In today’s fast-paced, digital world we are constantly thinking about what we have to do next or dwelling on what has happened in the past. It is rare that we stop, take in our surrounds and submerse ourselves fully in the present moment – surrendering out worries and over thinking brains to be fully aware and conscious of our thoughts and feelings at any given time. Ultimately mindfulness is a way to truly connect with ourselves, helping us become closer to achieving inner peace or simply clearing our minds.
Meditation is a great way to lead us down the path to mindfulness. Although meditation involves quiet, relaxation and stillness, it is those qualities that make it seem very overwhelming. Being still, in silence, alone with your thoughts can seem daunting but we can assure you that once you get the hang of it you will notice a massive shift in calmness, dealing with everyday stress’s and clarity of mind.
Below we have collated our top tips for a beginners guide to meditation to open your mind up to mindfulness and all of its greatness.
Find a calm, comfortable and QUIET sanctuary
Meditation is your time so you don’t want any distractions. Find a place and time of day that allows you to feel completely at ease. Sit still or stand and take a few steps, whatever works best for you and what makes you feel most comfortable.
Slow and Steady
Don’t feel the need to be a master of meditation after your first session. Meditation takes time and constant practice. Start by setting yourself five minutes a day to meditate when you begin and as you feel more confident gradually increase that time.
Take a deep breath
Focusing on your breathing is a great way to start meditating. Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth, concentrating on the length of each breath and your chest expanding. Whenever your mind begins to wonder, let go of those thoughts and bring your mind back to your breathing.
Don’t go it alone!
There are many guided meditation tools online that can help ease you into the practice. Below are 3 popular apps to get started.
Headspace (free, in-app purchases)
Headspace is a great introduction to meditation with a ten-day course that only takes ten minutes every session. The guided meditation helps you relax and works with you through the foundations of meditation. The app also offers single sessions and other courses for specific needs such as relationships or sleeping, most of which can be accessed through a monthly subscription to the app.
The meditation experience begins as soon as you open the app, prompting you to take a few deep breaths before continuing. The app offers a range of guided meditations series for all different needs. Also available are different scenes, which include beautiful visuals and sounds that will make you feel like you are at the beach one minute then in the middle of a rainforest the next.
The Smiling Mind
This app is great for people of all ages with meditation for children as young as 7. This app is more interactive than the others by asking you how you are feeling before you begin your meditation and tracking your progress. The app is bright and colourful and easy to navigate, making the whole experience very pleasant.