear their mind to meditate, and anything less is not true meditation. Upon prompt failure, they decide it is too hard or not for them. However, the opposite is true. Distractions are a perfectly normal part of meditation. The key is to recognize that your mind is distracted and consciously bring it back to the present awareness. You may have to do this over and over throughout your meditation. Like anything else in life, it takes time and practice to settle the distractions. This is the journey of meditation. You are training your mind just as you would a muscle in your body.
Plan to carve out about five to ten minutes or so to meditate. You will want to find a space with minimal noise distractions if possible. Many people get into the more well-known meditative posture of sitting on the ground with legs crossed and hands resting on the knees. Ideally, you want to assume a comfortable yet alert position for your body. There are many different methods of meditation which all take slightly different approaches to how to still the mind. Some will have you focusing on your breath, while others may have you practicing visualizations or repeating a mantra. You may close your eyes during meditation however, some practices allow you to keep them open. It may take some experimentation to figure out what approach works best for you. For best results, consistency is key. Try to meditate for a few minutes daily and you will be surprised by the differences you observe after just a few weeks. The process becomes easier, and you may even start wanting to try longer stretches or multiple sessions a day.
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