Starting to Meditate
Did you know that over 75% of general physician visits are stress related and stress is tied to the six leading causes of death?! The good news is that one of the most effective ways to reduce stress in your life, starting to meditate, is FREE and you can do it on your own if you choose.
When I first started meditating, I would set the nap timer on my alarm a little bit before bed. I started with ten minutes and I would sit up straight with my hands on my knees, close my eyes and focus on my breath. I would take a deep breath in down into my belly, then long breath out as I relaxed. If you are using this post as a starting point, continue to do this breathing until the timer sounds.
Thoughts will come up and you WILL start thinking about all sorts of things! That is okay and is part of meditating. When you notice you are caught up in thought instead of focusing on the in and out of your breath, just return to your breath. Thich Nhat Hanh teaches this mantra to start and keep a meditation focused. You say each line to yourself as you breathe in and out and then just repeat lines 3 and 4 throughout:
1. Breathing in, I know I am breathing in. (inhale)
2. Breathing out, I know I am breathing out. (exhale)
3. In (inhale)
4. Out (exhale)
After some time I extended the breathing meditation to 20 minutes. I recommend you start with this type of meditation. Just be sure you can set aside uninterrupted time to focus and do it. Even five minutes a day will be beneficial! Right before bed or right after waking is the ideal time to meditate. This is due to brainwaves and all sorts of hormonal reasons we will not get into right now but TRUST me!
Within a week, I had some very profound moments just sitting with myself in meditation. A sense of wholeness, peace and love filed my body and mind on occasion. These experiences were so fulfilling that I became dedicated to the practice. The benefits just keep coming, as I make sure to sit down and meditate every day.
After doing this for about three weeks, my wife bought me a book that came with a guided meditation CD. The book is very short, but a good read. I would do the 20 minutes of breathing meditation and then play the CD, which added 20 minutes of guided meditation. You can purchase Meditation: Achieving Inner Peace and Tranquility In Your Life (Little Books and CDs)
by following the link. It is 20 minutes and is very relaxing. It is up to you how much you can do or what you want to try.
The next step in my journey was stumbling upon Dr. Joe Dispenza who was having a workshop on meditation in Carefree. I recognized him from the movie What the Bleep Do We Know!? (worth a watch). He teaches the neuroscience behind meditation and has many books, workshops and guided CD’s available. His guided meditations are what I practice daily and I highly recommend the book Breaking The Habit of Being Yourself: How to Lose Your Mind and Create a New One to get started on realizing the self-limiting patterns and conditioning that might be holding you back to reach your full potential. Dr. Joe also teaches in-person workshops around the world. These are group experiences that will shift the way you approach life on a daily basis.
Starting a meditation practice has changed so many aspects of my life for the better that I am now an advocate (if you read my blog you already know this)! The improvements in my life have gone beyond reducing stress to increasing creativity, a focus on having healthy relationships, physical body, spiritual connection and sound mind.
If you are starting to meditate and found this guide helpful please like, share and email me to let me know! Learn more about working with me as your coach here or schedule a FREE complimentary Strategy session with me now! Simply choose Interrupting the Cycle One on One as the appointment type below and follow the prompts to pick a day and time. We’ll conveniently meet over Skype, Google Hangout or phone.