Hello everyone, welcome to another Wild Workout Wednesday Linkup where Nicole from Fitful Focus, Annmarie from The Fit Foodie Mama and I bring you workout ideas, motivation, inspiration and recipes to try. Join us each week by reading along, grabbing our button and linking up with a healthy living post of your own.
Last week I shared my journey and thoughts on maintaining a consistent meditation practice. Maybe it peeked your interest but you may have wondered to yourself, how do I start meditating? Do I just sit cross legged and think of nothing? Do I chant? How long should I do it for? How will I know if I’m getting any of the benefits? I know I had all of these thoughts when I started. So while I am far from an expert at meditation, I’m happy to share what worked for me to begin.
Use guided meditations
Having no idea what meditation really was – I started with using guided meditations. I used the Headspace App. They have a great 10-day introduction to meditation. It includes some videos that really help explain the concepts of meditation and what it is you’re trying to achieve. I found them very helpful. I also really liked the guy’s voice on the guided meditations which I think is important. I’ve listened to some where I can’t stand the persons voice and it’s all I can think of the whole time. I started with 5 minutes a day and have worked up to 15.
Beyond Headspace, there are other apps such as Calm or 10% Happier which also offer guided meditations. I know You Tube is also a wealth of information both for information on meditation and guided meditations.
You don’t have to start with guided, you could sit and set a timer and just focus on your breath for 5 minutes, but I personally found some of the advice given in guided meditations gave me a better sense of what the purpose was, how to deal with thoughts that come into my mind and how to move on.
Read books on meditation
As I mentioned previously, I read the book, 10% Happier and that’s when the concept of meditation really clicked for me. That book is great however it’s definitely not a how-to or a book on the origins and history of meditation. But the website, which is also a great resource for meditation, does link to some books that I have on my reading list.
Find a time that works for you and make it a routine
One of the biggest reasons people don’t meditate is because of lack of time. But just like working out or making your own meals or any healthy habit – you can make time if you want to. So find a time that will work for you, ideally a consistent time so you can make it a habit.
Personally, I really enjoy mornings because it starts my day right. So maybe try getting up 10 minutes earlier and meditating before you begin your day. That way you don’t forget or run out of time.
Setting an alarm can help as a reminder too if you’re doing it at a later time. A consistent reminder until you get used to the practice will keep you on track.
When it comes to how long you meditate for, it really doesn’t matter. Sure some people meditate for half an hour or an hour daily but if all you can commit is 5 minutes, that’s perfectly fine and you will still see benefits. It’s more important to consistently do it every day than worry about how long you meditate for.
Find your motivation
Do I think meditation is for everybody? Yes, absolutely! But I think every person who does it probably has a different motivation and therefore a different outcome. Without reason or motivation to start something we are unlikely to do it. So do some research on meditation and find out what you think it could do for you. If that benefit is really worth it to you, you will set out some time.
I now like to internally verbalize my motivation at the beginning of my meditation. It clears in my mind why I’m doing it, how it will benefit me and how it will benefit those around me.
How do I know if I’m getting any benefits?
I talked about the benefits I’ve seen in just 30 days of meditation practice. The thing is, these shifts are subtle. You can’t expect to rapidly turn into a different person overnight. You need to be very aware of your emotions, reactions, and surroundings – the good thing is meditating will help you with this process.
Journalling might also help if you find it difficult to notice the subtlety. Reading back through old journal entries will show how your perspective on things has shifted without you realizing it. There is no magic bullet or number of days meditating that brings about change. I think it’s variable person to person. You really do have to just trust in the process.
If you meditate – how did you begin? If you don’t- have any other questions about starting?
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