When you think of meditation, you probably think of orange-cloaked monks, herbal medicine and other things so far outside your everyday realm, they might as well be pure fiction. We get it.
Sitting in a room alone breathing for an extended time might sound like bunk, but meditation has its health benefits, from mental health to diseases associated with stress. You really can get into meditation without feeling like a new-age bohemian. Here’s how.
Download a meditation app
The perfect mix between Western and Eastern cultures, meditation apps that teach you to focus your breathing and ease your mind are just a click away. The Mindfulness App will let you choose to sit in silence or have a bell ring in soothing intervals, and an in-app schedule reminds you to meditate each day. Simply Being allows you to choose the length of time you meditate (between five and 20 minutes), then a gentle voice guides you through your meditation experience. Best of all, both apps are available on iPhones and Androids.
Keep your sessions short
You’re not a meditation master, as you know. Keep your sessions short and sweet (try using one of those meditation apps) and just zone out from five to 10 minutes per day. The more experience you get, the more you can increase your meditation time, but for now, just section off a few minutes a day to sit in silence and breathe.
Recite a mantra
Even if it’s just in your head, reciting a mantra, as silly as it sounds, keeps your head in the right space. Naturally, thoughts about life on the “outside” will creep into your mind, causing you to lose focus and in turn, lose your inner peace. Recite your mantra (Really, it can be anything: “cow,” “sasquatch,” “pico de gallo!”) to keep your brain straight, and soon you’ll be in meditation heaven.
Go for guided meditation
If meditating alone just isn’t for you, head to a class guided by a meditation professional. These meditation leaders will basically do the same job as the soothing-voiced woman on your iPhone app, but if it’s in person, it’s a lot easier to take the voice seriously. Plus, the meditation coach can give you tips on the way you’re performing your meditation ritual. Eventually you’ll feel confident enough to brave the meditation world alone.