When it comes to meditation, everyone starts out as rookies. There are so many different ways to get started and it can certainly be confusing with all the noise on this topic right now. Different teachers, styles, studios, apps, courses, workshops, and retreats can make the choice on how or where to begin overwhelming.
Meditation is one of the greatest tools you can have in your toolbox when life-changing events happen, or if you simply need help dealing with everyday triggers. It not only helps to calm the nervous system, but it influences all sorts of benefits like better sleep, increased focus, lower blood pressure, greater self-awareness—the list goes on. There are great ways to integrate meditation into your daily life. Here are our top five tips:
1. Treat meditation like interval training. It’s easier to create a habit with short daily sessions rather than one long session once a week. Start small and build your meditation muscle over time.
2. Create a consistent space in your home, one that feels safe and inviting. Make sure there are minimal distractions and that you’re comfortable; meditation doesn’t require you to sit in lotus position on a mountaintop.
3. Make it work for your schedule. Many choose to meditate when they wake up in the morning. Whatever time of day you choose to practice, make it a habit.
4. Find a community or teacher to guide you along the way. Having a group of friends or a skilled mentor can help motivate you and be a sounding board for any questions you have as your practice develops.
5. Know and accept that there will be difficulties. You’ll fall asleep, you’ll feel overwhelmed by your thoughts, you’ll get bored, time will creep along, you’ll feel antsy, you’ll get hungry, you’ll get fidgety. Whatever comes up, just sit with it. Remember, striving for perfection is the enemy of meditation—be patient with yourself.
There are plenty of resources in addition to the Meditation Studio app, that can help guide you as you begin exploring your own personal practice. Here are some suggestions.
Popular Books: Dan Harris, 10% Happier. Pema Chodron, Fearlessness in Difficult Times. Elisha Goldstein, Uncovering Happiness. Jon Kabat-Zinn, Mindfulness Meditation for Everyday Life
Popular Teachers: Lodro Rinzler, Michael Apollo, Lisa Limburger, Pamela Stokes Eggleston, Julie Campilio
Popular Retreat Centers: Insight Meditation Center (Barre, MA), Spirit Rock (Woodacre, CA), Omega (Rhinebeck, NY)
Popular Studios: MNDFL (NYC), PATH (NYC), Unplugged (LA)
Read more on Time.com.