Mindfulness meditation is much easier to understand and implement when broken down into simple steps.
Although the concept behind Mindfulness Meditation is pretty simple and basic it does take practice to strengthen your ability to focus for extended periods of time.
Just as you would build your muscles at the gym, meditation takes consistent and repeated practice.
You simply can’t expect to be a master after your first session. Well, that’s what I learned anyway….
My journey of learning mindfulness meditation was full of a sh** load of frustration, impatience and inconsistency.
I would put so much pressure on myself to be a master from the start, but these expectations were too high and unrealistic.
My intense focus on seeing quick results ruined and took away from the entire experience, which would result in my procrastinating with my sessions.
Don’t be like me kids….
You must understand that meditation is a skill that you build up over time. There’s no cutting corners and yes, you actually need to do the work and keep consistent.
The results may not be visible immediately but I promise you…they will come.
In this article, I will give a basic break down of the steps on “what” to do to meditate but if you want to learn “how” to meditate, I teach this in much more detail in the Journey to Calm Meditation Course for Beginners.
If you’re not quite ready to jump into the complete course, you can start your meditation journey with the FREE / Lite version of the course below:
Here’s a basic overview of the basic steps you want to follow to start your meditation practice.
1. Prepare Your Meditation Space
Preparing your meditation space before is and important step because it can help to create the right ambience and get you in the mood for your mindfulness meditation practice.
You may like to:
- Dim or turn off the lights
- Burn some candles, a Himalayan salt lamp, incense or essential oils
- Play some background nature or instrumental meditation music
- Lay out your yoga mat or meditation pillow to add comfort during your meditation practice
- Give your head, neck and shoulders a quick stretch to prepare your body and release any built up tension that could make you uncomfortable in your meditation pose
2. Get Into a Comfortable Position
Finding the right meditation pose for your meditation practice is really REALLY important.
Sitting in the wrong pose during your meditation could result in back pain, discomfort and make you procrastinate with or even resent your practice.
When meditating, some prefer to sit cross-legged on the floor, others prefer lying down. The key is to choose a pose that is most comfortable for your body.
- The Complete Meditation Poses Guide for Beginners (By Finding Happiness)
- Meditation Postures for Beginners & Your Questions Answered
- How a Zafu Meditation Cushion Relieves Back Pain During Meditation
- 5 Good Yoga Mats for Meditation | A Beginners Guide!
3. Choose Your Type of Meditation
The next step of learning to meditate is to choose which types of meditation you would like to do during your practice.
Despite as many beginners think, there are many different types of meditation. There are some that can be a bit complicated and overwhelming for beginners.
That’s why it’s a good idea to choose a meditation style that matches your experience and preferences – I usually recommend mindfulness meditation for beginners. That’s also the style I’ll be focusing on within this article.
4. Set Your Timer
In terms of how long to set you timer for, it truly depends…
If you’re new to meditation, it’s usually best to start small and work your way up. Starting with 3-5 minutes, usually suffices.
Starting small also makes your meditation sessions seem less daunting. It will also help prevent you from procrastinating due to feeling that it’s a burden on your time. 5 minutes out of your 12 hour day is nothing guys…. therefore, you’re less likely to put it off.
As you improve, gradually extend your sessions to 10 minutes, then 15 minutes, then 30.
Don’t let ego or judgement get involved in this process. Everyone starts at the same level.
5. Close Your Eyes & Breathe Deeply
As you close your eyes, start to focus on your natural breathing rhythm and take a few deep breaths to relax you.
In the Journey to Calm Course, I explain diaphragmatic breathing in more detail and how this technique can be used to increase relaxation during your mindfulness meditation practice.
As you enter your meditation practice, it’s a good idea to allow your body to adopt it’s natural breathing rhythm and just simply observe how your body moves with each breath.
How does your chest, shoulders, rib cage and stomach feel?
6. Check in With Your Body and Surroundings
Take a moment to tune in to your body and your surroundings.
- How does your body feel right now, in the present moment?
- What is the quality of your mind? Are stressed, tired, anxious, happy or relaxed?
- Notice the sounds of your surrounding environment but remain unattached
Enjoy a moment of pure mindfulness, by living in the present moment.
Don’t worry about the things you have on your to-do list for the day. Let go of worries or baggage from your past.
Just enjoy the moment for what it is.
- Mindfulness 101: A Mindfulness Guide for Beginners
- 5 Ways to Incorporate Mindfulness into Your Daily Life
7. As the Mind Wanders…
During mindfulness meditation, it is completely normal to have moments where you experience a lapse in focus. You may become distracted with a thought, a noise in your environment or maybe even an itching sensation on your body.
Meditation is a process of recognition. That is, noticing when your mind steps off track and then gently bringing it back to attention.
If this happens to you during your practice, don’t be too hard on yourself. Just take a deep breath and return your focus to your breath.
8. Stop Overthinking & Let Go
As a meditation newbie back in the day, I found it really hard to maintain concentration and would regularly get distracted by my thoughts. #anxietylife.
I also felt really awkward and had no idea what I was doing. Like who wants to hang in silence with their own thoughts…. well at the time, not me.
I’d often worry whether I was doing things right or wrong. For example:
- Were my hands in the right place?
- If my nose gets itchy, can I scratch it?
- Should I be “ommm-ing” or saying something?”
- “I’m not feeling anything, maybe I’m doing it all wrong???”
You get my drift….
But meditation is not a one-size-fits all, and everyone’s experience is different.
Just because your boyfriend’s friend’s sister, Doris, claims she felt results immediately after her first session of meditation, doesn’t mean that you’ll experience the exact same thing…
You could, sure… but it’s always good idea to keep your mind open and enjoy your own journey.Try not to compare yourself to other and don’t concern yourself with all the nitty-gritty details.
Just relax and let go.
Want to Learn How to Meditate Properly?
If you’re interested in learning the “How” of the meditation puzzle, I highly recommend that you start your journey with our Journey to Calm Meditation Course for Beginners.
In this course, I teach you all about mindfulness meditation and delve deeper into exactly what to do in each step mentioned above to improve your likelihood of success.
I also save you a lot of time, frustration and pain as a newbie… I truly wish I had this course when I was getting started, as opposed to all the time I wasted and confusion I felt trying to do it all on my own.
If you’re not quite ready to jump into the complete course, you can learn more about the basics of meditation, my journey, and how meditation can be used to relieve stress and anxiety in the FREE “Lite” Version of the course.
Get started with the FREE / Lite version of the course by clicking the link above or by entering your details below.
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