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A beginner’s guide to meditation

I am a certified life coach and recovered food addict with the mission to help women feel free around food, eat carbs without having a meltdown and truly love their bodies

Right away, tuning out the world to find bliss didn't come easily. Meditation felt uncomfortable. Sitting still with my own thoughts was foreign and frustrating. Soon though, I got creative and made meditation fit with my life, and my whole day and attitude transformed.

Before I started meditating, I was burnt out and busy almost every moment of the day. I had heard about meditation many times but I was resistant to meditation. I'm someone who is used to powering through my day. Meditation goes against that mentality. It is all about letting go. However, more and more I felt called to meditation. Stars like Oprah, Jim Carrey and Eva Mendes meditate. It seemed like I'd be in good company.

Here are some tips for easier meditation.

Guided meditation

As a complete meditation beginner I relied heavily on guided meditations. Guided meditations are recordings of a teacher instructing you how to meditate. Guided meditations are soothing and set to beautiful music. You can choose meditations based on the kind of support you need. For example if you need to find forgiveness in your life or if you need to be more kind in your day. I love Gabrielle Bernstein's guided meditations. YouTube and Spotify have many free guided meditations that you can play directly from your smartphone.

Walking meditation

If you work in an office, it may be difficult to just close your eyes at a cubicle. You don't want anyone thinking you're asleep on the job. One way around this is to take a walking meditation. Put in your headphones and listen to a guided meditation or music. Focus on your breath just as you would with a traditional meditation, however walk instead of sit. You can still get a meditative experience even when your legs are moving. And it's a wonderful way of burning some calories.

Create a space

For many, meditation is about deeper connection to yourself and life. To encourage yourself to meditate regularly, create a meditation haven in your home. This could be a nice corner with a table full of candles, photos you love and even magazine pictures that inspire you. Find some lavender aroma sticks for relaxation. The more inviting the space, the more often you will meditate. Search Pinterest or Google Images for meditation space inspiration.

Get comfortable

If you're not physically comfortable, you won't be able to sit in stillness for very long. The solution: a meditation pillow. In the beginning, I tried meditating with my legs crossed in a lotus pose. This pose didn't work for me because my hips just aren't flexible enough. I almost abandoned meditation altogether because I felt so physically uncomfortable. I realized I just needed to get a more appropriate pose and a pillow. Now, when I meditate I sit on a meditation pillow with my legs in a position that works for me, not in the position that they "should" be in. I suggest you find the position that feels 100 percent soothing for you and buy a pretty pillow.

Focus on one word

In the beginning, meditation was very tough. My mind was racing a million miles an hour. One simple trick I found to help quiet my mind was to think of one word. For me the one word was love. I simply spelled the word in my mind in a beautiful script font. It may sound silly but focusing on the word Love was uplifting and kept the other negative and anxiety-provoking thoughts away. So, if you're someone who finds their mind darting around, pick a word and just focus on that.

Have you found interesting ways to make meditation fit in to your busy life? Share your tips in the comments section.

Disclosure: This post is part of a collaboration with Pronamel and SheKnows.

Photo credit: evgenyatamanenko/iStock/360/Getty Images

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