We may know that meditation is good for us. However, there are times when it seems that no matter how much we try to meditate, we are not able to find that place of joy and peace. There are different things that we can do to improve our meditation experience. Below is a guide full of meditation tips and tricks to help you achieve this higher state of being.
Please don’t feel discouraged if your meditation practice is not working out the way you want it to. It takes time. It’s a process, it won’t happen overnight. With daily consistency, you will be able to be more in tune with your inner being, and therefore experience more peace.
Find a Quiet Place
When you meditate, you are going to go to a beautiful place within you. It’s a place that has always been there this whole time your entire life. Now after so many years, you are going to see it for the very first time. It’s almost like going to a whole new world.
In order to get to this place of peace, it is best at the beginning to find a good suitable place that is quiet. This is really important since we can get distracted really easy.
– If you already have a meditation room, go in there to get some peace.
– Try meditating in your bedroom with the door closed.
– In your living room when no one is at home.
– In the basement away from all the activity going on in the main floor.
– In the backyard if there isn’t much noise from neighbors or barking dogs.
– If worse comes to worse, and there are people all over your home in every single room, then just sneak in for a little bit inside your walk-in closet (Hey, you have to do what you got to do in order to have some inner peace).
Get Rid of Distractions
We have so many electronic devices that are constantly calling our attention. So for just a few minutes turn off your cell phone.
If doing the meditation at home, then make sure that other electronic devices are off as well:
-Washer : If you overloaded it, your washer machine can shake like an earthquake.
-Dryer: There is nothing more distracting than hearing the zipper of a jacket going in circles in the dryer.
-Dishwasher: The sound of water is relaxing…but in nature like ocean waves, not the different cycles of your dishwasher.
-TV : Some people like having the television on, even if they are not watching it just as a background noise. The only sound you need to hear is your breathing.
-Stove/Oven: if you are alone, you don’t want to be thinking if your food is almost done, plus this is a safety issue too, you don’t want to burn down your home.
-Vacuum: Let the other members in your home know that you’ll be meditating for a few minutes and ask them not to vacuum during that time.
-All other beeping devices: besides your cellphone, if you have an apple watch silence it. The same goes for computers and tablets.
Write Down Your Worries
You may have a quiet place and have already turned off any device that can cause distractions. However, the biggest cause of distractions is not so much from the outside world, but more from your mind.
You finally sit down to meditate, and then you are bombarded by all these uncontrolled thoughts. It can feel very overwhelming at times.
If you are concerned by all the things that you have to do such as:
– Your grocery shopping list
– Having to make a call for make a dentist’s appointment
– That strange noise your car is making
– Figuring out what presents to buy for your family’s or friend’s upcoming birthday party
– Preparing that budget proposal for the meeting next week
– How to pay your bills
– How to loose weight quickly for your wedding
– That strange mole in your skin…OMG I have cancer!
– And on and on….
If your mind is too busy thinking about all the things you have to do, you won’t be able to just sit down and focus on the sensation of your breath.
In this case, what you can do is write down your worries/or things you have to do, so that way you don’t have to think about them while you are meditating.
You can do the following:
1. Get a piece of paper and draw a line in the middle.
2. On the left side of the line write the title: Worries/Concerns
3. On the right side write the title: Action or steps to take:
4. Fill out both columns with all your worries that you have.
Worries/Concerns: Action or steps to take:
– Too much credit card debt – Call credit card company to lower interest rate
– The cat hasn’t eaten in 2 days – Take the cat to the vet or ask someone to do it for you
– You fill in the blank – Call, ask for help, research online, etc.
This may not solve all your problems right away, but it gives you a visual outline of the things that you can do. A lot of the time we overwhelm ourselves with the same thoughts all day long, it’s almost like a broken record. Believe me, once you write them down your concerns and have a plan for them, you won’t be thinking about them anymore. This will free your mind of unnecessary thinking.
