Meditation can be an incredibly powerful tool for quieting your mind, reducing stress, and increasing the amount of happiness, peace, and love you feel every day.
Despite this, many beginners find it difficult to start a new meditation routine. They may try it once or twice, only to give up in frustration, thinking that they can’t stop thinking, or “aren’t good enough” at centering their awareness.
In this post, I want to take a few moments to go through some very simple guidelines you can use in order to start an easy, effortless meditation practice, and then I’ll share one of my favorite, easy breath techniques that anyone can do.
If this is your first time meditating, you may want to check out these other posts for beginners as well:
- How Do You Meditate for the First Time?
- How to Meditate Properly for Beginners
- What To Expect from a Meditation Practice.
- Tips for Starting a Meditation Routine.
3 Simple Guidelines for Succeeding with a Meditation Practice
When you’re first beginning meditation, the wealth of material and options available to you can easily feel overwhelming. There are many different opinions and traditions that claim meditation should be done a certain way, or outline goals for your meditation practice.
This can be helpful once you have a little experience, but for starters, I recommend just 3 simple guidelines:
- Find a comfortable, quiet place to sit.
- Focus on your breath.
- Don’t try to force anything.
These three guidelines are easy to follow. They focus on giving you as much freedom as possible, so you can realize that meditation is liberating, and joyful. You don’t have to contort yourself into any specific meditation posture, you don’t have to get rid of every passing thought, and you don’t have to ‘do’ or ‘achieve’ anything.
It’s essential that you realize that there is no single right or wrong way to meditate. Even these three suggestions are guidelines, and not hard and fast rules. When you begin with this level of self-acceptance and self-compassion, you set yourself up for long term success, since you will associate positive experiences with your meditation practice, rather than frustrations.
You cannot get it wrong!
Most of the time, beginners are disheartened when they catch themselves thinking during their practice, and become frustrated when they find they can’t focus. It’s important to understand that these challenges are a normal part of the process.
With practice, you can learn to overcome them. Don’t expect to have a pristine, quiet mind after one or two attempts, just as you would never run a marathon if you couldn’t run a 5k!
Easy Guided Meditation: Focusing on the Breath
One of my favorite beginner meditation techniques is simply to focus on the motion of the breath as it moves in and out of your body.
There is no “trick” to doing this. It is as straightforward as it sounds. You don’t need to stop your thoughts, and you don’t need to try to remain perfectly still. Just sit comfortably and think: “Now, I am breathing in…Now, I am breathing out.”
Repeat this easy mantra for as long as you feel is appropriate for you, or listen along to the guided recording below:
You can find more details about how to do this easy 5 minute meditation in this post.