5 Tips To Help You Start Meditating
In this guest blog post, the founder of BreatheRepeat.com - an online resource for the modern yogi - shares her top 5 tips to help you start meditating. Read more to find out why and how you should start meditating today.
The benefits of meditation are seemingly endless: it increases energy levels, decreases stress levels, helps you sleep better, makes you more productive, reduces blood pressure, gets rid of headaches, improves your reflexes, will turn you into a Rock Star in the bedroom and make you fabulously wealthy!
Okay, so maybe I made the last two up. But seriously, medical experts cannot stop listing the many reasons why you should sit quietly for at least a few minutes every day.
So...why is it so hard to do? If you've been thinking about starting a meditation practice, but don't know where to begin, you've come to the right place!
Here are 5 tips to help you get started:
1. Go to a class!
There are lots of meditation courses offered all across the country. Learning to meditate with a teacher can be really helpful. It's intimidating to start on your own. Many people wonder, Am I doing this right? Having a guide at the beginning is a great way to get on the right track. If you don't fall in love with your first teacher, no sweat. Find another!
2. Meditate in a group.
When I'm having trouble quieting my chaotic mind, I find it helps to meditate with other people. A quick Google search will reveal where in your area you can go to meditate in a group. There's something really powerful and inspiring about being in a room filled with other meditators. Their concentration and focus is contagious - you get a contact high! It even helps to meditate with just one other person. If you have a friend who's interested in meditation as well, it's a great idea to plan to meditate together a few times a week.
3. Give yourself more than enough time.
If you decide you'd like to do a 5 minute meditation, block off twenty minutes. If you're going to meditate for 15 minutes, block off at least a half an hour. It's difficult to calm the mind when you feel like you have to be on a conference call or run out to a meeting the moment the meditation is over. When you give yourself more than enough time, you'll find that it's easier to drop in and relax.
4. Remember: even just three minutes can be powerful!
When you first get started, don't push yourself to try to sit still for an hour! You need to build up endurance. You wouldn't start training for the marathon by running 20 miles the first day, would you? It's the same with meditation. Start with just three minutes. Then build up to five. Before you know it, you'll be meditating for ten minutes and so on... If you take the slow and steady approach, you'll be more likely to stick with it.
5. Establish a daily practice.
Think of meditation like brushing your teeth: something you do at least once every single day (hopefully twice!). You'd never leave the house without brushing your teeth, right? Make meditation a part of your daily life. The great thing is, the more you do it, the easier it will be. You may even come to a point in the near future where you actually crave your mediation. It stops being something you think you have to do and becomes something you want to do.
So, what are you waiting for? Don't just do something, sit there!
Tracey Toomey McQuade is a writer, actress and yogi who splits her time between NYC and Amagansett. She co-authored the novel, The Perfect Manhattan and the tongue-in-cheek advice book, Cocktail Therapy, and has freelanced for Glamour, Marie Claire, Runner’s World, Gotham, Hamptons and too many gossip mags to count! A devoted practitioner of all-things-yoga, Tracey loves chanting to Radha and Krishna and going upside down — especially at the beach! She can talk about downward facing dog for hours or have equally long conversations about sample sales, wine (especially Nebbiolo!), or which juice cleanse is worth the cash. A founder of Breathe Repeat, Tracey is excited to help her fellow yogis bridge the gap between the ancient teachings and life in the modern world.