How To Meditate For The First Time

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Many people have asked me how to meditate for the first time. And while there are a lot of articles online that five instructions for meditation, there aren’t a lot that explain things for the absolute beginner. I’m about to change that. 

If you are a first time meditator, you might struggle to focus enough to get into meditation. Indeed, the real trick to meditation for beginners is knowing how to slow your mind down enough so that you can meditate properly. 

I’ve previously written about how to meditate at home. Today I’d like to share extra meditation tips for beginners.

Let me show you how to meditate for the first time. 

I’ll share with you some basic tips that will help you meditate, as well as an easy meditation for beginners. 

How To Meditate For The First Time 

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There are a few steps you should follow for your first meditation. 

  • Help your mind to slow down so you can focus
  • Be somewhere peaceful so you are not distracted (here’s how to design a meditation room)
  • Learn a simple meditation that is suitable for beginners 
  • Know when to stop 
  • Know how to progress in meditation 

Start Meditating By Focusing

When you start to meditate you need to be able to focus. Most people are not used to focusing on the breath for 20 minutes as we do in meditation. That’s why you need to help your mind to focus. 

You can do this in many ways. One way to start is to simply spend some time in relaxing environments such as a local park. You can also reduce social media use and television use. All of this will reduce the noise in your mind. It will slow your thoughts so you can focus more easily. 

Exercising is also a great way to increase your focus. Studies by Fernando Gomez-Pinilla and Charles Hillman show thay daily exercise improves focus and concentration. And this will help when you start meditating.

Overall, what matters is that you help your mind to focus. Because this will make it easier to meditate. 

Meditate somewhere relaxing 

When you meditate for the first time it is normal to be distracted. The more you meditate, the less you will be distracted. However, for your first meditation session, I recommend doing it somewhere relaxing where there are minimal distractions. 

Now, you don’t have to meditate anywhere too special. You can definitely meditate at home. But I do advise you to remove as many distractions as possible. 

Turn off the TV. Sit somewhere quiet. Finish your house chores before you meditate so you don’t feel like you need to get up and do things. You know, the little things like that. The less distractions you have, the easier it will be to start meditating.

A Simple Meditation For The First Time 

There are a lot of different meditation techniques. You might have heard of some of the popular methods. For instance  Vipassana, Anapanasati, and Jon Kabat Zinn’s Body Scan meditation. However, when you are just starting to meditate, you should use a very simple method. I recommend the following. 

  1. Sit on a chair with good posture.  Place your feet shoulder width apart. Roll your shoulders back then let them relax. Slightly lower your chin to elongate your neck just a little. 
  2. Place the palm of your hand on your abdomen. Breathe deeply in through your nose and out through your mouth. Feel your breath loving down into your diaphragm. You should be able to notice your breath moving your hand on your abdomen. 
  3. Continue to breathe as above. Now focus your mind on your breath as it moves through your body. This is a form of Integrated Body Mind Training. It will stimulate your parasympathetic nervous system and reduce activity of your sympathetic nervous system. Overall, this will make you feel relaxed. 
  4. Because you are just learning how to meditate for the first time, you will probably be distracted. This is normal. Calmly observe how your mind wanders, and then gently return your focus to your breath. 
  5. Aim to take 50 breaths while focusing on your breathing.
  6. After your meditation, notice how you are feeling. Hopefully, you will feel calm and relaxed. Observe how that feels in your body and mind.

How to progress in meditation

Now you have done your first meditation. You might be wondering how to move forward. Honestly, I recommend you stick to easy meditations for at least one month. You might like to read my guide to how to progress in meditation. 

Summary

Now you know how to meditate for the first time and you will hopefully be feeling relaxed and happy. To continue to learn meditation, subscribe to our newetter today. 

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By Paul Harrison

Paul Harrison is a qualified meditation teacher and writer with more than 15 years experience in meditation and mindfulness. He studied meditation in Oxford, UK, and Hamilton Ontario Canada, and earned his degree at Staffordshire University. Paul has helped thousands of people to discover their true potential through mindfulness, yoga and meditation.

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