Get Your Body Ready
There is a strong body-mind connection. Yes, meditation is mainly working with your mind. However, you can’t ignore your body, since this is the temple that houses your “soul”. Below you can find some tips that can help with your body:
– Get plenty of sleep: If you don’t sleep enough, both your mind and body will be tired. If you sit down to meditate, most likely you’ll fall asleep.
– Move: If you mediate first thing in the morning, make sure to do some light stretching before sitting down to do your meditation. This will help you wake up, and it will help stretch out some muscles so when you are sitting down you won’t be uncomfortable.
– Eat: Depending on what time of the day you meditate, make sure you don’t do it with an empty stomach. If you don’t have time to have a full meal, at least have a snack. You don’t want a hungry tummy distracting you.
– Drink water: Make sure you keep your body hydrated. If needed, have a glass of water or a water bottle next to you when you meditate. This way if you get thirsty all you have to do is reach out and drink from it.
– Blow your nose: You are going to be focusing a lot on your breath, and you don’t want to be constantly sniffing. Also, if you meditate in a group, the sound of sniffing can be distracting to some people.
– Empty your bladder: You don’t want to “hold it” until you are done meditating. This will put more pressure to hurry up and you won’t be able to fully enjoy your meditation.
– Wear comfortable clothes: Your clothes can be a source of distraction, so wear something that fits loose. If you are wearing tight jeans, you won’t be able to fully relax and take deep breaths. The same applies to tight socks that might be cutting your circulation. If you meditate after doing yoga, make sure that your sport bra lets you breath comfortably.
– Medication: If you take any medicine that makes you drowsy, make sure to meditate before taking it.
– Open the windows: Let some fresh air in your room before meditating. This will also help clear away any bad smells that might have resulted from some burned food, your pet peeing on the carpet or just the room being stuffy. If it’s too noisy outside, make sure to close the windows before meditating.
– Adjust the room temperature: You want to be in a room that will be comfortable for the duration of your meditation. If the room is too cold or too hot, it will make it harder to concentrate.
Additional Meditation Tips and Tricks
Besides getting your mind and body ready to meditate, below are some ideas that can help you get inspired to meditate or help create the mood for a nice relaxing meditation session:
– Read a spiritual book that really inspires you.
– Listen to some relaxing music.
– Read some uplifting quotes.
– Watch a teaching from a spiritual teacher.
– Burn some incense.
– Write in your gratitude journal.
– Ask for guidance or blessings from any holy beings you believe in.
– Pet your cat or dog (this helps with making your be in the present moment).
– Drink some chamomile tea (it has a relaxing effect on the body)
Final Words of Advice
One of the most important questions you have to ask yourself is “Why do I want to meditate?” If you don’t have a really strong reason, then you are most likely not going to do it. Meditation is not a “trendy” thing, it has been practiced for thousands of years. It is still practiced today since it has so MANY benefits.
If you read this article, then perhaps you are a beginner meditator that is just trying to find out where to start. You may also be a seasoned meditator that is still finding a hard time meditating. No matter at what level you are, just remember to be open to new ideas.
We are constantly changing as a person, therefore our mediation practice will also change. If one meditation style didn’t work for you, that doesn’t mean that another one won’t.
You are a beautiful unique individual who has different likes and dislikes. You have to see what works for you. The advice given here is not a one size fits all, but rather some suggestions to help find out what works for YOU.
Give yourself the gift of meditating on a regular basis. It will help you get in touch with that deeper part of yourself. We are constantly busy with work, family, bills, house chores, etc. Our life is passing us by really quickly, and we’ll be old and dying before we know it. If you meditate consistently, you will have a peaceful mind that is strong enough to withstand all the hardships life may throw at you.
I would love to hear from you in the comments. Let me know what other tips and tricks you want to share with us. Also, what problems are you experiencing when you try to meditate? Let’s make this a beautiful community of learning where we support and learn from one another.
Please share this article with your family and friends.
May you find a meditation practice that is suitable for you. May you have peace and love in your hearts.
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