5 Tips For Beginner Meditators

The practice of meditation has experienced a surge in mainstream popularity over the past decade. Meditation has been called a personal development practice as well as a spiritual practice and has been shown to have many benefits, including reduced stress and increased self awareness. 

However the practice can be challenging for beginners. The concept of sitting still and silently without letting one’s thoughts wander can seem intimidating, or even anxiety-producing.

Here are five tips that will help beginner meditators ease into the practice and experience the most benefits. 

  • Start small. Experienced meditators can meditate for hours at a time, but if you are new to the practice, start with just a few minutes. Even two minutes a day can help you adjust to the idea of sitting with your emotions and thoughts. 
  • Don’t get caught up in the “how.” Trying to meditate “correctly” can produce feelings of stress and anxiety. If you are a beginning meditor, don’t worry about doing it the “right” way. Instead focus on consistency and try to build the habit in your life. 
  • Don’t try to clear your mind. There is a common misconception that meditation means having no thoughts. Instead, the practice is about noticing and accepting thoughts, emotions and sensations as they arise without lingering on them. 
  • Start with a body scan. A body scan—or bringing awareness to each part of the body and noticing sensation there—is an easy way to start a meditation and get into the practice of noticing and accepting. 
  • Try a mantra. A mantra is a sound, word or phrase that is repeated silently in one’s head throughout a meditation. Choosing a mantra and returning to it as you feel your thoughts wander can be a way to practice being present.