Peace of mind: Meditation for beginners

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Peace of mind: Meditation for beginners

Meditation is an invaluable tool for relaxation. It has many health benefits. It wards off the physical damage caused by stress and boosts your immunity by relaxing your mind and body. So how do you start meditating? Here are a few simple steps on how to learn to meditate.

First, choose a time and place. You need to set a time each day for meditation. It may be the start of the day or it may be the end of the day. I recommend that you meditate at the start of the day because that is the time your mind is still fresh and has not been affected by anything stressful yet. However, it is your choice, just be consistent with the time. After you have planned a time to meditate, you need to set a place for you to meditate in. Preferably it is somewhere that is calming and relaxing and away from all noise and distraction. You need to turn off or mute all electronic devices, such as your TV, computer and mobile phone that could cause you stress. You could put on some calming zen music that is repetitive and gentle. My personal choice is to light a candle in a slightly lit room and listen to the flickering of the flame. No matter what you choose the goal is to create an environment that is relaxing for you.

Second, relax your whole body. Sit with your back in an upright straight position. Your legs do not have to be in any particular position. The most important part is to remember that your back must be straight, and you must be comfortable. When you sit with a straight back it produces a clear pathway for your breath. Yes, breathing is important because it helps you to relax faster. The goal is to take slow deep breaths in and out through your nose the entire time you are meditating.

Third, remember you control your own thoughts and your thoughts don’t control you. Reject all the negative thoughts and silence the mind. You need to be patient. Don’t expect that you’ll be able to successfully silence your mind on your first try. If you were told to not think of a pink elephant, your mind will automatically focus on a pink elephant. Instead in your minds eye imagine that you are sitting inside a dome where you control what images you want to see clearly. The dome you have created has the ability to be opaque or clear based on your desires. So, use it as a filter. The goal should not be to empty your mind, but instead to slow it down so that you can best understand and interpret your thoughts. Emptying your mind does not help anything if the same thoughts keep returning. Understanding your thoughts and why they are causing you stress allows you to deal with them on a conscious and subconscious level. Just remember to be patient.

Fourth, understand it will be difficult to control your thoughts at first. So, focus on your breathing, calming music or the sound of the candle. Let the sound block all other sounds and voices in your head. This is the most important part of meditation. Remember you are focusing on your inner thoughts and feelings so everything else must be silenced before you can successfully begin to understand the thoughts and feelings that are causing you stress or anxiety.

Once you can silence your mind you will now be able to focus on the reasons that you wanted to learn how to meditate. Meditation does not have to take hours for it to be effective but do try to plan for 10-15 minutes at least each time. Remember you can do this; you just have to be consistent and have patience.