The thought for this blog came about when someone told me they had trouble sleeping. They tried everything! They proclaimed. Warm Milk, reading, not reading, exercising, taking a bath….
Eventually they listed meditation as one of them.
Now we can go into the whole why were you sleepless, possible medical conditions, environment problems, etc.
But, what if I told you, you could successfully meditate, use it to help you fall asleep, reset yourself and achieve your self development goals?
Sounds good right? Sounds good to me! Let’s go!
How do you meditate successfully? How are some people capable of hours of meditation? What if I have a hard time just keeping my brain focused on one thought at a time? Why should I learn to meditate?
If you answered yes to any of the questions above or want to know why you should meditate, I got just the tips, steps and 411 for you.
Before I get into the steps, let’s start with some basic information.
Definition of meditate
1. To engage in contemplation or reflection
2. To engage in mental exercise for the purpose of reaching a heightened level of spiritual awareness.
“meditate.” Merriam-Webster.com. 2019. https://www.merriam-webster.com (24 January 2019)
There are many health benefits linked with meditation; lower blood pressure, lower stress levels, lower anxiety levels, promoting emotional health and focusing on the present to name a few.
Now if any of you are like me, meditation sounds great but when it comes to actually sitting down and meditating, it’s hard. Life interrupts, thoughts flood your mind and the next thing you know your making a list in your head of all the tasks you should be doing.
The following tips and tricks have helped me to have some very successful meditations.
How to Meditate Successfully in 4 Easy Steps
1. Go in with a goal in mind
Why are you trying to meditate? Are you trying to do any of the following?
– reduce anxiety
– to help fall asleep
– to calm your mind
– to stay in the present
– to center or reset yourself
Go in with a goal in mind and use it as your objective in meditation. Try not to pick to many goals at once. The smaller the goal, the easier it will be to achieve.
2. Pick a meditation that goes with your goal
Misconception #1; Wait, you just don’t sit there and clear your mind? There’s more than one type of meditation?
Yes! There are tons of meditations out in the world. I had no clue there were so many meditations out there, but its great to know that there are a ton of options to pick from!
The way I like to think of meditation is like a fork.
Are you serious?
Yes, I am serious.
A fork is ultimately a tool. It can be used in many ways. Sure its main function is to use it as a way to eat food.
A fork can also be used as;
– A way to make ribbons
– A place card holder
– A mini catapult
– A bracelet
or the notorious dinglehopper (though I definitely discourage the using a fork as a hair brush)
Don’t even get me started on Pinterest. ( I love you guys!!!)
The point is that meditation is a tool to shape in the way you need it. One of the first things I learned about meditation is that its simply not just sitting and clearing your mind. You will find your efforts to be fruitless if you try to just sit in emptiness. Maybe some people can do it, I give major kudos to you.
So what kind of meditations are out there?
Example Types of Meditations
- Sensory based Meditation; This meditation goes through a scenario that activates your 5 senses. I found this to be very effective, it forces you to focus on the task at hand and leaves very little room to wander.
- Chakra Meditation; Chakra’s are focal points of energy throughout the body. Each Chakra has a specific focus vaguely similar to Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maslow’s_hierarchy_of_needs). In the meditation you go through each Chakra and mentally clear it out, letting the Chakra inside you glow. After each Chakra you go back to the root and fill yourself with energy. I have attached a link that goes over the chakras https://bodyspiritual.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/chakras-mind-spirit.jpg
- Forgiveness Meditation; This is a tough one! You have been warned! In this meditation you go through 3 scenarios. In the first scenario, you form a mental image of people in which you need to ask forgiveness for, you go up to each person and ask their forgiveness. In the second scenario, you are dealing purely with yourself and asking yourself for forgiveness. The third scenario, is giving forgiveness to people who may have wronged you. The most important part to reflect on is the act of forgiving and not necessarily the outcome.
- Walking Meditation; A walking meditation is a heightened awareness of your surroundings and senses as you walk. You are walking with a intention, hyper aware of your feet touching the ground and moving.
- Breathing Meditation; You purely focus on your breathing, conscious of where you are breathing from and using it calm anxiety or stress.
That’s just to name a few. As the blog goes on, I will come back and keep adding to this list and provide some tangible materials. Based on your goals, seek a meditation that will help you to get there.
I highly encourage you to experiment! Find out what works for you!
I find that guided meditations and sensory based meditations work the best for me. Why? My goals of meditation are to keep me in the present moment, and to not worry about my past or predict my future. I also use meditation to calm down before bed, and find guided meditations to force me to focus instead of reminding me of 10,000 to do items.
