Meditation can be referred to as a tool that helps you combat stress, improves your immunity, mitigates chronic pain, helps you sleep better and stay peaceful and fulfilled throughout the day. It is only when you start meditating that you will sense the state of disarray of your thoughts.
If you are a beginner to meditation, you would have experienced some frustration in quietening your mind. Profound and mundane thoughts would be floating around your head like a crazy movie. You may even experience reruns of a painful memory over and over again.
But once you continue to meditate, over a period of time, you will learn to have complete control over your thoughts and be more aware of the present. This is the state where you encounter clarity and peacefulness that you can carry throughout the day.
Listed below are a few simple tips on how you can start meditating at home.
1. Set aside some time for meditation every day
The adage “Practice Makes a Man Perfect” is completely true in the case of meditation. When you start meditating, you may not notice the benefits instantly. But the more you stick to a routine, the easier it gets to relax your mind and allow clarity to flow through. Even if meditation is done for an interval of 5 minutes, you should practice it every day to see the real benefits.
2. Focus on your breath
Begin every session of meditation by breathing slowly and deeply.
When you inhale and exhale, focus solely on your breath and try to keep your mind uncluttered.
Paying attention to your breath helps you anchor your thoughts in the present moment.
You do not need to regulate your breath, just let it flow naturally.
Counting your breath is a great way to recapture your straying thoughts and pin it down to the present. On exhaling, count “one” and continue up to “four”. Then get back to “one”.
When you notice that your thoughts have wandered, and you are counting “twenty-two” or so, just get back to counting “one”. Doing this is like getting back to the present moment without a glance backward.
3. Release all frustrations
While you are learning meditation, it is completely natural to feel frustrated due to random thoughts. You should not try to stop these thoughts; that will just agitate you more. You should just let these thoughts flow by and slowly get back to focusing on your breath.
4. Pick a quiet space for meditation
If you are meditating at home, try to pick a room that is free from external noise and distractions. If possible, meditate in a room with minimal electronics. You can even make a shrine or an altar that you can face when meditating. Then you can light up a candle at the altar or place objects, like stones, flowers or seashells around it that draw you in.
5. Surround yourself with the fragrance of your choice
Burning some incense, fragrant candles or diffusing essential oils can keep your mind and body at ease. Essential oils like lavender, bergamot, palmarosa or mandarin have a soothing effect that helps in gathering your thoughts together.
6. Take away the distractions
When you are meditating, it is important that you are not distracted by external noises or events. So make sure that you make your roommates or family aware that you are going to be busy for certain duration of time. Also, remember to put your mobile phones away or in silent mode.
In the market today, meditation music is available in plenty. But most people claim that the best option is to practice meditation in silence. When you sit in silence, you can actually experience what your mind is doing.
7. Focusing on your body parts
This is a great technique to focus your mind on the present. When you begin, concentrate on your breath and try to feel each body part, beginning at your feet. You should not touch the body parts; just focus on them in your mind. Work your way up through each part of the body.
8. Start slowly with some warm-up exercises
Practice a few warm-up exercises before sitting to meditate. This helps in improving circulation, removes restlessness and makes your body feel lighter. This also helps in keeping your posture steady for a longer time and charges you up for the session to begin.
9. Read books on meditation
To know more about the scientific benefits of meditation, it is advisable to collect and read books on the subject. Books also provide you simple tips and techniques to master the art.
10. Practice focusing your mind on the present all day
In the rat-race of life, it is important to get a hold on the flow of time, so that your day is not like a blink-and-miss show! Whatever you are doing, be it driving, working, cleaning or eating dinner, take a few deep breaths and focus your mind on the present.
This is particularly useful in helping you take control of your mind during your meditation sessions.
11. Concentrate on posture
You can experiment with different yoga postures to identify the one that suits you best.
The most popular posture is the yogi/lotus position, in which you sit cross-legged. Some people also meditate in a lying down position.
Whatever the posture, ensure that your spine is upright. Slumping will cloud your mind, and the chances are that it will wander. Your mind and body have an interesting relationship with each other; so if your body is well-balanced, your mind will be too.
Imagine your head is touching the sky, to straighten up into a good posture.
12. Experiment with different meditation techniques
There are many different techniques to meditate; some of these are binaural beats, guided meditation, chakra balancing, Om meditation, etc. You can experiment and identify which one puts you to a calm and balanced state.
Some people claim that they have a more enriching experience when they meditate in a group. Collective meditations result in a stronger flow of vibrations. This way you will be able to absorb more of the positive energy.
13. Let go of all expectations
You must have heard of out-of-the-body experiences that people have had through meditation. Some claim that they have experienced amazing bouts of clarity or even conversations with their higher selves.
The benefits that you receive from the practice will be apparent in various ways. You may have visions, or not. Even if you meditate for 5 minutes a day, you can relieve stress and acquire peace in your life, in a very special way.
So, do not get caught up in what others claim, and focus on your mind. Remember, there is no right or wrong way to do it – everything depends on your personal comfort.
14. Visualize white light flowing through your body
You can imagine white light from the sun flowing through your body. This unblocks specific chakras and brings you a lot of clarity. Let go of emotional patterns and imbibe the vibrations of the white light for complete peace of mind.
15. Eat light before each meditation session
The best time to meditate is before a meal. If you meditate after meals, you may drift off into sleep. However, make sure that you do not meditate on an empty stomach, as this will cause hunger cramps. You may even keep thinking about food the entire time!
16. Keep a gentle smile on your face
It is believed that a gentle smile actually enhances the meditation experience. Try it to see the difference! A smile really does keep you relaxed and peaceful for a more fulfilling session.
17. Enjoy the experience
The ultimate goal is to simply let go of all recurring thoughts and enjoy your window of meditation. Be kind to yourself, and start off by meditating for a few minutes each day. As you progress, you can extend the time to suit your likes.
18. Meditate in the morning
Some people like to meditate at the beginning of the day, as this helps them smoothly acquire a state of peace and silence. You can feel the vibrations easily, and your chakras clear out if you meditate in the morning. This also makes the whole day go better.
19. Try to have foot soaks before your evening meditation
A relaxing foot soaks and a session of meditation before you hit the bed can have amazing results on your sleep. People have reported having experienced a better quality of sleep, and they wake up more refreshed for the day ahead.
20. Open your eyes slowly
At the end of your meditation session, open your eyes slowly and do not move about instantly. Take time to be aware of your surroundings and yourself. Savor the experience and look ahead to a bright and fruitful day!
Even if you did not get much from the practice, do not give up. Be grateful that you set aside time for meditation. Although you do not see any obvious results initially, you will definitely reap the benefits in the long run.