WELLNESS--So many people want to meditate but they either don’t know where to start or can’t find the time. Fitting meditation into your life doesn’t need to be complicated or elaborate. Start small and be realistic about what will work for you. Here are five tips to get you started.
Find a spot where you can sit comfortably with plenty of back support. Ideally you want to sit with a straight back when you meditate. This allows you to breathe deeply and lets your breath easily fill your lungs while you inhale and exhale. Since your meditation might last five to 15 minutes (or longer) you definitely want to be comfortable. There are no “shoulds” when it comes to where or how you sit. If sitting cross-legged on the floor isn’t physically comfortable use a chair or sit on the couch. Just be comfortable.
Silence isn’t required
Choose a space in your home where you can focus or block out any distractions. Most people don’t live in complete quiet which means they won’t meditate in complete quiet either. That’s okay. Ambient noise is to be expected whether it’s birds chirping, the sound of traffic or a television on in another room. As long as you can let the sounds around you fade into the background while you focus on your breath, you’re good to go.
Make it official
Sometimes a bit of ritual can help establish the habit or practice of meditation. This can be as simple as lighting a candle before you start meditating and blowing it out when you’re done. Anything that signals to your body and mind that it’s time to meditate works. It can be anything from lighting incense to softly playing meditative music—whatever works for you. Create a ritual action before and after you meditate to formally signal to yourself that it’s time to focus on your breath.
If you’re just starting out use a guided meditation. You can find free ones online or in apps like Calm, Insight Timer or Buddhify. Pick a meditation ahead of time so that when you’re ready to meditate the decision is already made.
Be part of a community
It can be fun and motivating to know that people around the world are meditating with you. Many meditation apps show the location and number of people across the globe simultaneously meditating. There are also a lot of different meditation groups available to join via apps or meditation centers in your area.
Meditating for even five minutes can help you feel calmer and more focused. The most important thing you can do when it comes to meditation is to get started and stick with it.
(Mary-Frances Makichen, Contributor Writer, speaker and meditation coach based in Portland, Oregon. Posted originally at Huff Post.)