My current youtube obsession for guided meditations;
Check him out he has a ton of great videos out there.
3. Find a place to meditate
Misconception #2; Don’t you have to sit on the floor, cross legged and rigid? That sounds uncomfortable, especially if I am doing this minutes at a time
Although Meditation is depicted as such, it doesn’t have to be that way. This your own pick-your-own-adventure/meditation!
As helpful guidelines;
a. Wear comfortable clothing – wear what feels comfortable to you, you want to be in a relaxed state when you meditate. It’s hard to focus on your goal when you are trying to focus on moving clouds across the sky and the ever creeping wedgie starts making your clouds shift to prickly cotton balls with pigs flying out. You get the drift, be comfortable.
b. Be in a position that makes you comfortable – Sit in a chair, sit on the ground, lay down on the ground, lay down in the bed, do what makes you feel comfortable. Be mindful of what you are doing as well, if you are doing a sleep based meditation, it might make more sense to be in bed than well behind a wheel of a car. #CommonSense
c. Make the environment sensory appeasing – The more our senses are comfortable and at ease, the easier it will be to meditate. Make your environment sensory appeasing to you. Maybe you have this fantastic spot by the window that gets the warmth of the sun and you can put your favorite plush chair next to it. Maybe the smell of lavender puts you at ease. Maybe going into a closet with the lights off helps you stay focused. The more your senses are happy, the further you can concentrate on your meditation goal. There are going to be external factors that you will not be able to control – your neighbor mowing the lawn. That’s ok! Don’t make it a deal breaker if you can’t get all the senses appeased. Do the best that you can with what you have, no pressure 🙂
Also, pick a safe place to meditate. There is no sense in putting yourself in danger in order to meditate.
To our point – Picking a place to meditate then becomes making it relative to the experience we are trying to achieve.
4. Stay Focused
Let’s bring this all together and drive it in with this point. You started meditation with a goal in mind, and you deserve it to yourself to go after that goal.
This is probably the most important point; Stay Focused!
Be mindful while you are doing your meditation and don’t let your mind wander with the task at hand. In the long run you are only doing yourself a disservice.
Have you ever been to Target and not have a list? Have you been to Target and maybe had a list, but somewhere along the line you saw this cute item in the clearance section, which meant you had to get an item over in stationary, to then see the display of Spa treatments, that made you think of the organizer in the bathroom and next thing you know your cart is full and you have walked out of the store with everything except the items on your list?
But really, the more you let distraction win you over, the further away from your goal you are.
I am here to remind you, you are worth achieving your goals!
It’s going to be tough, but duke it out, imagine those thoughts on a cloud or a leaf, acknowledge them, and let them go. Trust me, it will be worth it in the end.
Be practical, if you smell something burning, perfectly acceptable to get up and investigate.
What if I have a hard time focusing?
Set a timer for yourself, break it down as far as you need to. Start with 5 minutes, if 5 minutes is too long, reduce it to 3 minutes. If 5 minutes is too short, increase it to 10 minutes. Overtime, you can add your time meditating as one of your goals. Choose what works for you; make it so that you can work towards your goal.
Wrap Up and Additional Thoughts
“Meditation is the dissolution of thoughts in eternal awareness or pure consciousness without objectification, knowing without thinking, merging finitude in infinity.” – Voltairehttps://awakenthegreatnesswithin.com/35-inspirational-quotes-on-meditation/
The beauty of meditation – there is no wrong or right way to meditate. No one has control over your experience except you and you can make it however you want.
Be realistic and don’t expect miracles the first time you try it. Maybe you will experience an epiphany, maybe you won’t. Go in with your goals in mind and work from there. This is all about you so take all the time you need.
Of course I am a techie and have some app suggestions;
1. Calm https://www.calm.com – They have a section in their app dedicated for meditation. Seriously, its awesome. They have within that section, different meditations that span across a time period, example; 7 Days of Managing Stress You even get a mini congrats when you finish listening to one! There is also a breathe section that guides you to focus on your breathing. Great App – Free App (with some paid features) Go check it out
2. Spotify – Playlist of meditation tracks to go along with your meditation. I attached one of my favorites in my resources but you can also find it here;
Maybe one day we will have an app that will let us build our own meditation using the guide mentioned in this blog. *cough*developer*cough* hint hint nudge nudge *cough*
The Golden Gelly Nuggets
- Go in with a goal in mind
- Pick a meditation that goes with your goal
- Find a place to meditate
- Stay Focused
- Don’t go to Target unless you plan on buying items that are not on your list
Don’t forget, share your comments and feedback! What’s worked for you? What hasn’t worked for you? Let me know!