5 Things I Learned About Meditation

Remember your first attempt at a plank?

I sure do.

It felt like time had decided to take a leisurely stroll.

Holding my position was a Herculean task, and I found myself collapsing, grunting like a disgruntled bear.

It was a sight to behold, especially when others made it look like a walk in the park.

Now imagine that struggle, but multiply it by a hundred.

That’s what meditation felt like for me as a beginner.

But hey, I can now hold a plank for over five minutes without breaking a sweat.

So, there’s hope for meditation too, right?

The Struggle and the Hope: Meditation for Beginners

If you’re wrestling with the idea of meditation or considering dipping your toes into its serene waters, my journey might shed some light.

Meditation, especially for beginners, can seem daunting.

But let me assure you, it’s worth the effort.

The scientifically proven benefits of meditation are numerous.

It boosts your attention span, alleviates stress, anxiety, and depression, and promotes emotional well-being.

In essence, it’s a wellness package for your mind and body!

The Why: Personal Reasons for Trying Meditation

Everyone has their own unique reasons for trying meditation.

For me, it was about reigning in my wandering attention span.

I saw my focus and productivity dwindling, and I was desperate to make better use of my time.

Every minute lost is a minute you’ll never get back.

And yet, I found myself squandering time on distractions.

That’s when I turned to the much-touted magic of meditation.

The Hard Truth: Meditation Isn’t a Walk in the Park for Beginners

Let’s face it, meditation can be hard, especially for beginners.

If you’ve stumbled in your first few attempts, don’t sweat it.

You’re not alone.

It’s perfectly normal to struggle at the start.

The key is not to stress over it.

After all, meditation is meant to be a stress-buster, not a stress-maker!

And remember, this isn’t a competition.

It’s a personal journey towards self-improvement.

Embrace the Struggle: Learning Meditation Through Repetition

When I first started doing planks or tree poses, I’d often lose balance and topple over.

But instead of getting frustrated, I’d laugh at myself.

It was genuinely amusing.

Controlling your mind and body might seem like a piece of cake; after all, they’re yours, right?

But it’s not always that simple.

The beauty of learning something new, like meditation, is realising the power of repetition.

With commitment and practice, you can master almost anything.

Visualisation: The Empty Bin and the Calm Sea Technique for Beginners

Imagine a small bin under your desk that fills up quickly.

That bin is like my mind, often overflowing with a million thoughts.

Or picture yourself on a stormy sea with strong waves and winds.

That’s how a mind full of clutter can make you feel – restless and unsettled.

So, what’s the solution?

Visualise the end result.

Emptying everything out of the bin, or in this case, your mind.

Imagine a calm sea, free of stormy waves.

When my mind starts to wander, I visualise a serene blue sea, and instantly, a sense of calm washes over me.

Breathing Techniques: Count Your Breath in Meditation

Visualisation is a great tool, but I understand it might be challenging if you’re not used to it.

Your mind can easily wander off to your grocery list, a chat with a neighbour, or your endless to-do list.

That’s where the 4-5-6 breathing technique comes in handy.

You’re free to swap it with the popular 4-7-8 technique.

I prefer the former, simply because it’s easier to remember.

When I first tried this breathing technique, I was often puzzled, “Is it belly in or out?”

Here’s the drill: As you breathe in (belly out) through your nose, count slowly to 4, hold it for 5, and breathe out (belly in) through your mouth for 6.

Some folks suggest that exhaling should be twice as long as inhaling, hence the 4-7-8 technique.

Others believe it’s fine as long as exhaling is slower and longer than inhaling.

I stick to 4-5-6 for convenience.

Either way, it’s a great way to keep your mind from wandering off as you focus on counting and breathing.

The Journey: From a Minute to 20 Minutes of Meditation

If you’re anything like me, you’ll find 20 minutes of meditation quite a challenge in the beginning.

What worked for me was starting slow, with just a minute every day.

Gradually increase it to 3 minutes or 5 minutes as you get more comfortable.

Remember, the length of meditation isn’t as crucial as consistency.

A minute of practice is infinitely better than zero.

The Flexibility: When and Where to Practice Meditation for Beginners

One of the best things about meditation is its flexibility.

You can do it anywhere, anytime, without any special equipment.

Mornings usually work best for me.

But I also sneak in a quick meditation during the day when I feel distracted or overwhelmed.

Final Thoughts: Embrace the Journey of Meditation

While I haven’t “mastered” meditation yet, I’m thoroughly enjoying the process.

With enough practice, I’m confident it’ll become as effortless as holding a plank!

I wholeheartedly recommend adding meditation to your personal growth journey and reaping all the benefits it has to offer.

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