5 Beginner Meditation Tips To Help You Bolster Positive Energy

In theory, meditation sounds easy. All you have to do is sit still and not think. But once you decide to actually try it–and you realize you have no idea what your doing and your mind is racing—frustration, boredom, and restlessness sets in. And that’s not how meditation is supposed to make you feel. Rest assured that meditation for beginners does exist, and you’re not expected to be a guru from the start. Meditation can be done anytime, anywhere, and for any length of time. If you’re exploring meditation for the first time or you’re a regular practitioner who just hasn’t gotten the hang of a quiet mind yet, it’s important to stay flexible in your approach. Here are five tips to help you focus in and bolster your positive energy.

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1. Start early

We don’t mean 4 a.m. early—just try and meditate first thing in the morning. This way, it doesn’t get bumped off the to-do list as the day gets more and more hectic. Morning meditation is also a great way to start your day. Get it done as soon as you wake up and you’ll feel refreshed, relaxed, and focused.

2. Find the best position for you

Meditation isn’t one-size-fits-all. You don’t need to sit in lotus pose or half lotus pose. Start off cross-legged and see how you feel. If it’s uncomfortable, move around. Find the best position for you. Grab a chair and sit down, stand, kneel, or lie on your back—just start in a comfortable place and remember that no matter how you sit, your spine should be as straight as possible.

3. Prepare for your mind to drift

If you’re just starting out with your meditation practice, your mind is going to wander. Don’t try and fight it. Instead, observe all of your thoughts and feelings as they arise and gently bring your mind back to your practice without judgement. To come back to the present, focus on your breath moving in and out of your body, or relieve tension by systematically focusing your attention on different parts of your body (called body scan meditation). You may also find that guided meditation, from an app, helps you focus more easily than meditating on your own.

4. Don’t force it

It’s simple: The more you force yourself to focus, the less you actually will. You know when you’re trying really hard to fall asleep because you know you have to wake up early the next morning? But the more you force yourself, the more sleep feels like an impossible feat. The same goes for meditation. The more you force it, the less likely it will happen. Instead, focus on your breathing (but remember to not force that either—breathe normally!) and bring your awareness to the sounds around you one by one. If it helps, place a fan nearby and focus on the air gently touching your skin.

5. Take mindfulness with you

Before you finish your meditation for the day, think about what you’re going to do next. Are you going to make yourself a cup of coffee? Take a shower? Walk to work? Whatever you do, be mindful. If you’re making coffee, approach it the same way you approach meditating. Be completely in the moment: smell the delicious first whiff of coffee beans as they begin to brew, listen to the sounds of the coffee maker, and once you finally have your cup, just sit for a moment or two and enjoy the robust flavor. Bring this same mindfulness with you throughout the rest of your day.