By Jill Lawson for DietsInReview.com
To meditate is to disengage from a seemingly ever-present mental chatterbox and reflect on just one pure thought. Think it sounds easy? Then stop reading this article for a moment and witness your thoughts. Are they jumping from subject to subject? Does your thinking occur in fragmented thoughts? Do thoughts randomly pop up for no apparent reason? If you’ve answered yes to any of these questions, then the following beginner’s guide to meditation will be helpful to you.
Sit in a comfortable position, free from external distractions. Close your eyes and focus on one single thought, whether it is a word, image or repetitive sound, like a mood-boosting mantra.
Concentrate fully to maintain your focus on this one thought without interruption. If you make it even 30 seconds without any other thoughts entering your mind, you are doing remarkably well.
What to Expect
If your first attempt isn’t successful, simply try again. Meditation requires a tremendous amount of effort and repetition to master but yields great benefits, so be patient. It’s common to want to ditch the practice completely, as it can be extremely difficult to focus and concentrate. When your thoughts go willy-nilly, take a break and try again at another time.
You may notice your thoughts slowing down, giving you a sense of clarity and spaciousness. If this happens, it means you’re getting the hang of it.
If for even a fleeting moment you lose your sense of time and space, you’ve done it! That means you are well on your way to being a master rather than a slave to your thoughts.
- At first, practice meditating in short intervals, around five to ten minutes at a time. As you become more comfortable with the practice, you can extend the time you commit.
- Try not to get frustrated when your mind begins to wander. When this happens, just refocus and try again.
- If your lower back, hips or legs are uncomfortable in the seated position, then readjust. Nothing is more distracting than an aching body.
When we have mastery over our thoughts, they no longer dominate us. It’s then that we can let go of the anxiety-causing, push-pull relationship that our uncontrolled thoughts have against our will power, ability to trust, self-esteem and efficiency in completing a task. We become better at making decisions from a clear and open mind, rather than relying on the mental chatterbox that doesn’t serve a purpose in our lives.
It doesn’t cost a dime to meditate on your own; however, joining a meditation group may require a small fee.