Are you struggling with your meditation practice? Meditation is one of the best personal development activities you can perform. While it takes time and patience to become an expert, there are many things you can do to make meditation easier and more effective.
Enhance your meditation experience:
1. Find the proper position. You might not be able to sit in a full-lotus position for hours on end, but you don’t need to. There are two keys to proper posture for meditation:
- The position must be comfortable enough to hold for the duration of your meditation. The longer you sit, the more precise your posture needs to be.
- Your body must be well-supported. Slouching or sitting on a surface that is too soft will make it impossible to sit for long. Also, your back and neck must be straight, or they will tire.
- Avoid being so comfortable and well-supported that you fall asleep. For this reason, sitting is ideal. Experiment with different positions until you find one that works for you.
2. Start slowly. It appears that sitting still and controlling your thoughts for an hour should be easy. However, it seems like you’re not doing anything, so why can’t you do it indefinitely, or at least until you need to use the restroom? But meditation is hard work! So start with just five minutes and build from there.
3. Give yourself the best chance to be successful. Some situations make meditation easier to perform than others. Choose an environment conducive to meditating.
- Choose the right time. It’s easier to meditate when you’re relaxed than when stressed or pressed for time. Plan your meditation accordingly.
- Limited noise and activity make it easier to concentrate. Find a suitable location for your meditation practice.
- Avoid meditating when tired. You’ll find yourself falling asleep.
4. Consider guided meditation. It can be easier to meditate on someone else’s voice than to take the task on alone. But, again, there are plenty of free options online you can try.
5. Give different types of meditation a try. One is sure to appeal to you more than others. Do a little research and determine which style interests you the most. Here are a few to get you started:
- Zen, Vipassana, Mindfulness, Metta, Mantra, Transcendental, Taoist, and several types of yoga meditation. Learn enough about each to find a few that you’d like to try.
6. Meditate with others. It’s not always easy to know if you’re meditating correctly. Meditating in a group can provide the instruction and support you need to advance your meditation practice. Give several groups a try before making a decision. You’ll find one group that appeals to you more than the others.
7. Use a timer. A common challenge is the constant checking of the time. You might want to get it over with, or you might be worried about being late for your next activity. A timer frees up your attention and permits a higher level of focus.
Meditation is a simple but challenging process. Do everything you can to make your meditation sessions as productive as possible. While meditation can be difficult, it isn’t impossible. Be persistent and enjoy the many benefits that meditation provides.
Meditation means differently for different people. Some see it as a way to manage stress, others see it as a path to healing, and others view it as a spiritual practice, or all of that and more. Join in on the discussion on the Meditation NOT Medicine Podcast where I talk with my guest Lisa Erickson about mindfulness meditation and meditation as a tool for healing.